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Knowing what kind of dieter you are can help you understand what the pitfalls are for you, and how best to reach your goals. We'll look at the three most common types of dieter and talk about how their needs differ. Which one are you?

I know the title of this piece sounds like an accusation, but really it’s based on trying to figure out what your needs actually are. People adjust their eating based on the outcomes they want, so if you’re adrift in a sea of meaningless nutritional advice, faddy diets and incomprehensible physiology alphabet soup, try going right back to the start: What do you want?

Trouble is, most diet advice assumes that people want the same outcome. 

But that isn’t true at all.  Here, I’ll separate most dieters into three types: Gainers, Starting Dieters, and Stubborn Spotters. 

Gainers are usually, though not always, guys. 

They want to maintain or reduce their fat levels, and build muscle. 

Starting dieters are those who begin dieting from a position of a poor diet and little exercise. 

If you’re browsing the web looking for tips for your first serious attempt at losing weight, this is you. 

Stubborn Spotters are people who are generally healthy and of a fairly good weight. 

These people want to lose a little fat and alter their body composition and appearance, they’re not trying to pack on slabs of beef or drop twenty pounds.

Of course, like any system of categorization, this is an attempt to describe reality: it isn't reality. Many people want to gain muscle and also lose a significant amount of weight; many people want to alter their body comp but have some pounds to shift too. When you’re reading through this, if you feel like you don’t fit right into one of the categories, maybe you don’t.  Use the information form all the categories that describe you. 

That doesn't mean that breaking things down doesn't make them easier to understand.

Knowing what kind of dieter you are will also show you the pitfalls you’re likely to face and the strategies that others like you use to succeed.
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