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What Type Of Eater Are You?

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

An Unguided Grazer · A Nighttime Nibbler · A Convenient Consumer · A Fruitless Feaster · A Mindless Muncher · A Hearty Portioner · A Deprived Sneaker

Which type of eater are you? You've probably never given it much thought. But this could be a case of what you don't know CAN hurt you.

Dr. Robert Kushner says modifying your eating habits just might hold the answer to achieving permanent weight loss. According to the medical director of the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, your behavior patterns play a major role in weight control, especially when it comes to eating, exercising and coping.

After decades of working with overweight patients, Dr. Kushner and wife Nancy, a nurse practitioner, realized that although there were plenty of diet books readily available, none of them dealt with the real problem at hand. The concerned couple soon gave birth to Dr. Kushner’s Personality Type Diet (St. Martins Press).

The veteran physician says what sets his weight loss guide apart is its personalized approach which maintains that you have to change your behavior before you can change your weight.

This isn't a one size fits all, Dr. Kushner tells eDiets. Most diet books peg you into one particular treatment that may or may not fit your own lifestyle. Even if you get your eating under control, there are two more dimensions that are equally important: exercising and coping.

“This whole approach is meant to target what your personalized issues are and get those under control, so ultimately you don’t feel like you’re on a diet or in some difficult exercise program. It becomes natural to you.”

The first step in identifying your self-destructive behaviors can be accomplished through Dr. Kushner’s Diet Personality Quiz. The quick 66-question exam forces you to take a close look at your habits through an eating, activity and coping inventory. It is this quiz that will help you determine whether you’re a Mindless Muncher or a Fruitless Feaster. When it comes to exercise, you’ll learn if you’re a Hate-to-Move Struggler or a No-Time-to-Exercise Protestor. And, as for coping, find out if you’re a Can’t-Say-No Pleaser or an Emotional Stuffer.

It doesn’t matter which category you fall into. Dr. Kushner says there is hope when you target your weaknesses one change at a time. Whether it’s developing healthy snacking habits or writing lists to boost your self-esteem, he has the insights you need to get the job done.

Having seen it in my patients, I fully believe you can get control of these personality patterns that are making it difficult for you to take your weight off and keep it off," Dr. Kushner tells eDiets. "Weight management is not a matter of willpower, its a matter of skillpower! You need to learn the skills and strategies to take back control of weight-gaining patterns and convert them to weight-losing patterns.

The various types of eating personalities:

Unguided Grazer! Eating occurs any time and anywhere, since food is an afterthought. Your diet varies from one day to the next, because there is no structure or planning. The one thing that is consistent is that the foods are convenient and readily accessible. Because food is often consumed while the grazer attends to other activities, you frequently lack a conscious connection to your hunger and eat past your point of satiety. You aren't getting all the right nutrients, are probably eating excessive amounts of calories, fat and salt, and your portions vary from small to oversized.

Nighttime Nibbler! You consume 50 percent or more of your daily calories from dinner and nighttime snacking. You may go all day without eating anything, since you aren't hungry or are denying your hunger. Some nighttime nibblers don't eat during the day because they put their work, family or travel schedules ahead of taking care of themselves... an approach that backfires. Dinner is often repeated snacking that ends only by falling asleep. Since you consume most of your calories when your metabolism is slowest, your excess calories are more likely to turn into fat.

Convenient Consumer! A diet of convenience: packaged, bagged, microwavable and frozen foods are the staples of your diet. All foods listed in your diet diary bear a brand name that is posted on the box, menu or restaurant chain. There are few (if any) fresh foods or home-cooked meals. The problem with this dietary pattern is that these foods are generally higher in fat, sodium and calories and lower in fiber than fresh foods cooked at home.

Fruitless Feaster! You enjoy a plain meat and potatoes menu. With the exception of a daily glass of orange juice and an occasional apple or banana, the feaster sticks to proteins, breads, pastas, fats and desserts. Feasters miss out on the vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients of these powerful foods, which are low calorie to boot.

Mindless Muncher! You are committed to eating three meals a day. However, there is also snacking going on throughout the day and night -- whether you're hungry or not. Some people snack out of fear of getting hungry. Some snack to fight boredom. Others cant pass up a package of food, a vending machine or a snack shop. Simply the sight or smell of any food triggers their compulsion to eat. The problem is that mindless eating causes you to eat excess calories while not really tasting or enjoying your food.

Hearty Portioner! You may feel that your stomach is a bottomless pit and you eat oversized portions in an effort to fill it. Some hearty portioners overindulge on unhealthy foods, while others overeat healthy ones. In both cases, they eat quickly, their weight is climbing steadily and they feel powerless to change the pattern. With a food diary generally showing an intake that is two to five times the norm, you were probably raised as a member of the Clean Your Plate Club. You're usually stuffed after eating, feel ashamed of your gluttony and swear you wont overeat again. You may also suffer from indigestion, heartburn, or reflux after meals, along with sluggishness and fatigue.

Deprived Sneaker! You eat a diet of good foods only to fall off the wagon and overeat bad foods. Instead of eating a small slice of chocolate cake, you eat eight fat-free cookies. Then you still feel deprived. Having what you really wanted from the beginning would have saved you many calories and emotional suffering. For the deprived sneaker, food is always a battle between eating good foods in public that you don't always enjoy and sneaking anything bad in private that tastes good but makes you feel guilty. You never feel satisfied.

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