Feature Archive

The Personality Type Diet

What It Is

It's a diet based on sensible eating and exercise. So what's new?

Author Robert F. Kushner, MD, teaches medicine at Northwestern University and is director of the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. After seeing a lot of people who wanted -- and needed -- to lose weight, Kushner realized there's no one-size-fits-all diet.

The Personality Type diet asks readers to answer 66 questions about their habits and attitudes toward eating, exercise, and coping. Based on the scores, a person falls into one or more "categories. For example, when it comes to eating, a person may be a "Mindless Muncher;" when it comes to exercise, an "All-or-Nothing Doer;" in coping, a "Can't-Say-No Pleaser."

In sections of the book appropriate for each type, Kushner offers specific advice helpful in changing the behaviors and attitudes with which a person self-identifies. This doesn't mean other sections of the book aren't full of useful advice. But because you've already identified things you need to change, Kushner's method points you to the areas where diet and lifestyle change will do you the most good. Besides, most people will identify with more than one "type" in each category.

What You Can Eat

Kushner is big on "super foods." These are all plant-based foods: Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, dried beans, lentils, and soy products. All are low- or moderate-fat foods rich in vitamins and other important nutrients.