At Lemond Nutrition, our goal is to empower individuals to move toward a trusting relationship with food. We love to see our clients have satisfaction with their eating and food choices while experiencing kindness toward their bodies. As weight-inclusive dietitians, with work guided by the Intuitive Eating Framework, one of our major goals is to bring our clients closer to becoming an Intuitive Eater. While intuitive eating is the end goal, chances are you aren’t quite there yet. Here’s how to figure out if you are an intuitive eater and – if not – what type of eater you are right now? Determining this is a helpful step as you work toward food freedom.
What Kind of Eater Are You?
1. The Unconscious Eater.
Unconscious eaters are often engaged in paired eating. Eating and doing another activity at the same time – working, watching TV, driving, or using their phone. As you may imagine, this is not uncommon to see with most of our clients. Have you ever sat down with a bag of candy or chips and the next thing you know, the bag is empty – and you hardly remember eating any of the food? That’s unconscious, or mindless, eating.
There are 4 subtypes of unconscious eaters (see below).
The Chaotic Eater. If you have a really busy life and feel like you just eat whatever is available, you’re probably a chaotic unconscious eater. This could mean eating whenever you have a break in your day regardless if you’re hungry since you aren’t sure when you’ll get another chance to eat. It could mean feeling hungry and not having food prepared, so grabbing whatever is easy. If you’re a chaotic eater, you may go long stretches where you don’t eat at all because you’re overscheduled.
The Emotional Eater. Another very common eating personality, one almost everyone can relate to at one time or another. Emotional eaters use food to cope with their emotions. This could be eating because you’re stressed, anxious, sad, lonely, or overwhelmed, but it can also be eating for happy or joyful reasons too. If you find that you are often eating when you aren’t hungry, it could be that you are emotionally eating without even realizing it.
The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater. If you have trouble turning down food or saying no to something, even if you’re not hungry, you’ll identify with the refuse-not eater. This is often seen in the workplace with the box of donuts or jar of candy at the receptionists desk. Refuse-not eaters are eating because there is food in front of them and are often unaware of the habit.
The Waste-Not Eater. This eater values the food dollar. If you have a hard time throwing away uneaten food because you view it as wasteful, you’ll identify with this eating style. Many of our clients have felt it necessary when out to eat to finish the entire plate, even when uncomfortably full. It’s not uncommon for the waste-not eater to eat the leftovers of their children or partner.
2. Professional Dieter.
This eating personality describes the person who is perpetually on one food/wellness plan or another. Always trying a new diet and has been on (and off) diets for years. They know the portions and calorie/macro count of every single food and may measure out their meals and snacks. They’re always looking for the next best diet, as the ones they’ve tried in the past haven’t worked.
3. The Careful Clean Eater.
Careful eaters appear to be very health and nutrition conscious, the “perfect” eater. They tend to be very ridgid, closely read food labels, are hyper-aware of what they put in their body, and carefully monitor what and how much they eat. If they eat anything they don’t deem “nutritious”, they end up feeling guilt and anxiety. Careful eaters spend a lot of time worrying about what they are going to eat and scrutinizing food labels at the grocery store. Often, careful eaters are vigilant Monday through Friday, then “cheat” on the weekends. Today, we know those with this style, may actually have a condition called orthorexia.
4. Introducing the Intuitive Eater
Those with this eating style know they have unconditional permission to eat whatever they want. No deprivation, restriction, guilt, or regret associated with what they eat or don’t eat. There is a trust with their body to send hunger/fullness signals of what, when, and how much to eat. They truly experience the pleasure of eating.
Whatever your eating style, you deserve to feel confident and comfortable with your food choices. Getting back in touch with the intuitive eater inside you allows you to break free from dieting and take better care of yourself and your body. Becoming more aware of your eating personality can help you start to take action and make changes in your eating behaviors.
If you need help moving toward intuitive eating, contact Lemond Nutrition for an initial consultation. We accept all insurances and do virtual sessions all throughout Texas. Let us help you change the way you think about food.
No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.