For everybody out there who struggles with food issues and their weight, knowing what kind of eating you are engaging in each and every time you eat is a crucial building block to permanently loosing weight.
There are four types of eating: Fuel, Joy, Fog and Storm. (We can all thank Brooke Castillo for kindly and correctly generating these categories.)
Each time you eat, you are in one of these categories. Categorizing food will help you discern when you are not eating according to your body’s requirements for nourishment and WHY you are choosing (yes! It is actually a choice) to do this. This also permits you to choose when you want to eat for fueling your body, and when you want to just for the enjoyment.
Fuel food is just what it sounds like: You are eating to put fuel in the machine that is your body. 90% of your eating should be fuel food. This doesn’t mean that it want be delicious and enjoyable – just that the purpose of the meal is to fuel your body.
When you eat with high-grade fuel many times each day, you will feel energized, healthy and light most of the time. You can feel your metabolism kicking in from eating so often.
Joy eating is just what it sounds like – eating for the pure enjoyment of the food. Food is wonderful and delicious and foods like chocolate, Doritos, nachos, French fries and pastries are joy foods. About 10% of your daily intake of food should be joy. Life is too short not to enjoy foods that you love.
If we stop for a second and you think and realize that more than 50% of your eating is out of pure joy, no wonder you’re overweight! All of your happiness is tied up in food, and the first thing to do – instead of restricting your daily joy intake – is to add more joy to your life that is non-food based. Find things in your work that bring you joy, start a video blog if it brings you joy, get your nails done if it brings you joy.
There is a secret to joy eating: The SECOND you stop enjoying the joy food, STOP EATING IT. You can spit out that bite in your mouth if that is what it means. Be very literal with this rule. If you are not enjoying it, there is no reason it should be in your mouth!
Fog eating is eating without really knowing you are doing it. You look down and the jar of peanuts is empty and you cannot remember opening it. You are at dinner with friends and you look down and notice your food is gone and therefore conclude that you must’ve eaten it. Fog eating is never worth doing no matter what the food is – health or unhealthy – because it means that you are disconnected from your body.
It took me a long time to be able to go out to eat with people and not fog eat. Instead of focusing on what I wanted to eat, I remember being concerned that they thought I hadn’t eaten enough, or too much. Staying in my own skin became my goal and releasing any concern over someone else’s business. This was a conscious decision and used a mental tool that we will discuss next week.
Whenever you realize your in a fog eat, stop your hand and stop your chewing. Reconnect with yourself and see if you are hungry or how full you feel. This is your life, you don’t want to miss it.
Storm eating is also known as binging – when you aren’t hungry, knowing that you are doing it, and feeling unable to stop even though you want to stop.
The good news is that when you fuel your body regularly and allow some joy eating, usually storm eating disappears. It is usually caused by depriving yourself and making too many foods forbidden.
Storm eating can also be caused by intense emotions that feel out of control. In the next weeks we will discuss some tools to help you cope with eating based on your emotional state instead of your physical state of hunger.
Next time you notice that you are eating, ask yourself: Am I eating for Fuel, Joy, in a Fog or in a Storm?
If you are eating for Joy, in a Fog or in a Storm, your next step is to notice what you are feeling emotionally at that moment – ask yourself WHY you are eating at that moment if it is not for fueling your body.
Find your answers! You deserve to be free from weight issues and enjoy your life. Let me know your thoughts.