Sticking to a healthy eating regime all the time can be challenging for even the most determined and focussed of dieters, especially when the pressures of social eating and drinking come into play.
However, a new study has revealed that a certain personality trait can make you more likely to eat healthily and stick to a certain diet – and it’s not about resolution or willpower.
A positive mental attitude is the key to seeking out nutritious food and strictly sticking to a healthy diet, researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK have found.
The new study revealed that people with a positive attitude are more likely to eat healthily as they are motivated to pursue ‘positive outcomes’ when it comes to their health and fitness and are also more likely to follow advice from people who can guide them to meet their goals such as doctors, personal trainers and industry experts.
“Consumers are likely to receive advice regarding nutrition from multiple sources in their day-to-day lives,” said lead author Kishore Pillai, professor of retail and marketing at UEA’s Norwich Business School.
Prof Pillai went on to explain that people with the personality trait of a tendency to think positively in their daily lives have a ‘promotion focus’ when it comes to achieving their goals.
This essentially means that if you have a positive mental attitude, you are more likely to proactively purse new goals and achievements as opposed to focussing on just preventing negative outcomes and maintaining the status quo. For example, someone who has a ‘promotion focus’ would actively work towards the goal of losing weight, as opposed to someone who would just focus on not gaining any additional weight.
“The higher aspirational levels of promotion focused consumers will lead to greater involvement with nutrition to enhance their well-being,” Prof Pillai added. “While both promotion and prevention focused individuals will be motivated to maintain good health, the former are more likely to employ approach strategies such as nutritional involvement.”