photo by Vinogradov Illya
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Our relationship with food is a direct reflection of our relationship with life. If you struggle with your weight, body image, or eating habits just know that this is not a problem. All of these conditions are symptoms of a problem that are trying to get your attention.
And so the more willing you are to take an honest look at yourself and your relationship with food, the more opportunities you will have to not only know yourself better but to make a change. Remember, we cannot change what we do not accept (or see) so the change will always begin with (kind and patient) observation and acceptance.
Understanding the four types of eating and how they relate to you is a great tool to help you gain a clearer perspective on yourself and your relationship to food.
These descriptions are my take on a concept I learned from my weight coach mentor, Brooke Castillo, (who is insanely amazing btw and the founder of the Weight Coach School). I have found them extremely useful and hope you do too!
The four types of eating are Fuel, Fun, Fog, and Storm.
Fuel Eating is when you are eating foods that support your body and its needs. This is clean eating. Eating real, whole, natural, minimally processed foods that provide you with energy and nourishment and feel good in your body. You want to eat fuel foods 80% of the time.
Fun Eating is eating any foods that you love to eat that don’t necessarily give you anything back. In other words, food that tastes great and you enjoy but don’t offer any real nutritional value (i.e. cake, wine, potato chips, candy, etc.). You want to pay careful attention when eating fun foods to be sure you are receiving the pleasure that they provide. This could look like one small treat a day or two fun meals a week. The rule with fun eating is that you must enjoy each bite.
Fog Eating is anytime you eat without awareness. You are munching on chips without even tasting them, you are snacking on your kids’ peanut butter and jelly crusts while making lunch, you finish off a bag of candy before you even realize how much you ate and don’t even remember what it tasted like. Fog eating is not enjoyable or purposeful; it’s an unconscious munch that we are not even aware we are doing. The goal is to never fog eat. Stop the minute you catch yourself.
Storm Eating is binge eating or eating out of control. It is anytime you can’t stop yourself. You are aware that you are eating and you want to stop but you feel like you can’t stop or like you can’t control yourself. It’s almost like you are watching another person inside your own body. Sometimes this happens if we let ourselves get too hungry and sometimes it happens when we have an overwhelming emotion that we do not want to feel. Storm eating is usually followed by regret and shame. Many times it’s done in private or in hiding.
And yes, you can experience some of these at the same time or one can lead to another.
Just good to know.