The 5 Types of Overeaters: Type 1 Compulsive Overeaters

Blog-The Five 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.

For the remaining articles on the types of overeaters, click the type below:

Type 2: Impulsive Overeaters

Type 3: Impulsive-Compulsive Overeaters

Type 4: Sad or Emotional Overeaters

Type 5: Anxious Overeaters


  1. Will you be posting the other types for us to learn more?

    Comment by Elisa — February 12, 2018 @ 2:52 AM

  2. I emailed you last Friday to see if you had a locked facility for an Alzheimers patient with psychoses. If so, please email me the procedure for admittance. I have until Tuesday February13, 2018 to get this patient placed. She is currently in Newport Bay hospital which is a short term facility. The patient is a dear friend and her husband is currently incapacitated and in rehab at Hoag in Newport Beach. I would appreciate a response as time is short and I don’t have time to spin my wheels. If you know of a “good” locked facility please advise. The local police are threatening to arrest the lady if she attempts to go to her home. Thank you. I await your response.
    Andrew J. Yurcho Esq.
    P.S.. the only facility I saw was one in Anaheim California which is like a dundgeon. I would like something better for my friend.

    Comment by Andrew Yurcho — February 12, 2018 @ 7:39 AM

  3. Hello Elisa, yes we will and we’ll update each piece with links to the others. Here is the next article for you –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 9:27 AM

  4. Although I am not the professional you’re looking for, I have been through this myself w/a ten window given by the court. Oftentimes, assisted living facilities will have a small locked down Alzheimer/Dementia unit. We were fortunate enough to find Carlton Plaza in San Jose. A large assisted living facility w/a 22 bed locked down Alzheimer/Dementia unit complete with a lovely garden with pathways for walking. You might check your region for something similar. I pray God leads you to the right place. God bless you.

    Comment by E M Jordan — February 12, 2018 @ 9:28 AM

  5. Hello Andrew, we will have a Care Coordinator reach out to you today. Thank you for letting us know.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 11:48 AM

  6. Your doing a fine job, I also had a mother that had AD, it was very difficult to deal with, it was always changing. We had to find a center for her it was a very hard situation to deal with.

    Comment by fred martin — February 12, 2018 @ 2:39 PM

  7. Hey
    It’s a helpful article.
    Your article What Are The 5 Types Of Overeaters?, So helpful for best diet for compulsive overeaters! I want to share this post to my site, can I?

    In this blog, we're going to discuss Type 1, also classified as the ‘Compulsive Overeater.’ People with this type tend to get stuck on thoughts of food

    Comment by Indiana Senger — August 15, 2018 @ 4:07 PM

  8. I am interested in reading about the types that overeat just occasionally. My nephew died at home last week. When he didn’t show up at work (fireman) nor answer his phone, the police broke in and found him dead on his bathroom floor. He bled out internally; hemorrhagic pancreatitis. He had continuous pain in abdomen and back but doctors didn’t find anything. I hurt for his family and just sobbed when I heard he died alone. My youngest son died three years ago. He was being treated for COPD

    Comment by Maureen K Cosentino — February 8, 2019 @ 5:09 AM

  9. My comment went trough before I finished – too much? I found myself eating almost a whole, large coffee cake. I had to through the cake away to stop. This centered around the wake, funeral and burial of my nephew. I couldn’t seem to control this. Is this impulsive or? Thank you.

    Comment by Maureen K Cosentino — February 8, 2019 @ 5:11 AM

  10. Could someone contact me with this information. Thank you.

    Comment by I am looking to find out if Amen Clinics knows of any research stating that Neuroptimal Advanced Brain Training Systems (also known as biofeedback) works as it is claimed. It is very expensive and I am interested to see what research says. — February 9, 2019 @ 4:07 PM

  11. I need help loosing weight and staying focused

    Comment by Greg Freeman — June 12, 2023 @ 6:19 AM

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