Well, if you eat only when you're hungry, you're a very unique person. The West didn't get to be so over-weight from eating only when hungry. We got that way from eating for pleasure, eating for social occasions, and eating well beyond the point where hunger has left us not to mention eating all the wrong things.
Ideally, you should eat about the same total calories each 24 hour period and keep your macronutrients at about 55/20/25 (%calories from carbs/fats/protein respectively). Here's how we should eat according to the experts as the US NIH.
There's only one way to eat but it can include many different things. Here's that story.
Whether you want to gain weight, lose weight, add muscle, or maintain, you should use the same diet. In other words, everyone should be eating essentially the same macro nutrients (carbs, fats, protein), micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc.) barring special health or medical considerations because we all have essentially the same physiognomy and there is only one version of peak health. Here is how we should all eat according to the US National Institute of Health who are among the best health professionals in the world and the people doctors listens to in the US.
Eat varied, wholesome, and high quality foods such that your daily caloric intake is about equal to your daily caloric burn while keeping your macro nutrient ratios at about 55/25/20 (%calories from carbs/fats/protein). Only slight changes should be made in the macro nutrient ratios to accommodate the extreme demands of special activities such as extreme athletics or inactivity due to illness.
Note: Here are the details in case you're interested:
You get to make the food choices (no supplements without a doctor's recommendation) based on your location, culture, available foods, personal preferences, personal resources, food allergies, etc. However, the words "varied", "wholesome", and "high quality" are important. And, you should consume your food in 4-6 daily meals with healthy snacks between such that you're nourishing yourself every two hours when awake.
VARIED means a variety of foods including fruits, dairy, meats, vegetables, grains, nuts, etc.
WHOLESOME means as unprocessed, unrefined, nutritious as is practical.
HIGH QUALITY means using the best ingredients, the least contaminants or fillers or unnecessary chemicals, etc.
Nutrient tracking is necessary to ensure you have the optimal caloric intake and macro nutrient balance. For most people, tracking is only required for fat loss because of the difficulty in cutting intake and nutrients while maintaining digestive and appetite satisfaction. However, tracking is an excellent exercise for noobs who are just learning how to eat right for the first time. Tracking makes it necessary to read labels, look up food nutrients, record data, plan meals and recipes, etc. And, as annoying as it may be to have to track, it is easier to do today than ever before with the help of website such as My Fitness Pal ---> http://www.myfitnesspal.com
. Here's my tracking as an example --> http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/c…
There are hundreds of diets but the US leads the developed world in fat. So, it should be obvious we don't know how to eat right. That's why it's important for you, your future you and your future family to learn now how to eat properly now. Please study. You have one body and it's for life. Make it the best body it can be.
Good luck and good health!!