Do you often wonder how “normal” your eating habits are, or how they compare to what experts consider to be a “healthy” approach?|
If you’ve adopted SparkPeople's philosophy of a "lifestyle” approach to weight loss, then you know that a crash diet—or any other temporary diet—isn’t a good idea. But what does “normal” eating look like, especially when you have quite a bit of weight to lose? Do you sometimes wonder where to draw the line between doing what’s necessary to lose weight, and becoming too focused on what you eat? Are you confused about whether normal eating is something you start doing after you’ve lost the weight, or something you should aim for now as part of your weight loss program? And can you recognize the difference between normal eating behaviors and attitudes, disordered eating, and full-fledged clinical eating disorders—and determine when you or a family member might benefit from professional help?
If you feel a little confused about all this, you’re not alone. There are a lot of confusing and contradictory claims floating around about what’s “normal” when it comes to food.
This article, the first in a series of three articles discussing "normal" and abnormal eating habits, contains a quiz that will help you identify your own eating behaviors, attitudes and assumptions. When scoring your quiz, you'll learn how your behaviors stack up against what the experts say about healthy, normal weight loss and effective long-term weight maintenance.
Quiz: Are Your Eating Normally?The six statements below discuss common eating behaviors and attitudes. If you agree or mostly agree with the statement, mark it True; if you disagree or mostly disagree, mark it False. Write down your answers as you go along so that you can compare your responses with the explanations below.
1. True or False: It is normal to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.
2. True or False: People should trust their food preferences to guide them in making healthy food choices.
3. True or False: To lose weight, you must adhere to strict goals for daily calorie intake and exercise.
4. True or False: It is abnormal to eat for any reason other than meeting your body's nutrition and energy needs.
5. True or False: "Good" foods should be eaten regularly and "bad" foods should be avoided as much as possible.
6. True or False: Since you have to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight, you should expect to be a little hungry most of the time.