When it comes to weight loss, a lifestyle change that is customized to you and your dietary habits is the key to success. Just as we all have different personalities, we also each have a unique weight loss personality. This is why a ‘one size fits all’ approach to weight loss just doesn’t work. Tailoring a plan to your lifestyle is necessary for both weight loss, and most importantly- weight maintenance following weight loss. Let’s discuss different weight loss personalities and identify strategies for each one to promote long term weight loss success.
The Personality: ‘Perfectionist’
Do you find yourself always trying to do everything right, all of the time? Are you hard on yourself when things do not go exactly as planned? If so, you likely have a ‘perfectionist’ personality. When it comes to eating, it is nearly impossible be perfect 100% of the time. Life is going to throw curveballs that require a bit of leniency in your diet; and while you may not be able to make the perfect food choice every single time, you can still lose weight and maintain a perfectly healthy lifestyle! Often with this personality we see over restriction and emphasis on ‘forbidden’ foods. Even one diet ‘slip up’ can cause feelings of failure or hopelessness and lead to a cycle of overeating followed by over restriction.
The Strategy: Stop the cycle! Work on learning to forgive yourself when you do have a diet ‘slip up’, and try incorporating a small weekly indulgence to your diet. Adding flexibility to your diet will not hinder your health or your weight loss efforts, and you will likely feel more relaxed and at peace with your new lifestyle changes.
The Personality: Impulsive
Do you get halfway through the bag of Doritos before you even realize you grabbed them from the kitchen? Do you take seconds at dinner just because the leftovers were sitting there? These are habits seen often with ‘impulsive’ personalities. Changing your lifestyle usually requires a bit of planning and thoughtfulness, especially in the beginning while getting used to new foods and eating habits. Those with impulsive personalities are more likely make a poor dietary choice in the moment and less likely to consider the feelings of guilt that usually follow. Impulsive eating often leads to poor dietary decisions, disregard of hunger cues, and overeating.
The Strategy: Get rid of temptation! Think about the food temptations you give into throughout the day and find a way to eliminate these temptations altogether. Stock your fridge and cabinets with healthy snacks and avoid buying sugary and salty treats. Contribute a healthy dish at the next BBQ so you know there will be something nutritious there for you to eat. Keep dinner leftovers on the kitchen counter or somewhere they will be out of reach. Making your food choices more planned and deliberate throughout the day will help you stay on track!
The Personality: Night Owl
Do you find yourself staying awake late into the night even when you don’t need to? The ‘night owl’ personality is a common one, and it can have a substantial impact on your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that people who stay up later often engage in night time snacking and consume significantly more calories than those who hit the sack earlier. Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to clouded judgment when choosing foods the following day, and can also mess with your hunger and satiety hormones.
The Strategy: Commit to a bedtime! Choose a bedtime that is realistic for your lifestyle, preferably early enough to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and commit to it. To promote a more restful sleep, turn off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before getting into bed. Try practicing nighttime yoga or meditation to relax your mind and body. It will take consistency and patience while your body adjusts to the new sleep schedule, but I bet you will find the new rested you makes healthier choices throughout the day!
The Personality: All or Nothing
Have you started a nutrition or exercise program, strayed a bit off course, and then abandoned the program all together? This ‘all or nothing’ personality can sabotage weight loss efforts; any deviation from the plan will lead to feelings of failure and subsequent giving up. This personality often relies on a very structured plan for weight loss success. While structure can be helpful while losing weight, flexibility is essential for long term weight loss and weight maintenance.
The Strategy: Add flexibility! When you begin your weight loss journey, follow a structured plan while you are getting used to the changes. After a couple weeks, allow yourself to stray a bit from the plan. This may mean experimenting with one or two different meals a week, adding in a night at your favorite restaurant or enjoying a small treat at the Sunday barbeque. Adding flexibility to your plan will allow for continued weight loss while preventing diet burn out that can occur from too much structure.
The Personality: Short Attention Span
Have you ever given up on trying to lose weight after feeling bored with eating the same foods over and over again? Structure is important for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean the foods you eat have to lack variety! Someone with the ‘short attention span’ personality may find they get into a rut of eating the same foods every day that is not only boring, but is also unsustainable. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, and the greater variety of healthy foods you have in your diet, the more likely you are to feel satisfied and find success on your journey to weight loss.
