@Linda, I worried about “calories in” for too long. After my appetite diminished, I kept trying to make sure I was eating enough, and eating on time. My upper digestion (reflux and heartburn type stuff) became not so great. I thought I could eat my way into forcing my night time temps out of the mid 97’s. I couldn’t. The extra food I didn’t need (which I had rarfed down happily during initial re-feeding) was just a stress and probably pushed my weight up an extra 8 to 10 pounds that I didn’t need to gain for recovery (That’s what it seemed like to me anyway). I was also sluggish, super out of shape, and sleeping poorly.. When I finally realized I wasn’t going to eat my night temperature into rising (day time temps are fine), I did what Matt basically says to do when you’re appetite diminishes, which is eat what you want, to appetite. I also gave up on scheduling meals, because it just wasn’t working out for me. I had to digest what I ate and then eat when I had worked up an appetite. I craved more nutritious foods and vegetables and a more varied diet, regained my interest in cooking and eating good food, digestion improved quite a bit, lost about 7 or 8 pounds effortlessly, increasing exercise tolerance, am finally sleeping through the night sometimes, etc.. I don’t know where you’re at, or what your response has been to re-feeding, but just wanted to weigh in, in case my experience resonates with you at all. I hardly think about calories in anymore. I’m sure I’m below my maintenance intake (according to someone) some days, but other days I’m very hungry, especially if I’ve been getting more exercise, or having a long busy day.
Re: the book, I know some people continue to want to eat junky food, but for me it was a natural progression from wanting to eat just really calorie dense food all the time and being completely uninterested in vegetables and fruit, and barely interested in meat, to really craving bone broth, meat and balanced meals that included vegetation. I think it’s important to steer our food environment a little. We don’t have to be at the mercy of the dominant culture all the time. There are choices we can make in our lives that steer us in a certain direction. Sure you can eat “instinctively”, but if you’re kitchen is like 7-11, you going to have diet fail. I don’t let mental interference have too much to do with what I eat anymore like I used to, but I keep almost all real food around (possibly accepting refined carbs like white flour, white rice, sugar etc…sorry for all the annoying parenthese:), so that’s what I eat. Some of it I don’t eat. I want to want to eat dried fruit for various reasons, but I rarely do actually feel like it, and rarely do. I just think that steering our food choices some is a good idea. I’m not sure that we shouldn’t also eat some foods, because of external information either, but it’s clearly difficult to do in a constructive way, and a fine line between subverting your bodies voice and making common sense diet interventions. Clearly though, the food environment is a major issue these days, and we can steer our food environments by the kind of food we bring into our homes, or grow and gather, which could allow us to eat instinctively within a reasonable quality and variety of foods.