Are you a Feaster, Constant Craver or Emotional Eater?
What’s the right diet for you?
A recent three-part BBC2 Horizon programme put 75 overweight volunteers on a diet for three months to discover if personalising the diet to suit the type of eater you are would bring about better results. The group were assessed and put into three categories.
A) “Feasters” - those who once they start eating, can’t seem to stop.
B) “Emotional Eaters” – those who go to the fridge to distract themselves away from their stresses.
C) “Constant cravers” – the person who eats and thinks about food all the time.
Each group were given a different diet plan that targeted their particular eating problem.
A) “Feasters” high protein, low GI diet to help keep the feeling of fullness for longer.
B) “Emotional Eaters” were put on a low calorie diet with a weekly target and recommended to have a strong support network.
C) “Constant Cravers” were put on a 5-2 diet so focus was on the two days at 800 calories.
All groups experienced initial weight-loss – then the cracks started to appear. Various scientific measurements were taken before and after blood tests to look at various hormone levels and metabolic functioning before the next stage of advice was given.
The biggest myth is that metabolic rate is slower in larger people. In fact the study showed that as weight was decreasing so was metabolic rate - so fewer calories were needed by the body to function. The dieters could now understand why their weight had started to creep back up or plateau and therefore it seemed harder to lose weight.
Each category was given extra help:
Feasters - were shown affects of eating too fast and once slowed, the “I’m full” hormone GLP1 increased.
Emotional eaters – who typically respond with a catastrophic thinking style to any lapse were taught that a lapse wasn’t the end of the diet and to get back on track immediately.
Constant Cravers – were shown that skipping breakfast can lead to 40% more consumption of unhealthy choices at lunchtime.
The parting advice was to view all this insight as business as usual if they wanted to keep losing weight and maintain it – introducing exercise to achieve that goal long term would counteract the lower calorie requirement.
Why write about this on a hypnotherapy site?
Although the team included a psychologist and CBT therapist I’m not sure volunteers were helped with the how to achieve what they were being asked to do. We had one lady (Constant Craver) who briefly mentioned her habits of wanting to eat all the time were perhaps linked to childhood punishments of being given bread and water - but alas we didn’t see that being treated.
Hypnotherapy can ably support all the above categories, and I would expect individuals to be describing more success and feeling more comfortable much sooner.
Instead the programme and the volunteers - although happy with losing weight - seemed to focus on the mental struggle they’d still have to go through. This reflects the fact that this was all conscious effort and not yet embedded subconsciously.
Horizon missed an opportunity perhaps to test hypnotherapy in helping people discover the REAL reasons why they overeat and how we can address them. They did however conclude that a personalised plan was more effective - which any therapist would agree with as we treat each person differently. The average dieter lost 19lbs in three months, so it seems the scientists are heading in the right direction.