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Has anyone succeeded with 'intuitive eating' after hitting their weight loss goal?

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  • bold_rabbitbold_rabbit Member Posts: 1,129 Member Member Posts: 1,129 Member
    Does everyone feel that intuitive eating and tracking are mutually exclusive? I'm definitely trying right now to "eat to hunger" as an attempt to finally stop the slow weight loss I've been in since entering maintenance a year ago. But, I still track my food in MFP. Tracking to me has a lot of additional benefits - like nutrition info, history for GERD symptoms, etc.

    It's like I would still track my spending even if I won the lottery and didn't need to "budget" at all, just because I like having the data and records that tracking spending gives me.
  • meeppeepneepmeeppeepneep Member Posts: 41 Member Member Posts: 41 Member
    @bold_rabbit I think the problem is that intuitive eating have turned into "eat whatever you want when you want it" instead of the actual sitting down and examining your own hunger singnals and relationship with food that it was supposed to be.

    Intuitive eating is just what normal weight people do, the problem for me is that I've trained myself to want the wrong kind of food. When I think about dinner the first thing that flashes in my mind is pizza. That doesn't mean my body needs pizza or that I feel good after eating an entire pizza.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 387 Member Member, Premium Posts: 387 Member
    Does everyone feel that intuitive eating and tracking are mutually exclusive? I'm definitely trying right now to "eat to hunger" as an attempt to finally stop the slow weight loss I've been in since entering maintenance a year ago. But, I still track my food in MFP. Tracking to me has a lot of additional benefits - like nutrition info, history for GERD symptoms, etc.

    It's like I would still track my spending even if I won the lottery and didn't need to "budget" at all, just because I like having the data and records that tracking spending gives me.

    That would be an interesting comparison - I believe many people who win the lottery end up not much better off financially over time (I think especially if they opt for lump sum payment.) In some ways that's different than weight loss because a person who loses weight generally has some kind of plan - but the plan is sometimes only good for short term loss and isn't adaptable to lifelong maintenance, so they gain it back.

    @meeppeepneep I think that's important to remember! I think too though that we need to take into account natural strengths and weaknesses, like the punctuality example I mentioned upthread. I've never really had a problem being on time or, say, being neat and organized, but lots of wonderful people I know struggle with it. They have to do consciously what I can pretty much do subconsciously. But it's not hard for them to just eat until they're satisfied and then stop. And I have a hard time with that. I think I've gotten *better* with it, but I don't think I'm ever going to reach a point where I don't need the tools. It also seems kind of foolish to throw them away when they've worked so well. (Also, I still use things like clocks and a planner and I have a cleaning schedule. I've used it long enough that I have it memorized...but I still have it!)

    I think we can kind of make a god out of the notion of "intuitive eating," not realizing that for pretty much anything humans want to get better at, we collect data and analyze it. Even people who are naturally skilled in certain areas often want to improve and don't settle. Not everyone will want to use every tool or find it useful, and that's fine. But even hundreds of years ago it was very common for both men and women to keep journals of their everyday activities to document them, see patterns, make changes based on how they wanted to improve themselves. I don't think at all that we should consider it a shameful habit or weakness to need tools for weight maintenance. In some ways I think maybe the real discipline is being willing to keep on measuring, to some extent, to avoid falling back on bad habits.
    edited May 1
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,106 Member Member Posts: 39,106 Member
    Outside of 2020 I've more or less maintained for 8+ years. I put on a good 20 Lbs in 2020 with COVID and being home all the time and everything being closed...some of that was just being bored and overeating, but a big part was that I was just a lot less active than I usually am. I've lost 10 of those Lbs since Feb and took a bit of a diet break in April and will be working on that other 10 in May and June.

    I'm not a big believer in "intuitive eating"...I'm not even really sure what that means. I eat well for the most part and value quality nutrition and I'm mindful about eating in general. I typically don't have a whole lot of issue maintaining my weight when I'm active (which I normally am)
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Member Posts: 2,117 Member Member Posts: 2,117 Member
    An absolute no from me. I intuitively love to eat sweets, especially things like Red Vines that are empty calories. If I don't fit them in and log them, I can easily eat 500 calories/day. If I eat it, I log it. I expect that since I am back to lose weight that I lost 7 years ago, I'll be logging well into maintenance for a while.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 519 Member Member Posts: 519 Member
    Does everyone feel that intuitive eating and tracking are mutually exclusive? I'm definitely trying right now to "eat to hunger" as an attempt to finally stop the slow weight loss I've been in since entering maintenance a year ago. But, I still track my food in MFP. Tracking to me has a lot of additional benefits - like nutrition info, history for GERD symptoms, etc.

    It's like I would still track my spending even if I won the lottery and didn't need to "budget" at all, just because I like having the data and records that tracking spending gives me.

    I personally don't think intuitive eating is compatible with tracking IF you are still weighing and measuring everything with the goal of losing weight or keeping it in check. However, I do think it is compatible with mindful eating, which share some similarities, but I don't think are the exact same. Actually, tracking my food (even though I don't measure and weigh everything), is a way to keep me more mindful, and like you said, make sure I'm getting all the nutrition I need. This is something I have really been trying to get better at--eat more slowly without distraction, savor the food, pay attention to fullness signals, etc.

