Want to Start Intuitive Eating—but Finding It Not-so-Intuitive? Try This Simple Formula

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Intuitive eating is all about trusting your body to tell you when you're hungry, when you're full, and what foods you most need right now. Sounds simple, right? But for a lot of us, the bombardment of diet culture, food advice, and the latest nutrition methods basically make that sound like... rocket science.

If you want to begin an intuitive-eating journey but don't know where to start, Food Heaven's Wendy Lopez, RD had some key advice at our latest Wellness Collective event with Athleta.

"Intuitive eating is about treating your body with respect, trusting yourself with your feelings, and knowing your body," explained Lopez. To start getting back to that, she recommends you use a simple formula when loading your plate: ¼ protein, ¼ carbs, and ¼ veggies. Protein (and healthy fats) will help to keep you full, carbs will keep you energized, and veggies will provide essential nutrients.

"At first you have to think about it, but then it really becomes second nature," Lopez noted, suggesting you add nut butter for fat and protein to your toast with jam or quinoa for carbs to your salmon and veg. With a yogurt parfait, which guests got to make in real time, they hit protein (yogurt), produce (fresh, seasonal berries), and carbs (granola), with fiber-rich chia seeds thrown in for good measure.

It's this formula, said Lopez, that will help keep you satiated—and over time, it becomes a no-brainer when grabbing breakfast (add a scoop of nut butter to that or you'll be hangry by 10 a.m.) or shopping for dinner (balance out those veggies in your cart with some protein). In other words, intuitive.

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