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What Type of Eater are You?

The next few articles on the site are going to look at mindful eating, or eating with intention. It is well known that diets and calorie counting usually don't work and sometimes even lead to an utterly dysfunctional relationship with food. In fact, between 90 - 95% of diets end in failure, often due to their unsustainable nature. A better option than fad diets is to work on your relationship with food and redefine the role it plays in your life.

The first place to start when deciding to make changes to your eating patterns is to acknowledge what type of relationship you have with food. It is important to get a sense of where your relationship with food currently is. We each have a unique set of needs and drives when it comes to when, why, how and what we eat, but it can be helpful to broadly define one's eating style into one or more of the categories below. Knowing where you are is an important part of knowing where you are going.

Find your eating style

Try this interactive quiz to get a sense of what your eating style looks like. For each style, check any statements that apply to you and make a note of which you score highest on.

The Vigilante

The Vigilante is very particular about what foods they put into their bodies. Vigilantes come across as nutrition-conscious, “perfect” eaters who may even fall into the realm of being considered health-nuts.

The Professional

You’re up on the latest diet trend, weight-loss product and weight-loss book. Often, this type of eater has a long history of trying different diets or following different styles of eating. The aim can be weight loss or health.

The Multi-Tasker

The Multi-tasker is always doing two things at once – even eating! This eater very rarely sits down to enjoy a meal without distraction.

The Grazer

Grazers are people who tend to eat whether they’re hungry or not. They can enjoy social eating

The Plate-Cleaner

You know this eater. In the days of your youth, you may have been groomed to be this eater. This style of eater is determined not to waste food and may unconsciously eat to prevent waste.

The Feeler

The Feeler uses food to cope with emotions, especially uncomfortable emotions. When stressful situations come up, when there’s boredom, anger, and loneliness, this type turns to food.

The Binger

The binge eater has a real relationship with food and it’s a complicated one. Control is a big factor. This may not be an all-the-time type, but if this describes your relationship with food even part of the time, please identify it.

The Intuitive

The Intuitive Eater doesn’t worry about diets but is mindful and health conscious.

Which style did you score most strongly in?

It may be that you tied in several, which is fine as this reflects the complexity of your relationship with food. Find a notebook or a journal and write down the statements at the top of each style that you scored the most highly on. Do these statements resonate with you? Do you feel some resistance as you read over them?

Food should never be about restriction, punishment, reward, shame, anger, loneliness or any of the toxic connections we so often have with it. Food should be about hunger, health and meeting your body’s needs. If you would like to work with me on your relationship with food, please get in touch. I have a 3-month Eating With Intention programme that I have used to help many clients redefine what food means to them.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, intuitive eating is about trusting your body to make food choices that feel good for you, without judging yourself or without the influence of diet and culture. Intuitive eaters choose food based on hunger and stop eating when they feel full. They trust their bodies to tell them when to eat, what to eat and how much. Studies have found that intuitive eating tends to have positive nutritional outcomes when compared to restrictive dieting plans. Intuitive eaters do not follow specific diet plans and most often consume a wide variety of foods. They are therefore more likely to get the benefits of well-balanced nutrition. If you would like to learn more about intuitive eating, watch my free video presentation here, and look out for the next few articles on my website which will delve deeper into intuitive eating as well as provide some helpful tips and advice to help you become a more intuitive eater.

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