Eating Psychology & Mind Body Nutrition Articles

  • A Digestion Success Story

    When our digestion works fine, it's easy to not even notice it and simply take for granted this magnificent function of the human body. But when digestion is off or troubled, life is not so fun. The miracle of the digestive system is that it can take something that’s completely alien to us – food – and alchemically transform it into the very structure of our cells, tissues, and organs.

  • The Story of an Overeater

    You can read all the books you like on nutrition, listen to lectures, and scan the literature – but what most good clinicians will tell you is that when it comes to what truly works in the realm of diet and nutrition - the gold standard of knowledge is story.

  • Are You Eating for a Higher Purpose?

    Whenever someone tells me about their diet – how specific it is, how healthy it is, and how good and right and virtuous it is, I wonder in the back of my mind “So what?” I don’t think this in a mean way. I just want to know – is there a point to your fabulously healthy or effective diet? What’s the greater purpose?

  • Are You Evolving Nutritionally?

    Do you believe in evolution? Are you of the school of thought that the body has grown more intricate and complex throughout the eons of time that life has existed on earth? If so, then for those of you with an interest and love for nutrition, I find it useful to ask what I believe is a powerfully underrated dietary question: Are we still evolving nutritionally?

  • The Metabolic Power of the Sacred

    This is one of the pieces that can provide a new and healing way to look at metabolism. This piece is from my book, The Slow Down Diet. Sometimes, when we talk about health and nutrition, it's good to bypass the intellect and communicate from a place of the sacred. Let me know what you think.

  • Your Metabolic Journey

    Metabolism isn’t something we fix. You can measure certain aspects of it, yet metabolism itself is measureless. You can tweak certain parts of it yet it remains always whole. You can command it to do your bidding, yet it will always answer to a higher source. Metabolism is not a thing. It’s a journey.

  • Eating from the Tree: Nutrition Lessons for the Scientific Soul, part 1 of 4

    Eons ago the biblical God instructed Adam and Eve, his two fledgling humans, in one of the earliest recorded food injunctions in all of western history — don’t eat the apple. This fateful nutrition rule was unequivocal and came straight from the heavens. A few millenna later, the apple has evolved from vilified to glorified. One of the greatest cities on Earth is called “the Big Apple.” One of our most inventive computer companies is Apple computer. And the quintessential nugget of medical-nutritional wisdom is “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is clearly the single greatest comeback of any fruit ever recorded.

  • Eating from the Tree: Nutrition Lessons for the Scientific Soul, part 2 of 4

    Perhaps the most fundamental place where we can observe the profound relationship of body and soul when it comes to nutrition is in the stress/relaxation continuum. Can you recall what happens when you eat during a state of anxiety or stress? Most people report such symptoms as heartburn, cramping, gas, digestive pains, belching, and intense hunger. During stress the body automatically shifts into the classic fight-or- flight response. This feature of the central nervous system (CNS) evolved over millions of years into a brilliant safety mechanism that supports us during life threatening events— hostile attackers, natural disasters, and anything we must quickly evade or forcibly overcome.

  • Eating from the Tree: Nutrition Lessons for the Scientific Soul, part 3 of 4

    As we advance the science of eating, there’s one particular nutritional concept that seems to get us into the most trouble. It’s an outdated way of approaching food that wreaks great havoc upon the psyches of eaters, and influences the community of experts like a strange brew. This unwanted way of thinking sounds essentially like this: Some foods are good, some foods are bad. Strangely enough, the notion of good foods and bad ones is largely unscientific. As we’ve discussed, the metabolic value of any foodstuff is profoundly influenced by factors that aren’t inherent in the food, but issue forth from the eater—parasympathetic activity being the most notable. And in truth, there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. Allow me to explain.

