See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

I’ve noticed that most people tend to get caught in a vicious cycle of dieting and then blowing the diet. You seek a diet that promises instant weight loss through complete control of what, when, and how you eat. It feels safe, because you know exactly what you have to do to reach your goal. Soon enough you discover that you just can’t stick to it…and you end up right back where you started. And so the cycle continues.

The problem here is that those “diets” treat the dieter like a machine that can be programmed. But the truth is that eating well has to take into account your food’s less scientific side. I want to raise your awareness of those issues that get far too little attention – taking into account what food really means to us.

You need to recognize that eating well has to be seen as an ongoing process in your life. Ask yourself:

Do you:
–       Feel satisfied after eating?
–       Feel nourished, able to physically meet the demands of your day?
–       Like your food?
–       Eat food that pleases you?

The more frequently you can answer “yes” to any of those questions, the more functional your food is.  Your ongoing process of learning to eat functionally enables you to explore your own needs and adjust your food choices accordingly.

The process of making functional food choices begins with some honest self-assessment. Start by examining the following scale of food behavior. It’s arranged with least functional eating habits first, progressing up the scale, all the way to optimum eating.

Do you see yourself or your food behaviors described in any of these five prototypes?

Level 5: Out-of-Control Eating

–       Eating feel chaotic and out of control—or NOT eating (starvation) is a way to avoid chaos and a sense of being out of control.
–       Eating/starving is the way the person copes with life.
–       Eating has no connection to hunger or satiety

Level 4: Rigidly Controlled Eating

–       Desperate attempt to control eating behavior
–       Food is controlled wit ha specific diet plan and/or specific foods.
–       One feels either in total control or slips to Level 5 and feels in total chaos
–       Control is the most important issue
–       Sometimes the security of a controlled, structured eating plan is needed before someone can develop more functional and independent ways to eat

 Level 3: Eating By The Rules

–       General belief that there is one right way to eat
–       Foods are categorized as “good” or “bad”
–       Eating “right” is more important than eating what one wants to eat
–       Eating “bad” foods is considered “cheating”
–       Varying levels of guilt are felt when the rules are broken

Level 2: Functional Eating

photo-journaling
Me photo-journaling my edamame.

–       Food choices are made with confidence, and you know you can meet your body’s needs
–       Food choices consider you physiological, physical, mental, and emotional needs.
–       One manages difficult food situations optimistically – there is a workable solution
–       Sometimes food intake is not its best, but it works for the moment.

Level 1: Optimal Eating

–       Food choices are made with confidence, and you know you can meet your body’s needs
–       Food choices consider your physiological, physical, mental and emotional needs
–       There is time and opportunity to make food choices and enjoy eating.

This week, watch your eating behavior and identify what level of eater you are. Then, stay tuned, because next week we’ll discuss how to move through the levels to eventually become a Level 1: Optimal Eater.  In the meantime, photo-journal your foods with me, using the hashtag #reshape on Instagram and Facebook of your meals. I’ll be watching!

See you next week!
Kathy