Ep. 126- The Personality Diet and Neurotype Dieting with Mike Millner
October 13, 2020
Today I’m with Mike Millner, the owner of Peak Optimization Performance and the author of the Personality Diet book.
His goal is to help you navigate your journey in a way that’s sustainable and enjoyable for your life and to help you avoid the same pitfalls that he stumbled through.
He believes in a truly individual approach which means looking into your lifestyle, habits, personality type, goals, and mindset to make the process as effective as possible!
Table of Contents
Mike Millner is the owner of Peak Optimization Performance, a nutrition coaching company that he started two years ago. He’s been in the industry for about 10 years.
He was previously an athlete growing up and once his sports ended, he picked up and kept the same bad habits that he picked up during college.
One day, he found himself at 250 pounds that made him pretty lost and confused. He looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize himself.
It led him down the path of “how can I lose weight as fast as humanly possible?” That’s when he became really passionate about the psychology of dieting and the foundation for his company.
Writing his book
Mike was told that he wasn’t a good writer during his younger years, so he never thought he could write – It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it wasn’t until he was working for another company when he had a writing assignment that he started to write again.
From that point on, he fell in love with writing. He didn’t realize how challenging it would actually be. The biggest challenge was that he wasn’t always motivated to write. He had to be very diligent about writing.
Matching personality types to help with better compliance
When we talk about fitness and nutrition, it’s all about consistency and adherence. There are certain principles that we have to apply in order to be successful. However, the method to get there is completely dependent on the individual.
Our personal preferences, life experiences, metabolism, and hormonal profiles are all different. When we try to put people in a box, it doesn’t work out very well. One struggle Mike had was to take a new dietary approach, but it was only sustainable for a short period of time.
He started to look at how we can create better compliance and diving into the concept of behavior change. Some people have a personality type that jumps from program to program, it’s just how you’re wired.
Mike started to dive into the research about personality types, what that says about our neurotransmitter balance, and how we can use that information to create protocols that can help people become more compliant.
Some people can be dopamine dominant, driven by the reward center in the brain. These people appear extroverted, are risk-takers, adventurous, competitive, natural leaders, and set ambitious goals. This personality type if given a repetitive, boring protocol – they will lose motivation and won’t stay engaged in the process.
Whereas if you have someone with higher anxiety, lower serotonin, the best approach is to give them stability and structure. Knowing their personalities can help us start to implement different protocols that align with that personality type.
High glutamate individuals can be very hard on themselves and can be challenging to coach because they are typically more reserved and are people-pleasers. Getting deeper is where the magic starts to happen.
Fixed versus Mixed Mindset
Mike is a big believer in starting with mindset first.
He thinks it’s such a synergistic relationship when talking about psychology and physiology and how it can go both ways. Having more of a growth mindset is directly correlated with your ability to succeed within your fitness, and really anything that you’re trying to accomplish.
The issue is that we often have a growth mindset in certain areas and a fixed mindset in others.
In the beginning, we might have a fixed mindset about fitness (believing its genetics, and you cannot get into the shape you want). We have to be more intentional about facilitating a growth mindset. Think about where in your life you have improved on a skill, or have you gotten a job that you didn’t think you were qualified for.
Now you can pull from that experience and apply it to your own fitness to know that you do have control. Things like mindfulness, practicing gratitude, and journaling have also been shown to facilitate more of a growth mindset.
Remember that your perception becomes your reality. If you can control how you respond to a situation, change your perception, or take something negative and reframe it into a positive… then you are literally changing your reality through changing your thoughts. This takes intentional action because habits can be extremely difficult to break, this but can rewire your brain to your advantage.
Critical steps that people can make in order to break through that mindset and decipher new information:
- Start with your mindset
- Filter everything through your own personal lens: make sure you enjoy the process
- Try to see the bigger picture: fitness and health are a lifelong pursuit
- Embrace the process
- Know your “why”
- Willpower, dedication, discipline
How to manage your emotions:
- Name the emotion/feeling
- Carve out time to feel that emotion
- Accept that this experience may been confusing or hard for you and that these are normal feelings
- Acknowledge that your feelings are worthy and valid
- Notice if you are taking on someone else’s feelings (projected onto you)
- Be curious about your feelings
- Talk about your feelings
- Learn to trust yourself and your feelings, recognize what helps/harms you in managing it
Personalities: Macros versus Intuitive eating
The way Mike looks at tracking macros versus intuitive eating is that they are both tools that we should have in our toolbox.
He thinks that there is a tendency for certain personality types to become very obsessive, dependent, and almost married to the numbers. For that person, learning the skill of intuitive eating and practicing is probably a good idea for that.
Everybody should spend time doing both as a learning experience and being able to have multiple tools in the toolbox. Macros are super valuable for creating awareness around food, portion size, and reading food labels and connecting the dots between how certain macronutrients make you feel individually.
Intuitive eating connects us more with what our body’s telling us, and trusting and understanding our hunger and satiety signals, start to trust yourself around food so that we don’t have to feel tension around food.
We should be talking about Macros vs Intuitive eating in terms of them being useful together, and not in competition with each other. They can both be useful in different situations and depending on the individual.
The biggest objective that Mike had for writing this book was to help people go through the process of understanding their own individual needs, and not getting so caught up in the shiny new object or fad diet.
He wants to help people to embrace their uniqueness as an individual, looking at it from from a big picture perspective, and understanding the mastery of self-first and taking that mindset-first approach to creating long-term sustainable change.
Buy his book here: www.personalitydietbook.com