Are you influenced by others when it comes time to choose food at the grocery store, or are you one to get carried away by your emotions? Many factors may be involved in the process and affect your choices. It all depends on what type of eater you are. Does that ring a bell?
As a matter of fact, we can classify eaters according to what motivates them to eat healthy. This says a lot about their food choices… Are you more like the people-pleaser, mindful, informed, emotional or habitual eater? Below is an overview of these five types of eaters.
As the name suggests, this type of eater values the opinions of others, and their food choices are greatly influenced by the approval of those around them. People-pleaser eaters want to please and to be seen in a good light in a group, and so they force themselves into the mould.
To have a healthier diet, people-pleaser eaters must work on being less concerned about others’ opinions and on forming their own opinion.
Personally, I recognize myself in this definition of a mindful eater. This type of eater eats food that is good for their health and that will help them be healthier. Mindful eaters are attentive to their body’s hunger and fullness signals and avoid processed foods that could disturb their digestion. As a matter of fact, mindful eaters attach great importance on the origins of the food they eat, as they want the best food available.
However, to have a healthier relationship with food, they must learn to ignore their inner voice that pushes them to refuse some food items that would please them but that are less healthy. Indeed, this inner voice brings undesirable restriction to a balanced diet.
The informed eater is concerned about everything relating to food: its appearance, its impact on weight, its environmental footprint, its price, etc. These eaters like to get to the bottom of things and to be informed as much as possible before making purchases. Informed eaters are rarely impulsive, as you may have guessed!
They turn to the necessary resources to help them make better choices (e.g., scientific articles, flyers, magazines, experts, comparison tables, etc.).
This type of eater has a complicated relationship with food, since their food choices are often impulsive and based on their emotions. Emotional eaters eat for pleasure, to feel good, but also when they are depressed. The emotional eater’s diet does not follow any guiding principle, which sometimes results in considerable fluctuations in their dietary intake and, consequently, their weight.
Sadly, this type of eater is the most at risk of developing an eating disorder, such as bulimia. To maintain a healthy relationship with food, the emotional eater must avoid situations that trigger excessive food intake or consumption guided by negative emotions. In addition, emotional eaters would benefit from getting support to help them achieve some form of stability.
The habitual eater rarely deviates from their eating habits and finds comfort in routine! Habitual eaters buy and eat the same food over and over again, out of habit or because the food they have chosen is convenient and easy to prepare.
To break their routine, this type of eater could and should get out of their comfort zone by finding variations of their favourite recipes and by improving and varying their diet little by little to make sure their diet meets all their body’s nutritional needs!