What Kind of Eater Are You?

The book Intuitive Eating addresses different types of Eating Styles.

Careful Eater: This eater is focused on health and fitness, but agonizes over every bite consumed. Has a lot of hatred of “unhealthy” foods. Obsessed with food labels. Lots of guilt when “bad” foods are eaten. Uses nutritional information as a weapon.

Unconscious Eater: This eater multitasks when eating. May not feel that they deserve to take time to savor a meal. Many subtypes to this style of eating, which include:
Chaotic: Eats on the run if food is available; Over-scheduled; Thrives on chaos.
Refuse-Not: Can’t refuse any offer of food regardless of hunger levels.
Waste-Not: Triggered by free food, buffets; Member of the Clean Plate Club.
Emotional: Eats when uncomfortable, exiled feelings arise;

Professional Dieter: Always on a diet, or contemplating when next diet will begin. Focused on weight loss, not health. Stuck in a cycle of diet-restriction-binge eating.

Intuitive Eater: This eater has legalized all foods. Stays attuned to hunger & satisfaction levels. Enjoys food without any guilt. Listens to his/her body to see what would be a good match. Incorporates gentle nutrition into his/her eating.

It’s interesting to see how my eating style has changed throughout my Intuitive Eating Journey.

Before I hit Diet Bottom, I was a Professional Dieter. I felt very guilty when I ate foods that had a lot of points and calories. I berated myself for even THINKING about eating dessert. I woke up every morning feeling guilty about eating, even though I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

As I began to legalize food, there were certain foods that glittered. After years of restricting, I began binge eating. I was definitely an Unconscious eater. I still struggle with unconscious eating from time to time. I definitely use food to disconnect from my physical body and my scary feelings.

I’m working on becoming an Intuitive Eater. I definitely know when my body is hungry and when it is full. Sometimes when I hit satisfaction I’m sad and disappointed. That’s usually a good time for me to inquire within and ask myself what I REALLY want or need.

What kind of eater are you? Has that changed throughout your dieting history?


About eatingasapathtoyoga

Learning to savor food, yoga, & life.
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10 Responses to What Kind of Eater Are You?

  1. Eek. I’m a cross between a few. I’m definitely a careful eater. For sure. But also do the waste-not thing when there’s fruit and vegetables around. Believe it or not, I have gorged on those items without thinking it through first. I try to avoid the “bad” options by loading up on the “good”. Not the best mentality, but I’m working on it.

  2. Shannon says:

    Yikes, I might be a little bit of everything. I think I am mostly a cross between Professional Dieter, tending towards restriction and focusing on weight loss, and Unconcsious Eater, primarily emotional. This is an interesting combo to have, to say the least.

  3. Leslie Neshama says:

    How I appreciate this post! It puts some order on to what has lately been my chaotic thinking about eating and food. I am an emotional eater, but I have had times when I was able to eat intuitively.
    The latter way of ‘Being with Food’ feels so much better, and is so much more gentle for me. It is more satisfying a way for me to be. But right now I am in full-blown binge eating, as if I can’t get a hold of myself.
    I don’t know what I need right now (the eating disorder is saying that all I need is lots and lots of food). But I know that is false.
    I think I am lonely, and at the same time feeling stressed by other people and what I perceive is lack of boundaries.
    What a tangled web I have woven!
    But I will persevere, and this – specifically – because Intuitive Eating is what I wish to return to.
    I just don’t know how to do that right now…………..

    with all my heart

    • I’ve so been there esp in the last month. I look forward to the day when I can sit with my feelings without turning food. Until then, I radically embrace and accept myself, wonderfully flawed and all.

      • Leslie Neshama says:

        ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

        More and more, the precepts of Buddhism attract me. So I appreciate your words encouraging radical acceptance of one's self. I am old (61 years) and "if not now, when?". I have tortured myself for too long. I remain "Looking towards the Light",
        with all my heart

  4. Debbish says:

    I’m a combination of an unconscious eater and professional dieter – it’s like I have multiple personality disorder.

  5. Laura says:

    I am definitely a cross between a Professional Dieter and an Unconscious Emotional eater. I have been obsessed with my weight and weight loss as long as I can remember- including a battle with eating disorder in high school. these days I am still focused on eating that doesn’t “make me fat” or can “make me skinny”, but then I end up eating for emotional reasons due to stress or sadness or happiness. then I feel guilty for eating emotionally, and continue to eat because of the guilt. I then get mad and stop eating again and go.back into “diet mode” and the cycle begins again. I am so ready to break this vicious cycle!!!!!

  6. Priscilla says:

    I was definitely a professional dieter and a careful eater. I would wake up at 2 in the morning obsessed about what I ate the day before and swearing to start a diet that morning only to wake up and binge. I am trying to become an intuitive eater but still struggle with sweets and junk food. But I no longer feel guilty when I stray, I just try to eat healthier every day and enjoy food and cooking.

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