T Nation

The Seven Categories of Eaters

Here is an intersting article I found today…

Marilu’s Henner Seven Categories of Eaters

Stress and food are an interesting combination. Some people eat without thinking. And some people never stop thinking about eating. Everyone has his own eating patterns and idiosyncrasies, and it?s important to identify and understand your particular eating behavior, so that you can do something positive about correcting any problems. I could relate to every category at one time or another in my life, and sometimes, all of them on the same night! Do you recognize yourself in any of these eaters?

The Robot.
This person mindlessly eats in an automatic way. They come in, they still have their coat on, they go to the refrigerator. They don?t even know what they want. They just start eating. They may eat big family-size bags of chips or popcorn, or whatever? in front of the television set, while they?re driving, or even while they?re on the phone.

The Hedonist.
This person loves food? the smells, the tastes, the textures. They say things like, ?Oh, I?m stuffed? I shouldn?t eat any more,? but they keep going because they love it so much. They are very susceptible to emotional cues and even a commercial sends them running to the refrigerator.

The Bargainer.
This person negotiates their eating strategy. They don?t eat all week so they can eat on the weekends. They fast the week before a vacation, so they can pig-out. This person has no natural relationship with eating because everything is done in the extremes.

The Zealot.
This person obsessively measures, weighs, counts points, grams, carbs, whatever. They?re into the latest diet book all the time, and everything is according to the rules, including the time, as in, ?Ooh, it?s lunchtime, I?d better eat.? They don?t know how to listen to their body?s signals because they?re too busy listening to everything else.

The Martyr.
This is the self-sacrificing eater who says, ?Oh, no, you take the good one. I?ll have the burnt one" or, ?Don?t mind me. I ate yesterday.? They hate to throw food away and they?re really guilty of “the Mommy Syndrome” (eating off their kids? plates). They never want to make their own plate of food.

The Crybaby.
This is the emotional eater who doesn?t want to feel a feeling. They put all their feelings into their eating, and usually they choose to eat their favorite comfort foods.

The Champion.
This is how you really want to eat. You recognize that eating is not about measuring, counting, weighing… fats, grams, calories, of the same old bad food. You eat real food because you?re a real person. Because you?re eating real food, your body is getting enough nutrients to know when to stop. You feel satisfied with a small amount because your choices are nutrient dense. You know what kind of food you want before you order because you?ve already tuned into your body?s signals without being derailed by temptation. As a Champion, you?re very aware of the triggers and potential games your mind can play with your willpower. You are never influenced by what you see on someone else?s plate or a menu. You eat a good balance of foods, never too much of one thing, and your food choices are healthy because you know you?re not going to feel good if you eat junk.

Yep,listening to our body is the way to go,ultimately.I belive measuring and other zealoty things are neccesary when getting to know what your body needs,though.

I like these categories, but it can use at least one more:

The Closet Eater: While in public, this person barely eats anything, claiming to be full or not very hungry, but as soon as he/she is alone, pigs out, usually on junk food.

…had a lot of female friends in this category, unfortunately.

Okay, T-Nationers…what if you listen to your body quite well, but it tells you not to eat that next meal, to eat more carbs instead of more protein, or to stop eating when you know you should consume a little more calories? Do you think it’s better to listen to what your body is telling you or stick with the methods that are supposedly best for you? Just curious…

I think there is credence in both the zealot and champion. Your body is adept at telling you what it wants, but what it wants is not to be 8% bf. Its more into survival than aesthetics. Hence you crave the carbs and fat but not the protein (usually). Im in between the zealot and the champion type, but more zealot without the gay diet books. Of course, you can take it the other way too. People who think they are ‘listening’ to their body when eating junk are just giving into their brains who are telling them to eat more more. You crave junk when you eat junk. Just(hopefully not junk)food for thought.

[quote]Angelbutt wrote:
I like these categories, but it can use at least one more:

The Closet Eater: While in public, this person barely eats anything, claiming to be full or not very hungry, but as soon as he/she is alone, pigs out, usually on junk food.

…had a lot of female friends in this category, unfortunately.

Okay, T-Nationers…what if you listen to your body quite well, but it tells you not too eat that next meal, to eat more carbs instead of more protein, or to stop eating when you know you should consume a little more calories? Do you think it’s better to listen to what your body is telling you or stick with the methods that are supposedly best for you? Just curious…[/quote]

Good points.

I’ve seen that sometimes when people are too zealous, they end up sabotaging themselves because they didn’t listen to what they’re bodies were telling them. Yet, I’ve also seen those who placed too much faith in how they feel versus what they know about nutrition, and have sabotaged themselves that way, too. In those cases, however, I suspect that psychological affinites toward certain foods complicate matters.

It’s a complicated issue, I think, and a common one, too. I’d like to know people’s opinions.

Interesting catagoies, however they have nothing to do with BBing or sports nutrition. If I simply listened to my bodies signs, even while eating very healthily, I would still be a measily 148lbs! This is great for the average Joe or even the Mens Health type but crap for us.

You have a good point: your body doesn’t care about gaining more muscle than it thinks it needs, that would be metabolically inefficient. That doesn’t make this thread a worthless debate. It wouldn’t be wise to never listen to your body; just the same you dont have to completely ignore it to get the right amounts of food at the right times.

And if you do ignore your bodies signs, you will fall off the diet wagon, so to speak. I think that was the point of the thread, to highlight the major types of thinking when it comes to diet. Most of them were extreme types.

[quote]Soldierslim wrote:
Interesting catagoies, however they have nothing to do with BBing or sports nutrition. If I simply listened to my bodies signs, even while eating very healthily, I would still be a measily 148lbs! This is great for the average Joe or even the Mens Health type but crap for us. [/quote]

If I listened to my body ALL the time, I wouldn’t be dropping my body fat percentage slowly but surely. Instead, I would be engulfing pizza as much as possible.

Right now I’m leaning out, so I’m the eater who weighs out the foods and measures everything. If I don’t, when my 12 week phase is up, I’ll still be around 18% body fat.

But then 18% bf isn’t all that bad for a girl, is it? What is that like 12-13% for a guy?

[quote]SouthernGirl wrote:
If I listened to my body ALL the time, I wouldn’t be dropping my body fat percentage slowly but surely. Instead, I would be engulfing pizza as much as possible.

Right now I’m leaning out, so I’m the eater who weighs out the foods and measures everything. If I don’t, when my 12 week phase is up, I’ll still be around 18% body fat. [/quote]