Over the last 5 years of training and learning about nutrition, It seems I have only just started to feel like I am getting on top of my lifestyle. Recently in the last year or two, I have nearly religiously tracked every calorie that I have consumed. This has led to an increased awareness of how energy dense foods are, how large/small serving sizes are and how much I eat each day.
However, there has always been an overhanging feeling like I was still missing the mark with optimising my nutrition. One of the downsides of becoming a student of nutrition and health, is that it can control your life. For years I have tried to control how much I consume, what macro nutrient ratios “should” be optimal for my body type, carb cycling etc. That is, until I decided to care less, and just listen to what my body wants.
This fairly obvious and simple decision has been the best one I have made nutritionally thus far.
To put it in perspective, back when I was “controlling” what I thought to be the amount of calories, and macronutrients I needed each day, I was consuming about 2000 to 2200 calories daily. I was spreading that over about 150-200grams of carbs, 100-200grams of protein, and about 70grams of fats.
My intuitive eating renegade surfaced due to an increasing feeling of complete plateau with my training, and a stagnant metabolism. I just felt like I had gone no where in the last 12 months which was extremely frustrating when you invest so much energy into building a great physique and healthy lifestyle. So with a minor inner outrage and a great conversation with close friend, Darrell (The Essential Health Guru), I decided to ditch the control and go with my intuition.
I already had the required knowledge with what to eat for my body type, so the foundations were in place. After beginning my intuitive eating plan, overnight i went from eating 2200 “controlled” calories, to 2800-3000 “intuitive” calories. Although this kind of freaked me out, I just trusted that my body was intaking what it needed to. I jumped from a very conservative and “controlled” 200 grams of carbs per day, to almost 400 grams each day.
The effect this has had on my mental attitude and training in the gym has been nothing shy of remarkable. I have gained zero body fat despite adding about 30-40% to my daily food intake, and am watching my physique expand and grow in front of my eyes. I feel like I am getting beginners gains again! My focus in the gym is as sharp as ever, and I am training for much longer without fatigue. My metabolism is firing and my body overall feels bigger and leaner. It’s funny that for so long, what was such a mystery to my training plateau, just came down to trusting my body, and eating MUCH more!!
Have you ever tried Intuitive Eating? Do you sometimes feel like something is lacking even though you feel like you are doing all the right things?