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Video: 4 Types of Eating

The 4 Types of Eating are fuel eating, joy eating, fog eating and storm eating. Anytime you eat anything ever, you can categorize it into one of those four components, and by doing that, you can really see where the extra overeating and the extra calories and the weight is coming from.

Join in as Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School talks about the 4 Types of Eating.

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Episode Transcript:

Hi, it's Brooke Castillo from the Life Coach School. Today I'm going to talk to you about the four types of eating.

When I was first writing my book, If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight, one of the things that I really wanted to do for all of my clients was to help them look at the food they were eating and analyze it in a way that served them. That's when I came up with the four types of eating.

Now, it's not necessarily the four types of food, right? It's the four types of eating. The four types of eating are fuel eating, joy eating, fog eating and storm eating. Anytime you eat anything ever, you can categorize it into one of those four components, and by doing that, you can really see where the extra overeating and the extra calories and the weight is coming from.

Let me define each of those types of eating for you.

The first one is fuel eating. That's the type of eating that you do that serves your body. You're eating something that you know will add value to your body. It will give you energy. It will build your muscles. It will take care of your vitamins, your minerals. Everything that you eat in that fuel category is serving your body.

It's like an employee that you've sent in to do some work. Some understanding of nutrition is really important here. The other piece is that only you can decide what's fuel for your body. Often, if we've been on a lot of diets, we have a lot of preconceived notions as what constitutes healthy food.

What I want to say is you get to decide what's healthy for your body. You get to decide what fuel is for your body.

Let me give you an example. I don't like eating fruit. It does not feel good in my body. I feel sick afterwards. It does not energize me and I always feel like I need to eat something after to counteract it. Most diets, most nutritionists, most books would say that fruit is a really important component of a healthy diet.

For me, fruit is not considered a fuel food in my diet. It's not something that makes me feel good. It's not something that serves my body. I don't eat a lot of fruit. I don't have fruit smoothies. I don't make myself fruit salad. I don't have fruit. It's not fuel for my body.

Think about your body, and maybe there are some healthy foods that you think you should be eating but they don't really resonate with you and they don't feel good in your body. Do not include them on your fuel list.

The other thing you need to consider is just because something is considered healthy by the establishment doesn't mean that it's good fuel for you when you're trying to lose weight.

If you're eating a consistent way of fuel and you're not losing weight, you need to consider that maybe you need to change your fuel so it serves your body in losing weight.

For some of you, you may need more carbohydrates. For some of you, you may need more protein and less carbohydrate. I recommend that you play around with what fuel you're eating.

We have a whole program at The Life Coach School called Find Your Fuel that will help you figure out what it is exactly that will serve your body as fuel.

In the meantime, you can just practice around. Try adding different types of food to your diet and see if that helps affect your weight. If you're eating on the hunger scale and you're only eating when you're hungry and you're still not losing weight, then you're having a fuel problem.

If you're eating two to two and you're not feeling amazing, you need to change up the types of food that you're eating and make sure they're serving you in terms of providing you with energy, taking care of your satiation and also giving you the result in your weight that you want.

The second type of eating is called joy eating. This I had to include because I was not willing to give up all of my food that has nothing to do with nutrition. I'm talking about food that has no nutritional value whatsoever. Cake, candy, chips, Cheez-its, snack food; those types of food. Truffles.

They're not going to serve your body in any way. They're not going to provide you with good energy. They're not going to sustain you. They're really just there for entertainment. You have to include some of those in your life … Well, at least I do … if you want to function in the world, right?

I know that there are some people that they only eat fuel food, but my recommendation is you don't try and do that all at once. My recommendation is you eat 90% of the time fuel. You eat it on the hunger scale. You eat it only when you're hungry and you eat the best kind of food that serves your body that helps you lose weight and energize you.

Then 10% of the time, and typically people want to know exactly what that means, 10%, but you know what that means. You can figure that out. Maybe once a day you have a little bit of candy or you have a little thing of chips; something. Once a week maybe you have some french fries, right? Those are the things you know aren't going to serve you in any way but they're so delicious that you have to taste them.

