Could Your Personality Be Making You Fat?

By ABC News

Jan 11, 2012 8:00am

Could your personality be making your fat?

Tiffanie Davis Henry,  a therapist and co-host of ABC’s “The Revolution,” appeared on “Good Morning America” today to weigh in on the topic. And she said that your personality – and the connection between emotions and what and when you eat – could indeed be making you fat.

Specific personality types are more prone to weight gain. Henry broke down various personality traits and how they could lead to weight gain. She also talked about how an attitude change can lead to better weight-management success.

The Negative Nellies

We all know that person in the office who always has something negative to say. That negativity might be uncalled for, even in bad situations, and Nellies are so down on themselves that they hurt themselves with food, she said. The bad attitude might actually be affecting every aspect of life, including eating habits, she said.

Negative Nellies can turn things around by doing a check to see if their feelings are excessive. They also need to realize that eating the food will make them feel worse, she said.  She suggested that they find someone to blow off steam to, and to get a real read on just how bad a situation actually is.

The Instant Gratifier

This is the person who cannot say no. They have to eat it now, then feel bad afterward and gain weight quickly, Henry said.

To change that behavior, Instant Gratifiers should soothe their moods, the Atlanta therapist said. They have to look at what they are eating and decide whether they’re eating to avoid dealing with problems or issues in their lives. They should tell themselves that having that slice of cake will keep them from getting into those jeans, and they’ll find it easier to delay that gratification, she said.

The People Pleaser

Many mothers are in this category. These are the people who cannot say no, always put others first and themselves last, and who are so busy caring for everyone else that they’ll eat on the go, Henry said.

The solution is to stop making sure that everyone else is happy, and to realize that when mom’s happy, everyone’s happy, Henry said. She added that the more someone says ‘yes’ to others, the more they’re actually saying ‘no’ to themselves. By putting your own needs first, you can better take care of everyone else, she said.

Other Tips for Beating Overeating

Henry offered other tips to conquer overeating:

  • Identify your feelings – think about them, rather than eating them, she said.
  • Address the issue. Once you identify what’s driving you to eat, deal with the issues, she said.
  • Know and respect your weaknesses. If you find yourself waking up at 3 a.m. for peanut butter, don’t keep peanut butter in the house. If you’re going to snack, have some carrot sticks around instead. Don’t set yourself up to fail.
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