This post is targeted to people who cook most or all of their meals at home, mostly from scratch.
I've heard it said before that eating mostly homecooked meals correlates somewhat strongly with maintaining a healthier weight.
At first I was a little skeptical -- I cook almost all my meals at home, from base ingredients (yeah, sometimes they're canned or frozen depending on the time of year, but my point is that I don't usually cook boxed or prepackaged meals where you mostly just heat-n-eat), and I know that you definitely can make very rich meals at home if you load up on the butter, oil, dairy, and high-fat meats. Desserts made at home are still usually just as calorie-dense as desserts I could buy elsewhere. Most of the meals I make aren't explicitly healthy...they're not particularly unhealthy either, but I'm not making a point of excluding bacon altogether and loading up on kale, if you get what I mean.
However, as I gradually enter maintenance, I've noticed that, as long as most of my meals are still cooked and eaten at home, I don't really need to watch what I eat that much. I still log it because I'm obsessed with data anyway and think it's interesting and would like to have some information to work with if I regress, but I don't measure or weigh any of my food anymore (eyeball method 95% of the time), and I don't really ever tell myself no on what I can eat and (within reason) on how much I can eat (I suppose they call this intuitive eating around here). I tell myself that if I want a pie, I have to make the pie myself, from scratch. But once I make that pie, I can have as big of a slice as I want, with ice cream (I'm probably full at this point anyway, so it's not like I'm gonna have a slice the size of half the pie anyway). It's been almost 6 months of this and I haven't gained any unwanted weight, in fact I unexpectedly dropped a few pounds about a month ago.
I had a conversation with my mom awhile ago about if the people she knew growing up in her home country ever had to consciously maintain their weight, especially as they got older. She said no, no one she knew thought about those kinds of things -- being a healthy weight was the default, you didn't really need to try to be at a healthy weight and it was unusual to be overweight. Very few people exercised for the purpose of losing or maintaining weight. Of course, she also pointed out that when she was growing up, if you didn't like what was on the dinner table that night, well that was just too bad -- there were no snacks in the house, no convenience stores open, often not even enough food in the fridge to prepare yourself another meal, as they shopped for dinner ingredients daily. The junk food available at the store wasn't terribly high quality and the selection was limited -- maybe one or two types of chocolate bar available, and it was waxy, sometimes half-melted.
So, I wanted to ask you folks that mostly cook all your own food at home -- do you find that as you enter maintenance, it's pretty easy to just rely on intuitive eating? If not, why do you think it's not?
I've seen people mention before that intuitive eating just doesn't work for some people, but I do wonder if it's because their diets rely on a lot of prepackaged, ready-to-eat convenience food and restaurant/takeaway meals. Almost half of my friends don't cook and eat every meal out of the house, so I wonder if maybe that's why they have a hard time "feeling out" how much to eat and when to stop eating.