The 5 Types of Overeaters: Type 2 Impulsive Overeaters

Blog-The Five Types of Overeaters Type 2 Impulsive Overeaters

Did you know as the size of your waistline goes up, the size and functioning of your brain goes down?

In other words, the more overweight you are, the greater the stress on your physiology particularly the increased inflammation in your body—which affects the volume of the grey matter between your ears, in addition to putting you at risk for serious medical problems.

Obesity is an underlying cause of many preventable diseases that result in lowered quality of life and even death, such as:

• Heart disease
• Stroke
• Type 2 diabetes
• Certain cancers
• Depression
Alzheimer’s disease

The Different Types of Overeaters: Type 2 Impulsive

People with this type struggle with impulsivity and have trouble controlling their behavior, even though they may begin each day with good intentions. They don’t think about food constantly, but whenever they see something they like, they can’t resist. They have a hard time saying “no” even if they aren’t really hungry. They have a hard time bypassing a second—or third or fourth—slice of pizza, piece of cake, or helping of mashed potatoes.

The most common brain SPECT finding in this type is decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex which is most commonly associated with low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Impulsive overeating is common among people who have ADD, which has also been associated with low dopamine levels in the brain. People with ADD struggle with:

• A short attention span
• Distractibility
• Disorganization

What Research Says

Research suggests that having untreated ADD nearly doubles the risk for being overweight. Without proper treatment, it is nearly impossible for these people to be consistent with any nutrition plan.

Impulsive overeating may also be the result of some form of toxic exposure, a near-drowning accident, a brain injury to the front part of the brain, or a brain infection, such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Overweight smokers and heavy coffee drinkers also tend to fit this type.

Impulsive overeating may worsen with food or treatment that boosts serotonin because this neurotransmitter calms the brain and although it can decrease worries it also decreases impulse control.

Things that deplete dopamine levels are also a problem, so we help impulsive overeaters by boosting dopamine levels and strengthening the prefrontal cortex.

Why We Are Different

By discovering your particular brain type, we get very important information that helps us create the best nutrition and lifestyle plan to help you:
Lose weight
• Optimize brain function
• Become healthier
• Increase energy

Let’s Break the Weight Loss Cycle for Good

The Amen Clinics Method—developed through 26 years of clinical practice—uses a detailed clinical history, SPECT imaging to understand brain function, neuropsychological testing and laboratory studies to target treatment specifically to your brain using the least toxic, most effective means. If you, or someone you love, could benefit from an evaluation at Amen Clinics, call our Care Coordinators today at 888-288-9834 or tell us more online.


  1. I am a 58 year old female, your description of the impulsive overeater fits me to a “T”. Interestingly, I have recently been diagnosed with ADD, have been prescribed Adderall 20 mg once daily. I am not thrilled about being on a medication for ADD but have noticed some improvement: I’m not as fidgety (don’t always have my foot moving if I need to sit still) , and in my ability to focus on a task, but with tasks I don’t like (paperwork!) I still have a terrible time staying focused. I thought my symptoms were related to “spinning a lot of plates” as I am a very busy person.
    What can I do to naturally increase Dopamine levels?

    Comment by Denise — February 13, 2018 @ 7:12 AM

  2. Ditto!!! Name, age, close (59). Planning on an ADD evaluation soon. What is going on? Coincidence? Don’t believe it! Help!

    Comment by Denise — February 13, 2018 @ 6:23 PM

  3. I haven’t been diagnosed but I have the symptoms of ADD. Also I am compulsive and impulsive over eater. What do you recommend.

    Comment by Eleanor — February 14, 2018 @ 8:21 AM

  4. Hello Eleanor, thank you for reaching out. We recommend speaking to a Care Coordinator here at Amen Clinics to further discuss symptoms that you have and your eating habits to determine if a consultation with a physician would be the right first step to determine a tailored treatment plan for you. We can be reached at 888-288-9834 or by completing this form –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 15, 2018 @ 3:25 PM

  5. Do you accept blue cross blue shield?

    Comment by Anne Whitman — February 19, 2018 @ 4:38 AM

  6. I don’t see eating disorders as a category. The deadliest mental illness. Do you identify problem areas in brain for victims of this illness? Can you help them stop purging and restricting food? Thank you

    Comment by Adrienne gheit — February 19, 2018 @ 4:46 AM

  7. I did this part by myself, want to share my experience to maybe help someone . I am very lucky to be able to self motivate to do a lot of stuff, other people have trouble in doing this .. I post sbiut 20 pounds by exercising and changing diet to exclude fast and junk food. Eat salads, much less meat (you can get protein from avocados and co , look pulp the protein rich veggies and fruit), and you will notice that as you slowly loose weight , your memory and attention span increases a bit.
    I don’t know all specifics but I suspect executing the intention itself will make our brain use back neuroplasticity to make things work again , and the ADD or whatever is called will improve .. no need synthetic Meds most of the time , I think we humans just got used to trust way too much on a doctor that sometimes does not do a good job.

