Have you ever considered yourself an emotional eater? Do you think way too much about food? Many kinds of eating patterns exist on a spectrum of being too careful and conscious of your diet, to not paying any attention at all to your food in the moment. Identifying and learning about your eating style can help you become aware of triggering situations that cause you to eat for non-hunger reasons, like in response to emotions or a lack of mindfulness. Its important to note that although people tend to have one dominant trait or style of eating, you may identify with all of them, or go through periods of time switching between several depending on what is going on in your life.
The following list is taken directly from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Learn more about this nutrition framework and how to start making peace with food today. And if you are FINALLY ready to start healing your relationship with food and feel better in your body, you might be a good fit for our Intuitive Eating dietitian.
Read through this list of eating styles and take note of which style relates to you:
The Careful Eater
Trigger: Fitness and health
Characteristic: Appears to be the perfect eater. Yet anguishes over each food morsel and its effect on the body. On the surface, this person seems health-and-fitness oriented.
The Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Eating while doing something else at the same time.
Characteristic: This person is often unaware that he/she is eating, or how much is being eaten. To sit down and simply eat is often viewed as a waste of time. Eating is usually paired with another activity to be productive. There are many subtypes:
The Chaotic Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Overscheduled life.
Characteristic: This person’s eating style is haphazard – gulp n go when food is available. Seems to thrive on tension.
The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Presence of food.
Characteristic: This person is especially vulnerable to candy jars, or food present in meetings or sitting openly on the kitchen counter.
The Waste-Not Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Free food.
Characteristic: This person’s eating drive is often influenced by the value of the food dollar and is susceptible to all-you-can-eat buffets and free food.
Emotional Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Uncomfortable emotions
Characteristic: Stress or uncomfortable feelings trigger eating – especially when alone.
The Professional Dieter
Trigger: Feeling fat.
Characteristic: This person is perpetually dieting, often trying the latest commercial diet. Has extensive knowledge of calories, portions, and dieting techniques.
The Intuitive Eater
Trigger: Biological hunger.
Characteristic: This person makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. Honors hunger, respects fullness, enjoys the pleasure of eating.
Source: Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch
Once you have identified your current eating style, you may start thinking about how these triggers and characteristics cause problems in your life. Did you notice the last style, the intuitive eater? This eating style is actually the solution to a lot of these eating problems, like yo-yo dieting, feeling hungry and irritable all the time, and bingeing. Its possible to change and let go of eating habits that aren’t serving you and keeping you from your wellness goals!
If you are ready to jump into this nutrition framework and end emotional eating (and other types of eating!), we are accepting new clients for our Intuitive Eating dietitian. Learn more about our program here.