    I recently have just started losing more weight than I wanted to, so have even debated about whether or not I should stop tracking for a few weeks. There is still a mental aspect of it for me when I see I am "close" to target calories. However, I've been tracking now for over a year, so don't want to lose that streak :) .
  • bold_rabbitbold_rabbit Member Posts: 1,129 Member Member Posts: 1,129 Member
    @Speakeasy76

    Yesterday, I decided to set my calories on MFP, instead of using their calculation, which is too low. I was concerned that MFP would then change my calorie numbers from Fitbit to compensate (similar to changing activity level would), but I'll need more than one day of data to determine if it does (although yesterday seemed like it didn't).

    This hopefully will allow me to keep tracking with a "zero" average deficit goal, but, fingers crossed, no more weight loss.
  • VegjoyPVegjoyP Member Posts: 1,538 Member Member Posts: 1,538 Member
    My intuition tells me that it is much wiser to use MFP and track, measure and stay accountable 🧐😁
  • ashverdoashverdo Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    My experience has been no. (This is going to be a novel I’m sorry.) I lost over 100lbs and then gained 30 back with a second pregnancy. After that time I was so tired of dieting that I turned to IE and legit gained everything back.

    It made a lot of sense and I thought that how I ate before going on a diets wasn’t how they set it up so it should bring me to a good weight if I follow it.

    Not only was I just as obsessed with food doing IE as when I logged food but it was so much more consuming. Am I hungry? Do I really want this food? Am I restricting if I chose not to eat it? Do I like this? I’m stopping half way through every thing I eat am I am 8? What does a 3 feel like? Did I get too hungry? What is my body craving? Cookies? Do I really want cookies? Is it wanting oatmeal?

    That was basically my brain every single day. The issue with IE is it’s great for people who have had a restrictive ED and need weight restoration. It’s great for people who have always been a normal weight and maybe wanted to be smaller for vanity and are okay with being their before weight or slightly higher. For everyone else, it doesn’t seem to be the best.

    I’m not sure how big you were or are. I’m just using people like me because that’s what I know. So when your obese you actually make a lot of leptin which is the fullness hormone. You basically become resistant to it. So right off the bat your body isn’t responding to fullness signals. When you diet your body ramps up hunger hormones and lowers fullness hormones it’s true. If you have a lot of fat stores, you produce a lot of leptin.

    So a person who say loses 100 lbs has a lot of deflated fat stores. These fat stores still signal the brain to make hunger signals as they want to be filled up again. So people who lose a lot of weight do tend to be a lot more hungry then people naturally of that weight.

    That hunger is what led me to IE. I didn’t want to feel like I was so hungry I could eat my arm off. And trust me. I did everything correctly. Had enough protein, complex carbs and fat. Lots of volume with veggies. Strength train. Every trick in the book and I was still starving. Even after a binge when my stomach would be in agony, I would still feel so hungry.

    Even when I felt I was doing IE to the best of my ability, I did stop gaining but I never got under my old start weight. I even stopped eating processed foods for a number of months and still was able to maintain my very obese weight with whole foods.

    I found out almost a year ago that I have NAFLD. Which I did not have before IE. I think it was a combo of rapidly gaining a huge amount of weight and also the first year of IE, I mainly ate junk food.

    Anyway. No. I don’t think IE will allow people to stay at their dieted down weights. I think almost everyone would gain most or all back. I think there are so many factors that are left out in IE. not everyone can afford a therapist or a IE dietician. Modern foods are literally made to be as yummy and not filling but feel addictive as possible. I could go on all day.

    You could be different from me of course. This is jut my actual experience doing it. I am losing my IE weight now to help my liver. And honestly I wish I don’t know anything about the body or IE. It was so much easier when I just knew CICO and didn’t know any doom statistics on how many people fail. I’m already super hungry which is annoying but I’ll have to learn to be a little hungry if I want to be healthy.

    Logging takes ten minutes at most for me and I don’t have to spend all day wondering if I am at a 3 or a 7 on the hunger scale.

    Some might have a different experience. From why I’ve seen in all the IE groups I was in, very few people lost any weight or didn’t gain rather.

    I think if you only have to log a few times a month and are keeping your weight in a ten pound range then awesome, keep doing that! When I was maintaining before getting pregnant I didn’t log every day and I was fine. That was probably as close to “IE” as I could get tbh!
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,106 Member Member Posts: 39,106 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Outside of 2020 I've more or less maintained for 8+ years. I put on a good 20 Lbs in 2020 with COVID and being home all the time and everything being closed...some of that was just being bored and overeating, but a big part was that I was just a lot less active than I usually am. I've lost 10 of those Lbs since Feb and took a bit of a diet break in April and will be working on that other 10 in May and June.

    I'm not a big believer in "intuitive eating"...I'm not even really sure what that means. I eat well for the most part and value quality nutrition and I'm mindful about eating in general. I typically don't have a whole lot of issue maintaining my weight when I'm active (which I normally am)

    I forgot to add in my previous post that I don't log, nor have I in years and have little difficulty maintaining my weight or losing a bit if I need to...but I also wouldn't call it "intuitive eating"...mindful/thoughtful, absolutely...focus on good nutrition, for sure.
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