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Instinctive Dieting: Egotistical or Arrogant?

My wife and I were doing some math this morning. Every few weeks we re assess our measurements, re-adjust macros, and tweak our diet plans going forward. It got me to thinking about something that happened to me the other day that may or may not be of help to some of you guys.

I’ve read on here more than once about guys not being able to attain their goals, whether that be to add more muscle or lose more fat, or both. Then in other threads those same guys are asked about their diet, and sometimes there is an answer of, “I don’t count calories. I’ve been doing this so long that I KNOW what I’m eating.”

Fair enough, and that may be true…BUT…Let me interject this one thought.

I have been doing the calories / macro counting and weighing and measuring things for a while myself. I too sometimes can look at food and accurately guess the weight, and by that know the macro content of that food. Case in point…a serving of peanuts almost always is exactly a normal size handful for my hands. I’ve proven this quite a few times using the scale, so now a days I just grab a normal size handful of peanuts and mark it down. I realized the other day the small downfalls of this type of thinking.

The main downfall is , when you do something for so long that it becomes second nature, we stop paying as much attention to detail, and start relying more on our own instincts of what we “know”. This is great if you’re a Navy Seal and you have to react on those instincts without thinking, because…give or take a few percent, those instincts are pretty accurate. The problem when it comes to eating and fitness goals is that the “few percent” can make or break your goals.

I did a little experiment that I haven’t done in a long time. I grabbed a handful of peanuts and threw it on the scale. A serving is 1oz. My handful. 1.6oz. Not super bad, but not great either! But then I did it again. Handful - 2.1oz. That’s DOUBLE the serving size! Now I know that an extra ounce of peanuts may not kill me, but what if I apply this mindset to every meal I eat in a days time, or worse, over the course of a week? If you add up all of the tolerances from guessing throughout the day, then I could be seriously over or under doing it and not even realizing it.

That led me to realize the true difference between being an egotistical person and an arrogant person. An arrogant person is so confident in himself that he doesn’t feel the need to verify himself. An egotistical person will verify himself, just for the sake of proving himself right.

So which one is better? To some degree we are ALL in some form or fashion one or the other right?

Most of us that consider ourselves humble and meek are really just egotistical people that eventually accepted the fact that we found out we were wrong when trying to prove ourselves right! Lol

Some of us are arrogant, and as such, don’t even realize that we are wrong and will steer widely clear of anything that could possibly suggest otherwise, or in some cases, we argue from such a narrow minded point of view that it blocks out any other points of view that could be pertinent.

So which one are you? I’m on both sides of the fence, but I have recently realized that being egotistical is much better for ME when it comes to diet. I will continue to weigh and measure everything that goes into my body. I have found for myself that my best instinctual accuracy is still not good enough, so I will continue to use the tools at my disposal to ensure that I don’t screw myself.

But on the other hand, I’m kind of a perfectionist lol.

What do you guys think?

Poses the question if you ate a few extra peanuts would it make any difference? And would not stressing about every single calorie/macro etc actually save you from some stress and cortisol response?

Im not being a dick here. This is where I am at. I have done the nth degree counting everything and laboring over every detail in journals/apps for years at a time and it can be frustrating, especially when you fuck up and are really hard on yourself like I am. I have found it much easier on me mentally to go with the flow a bit here. My macros are where I target them but with not counting I have built in variability that helps to keep my body guessing. I think. Its all just a guessing game as far as I can tell. No one has the answer. I am also building on years of self-nutrition work that was based on a high estrogen low androgen system so everything was always fucked.

I recently got my DNA profile done through 23andMe and also ran it through Dr. Rhonda Patricks analyzer as well. Her report came back with some interesting gene stuff where I am prone to obesity due to not metabolizing saturated fats properly and should focus on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. So now I have to take in all of this information and try to reformulate my thinking on how I should be nourishing myself.

Also to note I am genetically prone to low vitamin D concentrations so need to supplement. Ive known this for years though, based on yearly blood tests, and have been on 10k iu daily to keep my reading around 60.

I have never needed to weigh or measure food to achieve my goals.

I will do it when I need to.

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There is no being a dick concerning this thread. This was posted because I realized something in my OWN protocol that could potentially be a point of discrepancy. You guys feel free to post your own ideas and opinions regarding the matter. That’s kinda the point, to get a consensus of how others see this.

Thanks for replying man!

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Not really because I already answered that and the answer is probably not. But that in turn poses the question of, if I am off in guessing on the peanuts, and I take the same approach to every thing else during the week, that could add up to a good bit of being off collectively couldn’t it?

But what is the downside? I mean I guess if you are that concerned over a couple hundred cals every day then it would add up.

I think tracking macros is important for people starting out. But I don’t think counting macros/calories is for everyone.

I think meticulously weighing everything is kinda stressful. I personally measure via container. I’ve seen people bring food scales to restaurants and I think that’s only for show and it’s cringe.

I’ve seen pages on instagram where they warn you about 15-30 calorie condiments, and then tell you what low calorie alcoholic beverages are good for you. In my opinion, if somebody is so meticulous in tracking calories that 15-30 calories from condiments makes a huge difference, and they have to carry their food scale around, they’re better off just avoiding alcohol.

