Ketogenic, Paleo, low-carb, high-carb, alkaline…there are a billion diets out there, and The Biggest Loser trainer Jen Widerstrom thinks she’s narrowed down the right one for you. But it has nothing to do with the latest diet trends or what Halle Berry is eating—it’s all about your personality. In her book, Diet Right for Your Personality Type, the diet-and-exercise guru breaks it down for us, and it’s a pretty genius concept. Before you read the book and dive in, here’s a cheat sheet.
The diet for your personality
The diet for your personality
THE ORGANIZED DOER
Is this you? You’re great at staying on top of all the little details in your life, so reading food labels and counting calories are a breeze. When it comes to diet and exercise, you’re either all in or all out. So when you start a new diet, you follow it to the letter, cutting out every last carb and making every sit-up count. The problem? “White-knuckling it,” as Widerstrom calls it, isn’t a long-term solution, and you might find yourself getting burned out and stressed after a few weeks.
The best diet: A highly organized meal plan with nutritious batch-cooked meals made on Saturdays and Wednesdays. You love planning ahead and sticking with a routine, so this diet should be a piece of…uh, celery. You’ll do best with a set grocery list and prescribed recipes to make for each meal (like baked whitefish with oven-roasted veggies for dinner tonight, yum).
Is this you? Dear Rebel, you’re intensely curious, optimistic, energetic, creative and spontaneous, and you have a free-form approach to life. You hate being bogged down by routines, and you’d rather look at the big picture than focus on small details. Your BFF’s biggest complaint is that you’re always late, but she knows you’ll both have a blast when you finally arrive.
The best diet: Meal plans? Shopping lists? No, thanks. You’re more apt to stick to an eating routine that measures portion sizes, because no one’s gonna dictate every ingredient you eat. Just space your meals two to three hours apart and focus on eating a balanced portion of lean protein, carbs, fat, veggies and water. Oh, and keep a gym bag and workout clothes in your car at all times—you never know when the motivation to exercise will strike.
Is this you? You’re fun-loving, spontaneous, outgoing and energetic—basically, Swinger, you’re the life of the party. But the same way you jump easily from topic to topic in a conversation, you also jump from the latest fad diet to the next. You never give one plan a full shot and tend to get bored before you can really see results.
The best diet: Instead of restricting yourself to an eating plan that requires you to eat the same foods every day, create four go-to options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For example, Widerstrom recommends eating rotating dinners of either stir-fry, lemon pepper grilled steak salad, zucchini pesto pasta sauté with chicken or slow-cooker chicken fajitas. When mealtime becomes a spontaneous choose-your-own-adventure for your stomach, it’s impossible to get bored.
THE EVERYDAY HERO
Is this you? Your cousin’s car broke down…and five minutes later, you’re zooming over to pick her up. You’re always there to help out someone in a bind, and your friends would call you selfless and committed. But because you’re so adaptive and collaborative, you’re usually overloaded with activities and have to scarf down a sandwich or burger on the run.
The best diet: No more pre-made packaged snacks or shakes for you—stock your fridge with nutritious, whole foods that you can assemble into easy, no-brainer meals. Think: wraps, avocado, sliced turkey, clementines, pre-washed kale, bananas, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, frozen fruit and whatever floats your boat. Drink a quick (but homemade) smoothie for breakfast, then pack your easy-to-make lunch to go like a sandwich or a salad. Make a big-batch dinner in advance (you'll love Widerstrom's turkey bake recipe), so you can make it once and eat it all week.
Is this you? You’re intelligent, cerebral and you definitely know what you like and don’t like—but when it comes to getting sh*t done, you’re your own worst enemy. You let negative self-talk get in your way, and you often talk yourself out of making any big changes. (“Why try a new diet? I’m just going to fail anyway.”)
The best diet: Instead of just blindly following a meal plan, you need a holistic, self-care approach to dieting. To stay motivated and actually follow through with a long-term diet, you need to understand why you’re jumping through all these hoops and see results quickly. Try a diet plan with multiple phases (Widerstrom’s plan includes the Jump-Start, the Reboot and Energize, the Lean-Down and the Strong and Steady) to keep you reaching for short-term goals you can definitely achieve. You’ve got this.