  • Eating from the Tree: Nutrition Lessons for the Scientific Soul, part 4 of 4

    Have you ever had “butterflies” in your stomach? A “lump” in your throat? Have you ever been moved by a strong and undeniable “gut feeling” about something or someone? Few people would say they had an elbow feeling or a kidney feeling, but gut feelings are highly regarded as a source of intuitive knowing and insight in many cultures around the globe. As it turns out, gut thoughts and feelings are not some fanciful notion but a physiological fact. Rather than the one brain found in our head, some physiologists have suggested that we have two brains—the other located in the digestive tract.

  • What Should I Eat?

    The questions I tend to hear most often about diet are: What should I eat? Which is the best diet to follow? Behind these questions is the assumption that there is indeed a perfect diet out there somewhere, and all one need do is discover it. But consider for a moment the implications of a perfect diet. Perfection implies sameness. If we all followed the perfect religion, everyone would think and act similarly. If each of us drove the perfect car or had the perfect job, we would all be parking and working in the same place. Likewise, if everyone ate the one perfect diet, we would all be eating the same food, and the nutrition experts would be out of business. Maybe not such a bad idea!

  • Sexy Men and Hungry Women

    Many moons ago, I noticed that men have an interesting and active relationship with sex. They want it, they want more of it, they talk about it, fantasize about it, buy it, take it, and might even become a bit obsessed about it. Sex looms large in a man's psyche, and this doesn't seem to be a secret. Advertisers love to use this neuropsychological fact to entice men to buy stuff, and women know a thing or two about working this part of a man's operating system to get him to do just about anything.

  • A Big Picture View of the Nutrition World

    I’d love to share a recent interview with you where I talked about the work I do: the current state of affairs in the nutrition world, the role industry plays in our health, the economics of eating healthy, the impact of culture on metabolism, where nutrition innovation actually comes from, and more. Indeed, there’s a fascinating dimension to eating that has remained largely unaddressed. Currently, if you want to talk about people’s motivations and inner universe around food, the only recognized academic place to do that is in the realm of clinical eating disorders - which make up about 4% of the population. What about the other 96%? What about the rest of us who overeat, binge eat here and there, have some weight we’re trying to lose, or have our challenges around nutrition and health?

  • A New Kind of Nutrition

    Have you noticed that an extra large portion of our collective conversation around nutrition is driven by our love for the exaggerated excitement of “what’s new” – the latest miraculous supplement for limitless energy, the hottest diet that guarantees fat-free glamour, or the next breakthrough food that defies disease and attracts your perfect mate?

  • Are You Suffering from a High Nutritional Fact Diet?

    Nutrition facts can be very seductive. Many of us believe that if we somehow knew all the nutrition information that there is to know, then we’d have access to eternal life, perfect health, and a really hot body. I’m quite a nutrition groupie when it comes to learning about the latest info, the current research, the hot supplements or the newest diets.

  • Do You Have the Numbers Right When it Comes to Nutrition?

    Numbers are magic. They’re the DNA of the known universe, the fundamental alphabet of creation, and without them, it would be hard to figure out who owes what at dinner. I still remember my first telephone number from childhood.

  • Coaches, Psychologists or Grandmothers – Who’s More Qualified?

    Some of the greatest “psychologists” I've ever met aren't even psychologists – they’re grandmothers, farmers, grade school teachers, hippies, hairdressers, prisoners, and the neighbor next door. Likewise, some of the worst psychologists I've ever met were actual psychologists. Go figure.

  • The New Eating Psychology: 8 Lessons From the Experts – Part I

    Wisdom, these days, seems harder to come by. There's all kinds of information being hurled at us from every direction. Sometimes it feels like every human on earth has a newsletter, a blog, and something to sell that will make all the pain go away. So, whenever I encounter wisdom and insight flowing from someone whose heart and mind are aligned with something greater, it feels as if the lights come on. I recently had a rare personal and professional opportunity to interview over 35 amazing people, each one dedicated, in their own unique and compelling way, to uplifting others. I invited this amazing cast of soulful characters to help advance the field of Eating Psychology in an ambitious Online Eating Psychology Conference that, quite frankly, made more of a splash than I could've hoped for. I'd love to share with you some of the highlights that I've pulled out from the many nuggets of wisdom that were offered. Specifically, these are 8 Key Lessons which emerged that I strongly believe reposition the field of eating psychology in a very positive and powerful way.

