I'll chime in here.
As described above, my hunger signals were completely screwed up before I started IE. I'd be eating a big meal, I'd have the uncomfortably stuffed feeling, but my stomach would still be growling away, begging for food. I thought... What gives?!
It was only through eating absolutely tons of sugary food (which I thought I wanted) and finding that this got WORSE that I was able to pinpoint my personal problem about why my hunger signals were so out of shape. If I remember correctly from my research, it was a lot to do with insulin resistance, suppressed leptin and/or behaviour of leptin receptors (leptin's basically the hormone that makes your body tell your brain it's had enough).
So, I seriously cut back on refined sugar. From an outside perspective, it must have looked like I was trying to go down the low-carb, ketogenic route. A diet. Not AT ALL. For me personally, it was a best-guess experiment to get my hormones back to where they're supposed to be. I think it's way overlooked that you often can't just "start" intuitive eating the way you can start calorie counting, for example. Being able to listen to what your body is essential in intuitive eating, that much is obvious. But if your endocrine system is out of whack, there's more than a good chance that your body is telling your brain lies.
I think eating at regular intervals is a similar thing - you're trying to preprogram your body into behaving optimally FIRST. Then you can approach the "eat when you're hungry / stop when you're full" thing from the right standpoint. If you just do it straight off the bat, and it doesn't work, yes, your body may say EAT DONUTS EAT DONUTS EAT MORE DONUTS. It certainly happened to me, and the fact it led me to the information I needed is a happy accident.
So, I'm not low carb. I just polished off a donut right now. It's not about being in ketosis or whatever my approach might look like from the outside. My body can process a donut. It just runs into trouble when I eat a whole box. That's happened a few times in the past five months, and I DO need to deliberately low-carb it to get my hunger signal back. It's a precarious thing.
So, I wouldn't say, speaking for myself, that I'm against eating when you're not hungry. Or reducing sugar. Or cutting out things you have bad reactions to. That's all part of listening to, and working with, your body and what it needs. When it's going smoothly, I am against MYSELF eating when I'm not hungry, but that's because it throws me right off. But it might be that for the next person, it's exactly what they NEED.
I've found that intuitive eating isn't so much about cutting out diet behaviour. I cut back on sugar, I have to low-carb for a few days here and there - that is diet behaviour. But the difference is in the approach. I'm not on a diet. I'm not moralising about food. I'm giving my body what it needs, and coaxing it back round to behaving optimally by more considered food choices when I get it "wrong" (emotionally eating that box of donuts my body can't handle, for example). But am I "on" a diet? No. Not at all. No guilt, no moralising, no deprivation, no "one day I'll be done with this".
You can't expect your instincts to work perfectly all the time, especially when there are so many louder things competing for your attention.
Horses for courses. Apologies for the dissertation, but I couldn't find a less verbose way of putting all of this.
1. Take the iPod for a walk and ponder the nature of the universe.