If you’ve ever taken a personality test, chances are it was the one developed by psychologists William Moulton Marston and Walter Clarke. Their DiSC program is the gold standard in personality assessment, grouping people by four main categories: Dominant, Influential, Steady, or Conscientious.
It turns out those categories describe my own clients beautifully. In fact, in my many years of practice, I’ve identified these four types of weight loss clients:
- The Leader, the take-charge client who hates being told what to do but goes all-in when something clicks.
- The Socializer, who rah-rahs every weight loss idea I throw at her but has just a teeny bit of trouble staying on track because, well, you only live once!
- The Supporter, the busy, pragmatic soccer mom who hates the idea of anything “trendy” and who says she’s running around all the time anyway and doesn’t that count?
- The Planner, the disciplined thinker, who loves to discuss the benefits of metabolic conditioning but would rather walk 10 miles than take a Zumba class.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know each of these types intimately. I know that a Leader would never end up at the same workout as a Supporter (unless she’s leading it!) and that a Socializer will eat very differently than a Planner. Each encounter has helped me understand that nobody loses weight the same way, and that everybody needs a customized food and fitness plan that speaks directly to their personalities and lifestyle.
Uncovering your Right Fit Formula
Yes, I know: Nobody falls neatly into the above categories. Oprah, for instance, has definitely got some Leader mixed in with her Socializer personality. And quintessential Planner accountants can be great at parties.
But chances are you definitely lean in one direction. That direction will determine your Right Fit Formula, the food and fitness plan that makes sense to you.
So here’s a quick pop quiz to help you narrow it down. Don’t worry about whether more than one answer fits or doesn’t fit; just pick what sounds most like you. Have fun with it!
Q. When you go to a new restaurant, you like to:
a) Order the chef’s special
b) Get input from tablemates so you can share
c) Look for something familiar
d) See what looks like the best value
Q. If you could afford to, you would:
a) Hire a private chef
b) Rent out a trendy restaurant for your birthday party
c) Hire someone to make and pack your kids’ lunches
d) Hire the world’s top nutritionist to tell you what to eat
Q. At dinnertime, you’ll often find yourself:
a) At a business meeting
b) Out with friends
c) With family
d) At your desk
Q. If you don’t have the time to cook, you usually:
a) Go to a drive-thru
b) Call a friend and go out
c) Find something you froze last week
d) Drink a protein shake
Q. When you open your refrigerator, you see:
a) Whatever the housekeeper or partner put in there
b) Lots of wine and snacks
d) Nine containers of yogurt (they were on sale)
Q. The workout routine that makes the most sense to you might be:
a) Racquetball, Tennis or Running
b) Any Type of Group classes
c) Walking the dog or Yoga
d) Golf, intervals, HIIT or pilates
Q. The last time you blew off your workout, you were probably:
a) On a plane
b) Slightly hung over
c) Dealing with a to-do list
d) On a deadline
Q. You would rather eat nails than:
a) Join a boot camp
b) Swim laps or solo long distance running
c) Take a trapeze class
d) Do a dance workout or play a sport
Q. On the other hand, you might not mind:
a) Having your own gym
b) Trying beach volleyball
c) A next-door yoga studio
d) Taking up martial arts or another precision activity
Q. Your best reason for getting fit is to:
a) Avoid a heart attack
b) Look great
d) Maintain optimal health