When considering a personalized diet plan, start by learning how a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet would work best with your personality. This is because WFPB diets provide sustainable weight loss and they prevent the most common medical ailments today such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. To learn more about the health benefits of a WFPB diet review these sites: Ornish.com, DrFuhrman.com, PCRM.org (Dr. Barnard), and DrMcdougall.com. These physicians have devoted their life to improving health through diet and their sites contain a wealth of evidence based resources and weight loss strategies.
Now let’s review a personalized diet plan below for each Personality Type, and how to best approach this healthy change.
Bold Types go after what they want directly and demand what they want. When choosing a diet plan Bolds do best when they enroll in systems that allow flexibility, variety, excitement and competition. They rapidly improve when they start “Health Club” based weight loss programs like YMCA, Anytime Fitness, or Curves. Health Club programs tend to focus on the physical and social aspect of weight loss that Bold Types enjoy. At the clubs, Bolds feel a healthy sense of competition, can meet with physical trainers, become interested in healthy eating and have access to fun group exercise. The key for them is to have fun and look at weight loss as a game. Some Bolds find it fun to quantify their exercise with wearables like a fitbit. Some Bolds like to test their will by training and competing in challenging endurance events like Tough Mudder or Spartan races.
In terms of dieting, Bold Types want to make their own food choices and do not like being boxed in by restrictive rules or a lack of variety. If they are still gaining weight, despite being more active, they may have trouble saying no to their rich food cravings. In this case, Bolds can reign in their calories by using pre-portioned meals when needed. Of the many brands of pre-portioned meals, I recommend Kashi or Amy’s frozen entrees and soups. Also try Dr. McDougall’s foods at rightfoods.com. Of note, be careful with your overall intake of oil and salt when eating pre-packaged foods.
Right Types want to be responsible and do what they believe is right. When choosing a diet plan Rights may chose to enroll in a program that provides authority, structure, and rules like Weight Watchers or TOPS (Take Pounds Off Sensibly). Be sure that before you start these local groups are supportive of plant-based weight loss, otherwise it may be counterproductive. Weight Watchers and TOPS have point systems for tracking calories, but their most powerful tool is social support. Rights’ sense of duty to other people keeps them accountable and regularly coming back to the meetings. Once they are successful, Rights tend to offer coaching for others which helps maintain their own weight loss. If there are no local plant based support groups, there are many online groups that offer support. Consider joining Facebook Groups such as McDougall Friends or Eat To Live (Nutritarian Plant Based Eating for Optimal Health). For more specific guidance including daily plant based meal plans, I recommend starting a 21-day vegan kickstart.
Deep Types have a tendency to “zone out” and can find themselves mindlessly eating to help numb negative or stressful emotions. Because Deep Types tend to be introverted, it is not in their nature to attend weight loss meetings or health clubs. Also, Deep Types can feel easily overwhelmed by the idea of making complex recipes, or always having to make new meal plans. One method that Deep Types use to lose weight is by making their meals convenient with Meal Replacements (shakes/bars) or pre-portioned diets (frozen food). These methods are NOT ideal because they are highly processed and offer less nutrition than whole-plant foods. Instead, the key for DEEP types is two-fold; embrace whole plant foods that are also convenient, and make meal decisions/meal rules in advance. For example, a Deep Type may choose to only eat oatmeal (3 minutes in microwave) with berries for breakfast. For lunch, the pre-planned meal may be a salad with a no-oil dressing. Deep Types may limit themselves to only fruit for dessert. These simple rules serve to make Deep Types more mindful and avoid the pitfalls of food foraging. It is true that novelty increases intake, and by decreasing variety Deep Types decrease their overall calorie intake. Although making restrictive meal rules causes a lack of variety, it is much more convenient, and a less overwhelming diet plan for Deep Types.
How did I Choose These Groups (BOLDs, RIGHTs and DEEPs)?
These groupings are based on Enneagram Personality Types that have similar attributes — Aggressive, Complaint and Withdrawn. The Types were classified by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson in The Wisdom of the Enneagram as the Hornevian Groups. The Hornevian Groups describe the way people obtain what they need and their style of social interaction.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have found a Diet Plan that works best for You!
Dr. Scott Mark Harrington, D.O.