(Australian Associated Press)
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight and people may shed more kilos in the long term by working with their “diet type”.
That’s the message from a new study which identified six major diet approaches among more than 245,000 Australian respondents.
The two most common types of dieters are “thinkers” and “battlers”, according to the report published by the CSIRO, Australia’s leading science agency, on Monday.
Making up 14.1 per cent of the study’s respondents, “thinkers” are goal-oriented, motivated and analytical.
But they’re also sensitive to negative feedback that can lead to stress or anxiety, which could ultimately derail their diet.
“Battlers” make up 12.8 per cent of respondents, who are likely find themselves regularly tempted by food and prone to stress and worry.
As a result, they need strategies to help break the cycle and achieve long-term success in their diet, according to the study.
The study’s lead author, CSIRO research scientist Dr Emily Brindal, said it was important for Australians trying to lose weight to learn more about their diet types.
“Too often diets are developed with a one-size-fits-all approach that ignores the fact that some people behave or think differently to others,” Dr Brindal said.
“Working with your diet type could help you achieve better weight loss outcomes in the longer term.”
The four other common diet types identified are “cravers”, “pleasers”, “foodies” and “socialisers”.
“Cravers” have the highest body mass index, according to the study, and are likely to experience strong food cravings that may lead to overeating in “tricky” food-related settings.
“Pleasers” are likeable and friendly people who could also be sensitive to social comparisons, which can make them feel like they are not doing well.
“Foodies” are passionate about all things food, including the experience of preparing and eating good quality meals.
The study found that “foodies” love variety and have the best diet quality of all six types.
Finally, “socialisers” are those who need flexibility to prevent diet restrictions from stifling social occasions or ‘killing the mood’ of an event.
“We are seeing people cope differently with COVID-19 stresses and uncertainty, which has included disruptions to health, fitness and social routines,” Dr Brindal said.
“We hope to help people achieve greater success on their journey to rediscover their health by playing to their individual strengths while also helping them to gain better control over their weaknesses.”