Can’t Lose Weight? Maybe It’s Your Snack Personality

Food texture drives our eating habits, says new research, and might help with weight loss.

By Perri O. Blumberg
Also published in Reader's Digest Magazine December 2013
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    The 4 Types of Snackers

    According to new consumer behavior research, when it comes to snacking you're a chewer, a cruncher, a smoosher, or a sucker. Study authors Melissa Jeltema, PhD and Jacqueline Beckley, MBA found that each group selected food based on product texture, and it may help you lose weight—give a cruncher a low-calorie crunchy snack, and she'll be more satisfied than if she had a chewy food. Find out more about each type, and snacks to choose.

    Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

    43% of snackers are Chewers

    Chewers like to take their time chewing and prefer food that does not break up when bitten. There are two types of chewers: long (think gummy bears) and short (think jelly beans). Signature snacks also include chocolate-covered raisins, soft granola bars, chewy cookies and brownies; lighter bites might be pineapples or oranges. The study authors also found that a chewer who eats cereal will often add textured ingredients like raisins, or allow the food to soften slightly before eating it.

    Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

    33% of people are Crunchers

    Crunchers forcefully bite through food and swallow it quickly. They reach for foods like crisp apples, almonds, pretzels, hard granola bars, or crunchy cheese puffs and peanut M&Ms. When crunchers eat more easily breakable foods like chocolate or a soft granola bar, they'll more often choose a variety with nuts or chocolate chips.



    Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

    16% of people are Smooshers

    Smooshers squish foods between the tongue and the roof of the mouth; they’re slow eaters who “savor” their food. When they snack, they'll opt for treats like yogurt, oatmeal, custards, puddings, ripe mangoes, bananas, or avocados. Be patient: It might take them twenty minutes to make their way through a single banana.

    Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

    8% of people are Suckers

    Suckers also like to manipulate food between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, but favor hard foods. Whatever they eat, they'll alternatively chew and suck on their food. For snacks, suckers reach for hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or Werther's and mints, and with produce like oranges or grapefruits, they’ll suck the juice out of their food before chewing.

    Learn more about the study and findings at MouthBehavior.com.

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