Advantage Diets
Your Personality Approach to Healthy Living
“Know your type to improve your life”

Is Your Personality Type Making You Fat?

September 2, 2022| By

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Because we’re human, we ask questions. When it comes to being overweight, there are many questions such as: “Why am I overweight?  “When did it actually happen?”  “What can I do to lose the weight?”  And if you’ve already tried to lose weight and haven’t succeeded in keeping it off , “What am I doing wrong?”  Even though most people are able to lose some weight when they’re focusing on the process, over time they inevitably return to the old habits that got them overweight in the first place.

I think the time has come to find the answers, not in any diet book, but in your personality type.  I believe your personality type is making you fat.  However, learn about type so you can tap into your strengths.

As a dietitian and certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI® — personality assessment tool), I do believe that our personality type is involved in the decisions we make and the outcomes we end up with based on those decisions.  According to the MBTI® there are 16 personality types, each type consisting of four letters.  (1) One letter denotes whether we like to make judgments based on information we gather from the world outside of ourselves or in the world of our ideas; (2) Another letter shows the type of information that holds the most interest to us.  (3) The third letter shares the way we make decisions;  (4) The last letter reveals the way we structure our lives.

If you’re curious what your personality type is take this free personality test.  I’ll wait while you go take it.  You’ll enjoy the article that much more knowing what your type is.


The Personality Preferences

Within each of the above four categories, there are two preferences.  And while you possess all of the preferences that I’ll be discussing, there are those that you favor the most and use the most.  Those are the preferences that show up in your 4-letter type name.  To get you going, I will give you just a few of the ways to recognize the preference, but know that there are many more points to learn.  Check out the book, “Health Hijackers”, for a complete review.


Category 1: What stimulates you

You’re either an Extravert or an Introvert.


If you’re an Extravert:

  • You look to how you interact with the world
  • You’re influenced by the expectations of others
  • You often act before thinking about it
  • You tend to be outgoing, often getting energized by a group


If you’re an Introvert:

  • You look to how the world affects you
  • You tend to reflect before acting
  • You might defend yourself against the expectations of others
  • You’re self-aware, more private


Which do you think you are?  An E or an I?  If you haven’t taken the personality test, jot down your answer.


Category 2: What type of information is important to you

You’re either a Sensor or an iNtuitive.


If you’re a Sensor:

  • You have strong powers of observation based on your five senses
  • You rely on past experiences, facts, and details to solve problems
  • Life is as it exists right now. That is reality.



If you’re an iNtuitive:

(By the way, I capitalize the “N” because that is the letter used to represent iNtuition.  When Carl Jung developed psychological type, he had already assigned the “I” to Introversion.)


  • You want to get the whole picture before dealing with the specifics and details
  • You have vivid powers of imagination
  • You’re inspired and fascinated with what’s unknown or hidden
  • You’re clever when it comes to solving problems.


Which do you think you are?  An S or an N?


Category 3: How you make decisions

You’re either a Thinker or a Feeler.


If you’re a Thinker:

  • The decisions you make are based on logic and analysis
  • You want justice, fair play, and equality
  • You tend to consider the consequences of your actions
  • You believe in cause and effect
  • One would say you decide from the “head”


 If you’re a Feeler:

  • Your decisions are normally based on shared values and relationships
  • You look for consensus, morality, mercy, and loyalty
  • You know how to empathize
  • One would say you decide from the “heart”


Which do you think you are?  A T or an F?


Category 4: The way you handle life

You’re either a Judger or a Perceiver.


If you’re a Judger:

  • It doesn’t mean you’re judgmental (though you might be)
  • You prefer structure and order
  • You’re quick to make a decision
  • You tend to be self-motivated
  • You may be more challenged to change because of your commitment to your decision


If you’re a Perceiver:

  • It doesn’t mean that you’re perceptive (though you might be)
  • You never feel you have enough information, which means you continue to gather it, often keeping you from making a decision (can be seen as procrastination)
  • You’re flexible and spontaneous, up for any new adventure or change of direction, which often means lack of follow-through or stick-to-it-ness.
  • You can be a risk taker


 Which do you think you are?  A J or a P?


The 16 Personality Types

Now put your four letters together and pick out which of the following is your personality type name:



The Distribution of Type in the Population

Let me share with you some interesting statistics.  Here is the breakdown of the population according to the specific preferences:


Extraversion 75% Introversion 25%
Sensing 75% iNtuiting 25%
Thinking (females) 35% Feeling (females) 65%
Thinking (males)` 60% Feeling (males) 40%
Judging 55% Perceiving 45%

From “Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”
 by Isabel Briggs Myers and Mary H. McCaulley

First, for the women who have their hackles up already about the percentage of female Thinkers, please let me explain.  Whether it’s based on how most females are raised or that hormones have influenced how women make decisions, it doesn’t mean women can’t use the Thinking preference.  It just means that among a group of females, you will find more Feelers than Thinkers.

Yet, that’s not the important statistic on this table.  Look at the percentage of Sensors in the population — 75%.  These are people who are living in the here-and-now.  They aren’t considering their future as much as their present.  In other words, they aren’t thinking about the consequences of their actions — consequences that won’t be seen for days, weeks, months or years.

And let me throw one more statistic in here that may be merely coincidental or not.  The rate of obesity and being overweight in the U.S. is now at 74% of the population.  While I haven’t done any research studies on it, when you understand personality preferences and in particular, that of Sensing and Perceiving, you might start think as I do that this isn’t just a coincidence after all.


The Pros and Cons of Certain Types

Do you see how Sensors could have a harder time dealing with weight and health issues?  They aren’t asking themselves, “If I eat this or that, how will it affect my health?” Or, “What difference will it make if I don’t exercise or be physically active?”   Only after they’ve seen the results of what they’ve been eating and the results of their couch-potato habits do they start to ask — When did it happen?  Why did it happen?  Now what?  At this point, they often feel it’s too late.  (It’s not.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a Sensor and I envy Sensors.  They take time to stop and smell the roses.  They tend to not be the worrywarts that we iNtuitives are.  Worry doesn’t happen in the here-and-now.  Worry is all about what might happen in the future, aka “consequences” — imagined or real.  Sensors are enjoying the moment while iNtuitives are planning for the future.  As I said earlier, we possess all of the preferences, but favor the four that appear in our type name.  Therefore, it’s not to say that Sensors won’t entertain some planning in their lives, just not too much of it.  Or that iNtuitives won’t savor that decadent chocolate cake.

However, combine Sensing and Perceiving, and you’re facing a real challenge — that of “instant gratification”.  If you’re an SP passing a bakery and see all those buttery offerings and sugar-coated treats, they’re demanding to be tried NOW.  The SP is in that store in a heartbeat before there’s a chance to think about it.


And the solution is …

I hope that I’ve gotten you to think a bit more about who you are and how your personality type may be influencing your health.  It’s all in the decisions you make.  Every day we make hundreds of decisions — some involving a lot of thought and others done on auto pilot, also known as “fast thinking”.  I’m okay being on auto pilot when it comes to tying my shoelaces or brushing my teeth.  I’d really prefer not to think every step through.

But when it comes to making decisions that will affect my health and well-being, I want to be “slow-thinking” my way there.  I have to refer you back to “Health Hijackers” because you need to understand what the weaknesses are of your type, as well as your type’s strengths and how you can use type to “slow think”.  Way too much info to share with you here.  Those of you who really want to make a difference in your life will check it out because you know that only you can make the change happen.   Good luck on your journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *