You’ve probably heard of at least one of the following types of eaters; the Emotional Eater, the Hormonal Eater, the Distracted Eater, the Over-indulgent Eater and the Deprived Eater. But, have you ever really taken the time to consider which one you are? Read the descriptions below to see which category you fall under and then learn the tips you can use to control that behavior.

The Emotional Eater

This type of eater turns to food when they are feeling stressed, hurt, worried, anxious, depressed or just plain down in the dumps. In most cases, the foods they turn too are high in fat and/or sugar or processed foods which can be consumed quickly. If you are this type of eater, there are a few things you can do to change this habit.

  • Find another way of eliminating stress/anxiety/sadness. This might be meditation, yoga or a brisk walk.
  • Removing  any of your “go-to” foods. Don’t make it easy to grab that carton of ice cream or box of cookies.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand for moments you just have to turn to food for comfort.
  •  See a therapist if you find you just cannot control this behavior on your own.

The Hormonal Eater

The Hormonal Eater generally eats well most of the time, until about a week before their menstrual cycle is to begin. From this time until after the menstrual cycle cravings for food are incredibly increased. This is perhaps due to the increased emotional sensitivity, turning the person into an Emotional Eater, at least temporarily. Some researches believe it can be caused by a deficiency of certain nutrients. You can curb these cravings by increasing your intake of magnesium, vitamin B6, folic acid and calcium and following the tips for the Emotional Eater.

The Distracted Eater

This type of eater eats when they are bored or while doing other tasks such as working, watching TV, using a computer or any other distracting activity. The problem with this type of eating is that people who eat this way tend too feel less full, snack more and even have a hard time remembering what they ate. Although it can be difficult to devote time just for eating without multi-tasking, its incredibly important to do. Slowing down and paying attention to what you eat can help you eat better foods, savor them and eat less while still feeling full.

The Over-indulgent Eater

This type of eater generally fills their plate with portions that are too large or eat until they’re so full it hurts. Often times over-indulgent eating can be a symptom of PMS, or as a way to deal with emotional issues. Other times it occurs when you go too long without eating, then when you start eating it is harder to control portion size and the speed in which you are eating. The slower you eat the easier it is for your body to tell when you’re actually full.

The Deprived Eater

The Deprived Eater tries far too hard to eat “right.” This means they eat as little as possible and avoid any foods that might be considered “bad” or “unhealthy” such as sweets, carbs and certain meats. While this might seem like a great ways to lose weight, it actually causes a cycle of eating very little to binging on food. This type of eater needs to develop a pattern in which they eat small meals throughout the day and never say anything is totally off limits; everything is ok in moderation.