When you gain weight, what do you normally blame it on? The workouts you skipped or maybe a few too many indulgent weekends? You might be in for a surprise. Research has shown that you could be your own worst weight-loss enemy simply by being yourself, as certain personality traits are associated with obesity.
The peckish personalities: Across four studies of almost 9 000 people, researchers found that people who are high in neuroticism (those prone to negative emotions like anxiety, sadness or loneliness) and people low in conscientiousness (who tend to be disorganised, undisciplined and easily distracted) are more likely to have a higher BMI.
Say what? Of course, this doesn’t mean that every person who’s disorganised or unhappy will automatically be obese. It simply suggests that these personality traits could lead to behaviours that tend to cause weight gain. For instance, someone high in neuroticism might get stressed out more easily, which could lead to emotional eating and stress-fuelled cravings. And someone low in conscientiousness might be more disorganised and less disciplined, finding it harder to plan out healthy meals or stick to a diet and fitness routine.
Does that mean you’re doomed? Luckily not. If you recognise these traits in yourself, just make an effort to avoid indulging in the unhealthy behaviours that can go along with them. Try hiding the chocolate when you’re super stressed or stock up on great-tasting Herbex Slimmers Shakes for those times when you don’t get around to grocery shopping.
You may not be able to change your personality, but you can make tweaks to keep your health and weight in check.