Are you a leader, socializer, supporter, or planner?

By Christine Lusita
April 18, 2018

In this excerpt from her new book, The Right Fit Formula ($25, amazon.com), health and fitness expert Christine Lusita, CPT, explains how to choose a weight-loss strategy that will work for you.

If you’ve ever taken a personality test, chances are it was the one developed by psychologists William Moulton Marston and Walter Clarke. Their DiSC program is the gold standard in personality assessment, grouping people by four main categories: Dominant, Influential, Steady, or Conscientious.

It turns out those categories describe my own clients beautifully. In fact, in my many years of practice, I’ve identified these four types of weight loss clients:

  • The Leader, the take-charge client who hates being told what to do but goes all-in when something clicks.
  • The Socializer, who rah-rahs every weight loss idea I throw at her but has just a teeny bit of trouble staying on track because, well, you only live once!
  • The Supporter, the busy, pragmatic soccer mom who hates the idea of anything “trendy” and who says she’s running around all the time anyway and doesn’t that count?
  • The Planner, the disciplined thinker, who loves to discuss the benefits of metabolic conditioning but would rather walk 10 miles than take a Zumba class.

Over the years, I’ve gotten to know each of these types intimately. I know that a Leader would never end up at the same workout as a Supporter (unless she’s leading it!) and that a Socializer will eat very differently than a Planner. Each encounter has helped me understand that nobody loses weight the same way, and that everybody needs a customized food and fitness plan that speaks directly to their personalities. 

Uncovering your Right Fit ID

Yes, I know: Nobody falls neatly into the above categories. Oprah, for instance, has definitely got some Leader mixed in with her Socializer personality. And quintessential Planner accountants can be great at parties.

But chances are you definitely lean in one direction. That direction will determine your Right Fit ID, the food and fitness plan that makes sense to you.

So here’s a quick pop quiz to help you narrow it down. Don’t worry about whether more than one answer fits or doesn’t fit; just pick what sounds most like you. Have fun with it!

When you go to a new restaurant, you like to:

a) Order the chef’s special


b) Get input from tablemates so you can share

c) Look for something familiar


d) See what looks like the best value

If you could afford to, you would:

a) Hire a private chef


b) Rent out a trendy restaurant for your birthday party

c) Hire someone to make and pack your kids’ lunches


d) Hire the world’s top nutritionist to tell you what to eat

At dinnertime, you’ll often find yourself:

a) At a business meeting

b) Out with friends


c) With family


d) At your desk

If you don’t have the time to cook, you usually:

a) Go to a drive-thru


b) Call a friend and go out


c) Find something you froze last week

d) Drink a protein shake

When you open your refrigerator, you see:

a) Whatever the housekeeper put in there


b) Lots of wine and snacks


c) Leftovers


d) Nine containers of yogurt (they were on sale)

The workout routine that makes the most sense to you might be:

a) Racquetball


b) Zumba classes

c) Walking the dog

d) Golf

The last time you blew off your workout, you were probably:

a) On a plane


b) Slightly hung over


c) Dealing with a to-do list

d) On a deadline

You would rather eat nails than:

a) Join a boot camp


b) Swim laps


c) Take a trapeze class


d) Play pick-up basketball

On the other hand, you might not mind:

a) Having your own gym

b) Trying beach volleyball

c) A next-door yoga studio

d) Taking up martial arts

Your best reason for getting fit is to:

a) Avoid a heart attack


b) Look great


c) De-stress


d) Maintain optimal health

If you picked mostly As:

Your Right Fit ID is Leader. You want immediate results, and you don’t want to fool around with too much prepping, shopping, or calorie counting. If you could, you’d hire a chef and trainer and build a gym just so you could get fitness over with as quickly as possible.

For you, a food and fitness plan might include:

Simple, easy food plans
; flexible, portable meals (the drive-thru is the Leader’s Waterloo!); one-on-one competitive sports, like running and racquetball; adrenaline-rush workouts, like sprinting or singles tennis

And it would definitely not include:

Complicated recipes and kitchen prep; lengthy discussions about fitness details; boot camp trainers who get in your face; group classes

Great diet matches for you include:

Mediterranean, Paleo, Biggest Loser Diet, or the Flexitarian Diet, all of which offer plenty of options and simple plates

RELATED: Go Flexitarian: Eat Less Meat and More Veggies in 3 Weeks

If you picked mostly Bs:

Your Right Fit ID is Socializer. You want to work out in social settings and talk, talk, talk about diet, food, and what’s working and what isn’t. If it were up to you, every meal would be celebrated on Instagram and every workout would end with a wine-and-cheese mixer.

For you, a food and fitness plan might include:

Some type of group support to share eating plans and results; fun workouts, such as dance or social team sports, such as volleyball or softball; a cooking club or recipe swap

And it would definitely not include:

Solo sporting ventures, like lap swimming or track; YouTube workouts (unless you’re the one filming them!); detailed calorie counting and food weighing

Great diet matches for you include:

Weight Watchers, The Wild Diet, The Spark Solution Diet, or Jenny Craig, all of which offer plenty of support, interaction, and community

Ready to ditch added sugar? Sign up for our 14-Day Sugar Detox Challenge!

If you picked mostly Cs:

Your Right Fit ID is Supporter. You’re all about family time and obligations, and you probably feel guilty even for scheduling workout time! You’ll have to be convinced that fitness is worth your time and effort.

So for you, a food and fitness plan might include:

  • Accountability. No wacka-doodie workouts. You want something with a proven track record.
  • Convenience. Drive across town to break a sweat? Please. You have a life!
  • Familiarity. You don’t care about that skinny celeb in People magazine. You want to know how your hairdresser got back into her high-school jeans.
  • Numbers. You want equipment that tracks your progress and calories. When you hit 30 minutes or 300 calories, ding! You’re outta there!
  • A firm schedule. If it can’t happen at the same time every day, it’s probably not going to happen.

And it would definitely not include:

Anything trendy or kooky-sounding; foods and supplements that come only from certain stores or websites; workouts that require special equipment or too much time

Great diet matches for you include:

Mayo Clinic, Volumetrics, Nutrisystem, and the Zone diet, all of which are all moderate and measured

RELATED: What to Eat for Dinner If You're Trying to Lose Weight, According to a Nutritionist

If you picked mostly Ds:

Your Right Fit ID is Planner. You’re a label reader, a calorie counter, a data cruncher. You know—or you plan to know—what glucose does to blood sugar and how gluten is processed in the colon.

For your logical, analytical personality, the right food and fitness plan would include:

Anything with well-researched and proven methodologies (If there’s science behind it, you won’t mind combining certain foods or cooking in precise methods.); equipment that provides benchmarks and feedback; journaling to track your progress; slow-paced workouts—martial arts, lap swimming, pilates—that include skill-builiding and precision

And it would definitely not include:

Trendy diets or workout groups; Zumba classes, dance, aerobics, and other “just have fun” workouts; fast-paced trainers who push for action

Great diet matches for you include:

The Dash Diet, The Whole 30, TLC, and The Macrobiotic Diet, all of which include plenty of logic, science, and realistic approaches to weight loss

For a food plan, workouts, meditations, and energy boosters tailored to each personality type, pick up a copy of The Right Fit Formula.

Excerpted from The Right Fit Formula. Copyright © 2018 by Christine Lusita. Published by Skyhorse Publishing.