I have come to the realization that I am unlikely to ever be one of those intuitive eaters. I don’t know if it is laziness or just being unable to communicate well enough with my body to ‘stop when full’.
I also don’t like analyzing every bite. Am I still hungry? Do I want more? Should I stop here? It takes the enjoyment out of eating. I know that if I have a portioned dinner I can enjoy the whole thing, knowing that I have set aside the calories for that. Scheduled meals and snacks works for me. If I rely on intuitive eating, I tend to eat too much. I guess with practice I could probably have some success, but I am just not interested in that.
I was thinking about my 2 kitties today and intuitive eating. One cat is our shop cat, and the other lives in our house. They have very different eating habits. The house cat (Chloe) has eaten free choice for her entire life (and she is now 18). I pour a large bowl of food for her that I just refill when it gets low. She also gets 1/3 of a can of wet food in the morning and evening. She is the tiniest thing you have ever seen. Her highest weight was 8 pounds, now she weighs just 5.75. (And no health problems, for any of you curious. Liver, kidneys fine and no diabetes). She grazes on food all day. She will eat part of her wet food, then 1/2 hour later come back and eat some more. Then nothing until much later. She is like one of those people who can eat anything and not gain an ounce.
My other cat (Pixie), whom I affectionately call ‘butterball’, is chubby. She came to me as a stray and was extremely thin – so she was free choice food at first. The vet now wants her on a diet. She gets 1/2 cup of dry food a day, split into 2 meals – no wet food. She cannot be free choice, as she eats anything that is put in front of her, and will eat straight fat if given the chance. And yet – after months, she is still the same weight. Kitty on a diet that has plateaued. Kind of like me for a while, eating all the right stuff but no scale movement.
I sometimes wonder if Pixie thinks about food, as much as a walnut brain can think, anyway 🙂 . Does she wonder why she doesn’t get as much food now? Is she satisfied after eating her allotted portion of food? Or does she just think about catnip and naps?