words by Dr Christy Fergusson PhD founder of thefoodpsychologsist.com and author of Hot, Healthy, Happy: The 21 day diet to eat, think & drink your way to self-love & skinny jeans and the epitome of all things hip and healthy…

The Emotional Eater

Does food equal comfort? Your brain is a pleasure seeker. Stressed out or depressed it wants those foods that will release mood boosting chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins.

Danger: This type of eating can often lead to excess weight and bingeing.

Top Tip: Balance your blood sugar levels. Eat low glycaemic load carbohydrates, good quality protein & essential fatty acids every 4 hours. Nourishing your brain with vital vitamins, minerals & amino acids will help steady those moods and help you resist the chocolate during that time of crisis.

The All or Nothing Eater

The day begins with great intentions. Breakfast went to plan but someone has brought cake to work. A little turns into a slice and now your diet for the day is ruined. You decide to start fresh tomorrow and spend the rest of the day indulging.

Danger: All or nothing eaters tend to be yo-yo dieters. Their eating pattern is either ‘on a diet’ or ‘starting a diet tomorrow’. This shatters self-confidence and can leave you feeling weak-willed.

Top Tip: Shift your thinking away from your weight to your health. Eating is about nourishment. Forget the all or nothing mentality if you eat something ‘off plan’ then help your body deal better with it by spending the rest of the day filling it with healthy foods.

The Calorie Counter

Do decisions about what to eat revolve around calories or points?

Danger: This type of eating can leave you eating harmful foods just because they are ‘low calorie’

Top Tip: Remember your body does not care about calories all it wants is food that isnatural and unprocessed. Instead of reading the calorie counts focus on ingredients. Avoid those with hidden sugars, sweetners, MSG, additives & preservatives.

Picky Eaters

Are you fussy about your food?

Danger: This type of eating can leave you with a really repetitive diet making you vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies and intolerances.

Top Tip:  The best way to address this is to begin by listing what meals you like. Then slowly begin to incorporate different foods into those meals. Also experiment with preparing the foods in different ways as it can sometimes be the textures of foods which are problematic.

Article by Dr Christy Fergusson PhD, CPsychol, MSc, BA Hons, BSc Hons, DHyp, PNLP, MBPS, MBANT, MBSCH – a Chartered Health Psychologist, Nutritional Therapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner find out more about her here: www.thefoodpsychologist.com

Image by: Vogue Italy, taken from Beauty IN Vogue, June 2006