The 5 Types of Overeaters: Type 1 Compulsive Overeaters
If you are on a diet right now, you are not alone. Unfortunately, losing weight and gaining it back (yo-yo dieting) is a vicious cycle that leaves millions of people frustrated and unhappy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
• An astonishing 69% of adults are overweight or obese.
• Nearly 79 million Americans classified as obese—that’s more than 1/3 of adults.
• Even more startling is that 1/3 of all American children are overweight.
• 17% of American children are classified as obese.
Most diets fail because they take a one-size-fits-all approach. A diet that works well for one person may be completely wrong for another person. Why? Different brain systems drive different tendencies and behaviors.
Our work with SPECT imaging has shown us that there are multiple types of overeaters:
1. Some are compulsive
2. Some are impulsive
3. Some are compulsive AND impulsive
4. Some eat to improve their mood
5. And, some eat to calm their worries
What Classifies a Compulsive Overeater?
In this blog, we are going to discuss Type 1, also classified as the ‘Compulsive Overeater.’
People with this type tend to get stuck on thoughts of food. They hear the ice cream in the freezer calling their name. They often feel compulsively driven to eat and might say they have no control over food. They also tend to be night time eaters because they worry and have trouble sleeping.
Compulsive overeaters tend to get stuck on thoughts or locked into one course of action. They often:
• Get stuck on thoughts about food
• Get stuck on their worries
• Are rigid and inflexible
• Have trouble seeing options
• Hold grudges
• Are oppositional or argumentative
• Feel like they MUST have things their way, or they get upset
What SPECT Tells Us about Type 1 Overeaters
SPECT scans show that compulsive overeaters generally have too much activity in the front part of their brains, especially in the anterior cingulate gyrus. When there is too much activity in this area, people tend to become stuck on negative thoughts or actions.
Over-activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus is most commonly caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin; therefore, compulsive overeaters do best when we find natural ways to increase serotonin, which is calming to the brain.
In addition, learning how to get “unstuck” from their thoughts about food and worries is very helpful.
We Can Help
You CAN create a brain healthy life by learning how to love and care for your brain, and by focusing on what you love about your life. Take what you have learned here to develop your brain healthy life and teach it to others.
If you, or someone you love, could benefit from an evaluation or a nutritional consultation at Amen Clinics, call our Care Coordinators today at 888-288-9834 or tell us more online.