Quiz: What Type of Eater Are you?
1. Do you....
a) Try lots of different weight-loss diets and plans?
b) Eat quickly without focus, usually while doing something else?
c) See evening eating as ‘me time’?
d) Eat virtuously in public, but tuck into junk food when no one is watching?
e) Eat without thinking, finding yourself in the fridge or snack cupboard often?
f) Eat ice cream, cake, chocolate or carbohydrates when sad, angry or ill?
2. Do you...
a) Obsess over calories or fats?
b) Grab food without properly registering it and eat whilst doing another task?
c) End your day with a food onslaught as a way to switch off & escape the pressures of life?
d) Raid the fridge at night after waking up?
e) Graze or nibble continuously?
f) Over eat when you feel angry or stressed?
3. Do you...
a) Start a diet with great intentions, but last only a few days or weeks?
b) Barely chew (too time-consuming!)
c) Treat yourself to crisps, cakes or biscuits because you ‘deserve it’?
d) Pick at your children’s or spouses leftovers?
e) Eat whilst watching TV?
f) Eat more when approaching your period?
4. Do you...
a) Go a bit crazy (eating and drinking everything you’ve missed) when you break the diet?
b) Suffer from bloating and stomach problems?
c) Eat in a zoned out state as you try to slow down the pressures of the day?
d) Grab something unhealthy at the petrol station and eat it in the car?
e) Eat at your desk or work station or whilst driving?
f) Good intentions to eat healthy go out of the window when something doesn't go to plan in life.
Mostly As - THE ON/OFF EATER
This pattern occurs often and it’s a miserable place to be.
Although your intentions are good to start with you can easily find yourself reasons not to go through with your plan. You’ll swing from feeling hungry or a failure and rarely achieve your diet goals leaving you feeling defeated and pessimistic. Skipping meals isn't good for anyone as it confuses the body and can force your body into survival mode causing it to store more fat than normal.
Before embarking on a new 'diet' or eating regime, ask yourself.. What do I really want out of this diet? Is it really achievable if I do it this way?
Mostly Bs - THE RUSHED EATER
Eating quickly, thoughtlessly and without adequate chewing gives your poor stomach too much work to do. Larger particles of food can escape through the gut, making it harder for your body to absorb nutrients, and leading to food sensitivities and bacterial growth.
The rushed eater usually struggles with IBS symptoms (bloating, flatulence, gut pain).
Leading busy lives can make it easy for us to neglect our selves and really take the time you need really enjoy and digest your food.
Mostly Cs - THE STRESSED EATER
You could be harbouring an under-lying anger about aspects of your life, but eating like this will only increase your stress levels, possibly giving you acid reflux and headaches. Problems with work, health or home life can lead to feeling like life is getting on top of you and you are losing control. What you put in your mouth is the one thing you can control, so you might use food as a way of gaining some release from the stress you're feeling.
Lots of people turn to food in times of stress to vent anger and gain control over your life. Before you turn to food, try to think rationally about your problems. Ask yourself if the problem is in or out of your control? What else could you do to relieve some of that stress? Try some relaxation or a relaxing bath instead.
Mostly Ds - THE SECRET EATER
You could be eating more food than you realise and tainting the food that you do eat with feelings of guilt and shame. You may be unhappy with your body image or feel under pressure from peers to look (what you see) as 'perfect'. Or you might be experiencing some feelings of depression, inadequacy or anxiety, meaning that whilst in company you want to appear as though everything is fine or that you are making every effort to change your appearance and therefore should not be judged. Sitting with your salad whilst your family eat a pizza from the takeaway can make you feel like you're missing out.
Eating is both a comfort and a curse for you, causing you to 'pig out' in times of stress, rebelling against your public appearance and then you feel guilty about it and berate yourself. In severe cases this kind of eating pattern can lead to bulimia and become a destructive path to go down. Become more aware of what you are eating when alone and be realistic and honest with the goals you set for yourself and make sure that whatever eating plan you decide to pursue, that it comes from a good place within yourself not out of feelings of pressure, lack of self worth or guilt.
Mostly Es - THE MINDLESS EATER
You could be too busy or distracted to think about or really enjoy food. Without realising what is going in your mouth, you could be consuming far too much without noticing, making nutritionally poor food choices and missing out on the wealth of enjoyment that surrounds good, fresh, healthy food. Grabbing a snack as you leave home in a morning and eating it whilst driving or taking your children to school is an example of eating because you know you should not because you want to. Whilst it's great to start the day with breakfast if you are a mindless eater, this is a habit that will repeat throughout the day.
Watching TV with the share size bag of crisps besides you that you only meant to eat a couple of handfuls of soon turns into an empty bag when you aren't concentrating on what your eating and your hand automatically keeps returning to the bag! Eating in a mindful way is key for you. Study your food before you consume it. Take time to look at what you're about to eat, feel it, use all of your senses before you actually begin to consume your food and when it's in your mouth, really think about the textures and flavours you're experiencing. Get into the practice of eating mindfully whenever you can and it will prevent you from consuming food without being aware of it.
Mostly Fs - THE COMFORT EATER
You eat ice cream, cake, chocolate or carbohydrates when sad, lonely or upset. If you are driven by your emotions, your choice of food will cause blood sugar levels to rise then crash, triggering more hunger and a worse mood. Turning to sugary food when you’re down will only make things worse, causing your body to experience a rush of energy that gives you a high that quickly crashes, leaving you with disappointment.
Talk to a friend or family, focus on a positive, before you raid that snack drawer, ask yourself 'Is this really going to make me happy? Why? What will this chocolate bar do to help my problem? Or will the problem still be there after ice eaten it?'. Be strong and make good decisions.