T Nation

Intuitive Eating

I cannot bother to count calories and time meals (but I do like eating for progress!) so I’ve always eaten by rough guidelines. ‘Bulk Up, Cut Up!’ finally motivated me to organize my thoughts and feelings on the subject of different methods of gaining LM (dirty bulk, clean bulk and lean gain) and cutting and how they compare to my personal experiences with them.

So in terms of doing these methods using your body as the guide rather than calculations and logs, I came up with this…

Cutting:
-Eat after you’ve felt hungry, stop when you are no longer hungry. (I’ve noticed this requires being a bit slow while eating).

Maintenance:
-Eat when you start to feel hunger, stop when you are no longer hungry.

Lean Gain:
-Eat before you feel hunger, stop when you are no longer hungry.

General Bulking:
-Eat before you feel hunger. Eat until you feel full, but not stuffed.
-And in the case that you seem stuck at maintaining, pull double duty. Fix a plate of your normal serving size and double it, go back for seconds.

Instead of having to calculate how much you need depending on your activity level, your body has already taken this into account and will let you know, at least thats my case.

I guess this wouldn’t be a good guideline for people who don’t know the distinctions between getting hungry, feeling hungry, no longer hungry and feeling full. Or for beginners who don’t know what foods they should be eating when (which I also think can be made intuitive but thats too personal and complicated to discuss).

Also beginners tend to not notice that their body, while not hungry, is craving nutrition during and after workouts, so I guess WO meals would be an exception.

So, thoughts?

Why not just count calories?

Seems like that would be easier to me than reflecting on just how hungry I feel or when I started to feel hungry.

Edit: put better, I’ve found it more beneficial that the body dictates the body and the mind dictates the mind.

Ive cam up with my own way of following a meal plan, and I call it the 1/3 plate rule. I dont do food logs or follow any diet plans.

Basically I take a normal size dinner plate. I visualize it cut into thirds. On one third of it, I have protein. On 2nd third of it, I have carbohydrates. 3rd third of it, I have fruit/vegetables.

So for breakfast, 1/3 is eggs. 2nd 1/3 is chopped apples. 3rd 1/3 is probably 2 slices of toast.

Maybe lunch goes like this. Same plan. Only in a blender. protein section is Whey powder. carb section is juice. And I’ll dump in bananas and broccoli for the fruit veggie section.

And so on. I usually eat 4 times a day.