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For Savvy Weight Loss: Know Thyself

What kind of dieter are you? Knowing your diet personality can help you lose weight.

Weight loss type 3: The free spirit continued...

Your ideal diet plan.The free spirit doesn't want to work hard on a weight loss plan and isn't interested in a complete overhaul of the way she eats, says Seth Roberts, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. She won't say "no" to so-called sinful foods, and would rather make simple, small changes to her weight loss plan than take away entire food groups.

One risk: This type of dieter can find herself gorging on huge servings of chocolate cake instead of savoring one small piece, Roberts tells WebMD. The free spirit's approach to dieting is essentially a non-diet, agrees Farrell. If this sounds like you, focus on eating slowly and mindfully. Rate your hunger before and during each meal, so you won't allow yourself to become too hungry or too full.

Weight loss type 4: The sweet tooth

You've got a sweet tooth, and everyone from your husband, to your daughter, to your aunt who bakes your favorite Mississippi mud pie every Easter knows it. Some days the label gets old, but the truth is, if you're a sweet tooth dieter, you'd never turn down brownies for banana chips, and you've seldom met a piece of chocolate you didn't like. Combine a sweet tooth dieter with a serial snacker, and you've got double trouble on your hands.

Your ideal diet plan. You need to plan your indulgences carefully, says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, a certified dietitian and nutritionist in private practice in New York and co-author of Feed Your Family Right!. Instead of wasting calories on whatever's lying around your home or office (your kids' Halloween stash or those tasteless holiday cookies), identify the sweet treats you love the most and plan how much of each one you're going to enjoy when, she says. Triple chocolate chunk brownies taste so much better when you buy them - one at a time - from the local bakery and savor them bite by bite. Then, the only way to eat more is to make another trip to the store (the walk could do you good).

Eat a few high-quality sweets, and soon those mounds of imitation goodies you used to call delicious will be a calorie-laden thing of the past. If there's a food you simply must eat if it's around, Zeid says, resist the urge to buy it. And add plenty of fresh fruit into your diet plan. Peaches, strawberries, and bananas can appease your sweet tooth while providing you with fiber and key nutrients, she says. For extra sweetness, try dipping fruit in low-fat pudding or yogurt.

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