  • The New Eating Psychology: 8 Lessons From the Experts – Part 2

    Wisdom, these days, seems harder to come by. There's all kinds of information being hurled at us from every direction. Sometimes it feels like every human on earth has a newsletter, a blog, and something to sell that will make all the pain go away. So, whenever I encounter wisdom and insight flowing from someone whose heart and mind are aligned with something greater, it feels as if the lights come on. I recently had a rare personal and professional opportunity to interview over 35 amazing people, each dedicated in their own unique and compelling way to uplifting others. I invited this amazing cast of soulful characters to help advance the field of eating psychology in an ambitious Online Eating Psychology Conference that quite frankly, made more of a splash than I could've hoped for. I'd love to share with you some of the highlights that I've pulled out from the many nuggets of wisdom that were offered. Specifically, these are 8 key lessons which emerged that I strongly believe reposition the field of eating psychology in a very positive and powerful way. I think you just might agree. Let me know what you think...

  • The Future of Nutrition

    Marc David here, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I’ve spent the last 3 decades doing my best to advance the fields of nutrition and eating psychology, and I’m happy to say, there’s lots of good news to look forward to. At the same time, there’s plenty of room for improvement in the nutrition universe. So if you’ve wondering what the future of nutrition will look like, and if you’re interested in getting a jumpstart on what's next when it comes to food, health, weight, longevity, and the best way to n [...]

  • Reflections on the New Year

    Happy New Year from all of us at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are at another crossroads. One year ends, another begins. It seems like such a great idea to mark time in this way – it helps humanity track itself, gauge progress, and do a little celebration along the way.  I appreciate being connected to you in this way, to be part of a tribe that’s really making a difference in the world. When I reminisce about 2013 and look to see what really mattered, here are a few thoughts I’d love to share with you: The field of nutrition exploded with so much g [...]

  • Nourishment from the Heart

    For those of you who don't know, Bubbie is the Yiddish term for grandmother. And even more important, for those of you who don't know, my Bubbie was arguably one of the greatest Bubbie's ever on the planet. She was the embodiment of unconditional love. I actually can't recall ever seeing her without a smile on her face. Her mission in life was simple - bear children, raise them, feed them, love them, and then repeat same with grandchildren. The more I study nutrition and eating psychology, the more I learn about the science of food and how it impacts our DNA and our metabolism, the more I come to respect the simple and timeless eating wisdom that my grandmother stood for. Once you ate her meals, you understood in your bones that food is really love. You knew in your heart that food cooked with love touches the body and soul in a way that can last forever.

  • In Difficult Times, Feed Your Soul

    One year ends and another year begins. We celebrate the beauty of the holiday season, we party on New Year's, and all the while we mourn the loss of innocent lives in Connecticut, we grieve over the devastation of a hurricane, and we try to make sense of the senselessness that often characterizes life on planet Earth. So many hearts are heavy right now. If yours is, then it's time to grieve. If your heart is bright and your spirit is strong, then it's time to reach out and uplift those around you. As far back as we can trace history and pre-history, humanity has been at war with itself. [...]

  • How to Digest Thanksgiving

    Perhaps you've heard this story by now that one of our most brilliant founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, lobbied to have the wild turkey be our national bird rather than the bald eagle. When I think about it, how un-cool would that be to have a turkey be symbolic of all that is American? But Benjamin Franklin knew a different turkey then you or I do today. Indeed, if you've ever seen a wild turkey you would surely conclude that it's a very interesting bird. These creatures are big, kind of clumsy and appear completely un-designed for flight. When they fly, they make a heck of a lot of [...]

  • Can We Exist Without Food?

    Back in the early 1980s when I was living in California and immersing myself in the study of nutrition, there was quite a bit of talk about a man who was teaching the principles of being a “Breatharian” - that is, the kind of diet where you exist exclusively on air.

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