    Dr Amen has the testing skills, so it’s a science based approach and if the doctors would do the proper testing like he dies, we would have less miss diagnosis and less over medicated people.

    Each “disease “ or “disorder” exhibits an overall different neuron pattern of brain functionality that
    Often decreases the normal synapses typical of a healthy brain… so testing is utmost important .. on the treatment however, I want to raise awareness that you should not undermine the power of your mind itself as the most powerful tool you have to help you heal anything not working well in your body. You must be ready to quit unearthly habits ( we all have them unfortunatly 🙂 , and be honest about yourself without shame or guilt for this to work well.. I was a bit embarased when I started to exercise cause my clothing was not fitting anymore , but then I was laughing at myself because binge eating was a sign of a deeper disfunction that I learned how to address 🙂 so anyway, use the help you need , take Meds if you need, but don’t stop with exercise and start eating healthier and you will see some benefits just by doing those simple steps. And yes, reach out to Amen clinics , they have a huge wealth of knowledge about brain optimization 🙂

    Comment by Joao Vieira — February 19, 2018 @ 7:39 AM

  8. Are any of your services covered by Medicare?

    Arthur S. Leider

    Comment by Arthur Leider — February 19, 2018 @ 1:44 PM

  9. I have had 3 head injuries- fallen off a roof and landed face first on a 3 ft rock, slipped on ice and landed on face, and parent smashing my head into a bathtub repeatedly. I have been diagnosed bipolar, as well as ADD. I have weight issues and looks like I am an impulsive eater. I am convinced that a SPECT scan would be quite helpful in addressing multiple issues I face. It is a future goal to afford a scan and adopt a healthier lifestyle. I have tried 4 different meds in the past. Methylphenidate worked the best, but was no longer working when tried a few years later. I eat Xanax and 3 tylenol pm, just to sleep more than an hour at a time. Being exhausted continually is no way to live. Right now I cannot afford medical, so I meditate alot. I will see you eventually! I cannot wait.

    Comment by Ursula Burger — February 19, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

  10. Hello Adrienne, great question! The 5 Types of Overeaters are explained here – Weight Issues are addressed as a condition that we treat, and we do help people with all types of issues that revolve around eating habits, diet and nutrition.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 20, 2018 @ 10:09 AM

  11. To inquire about cost, financing options, and insurance, please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834. Thank you!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 20, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

  12. Hello Arthur, to inquire about cost, financing options, and insurance, please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834. Thank you!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 20, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

  13. I would like to help pay for Ursula Burger’s diagnosis – your need is much greater than my own. Does Amen clinics have a foundation or other options for donating? Ursula, I hope you get into the clinic this week! Best of luck to you!

    Comment by Michael — February 28, 2018 @ 9:02 AM

  14. I’ve been a yo yo dieter for over 35 years and now have developed binge eating with highest weight ever at almost 80 years old. Needless to say, self loathing has developed. Need to talk to someone at the clinic at get me started on the path to recovery. HELP!

    Comment by Martha — March 4, 2018 @ 10:53 AM

  15. Michael,

    You are awesome!

    Comment by Joanne Kenney — March 4, 2018 @ 11:22 AM

  16. I di not know if I have ADD but I know that I have an eating disorder. I eat even when I’m not hungry. Just because food is in front of me, i will eat it. Even more when my vitamin D is low. I’m ashamed of this but just can’t seem to stop. I need help please!!! My mother passed away from complications from diabetes. I am afraid that I will end up like her.

    Comment by Imara Zahir — July 23, 2018 @ 4:21 PM

  17. I was diagnosed, some 15 years ago with lacking an enzym in my gut that told my brain I was full. At that time I had dealt with a non-working thyroid for 20 years and diabetes 2 for 5 years. I got an additional medicine prescribed for this, Byetta, and for 15 years I was doing great. Through changed circumstances I am not covered by Obama care and can not get this medicine, because I can not afford $800 a month. I have been trying anything and everything to stay healthy: I was already eating low-carb due to diabetes and now I started to do Keto, but man, you can’t live like that for the rest of your life. But as long as I don’t eat, I am fine. As soon as I start eating, I can hardly stop and even when I do, I feel like eating all the time. So might it be in my brain, like dr Amen says? I don’t feel I am compulsive, but I feel bad all the time. Every waking moment is spent on thinking about food: not about wanting to eat, but about what to eat and what not. I currently weigh 162 pounds, but when I let myself go( including eating carbs) I weigh 20 pounds more in 4 weeks. Help

    Comment by Karen van Heiningen-Kess — February 14, 2019 @ 9:35 AM

  18. Take a walk around the block after every meal… That might ‘rev up’ your metabolism a bit… Can’t hurt…

    :>))) …

    Ps – Yes – I do ezackly that, :>))) …

    Comment by Bud Donahue — February 15, 2019 @ 4:51 AM

  19. I have the same experience. If I don’t eat I am fine , but as soon as I have something to eat I can’t stop eating What is that?

    Comment by Ruth — February 17, 2019 @ 4:03 AM

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