For me, my issue has always been not eating enough. I had to count my macros to make sure I was, and once I established how much I needed to eat, I stopped counting because its about the same everyday.



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I’m thinking more in a slow cutting phase…a couple hundred calories a day can add up to 3000-3500 cals a week…If your deficit is 3500 a week (going for a pound a week of fat), this could be a game changer right?

Wow that pretty bad right there!!! If I’m in a restaurant, I’m having a cheat meal and I could give a shit less what I’m eating at that time as long as it taste good!! lol

I pack all of my food every morning and the scale comes out then… That’s more along the lines of what I’m talking about here…

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Youd think. I recently cut out 1,000 cals + a day in beer etc. Made no difference LOL

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I don’t have anything worth weighing in on with regards to the egotistical/arrogant aspect of this debate but with regards to whether instinctive dieting has any merit I’d say, yeah. Sure. For some people.

All approaches have to their own pros and cons, and what they are depends on the person and their life. For instance, I live by myself and have been able to mealprep for the entire week. Lunch. Breakfast. Dinner. Snacks. I can do it all up-front. And then, weighing things and worrying about minutiae becomes a fairly minor event with little negative impact but when I started out I weighed everything as I was cooking everyday and that was very inconvenient.

I recall from an old article a quote along the lines of nutrition is simple in theory but complex in practice. And I agree that it would be if you have to take into consideration other people such as a significant other or kids.

And this is where an approach like the one espoused by Berardi nowadays where a man should have two palms of lean protein, two fists of veggies, two cupped hands of carbs and two thumbs of fat with every meal (eaten every 2-3 hours) might have a better chance of being sustainable for people with an otherwise rich or full life where you have to balance how anal you are with your diet against other aspects of your life. In relation to to your example on handful of nuts, here the relative error is reduced. So, nuts are obviously calorie rich but if your measuring against the size of your thumb the impact of over/under doing it is reduced.

I think that the best thing, usually, isn’t doing things optimally from the get go but rather doing what is necessary to move towards one’s goals and only when one isn’t managing to move in one’s desires direction is there a point to kicking it up to the next level.

This could possibly be true in training as well. Can you progress well without intensification techniques? Then don’t add them until you no longer can progress meaningfully without them. But that’s just a guess on my part. I know dieting well. I can’t say the same for training.

If you are off by up to 500 calories everyday you are an idiot.

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I can’t think of anything worse than having to write/type/scan/tick/whatever else everything I put into my mouth each day.

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Well we can’t all be like you @lucasmon lol!!

I wouldn’t go as far as to call someone an idiot, but I do agree that’s it’s a far cry to be that far off. That being said, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, especially for someone starting out. This thread was more for discussion than anything, but at least now we know what side of the fence you fall on! Lmao!

I think I’m middle of the line on this.

I do have macro/ calorie targets, but then I eyeball from there; like I know I want about 6oz chicken and a cup of rice in a meal, and I can guess close enough.

I have weighed in the past, and it wasn’t fun, so now I don’t.


I think it partly depends on two things: your competition and your genetics. Thanks to my genetics, I can lose a couple of pounds a month just by walking to work and eating right in a general way. Some people’s bodies are a lot more stubborn than mine. And if your goal is to look better than average, or like you can handle yourself in a fight, or if you want to walk the stage…we are talking about different levels of strictness required. If my goal was to compete on a stage or in a sport that is divided by weight class, I’d be a lot picker.

If I want to get lean, I’ll count calories and track macros. I don’t think I could lean out properly without doing that.

To gain weight I don’t need to count calories or count macros. I keep an eye on what I eat and make sure I try to stay reasonably close to the macro split that works for me but that’s about it.

I think I’d overeat it I did that lol! The part that would get me would be the carbs. If I did potatoes then I’d be fine but something like rice could be a bit much.

It’s actually pretty easy to get that far off. I’ve measured every piece if food and I’ve tried the eyeball approach. After a bit of the latter I’ll start measuring again and realize I’m way off.

6 ounces if meat is actually 9. 1 TBSP of peanut butter is actually 2. My 1 ounce handful of almonds is 1.7.

Do that with every meal and you’re way off.

Now, on the other hand, if you’ve never measured then your estimates don’t matter as long as you can eat more or less to reach your goals.

I have to measure everything to lose weight or even maintain a lean physique (for me). It sucks, but through trial and error it turns out that I can’t eyeball my portions.

I don’t take the scale out of the house, but I use it most of the time. If I’m eating out then I’ll use the restaurant’s nutrition info. If they don’t have any or it’s a homemade meal then I’ll just estimate high by selecting similar foods in my tracker.

For me, I can probably get away with the 80/20 approach. If I track closely 80% of the time then my bad guessing won’t hurt me much for the other 20%.

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Pick a carb source, any carb source, and buy a cup and a food scale.

Weigh 100g of that carb source into the cup. Mark on the cup where 100g fills the cup to.

Boom. Done. You’ve literally had to measure your carbs once and you’ll never have to do it again.

For protein just read the labels on the food. Fats? 1 tbsp is 14g.

Done. Easiest thing in the world. If you are weighing everything you eat every time you make something then you are being terribly inefficient.