We do a program, a process at the school, called the Tedious Powerful Worksheet, and that's where you really learn how to taste food, to really taste it and experience it and really enjoy it, so you don't have to have these huge amounts.

Normally, people will say the reason why they overeat is because they really love the taste of food, but when you really break it down with them, they're not usually even tasting it. When you eat an entire bag of Doritos you're not tasting those Doritos. You're inhaling those Doritos; right? Joy eating is not that at all. Joy eating is paying attention to each bite and enjoying each bite.

Fuel eating is eating fuel to sustain your body. Joy eating is purely for your entertainment. The rules with joy eating are you have to really enjoy every bite, and you have to stop eating it when you stop enjoying it or when you get to your 10% allotment of joy food. Practice it. Really see what food tastes like.

I've done this exercise with many of my clients, and what they find is that when they really taste the food instead of inhaling it behind their own back, they realize food that they thought they loved, they don't really like that much. When they do taste it, they enjoy it so much more.

The third type of eating is what I call fog eating. I think it is so perfectly termed because most of us eat in a fog. Most of us eat so unconsciously and without awareness that we don't even pay attention, first of all, to what we're eating, second of all, to how it feels in our body, and third of all, to how much we're eating; right?

If there's a bag of popcorn in front of us, we'll just eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, not really tasting it, kind of checking out; right?

If any of you have reached the bottom of a jar of something or the bottom of a bag of something and we're like, "What the heck just happened? How did I eat all that?" that's what we call fog eating. It's eating without consciousness. It's eating without deliberateness. It's the opposite of what we want to teach you at The Life Coach School.

What we are trying to teach all of our clients is to do everything in their life with deliberateness and consciousness, and fog eating is the opposite of that.

We never want you to beat yourself up for fog eating. We just want you to write it down, first of all, in your food journal and then be curious about it.

First of all, why did you check out? Why weren't you wanting to pay attention to yourself? Was there an emotion coming up that you didn't want to look at so you ate instead? Or were you just completely checked out of your life; right? Were you just on autopilot? We need to discover these patterns so we can change them if you want to and therefore change the pattern permanently and not put the weight back on.

The final type of eating is what we call storm eating. Storm eating is what many people call binge eating, but I like to call it specifically storm eating because that's what it feels like and I want to remind y'all that a storm comes and it goes. There is an ending to it. It feels like it's out of control. It feels like you know that you're eating it. You're deliberately eating it but you can't stop yourself from eating it. It's kind of this out-of-control, out-of-body experience.

Typically, storm eating happens when there's been too much deprivation on one side, too much restriction, or when there's a really intense emotion that you don't want to experience. A lot of people will go straight to binge eating. The real tragedy of binge eating is what happens afterwards.

When you storm eat, when you go through that process of eating really a lot of food in an uncontrolled way, afterwards it's very tempting to beat yourself up, to get down on yourself, to start thinking that there's something wrong with you.

I want to tell you if you are someone that storm eats a lot, I want to tell you the very first step to eliminating that pattern is to stop beating yourself up afterwards. I want to invite you to any time you do that, you just take a minute and you ask yourself, "Why did that happen?"

I like to say it like this, "Why did that happen, love?" Say it in a way that's kind and interested and not judgmental, and that's where you can start learning about yourself and you can start understanding why you're trying to check out of your life by storm eating and really pay attention to those answers.

I have found that with most of my clients, when they stop beating themselves up after a storm eat and they get access to the reason why they're doing it and they really understand that they were in control that entire time, there was no part of any of that eating where they weren't in control, that can really help them the next time to understand and pay attention and not check out.

Those are the four types of eating. I highly recommend that when you keep your food journal, you categorize your eating. How much of your eating is fuel eating? How much of it is joy eating? Hopefully, it's 10% or less. How much of it is fog eating? That's where it gets really interesting. That's when you can start understanding yourself. The same with storm eating. Approach it with curiosity and kindness and fascination, and you will discover more about yourself instead of being less conscious and less aware.

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