Here's your detailed quiz results and recommendations!

Based on your responses, your "Eating Type" is Rules Based. Keep reading to get to know more about your eating type and what approach to nutrition may be most beneficial for you.

Characteristics of a Rules Based Eater

Rules Based Eaters actually want restrictions in place. They find limitations freeing, because there is a defined framework to follow. Rules Based Eaters don't do very well when they are off a plan, because they are often emotionally attached to food in some way. A prescription is more helpful than just a description.

For example a freedom based eater can be successful if you tell her, "Eat 3 or 4 meals a day, and make sure you eat lean protein and veggies at every meal". After a little trial and error, she will get it done. ​The fewer rules the better, as long as the outcome is what we want.

​For a rules eaters though, giving that much leeway will knock him off track. "Tell me when, what, and how much." Using a food scale and measuring cups gives him reassurance that the plan is being followed.

Rules Based Eaters Need Structure

Rules Based Eaters thrive when they are told to measure food, keep a journal, or sometimes simply told how many meals to eat and when. Failure happens when they are left to just "wing it".

As a Rules Based Eater, you...

Crave the security of a well structured plan because it helps you stay focused when life gets crazy.

Would rather be told exactly what and how much to eat, rather then trying to figure it out your own.

Are successful when you plan ahead and know what you are going to eat for the next day.

Like to keep track of calories and macronutrients, so you can evaluate if what you are doing is effective.

Rules based eating can be very effective, to a point. 

The Rules Based approach is excellent when:

  • You have and event such as a wedding or reunion coming up, and you want to tighten up quickly.
  • You have a significant health problem and need to get things under control - now.
  • You notice that past weight loss is creeping back up on you, and you want to sharpen your focus.
  • You have tried the 'freedom" based approach and have seen little results.

Cautions about "Rules Based Eating"​

Rules based eating works, there is no doubt about it. Really being dialed in by tracking your food type and amount can help you stay focused and make better decisions. However the biggest challenge I see as a nutrition coach is very few people can maintain that level of focus over a long period of time. And once we get off the plan we fall back on our old eating habits, which can lead to yo-yo dieting. Not cool!

My recommendations for you

Based on your "dieting type", this is what you need to do to get started in the right direction.

Start tracking your food

There are a number of different options for keeping a food journal. If you are a "pen and paper" type of person, a small spiral bound notebook is a great way to start. When you first start, write down everything you eat - don't even worry about how much - yet. Just seeing that list of foods can be a real eye-opener.

​A step up on food journaling is to use an app such as FatSecret (my favorite) or MyFitnessPal to keep track of exactly how much you are eating and when. The great thing about these apps is most of us carry our phones with us everywhere we go, so our journal is always with us. 

Using an app to track takes more time and effort, and if you are going to do it accurately you need to keep these things in mind​:

  • Get used to measuring and weighing - everything. ​"Eyeballing and Estimating" is not going to cut it here. I am really good at logging 1 tsp of peanut butter when it is really more like 2 tbsp. Not gonna help.
  • Buy a food scale. If you are logging 4 ounces of chicken in your app, the only way (no pun intended) to know for sure is to put it on the scale.
  • Don't use the apps recommended calories or macros, get some help setting these properly for your goals. My experience is that they set the calories too high from the get go. And never use the "exercise" or "activity" features on these apps to allow yourself more calories for the amount of exercise you do. I have never seen anyone make significant changes to their body composition using these added "features". If the fat starts melting off too fast we can adjust your calories up! :)

Understand that Habits Matter

As I mentioned above, Rules Based Eating works, but for most people it doesn't work forever. Even the most focused and dedicated "Rules Based Eaters" are subject to get tired of doing math every time they eat.

And once that fatigue sets in and the structure is no longer in place, most rules eaters have nothing to fall back on. 

Think of it this way. When our kids are small we have a lot of boundaries in place so they don't get burned, or electrocuted, or run over. 

But eventually telling them "no" is not enough, and we have to tell them "why". 


Because we can't hover over them forever, and they need to learn how to make good decisions. We teach them good habits, like brushing their teeth and using deodorant, and they begin to understand how that all fits in to their health and well being. Teenage boys eventually realize teen girls don't like bad breath and BO!

In the same way, developing an understanding of good nutrition principles and building habits around those principles gives us something to fall back on when our best laid plans get laid waste! It won't set us totally off whack when we head out to a restaurant we have never visited or to a party where we don't control the food. Good Habits Matter!

Thank-You for Taking My Quiz!

I hope you enjoyed finding out what kind of eater you are. And usually while we tend to be more one way than the other, sometimes being rules based or freedom based goes right out the window, like in social settings, or when we are under stress. If you are like me, you fall right back into what you usually do in those situations, you fall back on your habits.

If there is any secret to losing body fat and keeping it off for life, I am convinced it has everything to do with putting the right healthy habits into place, for each of us as an individual. What works for me may not work for you, and vice-versa. That's where I can help you figure things out, if and when you need it.

In the meantime check out some of my favorite articles below. and as always, I'd love to hear from you.

To Your Best Health,


P.S. Want to find out the characteristics of a "freedom based" eater? Click Here

Articles For Rules Based Eating

Check out our favorite articles for Rules Based eating.

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Nutrition Coaching

At The Grateful Plate, we are expert nutrition coaches that have helped hundreds of people lose thousands of pounds of body fat. When your goal is to look, move, and feel better our nutrition coaches work with you and help you choose a personalized eating approach that works with the way you do. Many "Rules Based Eaters" find starting with the 21-Day+ Jumpstart with Coaching and then transitioning to ProCoach works best for them.

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