I read something interesting today in a book called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Ribole and Elyse Resch. They suggest that we can all be classified into one or more categories of eaters based on the way we choose our foods. According to them, we all need to get back to “intuitive eating”, which is based on biological hunger with no food prohibitions (we all used to eat like this when we were toddlers, but then due to parental upbringing, societal pressures, etc. we have learned to ignore biological signals). Here are the different types:
- The careful eaters. The trigger for this style of eating is “fitness and health”. The characteristics are that they appear to be perfect eaters, however they anguish over each food morsel and its effect on the body. On the surface, they appear health and fitness-oriented, but deep down they’re still controlled by food & thoughts of food.
- Unconscious eaters. They eat while doing something else at the same time. These people are often unaware that they’re eating, or how much is being eaten. They like to multi-task eating with other activities. There are several sub-types.
- Chaotic unconscious eaters. These people have overscheduled lives; their eating is haphazard; they seem to thrive on tension. They tend to eat whatever is readily available or that is put in front of them.
- Refuse-not unconscious eaters. These people are susceptible to jars of candy or food present in meetings or sitting openly on the kitchen counter.
- Waste-not unconscious eaters. These people’s food choices are driven by the value of food. They are susceptible to all-you-can-eat buffets, free food, and the “dollar menu”.
- Emotional unconscious eaters. Stress or uncomfortable feelings trigger eating, especially when they are alone.
- Professional dieters. These people are perpetually dieting, often trying the latest commercial diet or diet book.
- Intuitive eaters. These people make food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. They honor hunger, respect fullness, and the enjoy the pleasure of eating.
Ideally, we should all strive to be intuitive eaters, but most of us (including myself a lot of the time) probably fall in one of the other categories. Our lives (and our thoughts) should not be so controlled by food! We should be able to enjoy our food as a pleasurable experience that it is meant to be.
Just food for thought… (excuse the pun)…