I started reading up on “intuitive eating”’more to be healthy; hence, breaking the diet culture. What are your thoughts? Have you tried it?

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I do a blend! I loosely track to keep an eye on how I’m doing, but over time have had to track less. It does take a lot of conscious effort to undo all the ‘diet culture’ crap we have heard our entire lives.

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I think a big thing to learn when starting to eat intuitively is a) it takes time to unlearn old habits and b) what actual portion sizes look like. Adapting to it in a way that’s healthy and sustainable and easy just takes time! I follow a few Instagram accounts of dieticians who talk about it a lot

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I think the hard thing with that is that most people in the US are conditioned to naturally overeat and don’t have a good sense for nutrition or caloric intake. My mentality is that it’s better to track calories and stick to a reasonable range without restrictions than it is to basically wing it.

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Agree. I’m diabetic so have to track carbs. The blend seems to be working for me and the bonus is that I’m losing weight. It’s work so hoping it’s sustainable.

I intuitively ate and gained 30 lbs. For example, you can easily eat a lot of carbs and you can get hungry fast, so your intuition will tell you that you’re hungry, which is true but won’t necessarily help with weight loss goals. Eating nutritious type of food will keep you full longer, help with weight loss, but it does require some thought and planning.

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I think a big part of intuitive eating working is being honest with yourself about what works best for you holistically. It took me awhile to get the hang of it but here’s what worked for me, ymmv.

A lot of people claim intuitive eating is giving into every indulgence, and as a result gain weight they don’t want to and therefore claim it doesn’t work. Many of those people also claim that CICO is king (which is true) and that you need to count every calorie to implement it (not true).

Think of it like budgeting. Some people do need to track every dollar to achieve their goals. But many others don’t - they may automatically save a certain amount and then freely spend the rest, check in once a month to ensure they’re on track, hire an accountant etc. There are a lot of ways to reach your goals - at the end of the day you have to save more than you spend but that process can be as high level or as granular as works for you. And there will likely be some trial and error as you figure out the strategies you want to implement to reach your ultimate goal. Eating is the same in my experience.

With intuitive eating I learned that I prefer intermittent fasting (I’m never hungry in the am and if it’s the most important meal of the day oh well), I like to exercise on a nearly empty stomach, certain foods make me feel like crap even if they taste good and as I result I limit them to the weekend, and it takes me a while to feel full so I have to eat much slower than I used to. None of these strategies are new - and some people implement them for a short period of time as part of a diet - but they all genuinely make me feel better. It took me some time to realize this - and I had some initial weight gain but when I figured out and now follow these I lost all of the weight and now maintain at a healthy level. But I was honest with myself about ALL of the effects of what I ate - not just what tasted good but what also gave me energy, how much I actually needed to eat to be satiated, when it was best for me to eat, etc. If I only focused on taste then I would’ve kept gaining weight aka going over my “calorie budget”. And then of course if you have any special medical needs that should be worked with your doctor.

Sorry for the book! It makes me sad when people say intuitive eating doesn’t work at all (not saying other people here did but I’ve gotten that a lot outside of this app) but it’s honestly changed my life for the better! And while some people like/don’t mind tracking food I honestly can’t imagine doing that for the rest of my life and felt like I was doomed to be overweight forever if I didn’t so I wanted to share a perspective that you can eat intuitively and lose weight/be healthier!

smarthelpful

Great response. Practical, comprehensive, and helpful. Thanks so much!

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Yes! And IE has been a game changer for my relationship with food/being healthy. I use it for maintenance but feel confident I could use it in a “cut” phase if needed.

However I will say that I spent a year of my life calorie counting which gave me a ton of perspective on normal serving sizes/a build your plate method/mentality that really helps me feel like I’m making good decisions without counting.

But seriously - ditching the calorie counting app is so freeing. Highly reccomend.

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