There are a number of different eating styles or personalities. Eating mindfully and intuitively is the intention of eating or “normal” (not perfect) way of eating, however many of us don’t start out there. Following is a guide to find out what kind of eater you currently are, so you can start your adventure of eating more mindfully and intuitively.
What Kind of Eater Are You?
In their book Intuitive Eating, Tribole and Resch discuss the following eating styles –
1. The Professional Dieter
The professional dieter is the person who is continually dieting. This person usually has tried many diets, weight loss gimmicks and/or read the latest dieting book. They know alot about the ingredients and calories/kilojoules of foods, the latest “dieting tricks” and portion sizes of foods. They are often looking for the next best diet, as the ones they just tried has not worked and almost every eating choice they make is about losing weight.
2. The Careful Eater
The careful dieter is quite vigilant about what foods they put in to their bodies. These people can appear to be the “perfect” eaters as they are focused on nutrition and are health and fitness oriented. Some of the behaviours a careful eater exhibit can include –
- scrutinising food labels at the supermarket,
- asking the waiter what is in the food and how is it prepared when eating out,
- excessively planning out the next meal or snack, or
- being guided by times or events (i.e. being a careful eater during the week and splurging on weekends).
3. The Unconscious Eater
The unconscious eater is the person who is often engaged in other activities whilst eating and are unaware of their overeating. For example they could be watching TV and eating, driving the car and eating or reading a book whilst eating. These people are usually the ones I work with. They are a number of types of unconscious eaters.
The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater
The refuse-not conscious eater is challenged by the mere presence of food. For example – food that is available at meetings, lolly jars or the bread basket on the table before dinner. This type of eater is often not aware they are eating or how much they are eating.
The Chaotic Unconscious Eater
This type of eater often lives an over-committed life. They have too many things to do and subsequently will grab whatever food is available (i.e. from a vending machine of fast for outlet). Even though nutrition and diet is important to this person, it is just not in the critical moment.
The Waste-Not Unconscious Eater
The waste-not unconscious eater values money and how much food they can receive for their money. They are also likely to “clean their plate” and possibly food from other family members.
The Emotional Unconscious Eater
This is a quite common eating style. The emotional unconscious eater type uses food to cope with emotions. This could be because the person is feeling stressed, lonely, bored, anger, overwhelmed, sad or even happy.
4. Intuitive and/or Mindful Eater
The intuitive or mindful eater is someone who is tuned in to their own biological hunger. They trust their own inner hunger, fullness and satisfaction signals, instead of relying on external sources like diets or food rules to tell them what to eat. This is the “normal” way of eating, however many of us have forgotten this and have developed other eating styles. However, in saying that, it is not about being perfect mindful or intuitive eaters, as that space does not exist – we are human beings after all 🙂
Over to You…
I hope this post has given you some insight in to the different kinds of eaters. If you have any comments, please write them below or if you have any questions, please contact us and we would be happy to help.
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Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive Eating – A Revolutionary Program that Works. New York, USA: St. Martin’s Griffin.