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5 Research Findings To Reveal The Connection Between Your Food Choices And Personality Type

5 Research Findings To Reveal The Connection Between Your Food Choices And Personality Type

We live in a society that is obsessed with food. You’ll find plenty of self-proclaimed gourmets who enjoy eating food a little bit too much, and there are also the fitness zealots with body-image issues who subside on nuts and berries. Most people fall somewhere in between, and we all tend to have different tastes and affinities. However, there has been quite a bit of research done on finding a link between someone’s personality and his or her eating habits, and it looks like there are certain traits that makes us more likely to engage in specific eating behaviors.

In this article we will be looking at five research findings that suggest a connection between food choices and certain personality types. The ultimate goal is to examine the findings to determine whether they are accurate and reliable, i.e. to see if we can use the information to our advantage and make a positive lifestyle change.

1. Thrill seekers love spicy food

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Spicy food

    Way back in the 70’s, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania argued that the reason why people enjoy the burning sensation of spicy food, is the same reason why some people enjoy potentially dangerous activities, i.e. they were thrill seekers. Further research, like the work of Nadia Byrnes and John Haze has supposedly shown that sensation seekers – determined with the use of the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking test – handle spicy food much better than other people.

    The research involved giving people water infused with capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers, and having them answer questions on how intense the sensation felt and whether they enjoyed it. Although there are several other factors that can account for this affinity towards spicy food, cultural background and upbringing being the major ones, the study is quite solid and offers an interesting insight.

    2. People-pleasers tend to overeat when they have company

    The fact that social butterflies end up eating a bit more than they should won’t really come as much of a surprise to anyone who regularly eats out with friends and has guests over for several hours a day several times a week. When you are out and about you are bound to get tempted to have another snack if a friend grabs some fast food, but it seems that those who are eager to please others are at much greater risk of overeating throughout the day. A study done on pairs of young women concluded that people tend to mimic their companions’ eating habits, so someone who is a big eater can easily set the tempo and cause others to overeat.

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    However it’s not merely about mimicking our friends, as a Case Western Reserve University study from a few years back shows. Namely, those who were found to be inclined toward people-pleasing – as determined with the use of a questionnaire – readily accepted candy offered to them by an actor pretending to be another participant in the study, and took more than other participants.

    3. Overly emotional people tend to gorge on snacks in secret

    Sweets

      We are all well aware of the fact that some people are emotional eaters, meaning that they use food as a coping mechanism in times of stress, but those who tend to be more in touch with their emotions reportedly have a nasty little secret when it comes to food. A weight loss firm named LighterLife recently conducted a survey on 2000 women to find out more about the average woman’s eating habits, and discovered that a shockingly high percentage of women sneak away to have a secret snack on a regular basis.

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      Around 40% of the women said that they were aware that these covert snacks were a problem, as they were overweight, but simply couldn’t resist the temptation. Some even felt so ashamed of their habit that they resorted to eating in the bathroom under lock and key, or stashing extra snacks in locked drawers. Such polls are a good rough estimate of average trends amongst the population, and it looks like this is a large-scale problem that can seriously affect diet adherence. This secret eating habit can ruin even the most well-thought-out diet and exercise plan.

      4. Conscientious people are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables

      Fruit salad

        In 2005, a study was conducted using the International Personality Item Pool Big Five short-form questionnaire, which you can take a look at here,  to determine personality types of the participants and a health assessment questionnaire that examined behaviors including eating habits. It was determined that conscientious people tended to eat more fruit and vegetables, and choose overall healthier meals. Extroverts were shown to be more prone to risky behavior and bad food choices.

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        When you think about it, someone who is a bit less social and doesn’t drink too much is less likely to feast on fast food in the late hours of the night, so the study kind of goes along with what a lot of us already understood on an intuitive level. The interesting thing is that, with the vegan and raw food movements gaining popularity, and crazy crash diets giving way to meal delivery focused on plant-based food, it seems like a large chunk of the population falls into the conscientious category.

        5. Extroverts can’t say no to animal fat, sweets and alcohol

        The study in the previous paragraph already pointed towards extroverts being more susceptible to the allure of junk food, but there is another interesting recent study published in the Appetite journal that found that extroverts have an affinity towards fatty, savory and sweet foods, as well as sugary soft drinks.

        This was linked to social behavior directly related to the extrovert personality type, i.e. this personality type eats out more frequently and engages in group activities where high-calorie foods abound. The random population sample size was large enough to point out certain trends, however we should always be careful when trying to extrapolate such data and use it to come to generalized conclusions. One good thing we can draw from the study is that extroverts’ diets are influenced by outside factors which can be controlled to a great extent.

        These are just a few interesting studies that have shown some links between a person’s personality type and his or her food choices. It is a topic that definitely requires further detailed research, but even with the information we have available right now it is possible to come to a few conclusions, based on which you might be able to slowly start developing better eating habits. It always helps to understand why we are drawn to some foods if we are looking to make a big lifestyle change like switching to a healthier diet.

        Featured photo credit: cute little girl eating watermelon on the grass in summertime/Lana K via shutterstock.com

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

        Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

        That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

        Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

        1. Write Your Goals

        The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

        Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

        As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

        Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

        2. Beat Procrastination

        Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

        Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

        Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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        What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

        When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

        3. Celebrate Small Wins

        In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

        Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

        It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

        So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

        4. Practice Gratitude

        It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

        Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

        So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

        60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

        By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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        5. Be Optimistic

        Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

        At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

        Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

        6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

        A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

        Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

        What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

        So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

        10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

        7. Face your Fears

        You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

        If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

        Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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        Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

        How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

        Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

        8. Visualize your Success

        You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

        One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

        Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

        9. Find Inspiration

        Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

        From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

        Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

        Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

        10. Enjoy Downtime

        You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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        Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

        You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

        11. Meditate Regularly

        Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

        Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

        Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

        The Bottom Line

        Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

        However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

        So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

        More Tips About Staying Motivated

        Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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