Jen Widerstrom’s Diet Personality Types

Jen Widerstorm doing cardio.

Per Bernal

Ever wonder why you seem to float from diet to diet without getting the results you want while your bestie just dials in to her meal-prep plan and doesn’t miss a beat? Or why you thrive on the energy of a group cycling class while your sister would much rather head outside for a solo run? Your personality may have a lot to do with it: That’s the inspiration behind celeb trainer and two-time Biggest Loser coach Jen Widerstrom’s new book, Diet Right for Your Personality Type (Harmony Books, 2017).

“What we need to hear and how we are motivated can be very different depending on each individual. I realized from all of my time coaching clients that there are five very distinct personality types that respond to diet and exercise cues in different ways,” explains Widerstrom.

The problem most people face, she adds, is that we tend to compare ourselves to others instead of focusing on ourselves. “We often look outside ourselves for answers, when the solution lies within each person,” she says. “I’m trying to give people the permission to see themselves as an asset and to use this information to elevate their own awareness.” She likens it to driving a car down a road with a big pothole. “The first time you hit it, you’re like, ‘Dang, that hurt my car!’ The next time you’re on that road, you know where that pothole is and how to avoid it.”

So if you know that dessert is your diet trigger, you can stock up on healthy alternatives rather than raiding the cookie jar after dinner, or if you get stuck with a big project at work, keep your gym bag in the car so you can hit the weights or running track after work. “All I’m asking is for people to identify who they are, so they know how to get past roadblocks that will undoubtedly come up,” says Widerstrom.

While the types are primarily identified through diet, you may also recognize certain workout patterns that you can follow. “If your workout isn’t in line with who you are and what you enjoy, you inherently won’t want to stick with it,” she notes. See if you can identify your dominant personality type from the following list. Then structure your diet program to best avoid triggers that can set you off course, so you will be set up for success.

SEE ALSO: Jen Widerstrom From ‘The Biggest Loser’ Inspires Women With Selfie

Your Type: The Organized Doer 

Who You Are:

A critical thinker who is results-oriented and highly organized and craves routine, rules, and planning.

Steps for Success: 

Allow your organization skills to work for you: Make a daily checklist that includes meals and movement goals (like brown bagging a healthy lunch and walking an extra mile at lunchtime). Batch-cook food on Sundays and Wednesdays for the following few days. Just remember that, while it’s nice to be consistent, it can also be fun to add variety.

SEE ALSO: 5 Muscle-Building Lunches to Bring to Work

Potential Stumbling Blocks:

Organized Doers tend to be hard on themselves, says Widerstrom. “They’ll often fail to celebrate successes or progress and can be all-in or all-out when it comes to diet and exercise.” So remember to give yourself a pat on the back for completing that strength set or saying no to dessert.

Workout Keys: 

Find a structured program, whether that’s a weightlifting plan or training for a 10K, and stick with it. You tend to like both classes and independent training, so go with whatever you feel like doing. Set realistic weekly goals and keep track of your progress so you’re game to keep coming back for more.

Your Type: The Swinger 

Who You Are: Outgoing, open to new experiences, and always looking for the next great thing to do—whether that’s finding a hot new restaurant or a killer HIIT workout class.

Steps for Success:

You’re social and an extrovert, so take advantage of that addiction to Snapchat or Instagram and post your progress. Enlist a friend or family member to act as your accountability partner.

Potential Stumbling Blocks: 

Chasing the latest trend can mean you drop off your diet plan or workout program as fast as you started it. Find a picture or a phrase and put it on your phone or fridge that represents your end goal, a time when you loved your body, or an affirmation that makes you feel like you can take on the world. Enjoying lots of variety in your meals means you like to dine out a lot, but beware of those high-calorie menus. Give yourself plenty of fun meal- prep options so you won’t get bored.

Workout Keys: 

Sign up (and pay for) workouts in advance so you won’t be tempted to drop out, and look for social classes like group cycling or a boot camp program that offer both accountability and camaraderie. Install a fitness- tracking app on your phone or invest in a wearable tracker— then post about your success to friends and followers to share your progress!

Jen Widerstorm doing cardio.

Per Bernal

Your Type: The Rebel 

Who You Are: 

Spontaneous, high energy, and a risk taker, you tend to live for the moment, damn the consequences— which means sometimes details
and routines fall by the wayside.

Steps for Success: 

Since organization isn’t necessarily your strong point, focus on eating five small meals a day. That way you can make sure you’re not skimping on nutrients or overeating, says Widerstrom. Also make sure you know what a proper portion should look like and try not to go overboard. Finally, be aware of your hunger cues. Have an emergency stash of healthy snacks for when you need something to nosh on.

Potential Stumbling Blocks:

You tend to get bored when things become too routine, so keep mixing things up by adding fresh foods to your menu or trying a totally new trendy workout class. Avoid having too many liquid calories or your tendency to have one huge meal a day while skipping the rest.

Workout Keys: 

Do a short and sweet circuit weight routine in the a.m. so you don’t get distracted as the rest of your day goes on. Try not to let more than three days pass without working out. Keep a gym bag with a set of workout clothes and shoes in your car. Perfect for your spontaneity!

SEE ALSO: Jen Widerstrom’s Plyometric Workout

Your Type: The Everyday Hero 

Who You Are: 

Selfless and committed, you tend to place others’ needs before your own—often leading to an overloaded schedule, which puts your diet and workout goals in danger.

Steps for Success: 

You have less opportunity to prepare a healthy meal or get to the gym, so make time: Start with 10 minutes of uninterrupted exercise a day and build from there. And don’t forget to invest in your own health, whether that’s going to the doctor or getting more sleep.

Potential Stumbling Blocks: 

When things come up at school or work, you’re often the first to volunteer, which means workouts and healthy dinner plans get pushed aside. Plan in advance by packing clothes and food for your day ahead. And treat your workouts like appointments that can’t be missed, so you don’t blow them off.

Workout Keys: 

Having too much on your plate can leave you feeling frazzled, so schedule in a weekly yoga class or try practicing in your home. Hire a personal trainer or find a workout buddy to help you get to the gym—since you would never bail on someone waiting for you.

Your Type: The Never-Ever

Who You Are: 

Smart, determined, and often your own worst enemy, you set yourself up for failure by worrying about what might go wrong.

Steps for Success: 

Never-Evers are disconnected from their health and fitness or may have even given up trying to live a healthier lifestyle. You require a plan that allows you to take a step back to get a bigger view of your life and help you realize why you are making these less healthy choices, says Widerstrom. Squash those naysaying voices that tell you that you’ll never be able to lose the weight or get fit, and don’t procrastinate. Figure out what you are going to do, and go for it!

Potential Stumbling Blocks: 

Never-Evers are full of excuses, like thinking they can’t work out because work is really busy or making an excuse to order that big dessert because they had a small lunch. Disrupt this pattern by weighing yourself daily and journaling your progress so you can feel encouraged by your results. And focus on just one week at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Workout Keys: 

Wear a fitness tracker and set goals for yourself to reach each day. And work activity into your day whenever you can, whether that’s taking steps instead of the elevator or doing a few extra laps around the office. Start slowly, with lower-intensity exercises like walking or a machine weight circuit at the gym, and then gradually add in higher- intensity activities like intervals or free weights.