Eating should not be complicated.
And yet for some people, it is the most complicated part of their existence.
Breaking down the different types of eating can be helpful.
There are four types of eating:
This is the only reason we need to eat because food is fuel. We need it to survive and thrive. Fuel eating happens when the body cues us that it is hungry and in need of nutrients for energy.
When we are fuel eating, we choose to eat foods that are nourishing to the body and stop when we are satisfied. This should, ideally, happen consciously and intentionally.
This is eating foods that don’t have nutritional value for our body (desserts, savory snacks, and the like), but it provides pleasure. Joy eating can and should happen occasionally so that we are satisfying our need for pleasure that we get from food.
Ideally, joy eating should be done minimally and mindfully so that you actually experience the pleasure from that food.
This is all the mindless eating that occurs during and between meals, whether it’s fuel or joy eating. It’s the grazing and snacking that you may not be aware of: it’s eating when you are not hungry.
Fog eating is overeating. And overeating is the reason we gain weight or not lose extra weight.
This type of eating feels out of control, and always results in negative consequences both physically and emotionally. Storm eating can look like binge eating where nothing seems enough. It is absolutely an act out of emotional cues and not physical hunger.
To be healthy, maintain a healthy weight and have a peaceful relationship with food, we are meant to mostly practice fuel eating and occasional joy eating.
How can we do this?
- First, become aware of your eating patterns.
- Second, decide what you want to change.
- Third, be conscious of what, why and how you are eating.
- Fourth, practice and repeat.
All the while, practice patience and compassion with yourself.
It may sound simple, but it is not always easy.
But it is entirely possible.