What’s your eating personality?
Are you a Careful Planner, Unconscious Eater or Professional Dieter?
Perhaps you’ve been all of these at some point. This isn’t unusual as your eating patterns can shift depending upon what’s going on in your life.
If you’d like to return to the Intuitive Eater you came into this world as, it’s helpful to understand what your predominant eating style is.
The Unconscious Eater
Let’s take a look at the Unconscious Eater. This eating style is rooted in a lack of attention, awareness and attunement, and can take many different forms. Following are three ways it has shown up in my life.
1/ Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater
When I worked in the corporate world, I’d mindlessly eat whatever food came into the office whether it was pizza a sales rep brought for a lunchtime presentation, mini-chocolate bars from the candy jar, leftover cookies from an afternoon meeting, or bagels that had been sitting in the kitchen for eight hours.
While there’s nothing wrong with eating any of these foods, I rarely ate them because I was hungry or truly wanted them. Instead, I was vulnerable to their mere presence, not attuned to my body’s needs, and unable to refuse free food.
This behavior showed up outside the office as well, whether it was with party fare, holiday food gifts or grocery store samples.
2/ Distracted Unconscious Eater
I used to be embarrassed if anyone used my computer because of the crumb-covered keyboard and sticky keys. If this sounds like your computer, it’s a sure sign you’re a distracted diner, too.
A Distracted Unconscious Eater typically eats while multitasking whether it’s responding to emails, scrolling through social media, driving to work or texting with friends.
Perhaps you feel there’s no time to stop and just eat, or that it’s more productive to be doing another activity while eating, or that just eating is boring.
I’m definitely not saying you should never enjoy a movie while eating popcorn or takeout! However, if you regularly eat while distracted, you’re likely to derive less pleasure and satisfaction from your food and more likely to overeat.
3/ Waste-Not Unconscious Eater
I grew up in a Clean Your Plate Club and continue to struggle sometimes with this hardwired habit.
The fact that someone would actually choose to leave food on his or her plate or throw away perfectly good food can still astound me today despite all the work I’ve done with identifying my attunement disruptors.
If you’re a Waste-Not Unconscious Eater, you believe it’s better to finish something even if you’re full rather than toss it or save the last few bites. If you’re a parent or partner, you likely clean the remaining food off your children’s or partner’s plates, too.
The challenge with this eating personality is that you prioritize the value of food over your body, which can lead to chronic overconsumption and subsequent discomfort.
Understanding Your Eating Personality
There are other types of Unconscious Eaters, such as the Chaotic Unconscious Eater and the Emotional Unconscious Eater, that you might relate to more strongly.
Having a better understanding of your eating personality, whether it's an Unconscious Eater or Professional Dieter, can be very insightful and helpful as you work toward shedding the beliefs and behaviors that disconnect you from your body’s wisdom, cues and needs.
Source: These eating personalities were created by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the originators of Intuitive Eating and authors of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works.