Quiz: What's Your Eating Personality Type?

Answer six simple questions to figure out what type of eater you are and what kind of meal plan works best for you.

eating personality

You've seen the confusing research: One day, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Then they say you can skip breakfast. Other times they say eat seven small meals a day to speed up your metabolism. What we do know: You're more likely to stick to a plan that works with your body and your mind. It's not "one size fits all." This quiz will help you use your personality type to optimize the way you eat.

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Where's your favorite place to eat a meal?

A. On the couch watching TV at night

B. Sitting at a table

C. Wherever I happen to be at the moment (desk, driving, etc)

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How often do you eat?

A. I consume most of my calories at night

B. I eat three meals a day

C. I pick throughout the day

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Which describes your motivation to eat?

A. I get very hungry, especially at night

B. I look forward to my next meal

C. It's habit – I eat if food is around

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How much do you eat in a sitting?

A. Very little during the day, but have a big portion for dinner

B. I clean my plate at every meal

C. Small portions — a handful here and there

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Which of these options sounds most appealing to you?

A. A burger, fries, and a shake

B. A burger with a side salad

C. Sliders all the way

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How do you feel after you're done eating?

A. Really full and guilty

B. Pretty satisfied but not uncomfortably full

C. I barely think about it

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If you answered mostly A's — Your Eating Personality Is 'The Night Owl'

Many night eaters are extroverts, sensation seekers, and social. They love the thrilling hit of dopamine and serotonin that a huge meal releases in the brain. "The Night Owl's" best quality is that they can go long hours with self restriction. You wont catch them at the vending machine for mindless snacking. Instead, they save up most of their calories for a big meal at dinner – the issue is that's often carbs and fat.


Emotionally, they tend to use this evening meal as stress relief and reward. Remember, carbs release sedating serotonin and fat releases the upper dopamine in the brain. You may be able to keep hunger at bay for a few hours as you're busy during a work day, but small waves of hunger can turn into a tsunami at night. You're conditioning yourself to eat a big meal at the time of day when your metabolism and energy burn is slowing down for the day. Left unchecked, this can turn into emotional eating.


The Fix: Seek adventure at the end of the day off the plate – even if it's just making plans to go to an action movie after work or dining in social groups. Also, this meal type needs to protein stack during the day – each serving, allowing yourself a little more and introducing complex carbs — to keep energy and satiety up and blood sugar stable so they don't binge later. Start small in the morning with a hard-boiled egg. For lunch, introduce complex carbs with protein like Greek yogurt with berries. It doesn't need to be a big serving because that's not natural for this type. Then before going home for dinner… have another protein/complex carb like and apple and peanut butter or almonds. These are small servings to keep you satiated. This way, you can still enjoy your dinner and have that as your biggest meal. This fix prevents overeating.

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If you answered mostly B's — Your Eating Personality Is 'The Plate Cleaner'

The "Plate Cleaner" eats three meals a day and finishes their plate no matter what. As opposed to a sensation-seeking overindulging night eater who are more "live to eat" people, these people are "eat to live" types. They find too much of the upper dopamine and prefer order, rules, and perfectionism. They're also not listening to their hunger cues. They're eating just because it's there rather than because they're hungry. These people can even have OCD tendencies around food.


The Fix: Instead of getting control around food or listening to old rules like you have to finish your plate, find control in other areas of your life. This will allow you to start paying attention to the physical sensations associated with physical hunger. Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. Also, never get into a meal without hydrating first. Try 8-12 oz of tea – hot or iced based on preference – before every meal. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels and will prime your body to start feeling effects of satiety. We often confuse hunger with thirst, so by giving yourself a head start, you're more likely to listen to your body's cues.


Also, pay attention to portion sizes. Start with a smaller plate and measure out portions. There's nothing wrong with cleaning your plate as long as you have the proper serving sizes. And don't forget to listen to your body's cues. If you're still hungry, go back for more protein and non-starchy veggies.

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If you answered mostly C's — Your Eating Personality Is 'The Picker'

The picker is someone who grazes all day long. Eating tends to be mindless. A version of this eating pattern can be healthy, but people get into trouble when they include empty carbs or sugar in their grazing patterns. It sets them off for a disaster during the rest of the day.


The Fix: Eat mindfully. Eat at a table with real utensils. This will prevent mindless eating (like standing over the food table or jar of candy and eating because it's there). Because you're eating all day, it's easy to eat too many calories. Also, a picker needs to be a planner and carry a meal that shuts down their hunger, like Dr. Oz does. He's a picker and carries nuts and yogurt with him.



Dr. Mike Dow is the author of the New York Times bestseller Diet Rehab & The Brain Fog Fix and host of TLC's Freaky Eaters. Maya Feller is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and contributor on ABC News Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show.

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