Ultimately we all want to be in control of our weight, and our bodies and feel great all the time. But we don’t necessarily know how. To start learning how to regain our control we have to understand all the reason we eat and what is driving those different types of eating.
There are 4 types of eating
Fuel Eating is eating the food you know serve your body well and give you the energy and nutrition that you need each day. This is adding value to your body giving you vitamins and minerals, build muscles, and it does the work your body needs to do. You get to decide what is healthy for your body and what is fuel for your body. No 2 people are going to be exactly the same. I feel amazing under 50 grams of carbs per day, but I have a friend who feels great at 100 grams of carbs a day. I don’t really care for most fruit besides berries, and they don’t make me feel great, so I don’t eat them. But I like full fat dairy products and my body does not react negatively to it. So I eat full fat dairy products. You may feel energized after eating a banana or apple, and dairy may be inflammatory for you. It’s because we are all different and our fuel needs are different. That is a beautiful thing
What is important about fuel eating is determining what fuel really is for YOUR body. If you are consistently eating fuel foods and still not losing weight, you may be eating something that really isn’t serving your body well. So maybe you need to change your fuel so it serves your body in losing weight.
Happiness Eating is really just eating foods that make you happy. These are foods that aren’t really going to serve your body in any way or provide you with nutrients or good energy. They are really just there for entertainment. These are things like snack foods, chips, candy and crackers.
This can be an important part of consuming food. Humans are sensory beings, we want to take pleasure in the sensation and taste of food. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! The key is to be intentional and present when you are consuming these pleasure foods. AND to stop when they stop tasting good, or you reach your satiety level. You want to limit these to just occasional eating, though. If it’s something you eat every day, it will lose its happiness factor and drop into the category of Fog Eating or Chaos Eating. I recommend these foods being something you indulge in only 10% of the time or less. So maybe once a week. But not daily.
Fog Eating is when you eat without being really aware of what you are doing. Think about when you go to a movie theater and you get the GIANT bag of popcorn. There are like 30+ servings in that thing, but you sit and munch mindlessly as you enjoy your movie. That is fog eating. And it’s something most people do!
I want you to be aware, intentional, and fully in control when you eat. Your body will appreciate it by not being overfed foods that ultimately make you feel bad. BUT if you find you are fog eating, this is not a reason to beat yourself up! This is a reason to get your head in the game and make sure you are thinking about WHY you are eating and determine the amount that would be appropriate both based on what food it is and how much your body actually needs food at that moment.
Chaos Eating is binge eating, eating both without intention but also because of either a strong feeling of deprivation or strong emotions that you are trying not to feel. This is where the real trouble can start. Binge eating can become a cycle because you’re training your mind to think food is the answer for deprivation of any sort, emotional deprivation because you might be struggling in a relationship or job, or actual food deprivation. Low calorie diets that have been pushed in the past usually come with a period of Chaos Eating when you can no longer sustain the low calorie eating. Effectively erasing any weight loss you might have had. This is where a cycle of overeating can really take over making it harder to control what you eat.
By paying attention to these 4 Types of Eating you can see where the extra calories, overeating and the extra weight is coming from. You can analyze what you eat, when you eat, and why you are eating. When you become aware of all these, you regain your power over all of it. You can start consciously making the choice to eat to fuel your body with the foods it needs each day.
I’ve created a Hunger Scale modeled after the work of a mentor of mine, Brooke Castillo.
The purpose of this hunger scale is to show you, visually, the changes your body goes through as you move between hunger and fullness and their various stages. Being conscious to all the sensations your body goes through, in all these stages, will give you so much insight into both how your body works on a biological level, but also an emotional leel as well.
I highly recommend taking the time to recognize and feel at each different level. Then ask yourself 3 questions:
Is this feeling holding me back or propelling toward who I want to be?
Am I truly physically hungry?
Am I OK if I choose not to eat before my body is physically hungry, or to stop eating before I am over-full?
These questions will give you the control you deserve to have over your mind and your body.
If you are already eating only when you are truly hungry and still not losing weight, you have a fuel problem. If you aren’t feeling amazing and energetic, you need to change out the types of foods you are eating and make sure they are serving you, not creating inflammation. Make sure the food you eat is taking care of your true hunger and also giving you the result that you want!
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