Does your personality affect your food habits?
Why can two people eat the same chocolate bar and their bodies can have different experiences?
Each of us have different body chemistries and need different nutrition levels in order to keep our body processing at optimal levels. Our brain processes information in its own unique way and will encourage us to eat certain foods in the form of cravings, the quick fix responses.
Our bodies will crave different foods when we are stressed, happy, sad, short on time or even romantic. When we are experiencing emotions, different aspects of our personality will show through which will also influence our approaches to the words we chose, clothes we wear and nutrition we consume.
Kids are no different and will often swing wildly between personality types during the day – this is normal. Their little brains are in learning mode all of the time and they are exploring different aspects of themselves.
As a young child, we consume food that is given to us by our parents. Their little bodies get used to those nutrition levels, whether they work for them or trigger an unexpected result.
Our approach to food and nutrition is heavily influenced by our personality type. We all have elements of all personality types and there will be a lead personality which is what the world sees, and a secondary personality which influences behaviour.
Depending on your individual personality research, you probably align with the Colours approach or the 5 Chinese Elements. I’m a Colours girl as it makes the most sense to my (Red) brain.
Here are the 4 Colours:
Red – Action person who gets things done
Green – Analytical and deep thinker
Yellow – The party animal who loves to be the centre of attention
Blue – Supporter that enables other people
You can take your own colour personality assessment for free HERE (https://equilibria.com/PDI-home)
Let’s hear it for the Reds!
Dominant Red people will often be very practical and methodical in their approaches to things. They are naturally competitive and comfortable in making decisions. Kids who are dominant Red are likely to be happy only when they are winning, they need to be the best at whatever it is that they are doing.
Red Kids are also most likely to impatient and impulsive and are more likely to consume food that is readily available rather than consider what their body really needs. They’ll jump in for a sugar snack and some caffeinated drink.
They’ll spend the next few hours riding a sugar high and some of their other personality characteristics will be hard to control and drive everyone bonkers. Things like be extra pushy, maybe they’ll say things without thinking and be harsh or insensitive.
The best way to support dominant Red children is to have food prepared that they can quickly and easily open and jump straight into eating without too much thought. Consider what complex sugars are in the food that you’re preparing and what you could swap out for a home made snack (maybe even something that’s fruit juice sweetened?).
Who says that Green is Mean?
Anyone who has an analytical mind will resonate with the Green elements of the personality matrix. The methodical mind develops quickly as a child and processes will quickly come into sequence within a young mind.
Green kids like to know the process and why it works THIS way rather than another way. They are most likely to be perfectionists and will constantly repeat a skill over and over again until they have nailed it.
The flip side of dominant green kids is that they judge themselves based on what others say to them which makes them self-critical. They are most likely to yo-yo diet and bounce between favourite foods including fruit, snacks, sweeties and crisps.
Green kids need a lot of self assurance and mental resilience support to strengthen their mind and build their self confidence. They need to know the reason why certain foods are good for them, or understand the impact of their nutrition on their body. Initially this might seem long winded and “just eat it!” might desperately want to trickle off your tongue… BUT if you persevere just for a little while, your Green child will develop their own rock solid understanding of nutrition.
TIPS – show them the back of a chocolate bar and explain what the different values mean. How is this different from fruit? Where can you go online to find nutrition content of fast foods and drink? Ask them what is the better option for them?
Let’s Mellow that Yellow!
We all know people who talk with their hands. They are so motivated and passionate about whatever they are doing with or around other people that there is no doubt that they are the life of any party.
Dominant Yellows love being around other people so much that they can often forget to eat or drink and then become over hungry and their sugar levels crash. The brain kicks in with a craving and a quick fix is usually consumed.
However, Yellow people are more likely to be vain than any other personality type and be the most body conscious. Most Yellows would consume fast foods or quick fixes in moderation.
As parents, we all want out kids to care about their appearance and the best way to educate our kids on the nutritional value of their food is to talk them through the back of the packet and the ingredients list. Is this thing good for your body?!
Yellows are easily emotional and disorganized so having something easily to hand when sugar levels are low that they can consume is a MUST – so keep a stock of healthy bars to hand and one in your handbag, car door pocket, coat pocket… or anywhere else that you might need to have one.
Why so blue, Blue?
Everyone needs a dominant Blue person in their friend circle. They are enablers and will promote the achievements of others before their own purely to make other people happy. Blues follow the crowd and are happy just to be included as part of the group.
If the group wants to eat a salad, or pizza, or eat a whole tub of ice-cream…. That’s cool, Blue will be there to help you. If the group isn't hungry, then Blue will go without and starve themselves because they are no frightened to voice their needs. They might remember to bring some snacks with them, but they’re more likely to give it away to someone else in need than eat it themselves.
