Scientists have established five character traits that dictate how likely a person is to maintain a healthy diet.
“If you’re frustrated by unsuccessful weight-loss attempts, having a better understanding of your personal triggers and diet patterns can be the crucial piece of the puzzle,” CSIRO behaviour scientist Sinead Golley explains.
In fact, researchers believe the study “could provide the answer to why some weight-loss methods haven’t worked for you in the past.”
The survey of more than 90,000 Australians found that cravings were one of the main reasons people struggled to lose weight, with one-in-five who identified with the “craver” personality type admitting they found it hard to resist temptation and had tried dieting more than 25 times in the past.
Women were most likely to fall into the “thinker” category, which is categorised by over-analysing their weight loss progress and having unrealistic expectations.
Men were predominantly “foodies” – the trait most likely to be a normal weight and eat the nationally recommended amount of fruit and vegetables - or “freewheelers,” with the latter notorious for having a poor-quality diet and being impulsive eaters.
But age was also proven to play an important part in diet success.
“Baby boomers and the older, silent generation (aged 71 years and over) were more likely to be Socialisers and Foodies – suggestion lifestyle and social connections influence a person’s eating patterns at different stages of life – while millennials and Gen X were more likely to be Cravers, Thinkers and Freewheelers,” Golley says.
“We also found younger people commonly used fitness trackers and apps to lose weight, while older generations turned to diet books and support groups.”