Here’s the thing: We gain weight because we eat more than we are supposed to: PERIOD! We can tell to ourselves, or to others: “I eat super healthy”, “I don’t understand what’s going on”, “I watch what I eat and even then, I don’t see any changes”, and the list goes on and on.
For some people sweets are the problem, or maybe the crunchy salty stuff, and for some of us, we just drink our extra calories. Whatever the source is, we need to accept, that unless there is a metabolic problem or an external source (a prescription drug that is making us gain weight no matter what) the extra pounds are our responsibility and our fault. I am not sugar coating this, because at this point I would eat it.
It is not a secret that once we accept and recognize our mistakes, we can start correcting them and therefore solving them. It is also truth that once we understand what type of eaters we are, we can succeed in this process.
Here are the main Types Of Eaters:
The Emotional Eater:
No matter what the feeling is, this type of eater will always find the right reason to eat. And when I say ALWAYS, I mean it, since we are always feeling one way or another one, and even sometimes more than one emotion at once.
This is the type of eater that goes directly to the kitchen after their team loses a game; or after finishing a very frustrating call with customer service; or reading very upsetting news; or simply because they are bored. Guilt is usually felt by this type of eaters, specially after indulging.
Keeping a food-emotion diary is a helpful practice for the emotional eater. When we put on paper everything we eat throughout the day and the emotion that accompanied it, it will be easier to identify the triggers and therefore learn to anticipate the behavior. In this case, it is also important to work on that specific emotion, and ask questions such as: “By eating this cupcake, will the reason of my frustration going to disappear?” If the answer is yes, give me a call and I will send you a box full of it! (cupcakes, that is). But chances are that call will never happen, because the answer will never be YES.
The cupcake, or neither the glass (or 1/2 bottle of wine), or the bag of chips, or that piece of cake, will make your kids behave better and finish their homework on time. It won’t make the report magically be finished by 5:00, or the traffic jam disappear. Write it down and read it after, I am sure you will see things more clearly and by fault understand the “why.”
Drink a big ass glass of water and find something to do (watch the latest YouTube video, check social media, organize the sock drawer. Whatever will keep you away from eating that piece of cake.
The Tempted Eater
This is the type of eater that is an easy target for external factors and has ZERO willpower. It is the one that loses his cool when is walking by a window displaying warm cookies, or smells like a hound dog a slice of pizza from the distance. Is the one who’s senses are in sync with his tummy and finds hard to differentiate “hunger”: I need to eat whatever I can, vs “wanted to eat”: I need to have that donut or my life will never be the same.
For the tempted eater the best strategy is to have frequent meals (small portions) and literally walk away from any situation that will test your willpower, because it is with sadness that I have to tell you, that chances are, you will cave in. Carrying healthy options is very useful, when possible. Wether it is an apple, a banana or a zip bag with nuts, they will be your allies in this type of situations.
Staying hydrated and finding a good distraction will make you walk away and win this one!
The All or Nothing Eater
Is the type of eater that can live on lettuce, 3 olives and 5 almonds a day … until Friday. When the weekend arrives, (or the end of the fad diet) this type of eater behaves like it has been captured in a dungeon and was finally release to a feast. There is nothing that will make this eater stop. And I know exactly what I’m talking about, because I used to be one of them. This type of behavior, is usually accompanied by a very poor diet. Lack of nutrients, lack of minerals, vitamins and fiber. it is not a secret that when we start nourishing our bodies with real and good food, through a balanced diet, the cravings tend to diminish until they will eventually disappear.
The extremes are not healthy (no matter their nature) and in this case, balance is key. It is what we do on a daily bases that counts. It is that 80-90% that will give us the freedom to enjoy life at its fullest. Feeling active, more awake, with more energy is priceless, and so is that delicious donut with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while reading the paper in bed. As I usually tell my clients, “No amount of healthy food will heal you, if you are miserable about eating it”.
Certified Nutritionist – Owner and Founder of G.O Nutrition For You