Below you’ll find a questionnaire to help you become your own mealtime detective. It will make you think about your eating habits and help you find out which eating style you are. There are no right and wrong answers—just guidelines to reveal clues about your personal eating style. Read through the following statements, and check the ones that best apply to you. Be honest with yourself.
Look over your answers. Wherever you have the most check marks, that is your eating style. Once you’ve identified your style, move on to the next section: Understand Your Style. It will give you style-based strategies and affirmations to help you lose your first 10 pounds. Could you be a combination of all these styles or a combination of a few of them? Definitely! I am a combo of A, C, D, and F. Put together, it spells nothing, but it means a lot. If you are a combo, too, I suggest you read through the strategies for each style. Are there any in particular that resonate with you—that you think might be useful? If so, circle those and make them a part of your personal overall eating strategy. Information is power, and tagging your style or styles helps you build your understanding and take appropriate actions around food and eating.
You eat in response to your emotions, both positive and negative. Turning to food when you feel happy, depressed, bored, or angry is a very comfortable and common reaction. You can discover what to eat in response to your feelings –and how getting the right balance of nutrients will help calm your nerves. Some foods have effective mood-lifting powers, including lean meat, chicken, seafood, Brazil nuts, bananas, and whole grains.
Many people habitually eat in response to powerful cravings for sugar, salty foods, or high-fat foods. You can learn how to curb cravings naturally using healthy energy-filled foods (such as apples with honey or Agave syrup) and delicious combinations of foods to satisfy you. You eat on the go, always moving and working to stay up with your fast paced life.
For you, food is very sensual. You love the look, the smell and especially the taste of food. You enjoy reading food magazines and trying recipes the way some people get into music or art. Pleasure eaters can re-channel their passion for food into other areas - reading, crafts, music, or even relationships. And if they love to cook, they can indulge this passion by getting creative with low-fat recipes.
So many of us eat because we are triggered by external cues, including many restaurants’ and cafeterias’ super-sized serving portions, advertising for high-fat foods, certain kinds of people (food pushers), and social events (buffets at weddings or workplace lunches). One solution is to learn to practice mindful eating. This is a focused, meditative way to eat that helps you transcend constant cues to overeat. Also, external eaters are most successful when they learn to focus on human connection – and make this more satisfying than eating.
You’re highly critical of yourself, and you can be compulsive in your behavior. You like structure but tend to think in all -or-nothing terms -- so, if you believe you’ve made an eating mistake; it will often turn into an all-out binge. You have to learn to be gentler on yourself and keep your life balanced. Your need for structure in life can be turned into a positive attribute so you don’t get obsessive about eating.
This eater often indulges in junk food under the "just this once" excuse. If you're not careful, "just this once" becomes a part of your daily routine.
Ready for more? Click here to access an electronic version of Just 10lbs Workbook.