Right kind of menu – what’s your food ‘personality’?
If you are struggling with the latest attempt at a diet, fear not. It could be down to your 'food personality'.
Recognising which type of food personality we are, according to Karen Knowler, author of ‘Eat Right For Your Personality Type’, will help us understand not only how we relate to food but also how we can organise our diet and eating patterns so we feel healthier.
Karen says: “Each of us has an individual way of thinking, feeling and acting around food for a whole host of reasons. But each of us also has a core ‘style’ of eating or food personality to which we conform.
“So while some people are passionate about food, others use their intellect to govern their food choices and like to be told what is ‘right’ to eat, and another type may use food to make them feel better about problems in their life.
“Food has tremendous power to affect the quality of our health, our energy levels, and radically affect our appearance. If we can see why we eat as we do, we can choose to work with that.”
Here are five of the most common food personalities according to Karen. Discover which food personality matches you.
They don’t dislike food or eating, but you could be forgiven for thinking that they do! Karen says: “They just want to eat and they want to eat now, so that they can get on with life and do what they consider far more important things. It is all about speed and convenience, and they’ll rarely host dinners for friends as they’ll find the cooking and preparations stressful and boring.”
Tips: List all the foods you want to eat and where to get them (ideally pre-prepared) so you’re not tempted by fast foods or bad choices. Find a menu plan that’s quick, easy and delicious. Ensure you incorporate variety, because your diet can become routine.
Passionate about many things, including food. “This group loves to engage with what they eat in a deeper, richer way than most,” says Karen. “Even if they feel conflicted about what they are eating and know that it may not be good for their health, they still enjoy being seduced by it. For them, eating’s all about pleasure and feeling indulged, they love cooking for others.”
Tips: Create or find a menu plan which excites you, where everything on your menu feels like 10/10, including foods and drinks which you consider treats or long-time favourites. Then aim to find a low-fat form or something healthier than you are used to.
Tasty food is great, but having it make sense and comply with their idea of the ‘correct’ way to eat is much more important. Karen says: “You’ll often find these reading a nutritional textbook or scientific-based food book. To them, eating for pleasure is seen as insane behaviour.”
Tips: Create a menu plan which makes sense to you, be it calorie-specific, nutritionally sound or whatever criteria works for you, but take on board that occasional treats or deviations don’t spell long-term disaster.
Usually not a happy person around food because they’re frequently in a state of angst about what they’re eating. “These types tend to swing between ‘treating’ and ‘punishing’ themselves depending on what is going on in their life, and food is usually the main way they do this,” says Karen.
Tips: If you’re looking to lose weight, list 10 different non-edible treats that you know will ‘fill you up’ or reward you emotionally. These could include a long, hot, pampering bath or a treat outing. Whenever you find yourself wanting to eat when not hungry, pick one of these treats and enjoy as much as is good for you instead of raiding the fridge or larder.
This type loves the adventure of eating. “They’re never happier than when trying something new, so they can tick something off their list, then tell the tale!” says Karen. “They’re social, gregarious, and see life as an adventure – food is a key part of that. They love eating out, and the more quirky the menu the better.”
Tips: Boredom is your enemy, so stereotypical diet plans are not for you. Map out an eating plan which incorporates weird, wonderful, spicy or decadent tastes but try to identify and minimise the high-calorie ingredients. You may be happier eating little and often with small, tasty meals which delight your taste buds. Explore healthy smoothies, snacks and raw foods which will satisfy your need to experiment with flavours without piling on the pounds.