Why ‘just eat intuitively’ doesn’t work for everyone

TRUTH BOMB: ‘Just eat intuitively’ doesn’t work for everyone.⁠⠀
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If you’re anything like me or many of my clients, ice cream and wine are two things that definitely ‘spark joy’ in your day. If it were up to us, wine would be protein-packed and ice cream would have zero calories. ⁠⠀
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Am I right?⁠⠀


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But, sadly, this isn’t the case and so we have to be a bit mindful around how much we consume.⁠

Some coaches will tell you to just ‘eat intuitively’. That you don’t need to track your intake because your body will tell you when enough is enough. And sure, that can definitely work for someone who is fully aware of their body’s hunger cues and macro and calorie counts of food. I mean, after all these years I can definitely look at a dinner plate and tell you the approximate macros (protein, fat, carb) on that plate.⁠ But most of my clients can’t. Yet. And that’s okay.⁠⠀
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That’s also why intuitive eating doesn’t always work. ⁠Knowing your macro allowances, then following up with accurate tracking is essential if you want to see weight loss results.⁠ Just like you use a gauge to help you know how much gas is in the tank of your car, tracking macros help you know how much you’ve eaten in a meal or a day. You don’t leave your fuel level to chance, don’t do that with your weight loss results either. ⁠⠀
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Ready to give macros a try?⁠⠀
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Check out my nutrition offerings as week as my cookbook, The Everything Macro Cookbook!

6 Comments

  1. I think that saying that intuitive eating works only if you know approximate calories & macros of all foods totally misses the point. The whole idea of intuitive eating is that you don’t NEED to know macros and count calories cause your body is supposed to know when you’re hungry and what would be a good thing to eat. Sometimes you want more meat, sometimes you want more fruit and that’s cool.

    While I agree that it may not work for everyone, especially for people with eating disorders or some metabolic issues, it’s not because they don’t know their macro numbers. Btw have you ever actually tried to eat only ice cream and wine even for just 2-3 days? 😉 I haven’t either but I suppose after such experiment it would no longer be my favorite food. And that comes from a person who LOVES all things sweet 🙂

  2. I would say that Intuitive Eating comes with a phase where you will probably gain weight just because you’re “allowed” to eat everything you previously restricted. But, as Magda indicated, you get tired of these foods pretty soon. Usually, your body starts to crave nutritious, balanced meals after that. I even experienced not being as interested in food in general. Food isn’t my obsession anymore in contrast to when I dieted.
    Eventually, you will probably return to a weight “set point” where you can comfortably enjoy your life and keep your weight. A huge struggle with Intuitive Eating might be to accept that set point (i.e. body love/acceptance), but once you do, it makes life so much easier and happier.
    I would highly recommend you read “Intuitive Eating” by Resch/Tribole who give a scientific basis for their claims of Intuitive Eating and not just bash Intuitive Eating without really knowing what it’s about.

  3. This affirms my experience quite well. I like the idea of intuitive eating in theory – and I’ve spent a good amount of time reading books on the subject, listening to podcasts, watching videos, etc. I can say that whenever I’m in an intuitive eating phase, I gain weight. I do understand the concept that eventually you are supposed to reach this point where food no longer interests you as much, but I personally never did reach that point, and my weight gain was causing me feel pretty yucky in my body. My athletic pursuits were more difficult, and I had to buy a larger size of clothes – and then those started feeling too snug! I am not on a weight loss journey that involves tracking calories and macros and I’m super happy with it. I felt really hungry for the first couple of days, but then my stomach adjusted (plus I upped my protein/fat which helped) and now I’m totally satisfied while eating less. I also appreciate my treats more when I have them, because I’ve budgeted for them and I know they won’t throw me off my goals.

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