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A diet plan should match your eating personality.

Everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes when it comes to weight loss. Finding a diet that best supports your needs is key to finding success. Weight gain happens for a host of various reasons, but if you had to pinpoint the top reason, could it be that you snack even when you’re not hungry, eat for comfort, can’t resist sweets, or eat out too often?

Consider these four weight loss personalities to see where you fit and how to combat your weakness.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”Thomas A. Edison

Personality Profile 1: Snack Lover

Is the reason you’re overweight because you snack too much and too often? Do you have set times each day you snack out of habit whether you’re hungry or not? Perhaps you’re too busy during the day to sit down and eat a healthy meal so you munch on packaged processed food from the vending machine or grab a quick high-carb snack throughout the day to keep you going. You’ll be the first to admit your snack choices aren’t the healthiest.

There’s good news for you: snacks can be a healthy part of a weight-loss diet when they’re planned. So keep healthy options on hand and eat only when you’re truly hungry. Each snack should include protein and fiber to fill you up and provide lasting energy. Those times you just have the munchies but really aren’t hungry, try chewing gum or drinking ice water flavored with lemon.

Personality Profile 2: Emotional Eaterrow of donuts

Are you the type of person that eats when you’re bored, tired, stressed, or depressed? Emotional eating is a leading cause of weight gain. Looking to food to fill an empty place in your heart will not truly satisfy.

If you struggle with this type of overeating, the first step is to identify what emotions or situations trigger eating. Keep a food journal and list your meals and snacks along with what you’re feeling at the time you eat. Then learn to turn to healthier forms of comfort: calling a friend, reading a book, or taking a walk.

Personality Profile 3: Sweet Craver

Sweets can be hard to resist. For some people, they’re almost impossible to pass up. Are you struggling with your weight because you can’t turn down the chance to enjoy brownies, cakes, cookies, and ice cream? If so, you’re not alone.

There’s hope for you, too. You can still lose weight and enjoy treats every once in a while (just not after every meal). Like the perpetual snacker, you’ve got to plan ahead for the time and amount you can indulge in your favorite sweet. In the meantime, keep junk food out of the house, pass by the candy aisle at the store, and tell your waiter to bring the check with your meal to avoid buying dessert. Also, keep healthy sweets on hand: fresh or dried fruit, low-fat pudding, and low-fat yogurt.

Personality Profile 4: No Cooker

Eating out on a regular basis is a recipe for weight gain. Maybe you’re too busy to make home-cooked meals, hate to spend time in the kitchen, or are frequently out of town on business and end up eating in restaurants for many of your meals.

While much of the food at restaurants is bad for your waistline, most restaurants have healthier, low-fat options to choose from. You just have to be picky. Eat fewer calories with the following tips:

  • Ask for a salad with the dressing on the side.
  • Say “No” to the breadbasket.
  • Order water rather than soda or alcohol
  • Have your meat grilled or baked not fried
  • Choose a steamed vegetable for your side instead of mashed potatoes, fries, or casseroles.
  • Split your meal with someone else or box up half of it to save for later.
  • With the desire to lose weight, you can do it—no matter what your personality may be!

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