Enneagram Type 6 Diet Strengths:
Vigilant Types – are dutiful and versed at meal planning and regular exercise
Power Skills (1st Step) for Type 6: Problem Solving: (Identify, Brainstorm, Make Changes, Monitor, Coaching)
1. IDENTIFY PROBLEMS (TRIGGERS) – Instead of thinking about health problems as a failure of willpower and feeling like a failure, think of the external world as an environment that has set you up for weight-gain. Look for triggers that cause you to overeat and keep you from exercising. Get to the root cause by writing down every trigger that comes to mind. If you cant’ think of any, then start a 48 hour food log.
2. BRAINSTORM SOLUTIONS – say your solution in positive way – “I will” as opposed to “don’t do” statements. In this step you will rewrite your triggers as positive action statements. For example:
Trigger: I am starving at lunch and make bad fast food choices
Solution: I will pack a healthy lunch for work
Be sure use positive action statement, because labeling things to avoid actually peeks your interest and increases their value in your mind. For example, instead of saying, ”I will not eat cheesecake,” say, “I will eat fruit for dessert.”
Some helpful ways to think about solutions is to include thinking about what you can do as a backup. This is Contingency Planning or Rule Setting. You will create default or automatic behaviors (if, then statement) that you will resort to if you are faced with certain situations? These default actions prevent you from having to make decisions or debate with yourself regarding your healthy behavior.
Contingency: If I am in a situation where I will be eating fast food, then…
Rule: …I will automatically choose the Subway® 6 inch Veggie Sandwich with a water.
Contingency: If I am eating at a restaurant, then…
Rule: …I will cut all my portions in half except vegetables and salad.
Contingency: If I have no work-out partner that day, then…
Rule: …I will automatically jog 2 miles at a slow pace at 6 AM.
3. MAKE CHANGES – Experiment with changes and improve your skills over time. Start with two or three of the solutions and implement them in your life. Remember to pick the ones that will be the easiest for you and build a base of success.
4. MONITOR PROGRESS / VISUAL AIDS
Use a calendar displayed where you will see it and track your healthy behaviors (solutions):
1. Days that I worked out during lunch
2. Days I packed my lunch
Ask yourself: Was I successful in the change? Are there make the change more sustainable? What didn’t work and why..? Then think about whether you should switch your workout routine to the morning or if there are ways to be preemptive by blocking lunchtime demands. Overall, “Data gathering is not just about keeping track of your weight,…it’s about tracking the process that affects your weight,” Linda Norman, M.S.N., R.N., associate dean at the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University.
5. INCLUDE SOCIAL SUPPORT OR COACHING
Bring in support from family, friends and coaches. By surrounding yourself with supporters in your weight loss journey, you will increase accountability and your overall chance of success.
These Problem Solving techniques were originally developed by Thomas D’Zurilla and Marvin Goldfried at State University of New York at Stony Brook and later proven for weight loss by Michael Perri at the University of Florida.(REF: T. J. D’Zurilla and M. R. Goldfried, “Problem solving and behavior modification,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 107–126, 1971. AND M. G. Perri, A. M. Nezu, W. F. McKelvey, R. L. Shermer, D. A. Renjilian, and B. J. Viegener, “Relapse prevention training and problem-solving therapy in the long-term management of obesity,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 722–726, 2001.)
Tips for Enneagram Type 6
Problem solving: When I make a large meal, I save portions for easy meals later.
Problem Solving, Brainstorming: When I create solutions, they are positive statements like “I will eat fruit for dessert” instead of negative statements such as “I will not eat cheesecake” so that I avoid peaking my interest in the forbidden behavior.
Problem Solving, Brainstorming: Whenever possible I have contingency plans made to avoid a known high calorie situation or a time when I when I would normally forgo exercise.
Problem Solving, Coaching and support: I have an exercise partner or am a part of a sports team.
Problem Solving, Coaching and support: I have a weight loss partner or have joined a weight loss group.
Problem Solving, Coaching and support: I have someone who coaches me and provides me feedback about my weight loss efforts. (Doctor, Dietician)
Problem Solving, Coaching and support: I have someone who coaches me and provides me feedback about my exercise. (Trainer, Team Coach)
Problem Solving, Identify: I notice “Triggers” that cause me to eat more and exercise less.
Problem Solving, Make Changes: I master 1 small change at a time as opposed to overwhelming myself with too many expected changes.
Problem Solving, Monitor: I visually track my body weight and exercise progress on a calendar, graph or online app.
Problem Solving, Monitor: I quantify actions that help me lose weight and track them. Such as “Days in the Gym,” or “Days I packed a healthy lunch.”
Meal Planning: I pack a healthy lunch every day.
Meal Planning: I plan my weekly meals ahead of time.
Meal Planning: I pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the day.
Meal Planning: When I have to choice, I eat at home.
Portion Control: Only drink water after breakfast.
Portion Control: When I eat out, I have the server split the meal into 2 portions – to share or takeout.
Portion Control: When I eat out, I ask the server to hold the pre-meal bread, chips or snacks.
Portion Control: When I eat out, I always order the smallest portion.
Portion Control: When I eat out, I order your dressing on the side. I dip my fork in the dressing before I pick up a forkful of salad.
Action Skills (2nd Step): See Type Three’s DIET Strengths and Skills
Maintenance Skills (3rd Step): See Type Nine’s DIET Strengths and Skills
Thank you for reading Enneagram Type 6 Diet Strengths! Learn more about Power, Action and Maintenance Skills…here
Scott Harrington D.O.