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What type of eater are you?

Man wondering

If you’re searching for the best way to manage your weight or make healthier choices, our fun quiz will help identify your eating style.

Knowing why and how you eat can help you make positive changes and improve your relationship with food.

1 Do you eat regular meals?

A Yes, I eat regular meals and snacks
B Yes, I eat regular meals — at the same time every day
C Yes, most of the time
D No, I regularly skip meals

2 What’s your snacking style?

A I like to snack throughout the day
B I’m not much of a ‘snacker’
C I snack mostly when stressed, sad or anxious
D I try to avoid snacking because once I start, I can’t stop

3 How do you feel after eating dinner?

A Still hungry — I like to snack all night long
B Guilty and over-full
C Good, I know I’ve eaten enough
D I need something sweet

4 What is your attitude to or relationship with food?

A I enjoy food
B I feel it’s my enemy — no matter what I eat, my weight goes up
C I feel like it controls me at times
D I’m ‘good’ all day long, but then crave carbs at night

5 How do you choose what to eat?

A I eat what I feel like, when I feel like it
B I only eat what is healthy, and will help me lose or maintain my weight
C I eat healthily most of the time, except when I’m stressed
D I grab whatever I can get my hands on when I get hungry

6 If you’ve ever tried to lose unwanted, what destroys your intentions?

A I’m not trying to slim down
B Stress and lack of time
C I get bored, slip up and find it hard to get back on track
D I can eat well during the day, but overeat when I get home

7 When you over-indulge, what do you do?

A I never get hungry enough to over-indulge
B I rarely over-indulge, but when I do, I get cross at myself
C I get frustrated, as I know it will cause me to gain weight, which makes me eat more
D I over-indulge often, but usually just move on from it, or cut back the following day

Eating types

Please note: This quiz is designed as a fun way to help increase your eating awareness. Don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into one eating category, or if you fit a few, or if you vary between them depending on what day of the week it is! You may have only some of the tendencies discussed, and you may benefit from just a little fine tuning. If you are a mix of all the categories, you most likely are a regular healthy eater — because indulging sometimes, or craving carbs from time to time, is part of normal healthy eating.

Mostly A’s: Constant craver

You eat often. Nibbling a bit here and there helps get you through your day. But do you eat when doing other activities — like checking emails, social media, watching TV, working — and not notice this intake? Perhaps you can’t remember the last time you felt hungry, or full? And are you aware of just how much you eat in a day?

What to do: It may help you to start off with a 24-hour recall of when, what and how much you are currently eating. Then, for the next 24 hours, schedule specific meals and times to eat, and eat at those allocated times only. Try to eat slowly and mindfully — and not to get distracted. Make sure to include low-GI carbs and a protein-rich food in your meals to help you feel full for longer, and to make them more sustaining. Reflect on how you ate, then schedule your following day’s intake so you can make adjustments as necessary. Be patient as you make alterations. Remember that some old and ingrained habits take time to change.

Mostly B’s: Restricted eater

You are doing your best, but you eat what you think you ‘should’ rather than what you actually want to eat. You’re very focused on the calorie, carb or fat content of food. You most likely refer to food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and feel guilt or shame when you eat ‘bad’ food. Years of dieting have trained you to think in this way.

What to do: Ditch the diet thinking by removing all restrictions. Restrictive eating never works for long-term weight management. Over-restriction, under-eating, or deprivation leads to rebound eating, where you binge on not-so-healthy foods. Constantly relying on willpower to resist all the foods you enjoy is just exhausting. Aim to take a more balanced approach, and don‘t put so much pressure on yourself. Feed your body delicious-tasting, healthy food you enjoy when you are feeling hungry — and occasional indulgences.

Mostly C’s: Emotional eater

You aim to eat healthily, but like Bridget Jones, you use food to comfort yourself, maintain feelings of pleasure, or distract yourself from parts of your life. You eat when you are sad, lonely, stressed, bored, happy, anxious, tired, frustrated, annoyed and upset. However, afterwards you often feel worse because you also feel out of control, which is a trigger in itself. It can be a vicious circle: you get upset because you’re gaining or can’t lose weight, then you eat to help yourself feel better.

What to do: Awareness is the first step towards change. Be kind to yourself rather than beat yourself up. Recognise how you truly feel when you want to eat (but know you’re not hungry). Ask yourself, ‘Am I hungry? Or am I tired, bored, lonely, or…? What do I really need now?’ But if hunger isn’t the reason you’re eating, how will you know when to stop? If you need help doing this, it can help to talk to a dietitian or psychologist who specialises in this.

Mostly D’s: Evening muncher or night-time binger

You cruise through your day skipping breakfast, or lunch, or both — because you’re too busy, or you’re trying to slim down. Then you’re voraciously hungry either when you get home, or after eating dinner.

You try to eat healthily, but you crave carbs. You may even think that you’re addicted to them, but you’re not. This is just your body crying out for some fuel to do all the amazing things it does all day, every day.

What to do: Prioritise yourself by eating during the day. Put it in your calendar. Don’t do ‘multi-task‘ eating while checking emails or social media. Enjoy slow eating. Your amazing body deserves to be nourished regularly. And you’ll find you get a boost in energy levels throughout your day too.

First published: Dec 2020

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