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What Kind of Dieter Are You?

Written by Dana Yarn, RDLD


An assertive dieter is not really a dieter; they are a healthy eater who is firm in their decisions. They do not gorge on junk food while eating their favorite foods in moderation and they stop eating when they are full or satisfied not stuffed. An example of being assertive at a party would be to take only a small sliver of cake this way you will not insult the host, you will still enjoy the treat but not break the bank on calories. To be assertive is been defined as a quality of being self-assured. This is a wonderful characteristic to have when it comes to your nutrition. I was at a family get together last weekend and was observing behaviors of those around me when it came to food, and let me tell you there were only a few assertive types out there.

Another dieter is the aggressive dieter, they never last! We have all met someone who is so crazy about losing weight and then you see them 6 months later after they gained all of their weight back and then some! During the aggressive dieting stages their quality of life is not great because they are typically counting points, calories, and eating bland foods. They don’t enjoy parties, eating out or cocktail hour because of the all or nothing attitude towards their diet. Aggressive dieter typically is a yo-yo dieter and struggles with balance of life and health. I have had clients pass up dinner parties with great friends because they did not want to mess up their diet, come on that is not life! The best advice I could give an aggressive dieter is to search for a healthy balance and realize that they will maintain a lifestyle change forever if they follow a healthy eating plan 80% of the time. An occasional cheat meal (1-2x week) does not mean that you have no will power, giving into cravings once in a while will help you stay on track for all of your other meals.

The most common dieter that I see is the passives, they have a difficult time because they give into peer pressure of those around them and their will power is not very strong. If someone justifies to them why it is okay to have fried foods or desserts then they 9 times out of 10 will give in. A passive dieter is really not ready to change no matter what they tell you, they enjoy food and open excuses to eat the foods they enjoy. I try to help passive dieters by coming up with healthy alternatives for the foods they love, if they love pizza then I will give them a recipes for a whole wheat tortilla pizza that taste just as good with half of the calories and fat of take-out pizzas. Cooking tasty healthy dishes will keep them from feeling deprived and they will not give into peer pressure as easily if they are enjoying healthy food.

Aggressive and passive dieters can be turned into assertive successful healthy eaters! Comments and questions are always welcome. Happy May to all of you!

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