Monday, September 13, 2010

non-intuitive eating

So I tried an experiment.
It failed.

In the healthy food/eating/diet blog world there seem to be two camps.
a) calorie counters and b) intuitive eaters.
The calorie counters believe that the most logical way to lose weight is to consume the right amount of calories (from good, whole, healthy foods) and exercise appropriately as well. Simple math. Put in less of what you put out. If it takes your body 1700 calories a day to live, eat 1400 and exercise off 300. Repeat. Something like that.

The intuitive eaters tend to view calorie counting as restrictive and as a negative process that makes you feel yucky about healthy foods and how much you should have of them. Intuitive eating says instead, that if you go with your gut (no pun, obvi) about what you want/how much of it you want and you're eating healthy/whole foods - no counting should be necessary. Read more about that here.

Well, I tried an experiment to see if I could be an intuitive-eating-person-still-losing-weight.
To see if I could eat till I was almost satisfied-never full, exercise until I felt like I had truly pushed my body, and let the chips fall where they may. Well, the chips fell and my weight sure didn't. I haven't counted calories or been very intentional about planning my exercise for about three weeks and I've somehow stayed the same weight, but my body feels very different. It feels bloated and jiggly and uncomfortable.

So while I think both ideas are profitable and eventually I would prefer to be an intuitive eater again, for now - I'm back to my calorie counting/intentional exercise game plan.
For most people who read this blog, I'm assuming that healthy eating is just about good plain healthy food and a love for it. But are some of you like me? Is there an underlying desire or need to lose weight and if so, what is the wisest, healthiest way for you to go about it? Are you just doing it intuitively or do you have a plan?


  1. Hi Jessi:

    I am doing it mindfully (intuitively). I tried for many years to do it the restrictive way and I just ended up on an eat-repent-repeat cycle. Yo-yo dieting is apt because it was either up and tightly controlled or down, anything goes. This is not to say that I believe food plans don't work period. Obviously, I am the expert of my body and you are the expert of yours. I just want to lose, albeit probably slower, the way I will keep it off.

    Thanks for your openness.

    Jennifer Armstrong

  2. Yes, I am like you! Yes, I must have a plan. This goes a little in to the fact that I like to have a plan in all aspects of my life but if I go with what sounds good or seems right I end up right where I am right now. I feel like calorie counting can give me structure and in the end will also teach me how to be ready to stay on course permanently.

    You can always count on at least one calorie counting sister right here!

  3. I did a food journal and calorie counting for a couple months and hated every minute of it! =) I think it is valuable to do this for at least a little while though because it is very eye-opening. Once I got an idea of how much different foods "cost" in calories I was able to estimate a little better.

    Now I'm doing a more intuitive approach of balanced, smallish meals that satisfy but don't make me feel stuffed. That works much better for me. I still think that calorie estimation knowledge kicks in though. I have a general idea of how many I'm eating; I just don't have to have the bother of counting up everything.