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Old 01-10-2005, 07:41 PM   #21
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by Meg
[*]The worst possible way to maintain a weight loss would be to try to eat intuitively because our bodies will be cueing us to eat more with lowered leptin levels we need to eat non-intuitively to outwit our bodies' desire to return to obesity.
Hi all, I was not going to comment on the above, but its been raining non-stop here in the Act's of God Themepark of Southern California causing local flooding, trains not running, streets and highways closed, landslides, mudslides, etc, and the dishes and kitchen are already tidied up, so here goes.....

I respectfully disagree with your comment about intuitive eating being the worst way to maintain a wl. Perhaps we understand intuitive eating in different ways. Intuitive or attuned or non-dieting eating is not a static process. If it were the worst way to maintain, and our underlying genetics is for us to keep our survival fat (evolutionarily speaking), how could one possibly ever lose weight eating intuitively? Yet that is done fairly frequently.

What is intuitive eating? Its basically learning to identify the difference between head hunger and true physical hunger, and learning to eat only when physically hungry. And to stop when satisfied, not full. Physical hunger only occurs every 3 hours or so, which fits quite nicely with 5 to 6 mini meals/day, or 3 meals plus snacks.

Another basic tenet of IE is to eat what you want. And especially learning from it. You may start with eating chocolate cake, but does eating chocolate cake 3 meals/day really make you feel good? Is that what you really want to feel like? Over time the goal is to move from 'bad' (OK,OK) to 'good foods' because you simply feel better physically. And that is indeed what happens, but it does not happen fast. It can take afew years to fully develop your skills. Including making mistakes, lots of mistakes (yum), and learning from them. Its all about being patient over time, watching results from your actions, and making adjustments. And it does desensitize one to many trigger foods, but certainly not all. You do learn what to just not have in the house, and eating becomes actually even more pleasurable because guilt from eating and fear disappear. Not to mention those 24/7 obsessive food thoughts - gone now.

Intuitive eaters still must follow the same Food Laws everyone else must in order to lose weight and keep it off. Calories still matter, and most of us still know all the numbers, though we dont keep count. Many intuitive eaters keep food journals. Intuitive eaters must also eat less and exercise more, they just get to eat what they want, but must observe moderation. Weight loss is usually slower with intuitive eaters, but as we know, weight lost slower is generally kept off longer. My fastest pace is about one pound/week. Weight is lost slower because many of us still eat things such as real cheese instead of congealed Franken-dairy. Just less than formerly, because we feel better eating less, and because many of us are conscious of our weight.

Is intuitive eating for everyone? Of course not, there is no one strategy that works for everyone. Some people, esp those who have yet to identify and address their non-physical hunger, can indeed gain alot of weight in their intial attempts to eat intuitively. One woman once gained about 100 pounds, but come on, at some point ya gotta know something isnt working and back away. Self responsibility.

Is IE good for maintaining? For me I think it will be. Time will tell, and although I am not at my final goal, my weight has slowly been decreasing (not straight-line) over an 8 or so year period since beginning Intuitive eating seriously.

The only two people I personally know who have lost large quantities of weight and kept it off also have been intuitive eaters. One 'intuitively' lost just over 100 pounds about 20 years ago and now locally teaches others how to do it. Another, formerly a size acceptance person, lost about 200 pounds intuitively and is also a member of the national wl registry. Years ago she had lost over 100 pounds via regular dieting and was featured in Prevention as a wl success story, then gained it all back plus more. She eventually started eating intuitively, faced her underlying truths, and slowly, over several years, re-lost it again.

The other thing that makes me think eating intuitively would not be a maintaining disaster is tangential evidence. In the back of the revised Thin for Life, there is a list of books that the maintainers interviewed by Fletcher recommended. There are just over 20 non-cook books. Of these, 5 are mainstream non-dieting, intuitive eating books, and I suspect by their titles, one or two more are as well. And Thin for Life says a number of their maintainers are non-dieters. With a 95% failure rate with maintaining a wl after standard wl diets, how could that percent be worse for Intuitive eaters?

You can be both an intuitive eater and a chronic restrained eater, they are not mutually exclusive. You just get to eat what you want in a controlled, self-responsible manner. Intuitive eating is not a 'get out of jail free' card but rather an invitation to learn more about yourself, and making mindful adjustments from what you learn.

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