The secret to dieting? 'Knowing who you are'

Your ability to lose weight could be linked to your personality, says new research

Woman eating cake (LL)
Woman eating cake (LL)
(Image credit: REX)

Your ability to lose weight could be linked to your personality, says new research

An exciting new weight loss plan in the US could explain why you struggle to follow a diet plan. Scientists suggest it could be that the diet you are on simply isn't compatible with your brain.

By comparing 66,000 brain scans, neuroscientist Dr Daniel Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, discovered four different brain types and linked each one to a different style of dieting. The study concludes that a person needs to pick a diet that suits the way their brain works.

'Almost all diets have a one size fits all approach,' says Amen. 'But our research over the past 20 years shows that giving everyone the same diet plan may make some people better, but it will make a lot of people worse.'

Dr Amen discovered that brains differ, causing people to fall into one of four different categories: compulsive, impulsive, emotional or anxious.

Contrary to the belief that metabolism is the key to staying slim, Dr Amen says: 'It is your brain that pushes you away from the table, telling you you've had enough, and it's your brain that gives you permission to have that second bowl of ice cream.'

He maintains that only when you have specified your own brain type can you begin to choose a diet plan and an exercise regime that suits the type of person you are.


Dr Amen suggests compulsive people suit a carbohydrate plan, while impulsive people fare best on high protein diets. Highly emotional characters need a healthy mix of fats, proteins and carbs and anxious people will succeed by combining wholefoods and vegetables.