Blue kids can also be really stubborn, resistant to change and make decisions really slowly. It can take much more than a “healthy eating swap” household challenge to get a Blue to think and eat more healthily. So, what do you do?
A parents first point of call would be to make the change to heathy eating themselves, but still buy some naughty nibbles for the kids. Then slowly replace the out-and-about snacks with healthier foods over a period of time (not in a weekend!). It’s super important for the Blue child to know that there are both food options available and it’s their choice which one they eat. They’ll eventually follow the group and eat an apple.
When we are in love or heartbroken, we get comfortable and want to make our partner happy. Red, Blue and Yellow personality types are more likely to eat more treat foods and put on a few pounds. Greens are fearful of how others would see them and would eat any treat foods in moderation.
If Reds are sad, they’ll try to adopt some Blue characteristics but would revert into action mode and keep themselves busy. If they add “meal prep” to their to do list then they’ll have healthy foods to eat. If they don’t their waist line will increase. Yellow, Blue and Green are likely to become self obsessed and are at risk of eating too few calories so they lose weight or experience sugar crashes.
With anger and frustration, all cards get thrown off the table. Reds and Greens slip into task mode and “eat” slips off the to-do list. Quick fixes for sugar crashes are a natural go to, to keep going and keep themselves busy. Yellow and Blue will be so caught up in the situation, who they can tell and how they can help them that they’ll graze on whatever is available and close to hand, good or bad.
For those 3pm hunger pangs… get some sweet slow release foods. Some great alternatives to chocolate bars are honey and nut bars, granola with fruit and these work for all colours.
Blues and Reds are the most likely colours to take up fitness, although Blue would only really join in if someone else they knew was doing it first. Yellow and Green would already be doing some form of a fitness regime to keep themselves “attractive” and trim.
Creating good habits for our kids
Everyone will have elements of the four personality types so different traits will show through at different times.
When we become stressed all personalities show more of their secondary personality types, but delivered in a primary personality way.
So what does that mean?!
I’m a Red Green where Red is my primary and Green is my secondary personality type. When I was in corporate and at my most stressed, I would become obsessive and picky over my colleagues work (Green) and the way that I would communicate that with my colleagues would be perceived as curt or direct (Red) resulting in bad feeling on their side.
Nutrition wise when I’m stressed, I’m likely to drive to a takeaway to place an order then look at the calories and change my mind. The take away would be a feel good food for an immediate fix, but as my green side kicks in it looks at the numbers and persuades me that something else would be a better option.
My husband is a Blue Green and whilst you think that we would clash, its actually really common for couples to have opposite personality types. When he becomes stressed, he loses the time to repeat any work and only perfect will do (Green). To make everything perfect he slows everything down and mulls over every decision (Blue) to make sure that it’s the right one.
With being a Blue, my hubby supports me in whatever I want to do and would gladly help me pick a takeaway that we would enjoy together. He would be the one to point out that we’re both calorie counting and that he could do with eating a healthier dinner (Green).
The consistent message across every client I have worked with comes from their kids. When the parents spend a short amount of time explaining why something is the way that it is, the more the child understood about the nutritional content of the food they are eating.
Why to start empowering your kids on this now?
There is never a time that is too late to start teaching our kids about nutrition.
When our sugar levels bounce up and down, where people just eat food that is close to hand without cause or concern, we actually breed a mentally dysmorphic state. We act rashly and people don’t get to see ourselves at our best.
Every person wants to be considered “desirable” to their potential partners and if we consume foods that give our bodies excess nutrition, it is stored as fat. The person that we see in the mirror then becomes warped from our minds image and self confidence starts to reduce.
Then we’re not looking down the mental health slope… we’re on it and we’re going down!
Little things start affecting us that didn’t bother us before. Some more quick fix foods will sort us out…
We become more sensitive and display stronger personality types which further alienates our self from others and it’s only when we get to the bottom of the slope that we realise how far we’ve fallen. AND it’s a bugger to get back up to the top.
When we draw awareness to how the food we eat impacts our body and how our personality types can impact our nutritional demands, we can then can chose to do something different. Only we ourselves know with any certainty how the food impacts our body.
Try going a morning without caffeine and see how you feel at 11am.
Maybe swap a can of pop/soda for flavoured water in the afternoon.
Or something else…
You could even start my checking out your free personality types, and YES there is one that you can do with your kids to get their personality types too. (Here’s the link again… https://equilibria.com/PDI-home)
Learning how to communicate with your kids without judgement is really valuable, it will support you both on your nutrition discovery journey (and then in your puberty conversation, sex, periods, relationships or whatever else…) and even bring you closer as a family unit.
Why not join in with my free 5 challenge in September and start putting some of these communication skills into practice. Pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your free place now or follow me on Facebook the catch the free challenge. (https://www.facebook.com/VicPooleCoach)