Why I Don’t Eat Intuitively

As most of you guys know, I count macros as far as my “diet” goes–no big surprise there! While I didn’t always count macros there is a reason that I’ve continued to track for almost 2 years now. But first, a little back story…

When I first started making working out a priority, I was doing BBG (Bikini Body Guide) and I was following that recommended meal plan. Basically, it broke down how many servings of each food group you should have each day–and then it allowed 1 cheat meal per week. In the beginning this worked for me because it gave me some sort of guideline to follow on what I should eat. I mean, if you’re trying to reach a specific fitness or weight loss goal, you can’t really say “just eat healthy!” This could result in eating any number of calories, and at the end of the day weight loss equals calories in vs. calories out. So anyway, the BBG meal plan gave me what I needed in the beginning.

As time went on though (maybe around a year?) I was starting to feel pretty restricted. Anytime I wanted to go out to eat with friends it became my one cheat meal for the week and I felt like I was planning my entire week around this cheat meal/outing. On top of that, I didn’t feel like I was seeing the best results. Sure, I had gotten in better shape and did look better than prior to BBG but I felt like I was busting my ass and not seeing nearly as many results as I should. That’s when I considered counting macros.

So those are the initial reasons I started counting macros and stopped “just eating clean.” I guess you could say that with the BBG meal plan I wasn’t necessarily eating intuitively because there were certain guidelines to follow. But  while I won’t ever just eat clean again because I felt too restricted, I also don’t really see myself eating intuitively either and here’s why…

Guys, I have never been the best with portion control. Like, I can eat A TON. Lol, I mean that’s just the best way to put it, and if given the opportunity I’ll do it. With that said, I am not the best judge at what is “enough” food. If I ate intuitively, I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to stop when I’m full–which is what eating intuitively is. Now, I’m not trying to say that I had binges, because I know that is definitely a thing people struggle with so I’m not trying to be nonchalant about it. But at the same time, I’m not good at knowing my limits and there’s definitely been times before I counted macros where I was like, “Okay, you just went overboard.” Looking back I realize that there were plenty of times I probably ate my entire amount of fats for the day in one sitting–PB IS NOT YOUR FRIEND 😉 But in all seriousness, this isn’t the best especially if you’re trying to attain a certain look/physique. With macros, I have boundaries and limits but I have flexibility within them. I know that I am eating the exact right amount of food for my body type and my fitness goals, which gives me peace of mind that I won’t wake up 2 months down the line and be like WOAH what happened to my body–wasn’t expecting those changes! LOL. Like, it lets me know that I am on the right track for what I want to accomplish but I don’t feel like I’m on a diet of any sort since I am able to eat all types of food.

I know plenty of people who are great at portion control and can truly stop when they are full…I don’t feel like I’m one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I can be very disciplined when I’m doing a cut or something along those lines, but I need some sort of guidelines (macros) to adhere too to know that I am doing it the right way.

At the end of the day, it really just depends on what works for your lifestyle. For me, I know eating clean didn’t make me happy mentally nor did it give me the look I wanted physically. And as far as intuitive eating goes, if you want to look a certain way or make sure your body is getting the exact amount of each macronutrient that it needs then I just don’t think it’s the best approach.

Before I end this post, I will say this. You may have seen some fitness professionals say they are no longer counting macros and they are now just eating intuitively. While this may be true, keep in my mind that many of them know the rough estimate of what they need to be eating since they’ve counted macros for so long. So while they may not be strictly counting anymore, their intuitive eating is still more “precise” than someone who has never counted before. Does that make sense?! I personally think everyone who has stricter fitness goals should count macros for at least a month or two so they know a rough estimate of what they should be eating to see the results they want. Like, if you want to lose weight, no matter how many clean foods you eat–if you’re eating too much then you’re not going to see results.

Anyway, those are just my personal reasons for choosing the “diet” approach that I have. Just remember that you shouldn’t adhere to any diet or workout plan that doesn’t make you happy and work for you personally. I’ve been there before and it’s not an effective plain for the long run–so just do what works for you and don’t worry about anyone else 😉

*This workout set is from Goldsheep’s Holiday collection–it can be found here 🙂

 

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11 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Eat Intuitively

  1. Two comments, one, would you do a post or even an IG story or something including tips for some a cut, and even specific food suggestions for a cut? For example the other night on your IG story you mentioned the type of bread you bought, which I found super helpful. Second, can you share how long you did the cut and/or how significant were the changes you were going for?

