If a woman’s exploits with diets were chronicled on an episode of “Sex and the City,” the show’s fictional scribe Carrie Bradshaw may come to the same conclusion that registered dietitian and cognitive behavioral therapist Dana James has: It’s not food; it’s you.
James’ new book, “The Archetype Diet” (Avery), divides women into four different personality types: The comfort-eating “nurturer,” the reward-oriented “wonder woman,” the image-obsessed “femme fatale” and the can’t-seem-to-put-on-any-weight “ethereal.” Depending on her personality, James says, a woman tends to store fat in one of a variety of ways and has a particular eating behavior, and thus needs a unique diet catered to her.
“When you give a man a plan, he follows it. A woman has the influence of her emotions, and this makes being consistent more challenging,” says James, who divides her time between New York and Los Angeles and whose clients have in the past included actress Margot Robbie and, she says, several Victoria’s Secret models, none of whom she can name.
For Courtney Sansone, learning her dieting personality type was the first step toward tackling habits that weren’t working for her. Sansone, a 38-year-old client of James’, found out she was a femme fatale, an archetype described in the book as someone who is “sensual, alluring, playful and passionate” and whose constant concern with her appearance means she tends to fluctuate between restrictive diets and bingeing, leading the body to have difficulty regulating insulin and estrogen levels.