It’s tough to lose weight and keep it off, but you may need to focus on more than eating right and exercising. Because your personality traits could be sabotaging your efforts, and making you pile on the pounds! The National Institute on Aging analyzed data from an ongoing 50-year study – and found a link between certain character traits and weight gain.

  • For example, they found that neurotic people who are prone to aggression and anxiety are the most likely to fall into the yo-yo diet pattern where they lose weight, only to gain it all back – and more. Lead researcher Dr. Angelina Sutin says it’s because pessimists tend to be impatient, so their doom-and-gloom attitude quickly has them saying, “Why bother?” – and sends them back to their old bad.

  • Another personality factor that can cause weight gain: being disorganized. Research shows that people with cluttered homes and messy desks often lack the focus necessary to lose weight. Which often include planning meals, tracking food intake, and making time to exercise.

  • But according to researchers, the personality traits that cause the most weight gain are: impulsiveness and risk-taking. On average, people who crave danger and do things at a moment’s notice weigh 22 pounds more than those who don’t. That’s because impulsive types are more likely to focus on enjoying their dessert instead of worrying about working off the calories later. And risk-takers tend to have a “who cares?” attitude.

One final note - regardless of your personality, you’ll eat less if you take smaller bites and chew slowly. A study the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the longer we keep food in our mouth, the more our brain thinks we’ve eaten. So, we tend to feel more full and more satisfied, no matter how much food is actually in our stomach.