Whether you're the life of the party, a bookworm or a night owl, your personality plays a surprisingly large role in your ability to slim down. Follow this guide to discover your personality type and use your own characteristics to lose weight and keep it off for good.
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If You're Impulsive
In a famous 1972 study, scientists offered young children a choice between a single marshmallow immediately or, if they could wait 15 minutes, two marshmallows. Those who waited went onto experience more success and higher SAT scores later on in life. The ability to delay gratification also relates to weight loss, says Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas. "People tend to be either a 'one-marshmallow person' or a 'two-marshmallow person.'" If you're struggling with weight loss, you are more likely a one-marshmallow person. Eliminating little temptations will help: stop stocking your pantry with junk food, and avoid the break room at work when you know there will be leftover treats.
If You're Reliable
Always on time? Follow rules by the book? It means you're conscientious, a trait that makes it easier to stick with an eating or fitness plan, says Markman. However, whether you're conscientious or not, there's a paradox in that creating a plan forces you to think about food all the time, which can work against you. The solution: create routines not specifically about dropping pounds that will still lead to weight loss, he suggests. For example, instead of driving your kids the mile to school, start walking with them.
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If You're Prone to Mood Swings
The way you ride life's rollercoaster determines your emotional stability. "If you're emotionally excitable, things are either very good or the worst ever," says Markman. Some people are emotional eaters, so the more you're on the emotional rollercoaster the more likely you are to reach for food. "The more excited you are in general, the more likely you are to take action, and eating is an action," says Markman. Learn to recognize your own ups and downs and try to take action in healthier ways, like calling a friend or sweating your stress away with a workout.