    1. hey! So I can do a blog post that is more in depth on this but if you go to my macros section and scroll to the blog post that’s titled “Bulking to Cutting” I have 2 days of food for what I ate during my cut. Also during my cut, I wasn’t looking to lose actual weight but more so tone up. That being said, my abs became more defined and I looked a little leaner overall but my overall weight didn’t change. This is more of a body recomposition–I was in a caloric deficit but I was more so trying to tone up and not necessarily lose weight. Hope this helps in the meantime!

  2. Hi!! I love to read your blog! Sure I have eat very intuitively in the past. For example I have followed very simple rules “eat when you are hungry, stop when you are about 80 percent ful, don’t eat if you are not hungry” and also I followed very simple 80/20 rules. I found that work for me. I usually weight myself first thing every morning but didn’t allow myself to weight at night. I noticed when I eat pretty much same foods everyday my weight remains to be same at between 2 pounds range.

    1. Yeah I think thats a good tactic too if you’re trying to stay around the same weight—like if you’re eating the same foods more or less each day then you’re probably hitting the same macros so that’s what you’re body is not accustomed too! And yeah I like the 80/20 rule too!! That’s helpful whether you’re eating intuitively or counting macros

  3. Hi Claire (new reader/follower & first time commenter), I was fascinated when you said on your ig story that you might cover this topic, so I feel like I just have to reply to this post. It really seems like every where I look I see people espousing the benefits of intuitive eating. I have been a runner for a long time, tried BBG last year, and am now in a place where I really want to get out there and try new things. But because of my lack of specific fitness goals for the most part, I have found intuitive eating to be more difficult than it should for me. When I trained for a marathon I was eating intuitively, but when it was over I had such a hard time switching to a more conservative diet. I think having a clearer plan could’ve benefitted me. All this to say, I’m really glad you wrote about this. I think it’s so interesting and great that you’ve stuck with counting macros and it’s working for you! It’s nice to see that there is more than one option for living a healthy/fit life!

    1. hey Kassie! thanks for following along and taking the time to read and comment 🙂 so yeah, I’m totally with you–I think when you venture into something new (like not marathon running anymore) it can be hard to find what is a good overall balance. Like you said, I think some sort of guidelines can really help people otherwise I feel like you’re left wondering “am I doing this ‘right'” but anyway! yeah, there’s a lot of different options for living a healthy/fit life like you said–it just all depends on what your goals are and what works for you in the moment 🙂

  4. Intuitive eating isn’t just stopping when your full and eating when you’re hungry. You should listen to food psych’s Podcasts on this. Christy has tremendous knowledge on ALL aspects of intuitive eating. I’m glad you are serving your body’s needs though! Xoxo

    1. hey alyssa! thanks for the recommendation. yeah I definitely could know more about intuitive eating, but I guess I just focused on the major highlight that everyone always talks about (the eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full) but I’m sure there is a lot more to it than that. Thanks for your comment!!

  5. SO. WELL. SAID. I appreciate you being open and honest with why you still do it. I do too! I like knowing I’m precise (or pretty close) and even if I don’t weight everything, I’ll log it at the end of the day and just make notes if I need to change anything in the future. It’s just an accountability system to me.

  6. Thank you for all that you post I recently found your page on Instagram and really feel that you’re speaking your truth and it resonates with me so deeply. Being someone who grew up as a gymnast working out 16 hours a week a I was fit but after college I haven’t had a grasp on the whole fitness/diet balance/relationship. Your site gives me such strength and clarity on what might work for me and I got my macros calculates by Paola a recommended and she has been great to chat with and she is definitely helpful. I LOVED your YouTube video about grocery shopping – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FWDbsZ9YYQ. Please keep sharing and being your best self it really does inspire others, and me, to continue to seek my authentic self and I really think that I will be able to do that through diet and exercise too.

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