Archetypes are as old as the myths that have been handed down through the ages. They are primal and recognizable – using them, you can start on a lifestyle path that is designed specifically for you. 

Archetypes help guide our healthy journey in three major ways:

  1. When an archetype is activated in your life, it provides a structure for who and how you are at heart. Tapping into your archetype helps empower you and recognize both your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Archetypes help you make peace with your body. Hold your head high and think the best of yourself — whatever your body’s shape. Emphasize the positive assets embodied in your primary and companion archetypes. You have many. Give yourself credit for them.
  3. Archetypes can save you from the lose/gain cycle. Diets of the moment are like vampires: they suck the life right out of you. Living according to your archetype prevents you from making the same diet mistakes over and over. From now on, you’ll know exactly what works for you.

The more archetypes are activated in your life, the more you live a life that fills you with joy every day, a life that is so worth living that you can’t wait to get up in the morning. So, what’s your archetype’s eating style? Where do you have trouble, and what should you look for going forward?

The Creative’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Social situations, whether at dinner parties or meals out with friends.

You see food as: A sensual feast of flavors. You can use food to show off by cooking for others, and accentuating your personality and talent in the kitchen or at the dinner table. Cooking can be a creative outlet for you.

Favorite foods: Anything deliberately arty, unusual (sea urchins, prairie oysters, anyone?), or fun (does a pizza burger or fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick hit the spot?).

Where you get tripped up: Arty, colorful fried foods, and trying anything and everything.

Learn to use food and exercise as: Turn weight loss and exercise into a social event; join a support group or exercise with a group, like in a dance class where you can strut your stuff. 

The Athlete’s Eating Style

Your eating style: You see food as fuel, and you want the best fuel you can find.

You see food as: Necessary to keep you energized so that you can perform your best all day long.

Favorite foods: Protein shakes, smoothies, power bars, proteins like steak and chicken, and, of course, carbs.

Where you get tripped up: Since Athletes can eat without gaining while they’re at the top of their game, weight can quickly increase once they slow down.

Learn to use food and exercise as: A structured, healthy way to support your athleticism. Pay attention to the timing of your meals to help maximize performance. Stick to regulated calorie consumption beyond your athletic years to manage your weight. And if you’ve let your athletic archetype slide, break out any running shoes that been in hibernation.

The Rebel’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Adventurous, overindulgent, impulsive. You’re always the first to try an adventuresome food, the latest diet or weird weight loss gimmick.

You see food as: An adventure or a way to flirt with someone across the dinner table. And if it’s trendy, you’re trying it.

Favorite foods: Extreme, exotic foods, or aphrodisiac foods.

Where you get tripped up: Going for shock value instead of sophistication, or making dangerous weight loss choices. Much like the Tastemaker, you may try deprivation methods or make unhealthy choices like smoking, pills or substances.

Learn to use food and exercise: More responsibly. Temper food and diet choices with food that is good for your body. Consider the quality of your diet; focus on pleasurable eating and joyful movements. And try to tailor your eating style to support your physical activities.

The Caregiver’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Comfort eating. When things go wrong, or when you’re tired from caregiving, you console yourself with your favorite comfort foods.

You see food as: A nurturing, comforting, emotional release.

Favorite foods: Sweets, processed carbs, salty and crunchy snacks, and whatever is left on your kids’ plates. Holidays are a danger zone. 

Where you get tripped up: Although you’re a highly capable caretaker, sometimes you often neglect yourself. At those times, you feel unappreciated and you might take out your frustration in the best way you know how — by eating. This coping mechanism makes you feel better in the short-term, but after, you can feel pretty guilty. It becomes an unhealthy cycle you can’t exit.

Learn to use food and exercise as: Prioritize your health! Learn to put yourself first and identify alternative ways to cope with stress. You don’t have to go nuts on a diet or a health-kick, just start making healthier substitutions for your favorite comfort foods.

The Tastemaker’s Eating Style

Your eating style: You’re extremely disciplined and no sacrifice is too great. You are a master slasher of calories, which can backfire when you don’t fuel your body appropriately.

You see food as: The enemy. The mere sight of a full plate of lasagna may set you off, because your tummy is rumbling in desperation.

Favorite foods:  Anything zero to low-calorie, although secretly you love sweets and comfort foods.

Where you get tripped up: More than any other archetype, you can become obsessed with losing weight. You’re either on a diet or off one and you fluctuate from being over-controlling to overindulging.

Learn to use food and exercise as: As positive forces in your life. Strive for balance and learn to eat according to true hunger and stop being so torturous about food. Focus on developing a healthy, balanced eating style for life instead of being on or off a diet. And work to accept your body, size, and self.

The Royal’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Conservative, picky, and sometimes bland. Your life is often overscheduled, so eating healthy is often on the backburner.

You see food as: Part of a cocktail party, fete, date, gala, fundraiser, wedding, public appearance or other social event.

Favorite foods: Any nicely prepared restaurant or catered meal; full-course dinners.

Where you get tripped up: You are often eating as part of a social or professional obligation, and you shudder at the thought of working out in public. Your health is suffering out of pride.

