Intuitive eating and the anti diet movement.
I’m a bit torn by this.
On the one hand I want to support the idea of eating what you want, not feeling guilt for eating certain foods or certain amounts of food and listening to your own body.
But I also think if you want to make a change – specifically lose or put on weight – you need to know what you are eating.
Because really, if you don’t currently track what you eat you are kind of eating intuitively. So if you aren’t where you want to be that intuition isn’t quite working right now.
I’m not saying track everything forever, but getting an idea of where you are at and learning what the right amount of calories feels like will allow you to eat with more freedom going forward.
I think of it a bit like learning to drive or staring a new job. When you first start something new you really think; you are aware of what you are doing and when, maybe following notes or using reminders, you never do something without checking or on auto pilot. Once you have been doing it for a while you gain confidence, you know how to do things and don’t need to constantly check, tasks are done instinctively and sometimes you ‘just know’.
When you see someone experienced do something well but making it look effortless you can normally bet they were not like that at the start. They went through a learning process and what might now be done without thinking almost definitely took a lot of concentration to begin with.
So I think listening to your body and eating what it wants is a great concept, taking away some of the negative feelings that can be associated with diets, but if you also want to achieve a certain result the fact is you still need to effectively manipulate your calorie intake and that takes knowledge, of where you are at and where you need to be.
Intuitive eating can be a thing, but your intuition needs to be in the right place first.