I agree with Anarie on this one. I fall into the group of non-intuitive eaters. I was born big and just got bigger-- I was never at a healthy weight for my height unless I was specifically watching what I ate. Left to my own devices, I end up eating too much-- even when I think I'm not. I also end up not eating enough protein or fat, and a little too heavy on the carbs. It's entirely possible to be at a healthy weight, but not eating enough of the "right" balance of nutrients. So I track.
Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh
0 Days until: Christmas
Fitness Minutes: (18,573)
1,050 5/25/14 12:45 A
I track everything I eat on the SP nutrition tracker and in a book that I take to my appointments with dietician. If I eat it before I track it, I find that I always go over on my calories, but if I write it down and track it, then I don't have the feeling to eat it as often especially if it is going to put me over on my calories for the day. I feel that I am probably going to have to track for the rest of my life.
Aisha from southern Minnesota. Central Time. -1 hour from EST.
From what I can tell, it depends on who you are and what your weight history is.
There are people who never had a weight problem until something happened-- pregnancy, marriage, divorce, an accident or illness that stopped them from exercising, etc. They can tell you when their issues with weight control started. Those people generally lose weight by tracking for a little while and then go back to eating "normally" or intuitively. Eating intuitively means going back to their old, healthier habits that got interrupted by that life event.
Then there are people who have pretty much always struggled with weight, at least since they were old enough to choose what they ate. If there was a starting moment, it's far back in childhood or early adolescence, and weight and eating have been an issue their whole adult life. It seems to me that those people will need to track, at least throughout their weight loss and possibly permanently. They can't "go back to normal" and eat intuitively, because their "normal" is a pattern that leads to excess weight. They (or we; I'm in this group) never developed the kind of intuition that would have gotten them to a healthy adult weight. When I try to eat intuitively, I eat about 20% more calories than I should, and I slowly gain weight. When I try to reduce calories but don't track, I eat about 10% more than I think I'm eating, and I maintain or gain when I think I should be losing. Tracking is just going to have to be a fact of life for me.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think of it as being like budgeting money. Some people can do that intuitively; they always have a feel for how much money they have and how much they've spent, and they intuitively know how to cut back in one area if they need to spend in another. Other people have to budget every penny and consciously calculate exactly how much they can spend on groceries if they're going to make a car payment. One way isn't necessarily better than the other; it's just a matter of experience and personality.
current weight: 132.0
Fitness Minutes: (31,713)
2,093 5/24/14 7:39 P
Both. I pay attention to eating only when I'm hungry and stopping before I'm too full. I also eat what really appeals to me and over time the appealing foods tend to be the healthier options. Although the intuitive eating folks discourage tracking for me I have to write down what I eat. Works for me.
89 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (87,796)
5/24/14 11:16 A
I've been tracking with Spark for a long 6 years. I really believe in the tracking system. Lately though I have been slacking on my sparking, lack of motivation, and intuitively eating. Through the years I have learned a lot about how many calories in foods and many times when I go back to track later, at the end of the day instead of the beginning. I find that I'm pretty close to the calorie count I was looking for.
start by tracking to see where you are. if you're right about where you should be, then you can try eating intuitively. but if you're really off [600 cals a day or 3000 cals a day], then you need to track so that you can teach yourself what an appropriate amount of food is. once you have that down, then try eating intuitively. while you are eating intuitively, make sure you're doing tracking spot checks to make sure that your intuitive is getting you about what you need.
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