Find the perfect diet plan for you
A study has found that matching your diet with your personality is the biggest indicator of how successful the programme will be
A diet only works if you stick with it. And an Australian study has found that matching the plan to your personality is the single biggest indicator of the success rate of the programme. Narrowing down your choice from the most effective popular plans to suit you and your habits will offer better and longer-lasting results. Here, Caroline Jones, author helps you choose the right one for you. Take the following quiz...
1. A typical dinner during the week for me is...
A. An indulgent meal.
B. A home-cooked one with a good portion of meat— steak or chicken
C. A quick bowl of cereal.
D. A calorie-counted ready meal.
E. A takeaway or microwave meal.
2. During the weekend I tend to...
A. Enjoy big, spontaneous meals with friends and family.
B. Spend a lot of time being active outdoors, but always make time to cook proper meals.
C. Have a long leisurely brunch and pick the rest of the day.
D. Plan out my meals so I know what I'm eating and when.
E. Eat lots of treats and indulgent meals to cheer myself up.
3. I'm most likely to snack when...
A. Someone offers something delicious.
B. I'm out and about.
C. I've not eaten enough for breakfast.
D. I'm tired.
E. I'm craving something—chocolate.
4. I cook a meal from scratch...
A. Often. I love cooking.
B. Sometimes. But I really only enjoy cooking if I have quality ingredients on hand and plenty of time.
C. Only at weekends.
D. Most nights.
E. Almost never. I'd rather order.
5. I eat the majority of my food...
A. At lunch and dinner. I try to have a light breakfast so I can indulge later if I'm out with friends.
B. At dinner. That's when I finally have time to sit down for a substantial meal.
C. Over the first half of the day.
D. Spaced pretty evenly throughout the day.
E. Whenever I'm really hungry. I often have cravings for sweets and carbs.
6. My biggest challenge when trying to lose weight is...
A. I spend so much time socialising with friends and family it's hard to monitor how much I'm eating.
B. I get very hungry and end up overeating by serving myself large portions.
C. I don't have the time or energy to prepare complicated 'diet' meals for myself come the evening.
D. I lose motivation when I see everyone else eating whatever they want and slip off the diet wagon.
E. I give in to food cravings, which are usually dictated by my mood.
If you answered:
Mostly A's — Social butterfly
- You're a food lover, who struggles with willpower. You have a busy social life and don't want your diet to stop you enjoying meals out. You find it tough to stick to rigid eating plans for long.
- Best diet for you? 5:2 diet
- Celebrity fan: Jennifer Aniston
- What is it? On this hugely popular diet, you restrict calorie intake to 500 for two non-consecutive days a week and eat normally the other five days. Recent research suggests this kind of fasting can help you lose weight.
- How does it work? The rationale behind the 5:2 diet centres on the effects of fasting on levels of a hormone called IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1). Although the hormone is essential in early life when rapid new cell growth is important, high levels in adulthood increase your risk of cell divisions such as those found in cancer. Restricting the calories you consume, so the theory goes, lowers blood levels of IGF-1, protecting you against some major diseases, while also allowing you to burn fat at a higher rate and regulate blood sugar levels.
Mostly B's — The nature lover
- You love meat, exercise regularly and you care where your food comes from. You perform all tasks with gusto and would always prefer to walk than drive.
- Best diet for you? The Paleo Diet
- Celebrity fan: Miley Cyrus
- What is it? This plan means following the kind of 'hunter-gatherer' diet our ancestors would have enjoyed: plenty of fish, free-range meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and herbs, but no processed grains, dairy or sugar.
- How does it work? Proponents of the Paleo diet says it switches your body from a mainly carb-burning machine to a fat burning machine. They argue this is beneficial to weight loss because your body's preferred source of energy is fats — not the high amount of carbs in the modern diet — as it's a much slower burning fuel and more efficient.
Mostly C's — The lark
- You're a morning person who enjoys nothing more than tucking into a big breakfast. You prefer quiet evenings relaxing at home, rather than going out for indulgent meals.
- Best diet for you? The Reverse Diet
- Celebrity fan: Denise Van Outen
- What is it? 'Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.' On this simple plan you reverse your meals so you eat your largest portion in the morning, have a smaller lunch and eat just a quick, light meal at night. Advocates say it works because calories consumed in the morning are less likely to be stored as fat than those eaten in the evening.
- How does it work? Many studies have shown that breakfast eaters are slimmer than those who skip it, plus a study by a hospital in Cambridge, found that people who ate the biggest breakfast put on the least weight — even though they consumed the most food overall in an average day.
Mostly D's — The planner
- You like rules and enjoy having a plan or system to follow by the letter. You're also sociable and find dieting with others and weekly weigh-ins very motivating.
- Best diet for you? WeightWatchers
- Celebrity fan: Patsy Kensit
- What is it? Although it was revamped in 2010, when 'points' became 'ProPoints', this 60-year-old plan still works in the same way: You eat whatever you want - provided you stick to your daily ProPoints limit, a bespoke number based on your gender, weight, height and age.
- How does it work? The theory is, there's more to dieting than counting calories — if you make healthy choices that also fill you up, you'll eat less and feel better. Choices that satisfy hunger for the longest 'cost' the least points, while unhealthy choices such as burgers always have the highest point values. By sticking to your individual points limit you'll lose weight. Weight Watchers also hold local weekly classes so you can enjoy the support of a group of like-minded dieters, with weekly weigh-ins to help boost motivation.
Mostly E's — The comfort eater
-You eat more when you're down and have a bad track record when it comes to dieting. You've something of an addictive personality and have developed emotional eating habits that you feel unable to tackle — whether it be turning to chocolate for comfort or indulging in takeaways after a stressful day at work.
- Best diet for you? The Hypno diet
- Celebrity fan: Lily Allen
- What is it? Not a food plan as such, hypno-dieting is a way of encouraging your mind to make healthier food choices. Working with a hypnotherapist — in person or via a CD — you try to pinpoint the emotional triggers that make you turn to food. Then, through the power of suggestion, bad food behaviours are replaced with healthier ones.
- How does it work? The 'hypno' part claims to work because in a state of hypnosis you're focused and calm, so your subconscious is more receptive to ideas. The therapy portion is based on the principal of 'behavioural change through positive reinforcement.' Rather than telling yourself what you're 'not' allowed to eat, you teach your subconscious that what you really want is healthy food and exercise. It's vital to check if therapist belongs to an official body.Read more here:2015 formal dresses