What Type of Eater Are You?
What type of eater are you? We asked Sondra to break down the different types of eaters and give suggestions for how to combat disorder. Here is what she had to say...
Sondra's Notes on Types of Eaters She is Profiling:
Eating patterns usually result from a combination of emotional, physical and behavioral determinants. Changing eating patterns will require understanding and paying attention to what drives the behavior and a willingness to change the thoughts and the actions associated with those behaviors. For all changes, eating in a way that provides adequate nutrients and blood sugar stability will best allow for behavioral changes.
|What Type of Eater Are You?||What Is It?||Tip for Combating|
|AVOIDER||Someone who removes a whole group of food from diet. Example: Anderson tried removing sugar.||Removing a whole group of foods results from a fear of a negative consequence associated with that fear. Become informed. A balanced eating program of whole foods will maintain nutrient density. Be flexible, try to include small amounts of a group left out while maintaining a healthy variety of whole fresh foods. Try it first in a food where it is not visible and gradually allow yourself to have that food more regularly.
|VAMPIRE EATER||Someone who doesn't eat much during the day and then eat most of their food at night.||Night eating is usually a result of not eating well or enough during the day, the best solution is to eat well and regularly through out the day, every 2-3 hours. Then make an effort to get through the first few nights with either only a small snack or beverage to break the behavior. Continuing to eat through the day will help regulate your blood sugar and make you less physiologically vulnerable to night eating.
|FEARFUL EATER||Someone who has a lot of anxiety or OCD. Example: Once had cereal with raisins and thought the raisins looked like ants so they avoid cereal.||Exposure in a safe environment is usually the best way to combat fearful foods or phobic behaviors regarding foods. First look at pictures of the food, then spend time with the food, get used to it being near you, what it really looks like, smells like, even feels like, when that feels more comfortable taste it, move it around on your tongue, gradually chew and eventually swallow. Do this at your own pace; a day, a week, or a year, but stay in the process otherwise you will have to start over at the beginning. The idea is to get increasingly more comfortable by increasing the time you spend and the exposure you have to the particular food and fear.
|LIQUIDATOR||Someone who doesn't like to chew, texture of food is aversive.||Gradually increase exposure from liquid to soft solid and then eventually to solid foods. Practice chewing, as there is often a discomfort with chewing and texture that makes liquid foods more desirable to this type of eater. As above, continued gradual exposure to chewing and textured foods will modify this behavior over time.
|STRESS EATER||When emotional things happen, this person uses foods to soothe themselves.||Talk to yourself, ask yourself questions. What am I feeling? Will the food help? How will I feel in the long run? What can I do instead right now? Have a list of alternate behaviors that are calming and practice putting them in action. Work to be present, and stay in the moment, affirm for yourself that you can handle whatever happens in each moment, moment to moment.
|ANGRY EATER||When annoyed with someone, this person makes poor eating decisions. Then they become angry at themselves because they're doing something damaging to themselves.
||Again, ask the questions as above, but get specific. Who, what am I angry at? What do I need to say, do? Write it down, clarify what your anger is about. Ask what can I do to resolve this anger? Make a list. Eating will only make me angry at myself but will not resolve the situation.|
|SOCIAL EATER||Someone who attaches food to people.||Social eating can often lead to imbalance, and a disconnect from one's hunger. Work on being in touch with your hunger, again pay attention and ask questions. Am I hungry? How hungry on a scale of 0-10 am I? What am I hungry for? Also make a plan to practice enjoying the people at social events as well as the food, again enjoy the moments, stay present and work on disconnecting the joy and pleasure you get from people from the joy and pleasure you get from food.
|PERFECT BITE||This is a person who plans out every bit.||Practice doing something unplanned, impromptu, have something new or different, challenge yourself to eat something you have not planned or do not eat regularly. Start with one time then try to do it regularly, once a day or even at each meal, eventually try to have meals that you do not plan. Again be in the moment, work on building the confidence that you can handle each moment as it happens and therefore you do not need to put all that energy into planning and predicting and controlling what happens.
|DAYDREAMER||People who finish one meal and are already planning the next.||Challenge your mind, it has been trained to think like this, it occupies time and keeps you preoccupied. Catch yourself and push the thoughts away, time yourself, push the thoughts away and say I will not think about food for the next hour. When the thought returns push it away again. Practice, eventually you will get better and will be able to go for longer periods of time.
This is a very lively topic and will result in many questions. For answers, please go to SondraKronberg.com.
To make an appointment for treatment, an evaluation, or for more information about Sondra's services, you can also contact her office's main office at 516-794-7328 or email Sondra at: email@example.com.