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Discover the real you to win the diet battle

Unlike most other personal trainers I wasn't always in good shape and was very overweight in my late teens and early 20s.

Between 2003 and 2004, I sought the help of a personal trainer and through hard work, determination and following a good exercise and healthy eating regime, over a year I lost over five stone.

It's given me great insight into my own eating habits and how other people eat. Keeping marathon-fit means maintaining a healthy diet as well as exercising regularly. But are you battling an unhealthy eating habit that you may not even be aware of?

I've identified five main types of people who struggle with their weight: 1 Emotional Eaters 2 Over-eaters 3 Binge Eaters 4 The Don't Knows 5 The Don't Cares.

EMOTIONAL EATERS

An emotional eater generally loves food and can feel full. Portion size isn't usually the reason an emotional eater struggles with weight. They use food as their reward, punishment and stress-coping mechanism in their lives.

They might eat unhealthy foods to reward themselves when happy or have achieved something positive. They might have a bar of chocolate after the gym, for example, or celebrate the end of the working week with a takeaway and alcohol.

They will eat unhealthy food to lift their mood when sad, the stereotypical being eating ice-cream after a break up of a relationship.

Emotional eaters are experts at making excuses and mostly do it subconsciously, the common ones being: "I didn't have time to cook something healthy", "There wasn't anything in my fridge, so I just had a sandwich" or "I'd a crazy week in work so needed a glass of wine".

I always recommend that emotional eaters reward themselves with new clothes, a new piece of equipment for their hobby or get their nails done, etc, instead of food.

OVER-EATER

An over-eater is someone who finds it hard or impossible to get full when eating. They don't feel full no matter what type of food they eat. They can still feel hungry even when their stomach can't fit in any more food.

They may not even enjoy the food they're eating. An over-eater can be eating a meal but may be thinking about their next meal or the dessert.

I struggle with this constantly, can easily eat a massive amount of food if I wanted to and am rarely satisfied after eating. I do occasionally enjoy food but usually only the first few mouthfuls and then it becomes bland. I usually think about what I'll be eating next by the end of a meal or snack.

Preparing and planning meals in advance is vital for overeaters and I find a low-carb meal plan works best with over-eaters, as they can still eat large portions of protein.

BINGE EATERS

A binge eater is similar to an over-eater in that they can eat a lot of food. However, they usually love food and can feel full. Binge eaters often feel that once they've had something bad, they might as well eat bad for the rest of the day.

A binge eater typically yo-yos on diet after diet, loses a pound then gains a pound. They're good for a few days then binge the next. They then feel guilty afterwards and try to make up for it by doing yet another fad diet. They use exercising as their way to punish themselves or compensate for binging. There are similarities to bulimia. However, unlike bulimia there is no attempt to make up for the binge with vomiting. Binge eaters usually weigh themselves too often, sometimes obsessively. In extreme cases they may eat in secret or alone. Stress is usually the trigger to binges.

I tell binge eaters to exercise less and to spend more time planning, shopping and preparing for their meals. It's much more important to get a whole week's food right, than one hour's exercising.

THE DON'T KNOWS

Someone who's unknowingly overweight is simply unaware that they've gradually gotten into worse and worse shape. Or if they do know they're overweight, they don't realise how bad it is. They usually have little knowledge of what food is healthy.

This type of client is easy to train and gets fast results. This is because, like with me, most of the time it's just a case of changing their bad habits and educating them on what healthy food is.

THE DON'T CARES

This is someone who is overweight, realises they are and is happy to be. If an adult is happy at being overweight, then that's their choice. Being happy is probably the most important thing in life and if as an adult they genuinely are, then that's great.

I rarely come across this type of client, as they've no motivation to lose weight. Weddings do sometimes motivate this type of person to lose weight and using a good exercise regime, type of class or sport the person enjoys, works best. They do usually continue this after the wedding.

For more information log on to www.andykennyfitness.ie


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