Your personality can make plenty of things in life much easier, from choosing your shoes to decorating your house. But it can also work against you—especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Although the science behind personality types is sometimes ambiguous, recognizing your tendencies (both good and bad!) might be pivotal to finally slimming down.
That particularly goes for Type A personalities. Type A people are known for being punctual, organized, and competitive with themselves and others. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? But in the long run, these traits can prevent them from achieving their weight loss goals.
Why? The “one-size-fits-all” approach of most workout and diet programs may appeal to the masses, but they often sabotage the goals of Type A personalities. For instance, you might insist on following through on a workout schedule, despite feeling sore and strained. That could lead to a bigger injury later on, derailing your progress altogether. Plus, following a specific workout or diet plan and not seeing immediate results might cause you to give up entirely. (By the way, this is what your favorite workout secretly says about you.)
While it’s helpful to feel committed to a fitness and diet routine, holding yourself to a strict standard may slow your momentum in the long run, according to Stephanie Mansour, a Chicago-based certified personal trainer and weight loss coach. “It’s good to have a plan, but it’s also important to connect with how your body is actually feeling,” she told HuffPost.
That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your plan completely, though. In fact, you can easily use those bothersome Type A personality traits to your advantage. (You can also try these 42 fast, easy tips for weight loss.) Mansour recommends building some flexibility into your own rules. In other words, you can eat that bit of cake or taking a day off from the gym every once in awhile; doing so will actually keep you motivated and avoid burnout later on, she says.
“What’s important is you have some flexibility to adjust the workout so it fits best for you,” according to Mansour. “Think of it as a roadmap, but ultimately you’re driving the car.”
Congrats, Type A’s! Follow this advice, and you’re one step closer to dropping the pounds for good. But once you do, beware of the surprising ways weight loss can change your personality.