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Are you a Proactive or Reactive eater?


Article by Emily Mobley

Photography by Amanda Donaho

Have you ever found yourself mindlessly snacking on chips or cookies while binge-watching your favorite show? Or have you skipped breakfast and ended up eating a huge lunch because you were starving? 

If so, you may be a reactive eater. 

Reactive eating is when you eat in response to hunger, cravings, or emotional triggers. On the other hand, proactive eating is when you plan your meals and snacks ahead of time and make intentional choices about what you eat.

So, which one are you - a proactive eater or a reactive eater? 

Let's explore the differences and the benefits of each approach.

Reactive Eating

Reactive eating is characterized by eating in response to hunger, cravings, or emotional triggers. This type of eating often leads to overeating or choosing unhealthy options. For example, if you skip breakfast and lunch, you may find yourself ravenously hungry by dinner and end up overeating or making unhealthy choices. Or, if you're feeling stressed or sad, you may turn to comfort foods like ice cream or pizza.

While reactive eating is a common approach for many people, it has several downsides. First, it can lead to overeating and weight gain, as you may not be aware of how much you're eating. Second, reactive eating can also lead to unhealthy food choices, as you may grab the most convenient or comforting option instead of something nourishing.

Proactive Eating

Proactive eating, on the other hand, is characterized by planning ahead and making intentional choices about what you eat. This type of eating often involves meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing meals and snacks ahead of time. Proactive eating can also involve listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues and choosing nourishing foods that fuel your body.

The benefits of proactive eating are numerous. First, it can help you maintain a healthy weight by ensuring that you're eating the right portions and making healthy choices. Second, proactive eating can also lead to better food choices, as you're more likely to choose nutrient-dense options when you plan ahead. Finally, proactive eating can help you save time and money by reducing the need to eat out or grab convenience foods.

So, which approach is right for you - proactive or reactive eating? 

The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Some people may find that a mix of both approaches works best for them. However, if you tend to be a reactive eater and struggle with overeating or unhealthy food choices, it may be worth trying a more proactive approach.

To get started with proactive eating, try setting aside some time each week to plan your meals and snacks. Consider meal prepping on Sundays or packing healthy snacks to take with you to work or school. By making intentional choices about what you eat, you may find that you feel better, have more energy, and reach your health goals more easily.

In conclusion, whether you're a proactive or reactive eater, it's important to be mindful of your eating habits and make choices that support your health and wellness goals. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, listening to your body's cues, and planning ahead, you can become a more intentional and proactive eater, and improve your overall health and well-being.

If you need help becoming a proactive eater, I would highly recommend checking out my MEAL KIT METHOD. this will help you prepare your environment for success so you can get a healthy plate in front of you >90% of the time!