The Strategy: Mix it up! There is no way to get around the fact that structure and planning are necessary components for weight loss. To add variety but keep structure, plan out a week of meals, Sunday-Saturday. Make sure these meals differ from day to day. Now, you have seven days of different meals that will help you stay on track without becoming bored. You can repeat these meals each week, or find new healthy recipes online or in a cookbook to swap with. Getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to stave off boredom while discovering new nutritious snacks and meals.
No matter what your weight loss personality is, the important thing to remember is that the changes you are making are lifestyle changes; they have to be sustainable if you hope to reach long term success. Once you identify your weight loss personality, work with the strategies that are tailored to you and your lifestyle (a registered dietitian can help you do this!).
Which personality do you identify with? Do you have a different weight loss personality that was not mentioned?
Think eating protein has to be time consuming, think again!
Do you ever come home from a long day at work, look into the refrigerator, and just stare blankly at the food inside having no idea what to make? Yup- that sounds like my evening at least a few times per week. I feel like so many times I make the same few meals over and over again because I am short on time and they are quick and easy. I want a meal that provides my family with a variety of nutrients all while appealing to each of their specific tastes. In my house, anything with cheese is typically a winner. My husband would live on pizza daily if I allowed it. However, the typical pizzeria pizza is packed full of saturated fat and refined grains, not exactly something I want my family filling up on regularly. Keeping their love for cheese and pizza in mind, I decided to create a nutrient rich meal I could whip up in minutes that I knew they would love – and that’s how my Protein Packed Skinny Calzone recipe was born!
Do you love calzones? I do! Somewhere I have an old picture of myself digging into a calzone that was so large I think it was actually taller than me! Am I ashamed? Of course not! It tasted amazing and all foods in moderation is fine. As long as you don’t live on calzones daily, there’s no harm in enjoying them every once in a while. But if you do want to enjoy them more than just a few times per year as a special treat, you will love this recipe. I teamed up with Flatout Flatbread to create a calzone that’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and is healthy enough for the whole family to enjoy day after day. In just 10 minutes, you can have a nutritious, warm dinner ready to go for the whole family and know that they will actually love eating it!
Fun calzone facts: Did you know a typical calzone contain as much as 2000 calories and uses the same amount of dough as an entire pizza crust! Shocking I know! By making a few simple swaps, you can slash the calories and saturated fat in a typical calzone recipe while boosting the fiber and whole grain content. The secret ingredient? Swap out the pizza dough for a ProteinUP Flatout Flatbread instead. This flatbread offers 12 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per wrap with only 130 calories. It makes the perfect addition to my calzone recipe. Want to find the retailers by you who carry Flatout? Check out FlatoutFinder.com to find the closest place to grab yours today.
Protein Packed Skinny Calzone
- 2- ProteinUp Flatout Flatbreads
- 2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, tomato, garlic, basil, pepper, and salt.
Place one ProteinUp Flatout Flatbread on a lightly greased baking sheet. Using a spoon, scoop cheese mixture onto the flatbread and spread out evenly across the middle. Place the remaining flatbread on top of the cheese mixture.
Using a fork, press down on the sides of the flatbread to create a ‘crust’ to hold the calzone together. Using a sharp knife, create a small slit in the middle of the calzone before baking.
Lightly spray the top of the flatbread with an olive oil spray if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the flatbread browns slightly and the cheese has melted. Slice in half and serve warm. Makes 2 servings.
NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)
Calories: 306 Carbohydrates: 22gm Fiber: 11 gm Protein: 27gm Fat: 13gm Saturated Fat: 6 gm
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Flatout Flatbread. All opinions are my own.
Want a dessert but do not want the heat in the kitchen? Why not make a dessert in a slow cooker this summer and enjoy the out doors while it cooks! Rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts and it is simple and delicious to make. So in honor of National Rice Pudding Day, which is today August 9th, I made this tropical ginger rice pudding with fresh fruit, whole grain rice and lite coconut milk, making this go-to treat only calories per serving! Rice pudding can be made a variety of ways and with different ingredients, which can improve the nutrition content.
Tropical Ginger Rice Pudding
Serves 8 (about 1/2 cup serving)
- 4 cups whole grain brown rice, cooked
- 1 (13.6-ounce) can unsweetened lite coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ cup pineapple, diced
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- Lightly spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine cooked rice, coconut milk, water and sugar. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, and pineapple. Pour mixture into slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2 hours. Stir before serving.
- Serve hot immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until cool.
- Top with coconut (or toasted coconut) and extra pineapple.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 131 calories, 23 g CHO, 4 g Fat, 2 g PRO, 2 g Fiber, 5 g sugar