“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s not just what you eat but rather the way you eat that will lead you to living a healthier lifestyle. Determining your eating personality may be a winning factor in the battle against overeating.
Researchers in Britain report that there are seven types of overeaters. A whopping 69 percent of the 500 women surveyed classify themselves as Rushers.
Types of eaters:
Rushers make bad eating choices because they don’t have time to prepare proper meals;
Pickers snack between meals;
Bingers starve themselves all week and then eat a huge amount all at once;
Settlers put on weight during relationships by eating the same sized portions as their partners;
Rewarders use food to reward themselves for good deeds or getting through a tough situation;
Socializers use getting together with friends and family to eat more and drink more than they normally would; and
Comforters turn to food when they’re feeling stressed, sad, or disappointed.
I’m a combo of sorts. I’m part Rewarder, part Socializer, and part Comforter.
Assessing the type, or types, of eater you are is the first step towards breaking poor eating habits.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind that can help break bad eating habits:
- Eat only when you are hungry, and stop eating when you are full—this is a Dietitian’s #1 rule for breaking bad eating habits. In order to conquer overeating, we need to become mindful of how our body feels before, during, and after eating. As mentioned above, much of our eating is done mindlessly, so becoming good at listening to body cues takes some focus, discipline, and practice.
- Pay attention to the feeling of cravings versus hunger—cravings are generally brought on by feelings of stress, boredom, and unhappiness. We trick ourselves into believing that eating will miraculously fix our feelings. Of course, as soon as we’re done feeding our cravings, we realize that a quick fix is not the answer. The next time you feel a craving coming on, distract yourself by going for a walk, or calling a friend. Better yet, try cleaning. That works for me. Who wants to put food in their mouth when you’ve got dirt on their hands?
- Be conscious of eating foods that are too anything—foods that are too creamy, too sugary, too salty, too cheesy, too fatty, or too starchy won’t do your body any good over time. Once in awhile, we all find ourselves in situations where we can’t help but indulge. However, on a daily basis, these foods will do more harm than good. Giving in to these foods will leave you craving more of the same. Instead of feeding your hunger, you’ll be feeding your cravings.
Once you identify the type of eater you are, you can begin to change the way you eat. As you set your mind to changing the way you eat, you may find yourself naturally gravitating towards wiser, healthier, food choices.
Knowledge is power. Breaking bad eating habits is so much more than merely counting calories. Learning to be mindful of your eating habits will help set you on your path to health and well-being.