Learn to use food and exercise as: A source of vitality, health, and enjoyment. Also, as a way to employ some of your excellent organizational skills. Even though you have no desire to cook, you can plan meals and exercise regularly once you set your formidable mind to the task. 

The Visionary’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Mindful. However, foods eaten too quickly, on the go or while doing other things (like working) may trigger cravings you readily indulge later on.

You see food as: Part fuel, part experience. You appreciate creative, inspired dishes by genius chefs, but you also know the value of a homemade grilled cheese by Mom.

Favorite foods: Chocolate, fruits, nuts, green leafy vegetables.

Where you get tripped up: You can also be isolated, which leads to food choices like a candy bar for dinner. You have a tendency to be consumed by work, and forget to eat. 

Learn to use food and exercise to: Much like the Athlete, food and exercise is fuel, but for your brain. You like to think and move uninterrupted, to clear your head and plan your next venture, so exercise will help get your gears going. Eat healthfully (along with eating for pleasure) and improve your nutrition so your brilliant ideas will come to light. 

The Spiritual’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Grateful. Environment is important. You like to eat in a peaceful setting; eating in a hurry while walking or shopping does not suit you.

You see food as: A gift; a way to feed body, mind, and soul.

Favorite foods: Tea, seeds, whole grains, and honey.

Where you get tripped up: You enjoy the sensation and pleasure of eating so much, sometimes, that you overeat. You frequently ignore internal cues of satiety and fullness out of pure bliss.

You see exercise as: Meditative. Exercising in the privacy of your home, enjoying long walks alone, or doing yoga or pilates are all moving meditations that fit your activity preferences.

Learn to use food and exercise to: Satisfy your spiritual side, but try superfoods and focus on healthy foods, like raw spinach or exotic new fruits. If you don’t already, you might have a soft spot for vegetarian dishes.

The Intellectual’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Regimented, with specific meal times and snacks. You can name the calorie content or fat/carb grams of nearly every food, and you can actually pronounce the names of all of the ingredients on the labels.

You see food as: Medicine that tastes delicious. Nutrition is either good or bad.

Favorite foods: Clean foods like lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beneficial fats. Also any of the hottest superfoods.

Where you get tripped up: Thinking you know more about diet, nutrition, and exercise than you do. Firmly entrenched in this mentality, you’re less likely to loosen up in social situations. Foods fall in and out of favor fast, so err on the side of tried and true nutrition. Exercise-wise, you’re willing to work out extremely hard, which can exhaust your resources in the process.

Learn to use food and exercise to: Lighten up and enjoy a healthy range of foods without feeling guilty. Focus instead on developing a healthy lifelong relationship with all kinds of food, in moderation. Plan out your exercise to keep it consistent and moderate to avoid burnout or injury.

The Advocate’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Vegetarian, vegan, raw, macrobiotic or organic.

You see food as: A philosophical statement. Sometimes you feel as though you can’t eat right without sacrifice.

Favorite foods: Any vegetable, grain or fruit that is organically and locally grown; raw foods are on your yes list as well. You’ve been known to buy sustainable chocolate bars with a charity angle.

Where you get tripped up: When you eat solely to satisfy your beliefs and not your taste buds, you might suffer from nutritional deficiencies and, dare we say it! Boredom.

Learn to use food and exercise as: A way to show everyone that organic, ethical, and green can be healthy as well as delicious — you’re living proof! Learn to make food choices without feeling guilty or experiencing an ethical dilemma, and truly enjoy the pleasure of eating. You mainly exercise inadvertently – walking or riding a bike instead of driving – keep up the good work!

The Performer’s Eating Style

You see food as: A medium for communicating with people and something to discuss with others.

Favorite foods: Anything that looks as good on the plate as it tastes on your tongue. You also love a good cocktail and have been known to eat an entire meal composed of hors d’oeuvres.

Where you get tripped up: You can eat and drink too much in social situations or whenever you feel you’re on stage. You thrive on praise from others, so if you burn the rib roast, you’ll order a substitute from the local gourmet shop and pretend you slaved over a hot stove for hours.

Learn to use food and exercise as: A way to fulfill your needs for social interaction and performance in healthy ways. If you’re not interested in joining a gym, hire a trainer with a group of friends. Substitute healthier ingredients in your recipes and don’t forget the age-old stage tricks – vitamin C and zinc keep colds at bay and tea helps the throat for singing!

The Explorer’s Eating Style

Your eating style: Adventurous, on the go, wherever you are, whatever they eat. 

You see food as: A cultural experience, an eye-opening moment, fuel for the next adventure.

Favorite foods: You can be partial to your family’s home cooking when the going gets rough, but when you’re in high spirits, you are up for anything! Whatever they’re serving on the streets, in the hostel, at the local market, over a bonfire.

Where you get tripped up: You have no idea how many calories is in anything you eat. Sometimes you eat anything and everything out of starvation and exhaustion. You also overeat if it’s been too long since your last meal.

Learn to use food and exercise as: A way to keep your health and energy up so you can keep seeing the big, bad world. Pack snacks in your suitcase so you never hit rock bottom hungry and can easily grab something when you’re too tired to move.