Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Thursday, August 4, 2011

‘Cause You’ve Got…Personality!

Personalized texts help weight loss.
If you’ve ever wanted to lose a few pounds, you might have considered taking up jogging, hiring a personal trainer, and swearing off dessert for the rest of your life. But, have you considered taking a personality test? New research indicates your personality type may be the key to weight loss.

A new study analyzed data collected on 2,000 people over the course of 50 years and examined the effect of personality type on weight and body mass index (BMI). They classified people into five groups based upon their personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Here’s a quick break down of these personality types:
  • Openness: people in this group are often imaginative, insightful, curious, and open to new experiences
  • Conscientiousness: the characteristics associated with this type include thoughtfulness, detail oriented, goal oriented, and good impulse control
  • Extraversion: people in this group are often very social, talkative, excitable, assertive, and emotional
  • Agreeableness: these individuals are often very kind, affectionate, trusting, and willing to compromise
  • Neuroticism: individuals in this group are often anxious, irritable, sad, and moody
Researchers found impulsive people weighed the most, with the most impulsive types weighing an average of 22 pounds more than the least impulsive people. It appears that impulsivity is linked to unhealthy behaviors, like binge eating and excessive alcohol consumption. Impulsive types score high in the neurotic and low in the conscientious categories, making them prone to “give in” to impulses (like eating the bakery cupcake) and emotional eating (as a result of high anxiety and sadness). Other types that weighed in a little heavier: risk taking, antagonistic, cynical, competitive, and aggressive personality types.

Those who were classified as conscientious weighed the least. Conscientiousness is typically associated with the type of restraint and commitment needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. One of the behaviors of conscientious people that helps them be successful in weight loss programs is goal-setting. In addition, they really weigh-out their decisions (Hmmm…do I really want that dessert? If I eat that, I have to walk extra. Nope, I think I’ll pass!).

It’s important to realize that your personality doesn’t destine you to struggle with your weight, although some traits and characteristics may make it more difficult to lose weight. And, while you can’t necessarily change your personality, these studies point to the importance of weight loss programs, like HEALTHeME, that take into account your unique personality type. Such programs can help you overcome those traits that make weight loss difficult and reinforce actions, like setting goals, that will help you be successful.

When registering for your HEALTHeME program, the questions you answered help us tailor the program and messages you receive to match your weight loss type. Plus, the more you interact with the program (by answering texts and tracking your data), the more personalized your program becomes. A weight loss program that recognizes and speaks to your specific personality may be the best tool to help you reach your weight loss goals!