Which is better…tracking food or following a more intuitive way of eating?
This is going to be completely different person to person, diet history, preference, nutrition knowledge, etc…, and based on what your goals are but
I’ve personally seen my weight creep up over the years following an intuitive way of eating. It wasn’t until I started tracking what I ate, beginning a couple years ago that I started to experience the kind of body composition changes I was seeking.
If you are trying to go into a fat loss phase, have no idea what you are currently eating, have no nutritional background knowledge, then tracking your the amounts you eat are going to be beneficial, not only for fat loss but also for KNOWLEDGE purposes! It’s important to understand how much food you consume and how different those foods are made up of so that you can make better decisions when you are choosing meals.
If you do have fat loss, performance, or gaining mass goals, then tracking macros is going to be extremely beneficial to you, more so than intuitive eating. Some people have success with an intuitive way of eating and some do not. Tracking macros for fat loss is going to be the most efficient way to make progress because things are consistent each day.
Once you have completed a fat loss phase and just want to maintain, it’s 100% okay to transition into an intuitive way of eating, and I would highly suggest experimenting with it. You can’t count macros forever plus it does give you a mental break if your fat loss phase was lengthy. I’ve personally found once I go into a maintenance phase that intuitive eating has been a lot easier.
In summary: tracking macros is a great tool and creates awareness on what is in food. You can’t properly “intuitively” eat without having that background knowledge of what is in food to begin with. If you find yourself living it up in a maintenance phase & happy with your body composition, but you’re having “macro fatigue” and not wanting to track.. just don’t track. Test out the waters! You really have to trust yourself with intuitive eating because you don’t have the safety net of macro goals, but it will get easier the longer you do it.
If you need a coach and finding the nutrition component of your program challenging, go check out our Meal Coaching to learn how we can help.