The diet plans we see online often tell us what to eat and what not to eat. However, many may find it difficult to stick to a plan, because it does not consider WHY you eat.
Each one of us is motivated differently, which means we all have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sticking with an eating plan. Here are 6 distinct eating styles identified by Brad Lamm, founder of Breathe Life Healing Centers, which may give you some insight to help you develop strategies for a sustainable eating plan.
Certain emotions will trigger you to want to eat. It could be emotions of happiness, or it could be emotions of sadness. Often there is no thought about what you are eating now and that can lead to poor choices of food quality and quantity.
Recommendation: Keep a food log. List down what you ate and how you were feeling. This allows you to identify what feelings triggered you to eat. And when those feelings come up again, you are more attuned to deal with it rather than just using food as a form of escapism.
You like routine and structure, you might even have an unwritten rule to have 3 square meals per day. However, when met with the challenge of time constraints and other responsibilities, the plan goes out of the window and you end up filling your meals with whatever is convenient just to meet the routine structure. You might hear yourself giving the excuse of “Just this once” one too many times.
Recommendation: The way to prevent habitual eaters from being derailed is to double down on the commitments, such as packing your own meals, prioritizing mealtimes and actually pencilling in meal breaks in your calendar.
Just the sight of food is enough to whet your appetite even if you are not hungry, and you have a tendency to overeat.
Recommendation: Create a distraction, such as a breathing exercise or visualize your golf swing and allow the craving to pass. At home, keep a fridge and pantry that is without treats and temptations. If it is not there, it cannot tempt you.
You have an obsessive dedication towards diet, and you are an all-or-nothing kind of person. Which means, some days you are “all-in” with your plan, and there would also be days when your plan is absolutely off the rails.
Recommendation: Go easy on the rigid food rules. If you slip-up, allow yourself to restart within the day rather than wallowing over the slip up and ejecting the plan.
The Sensual Eater is what we call the “Live to Eat” type. You enjoy your food and you “make love” to the flavours and textures of the food just like how Ratatouille enjoys the symphonic combination of a strawberry and cheese. Your love for food often leads you to over-order or cook too much, and as a result over indulge whatever is in front of you.
Recommendation: There is little you can do to curb your natural curiosity, hence an effective strategy to circumvent this is to manage your portions. Share a dessert with your friend, split a meal, and eat slowly and order slowly so that your stomach has time to tell you that are full and should stop.
You know a thing or two about exercise and nutrition. But unless you are strictly measuring your food intake and energy expenditure, there is a high tendency to overfeed.
Recommendation: Other than tracking calories and activity which in itself can be very subjective, track your weight weekly to ensure that is not trending upwards into obesity.
If you struggle with losing or maintaining weight loss, you may want to speak to a doctor to eliminate any underlying health or medical conditions conditions which may be the cause of your weight gain. Speak to a GP online anytime on the Doctor Anywhere app.