Structure isn't a bad thing
Intuitive eating should be the goal at the end of the body recomposition strategy, not the method to get there.
Gradually, elements of the structure can be removed and flexibility introduced to the plan.
Stating with too much flexibility can lead to failure; essentially setting the client up.
Think of hyperpalatable foods - those that once you start eating you cannot stop.
If you are looking to implement an energy target and I say that you’ve got an extra 500kcal across the week to use in a flexible manner.
I know that your hyperpalatable food is mint chocolate that comes in a 1000kcal block.
It would be foolish for me to say buy the mint chocolate block and restrict the intake, when you have already flagged this is an issue.
Intuitive eating is the same thing.
People were eating intuitively before, but it wasn’t working.
A continuation of the same process with a ‘different goal’ or ‘mindset switch’ is unlikely to be enough for most people.
Instead, there needs to be some form of strategy that can be implemented and adhered to.
Once you’ve lost the weight, there is more room for flexibility simply by the fact that the energy deficit can be removed.
That might be an extra 350kcal every day (2450kcal per week) that can be deployed across the week.
All of this without leading to weight gain, just maintenance.
The anti-diet movement is well-intentioned to avoid fad diets, but it’s often communicated in a way that makes the common idea of dieting seem invalid, which only adds to the confusion.
Starting with a structure and progressively implementing flexibility over time, with adherence, will develop the skills required for successful intuitive eating.