Food Hunger and Life Hunger: What’s the Difference – Video with Marc David

If you’ve ever tried to change something about your body through exercise, you know that there are thousands of workout routines out there, each one promising to deliver a specific outcome. From six-pack abs to core strength to endurance to willowy flexibility, everyone has their own ideas about what physical fitness looks like to them, and it can be challenging to sort through all the available options to choose the exercise approach that’s tailor-made for your unique goals. In this eye-opening new video, Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, offers some practical advice for creating a solid foundation to ensure that your workout works for you. You’ll also get some great tips for reevaluating an exercise plan that’s not taking you where you want to go, and you’ll come away with a new understanding of the importance of the mind-body connection when it comes to empowered exercise.

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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:

Greetings, friends. Marc David here, founder for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. We’re going to talk about food hunger and life hunger: what’s the difference? And I think this is a really important topic. And it’s a juicy one because we’re eaters. And so many people are having challenges around their relationship with food. And you know something? We can make some fascinating headway when we begin to distinguish out food hunger and life hunger.

So here’s the deal: the mind is metaphoric. The mind is symbolic. What does that even mean? The mind is metaphoric; the mind is symbolic means we sometimes say love is like a rose. Well, it’s not really a rose. But the mind is symbolic. You might say, “Gosh, I feel like garbage today.” Well, you’re not actual garbage. But we know we could make those metaphoric symbolic connections. So that’s how the mind actually works.

Now, we’re going to come back to that in a second. Check this out.

Hunger is a primal driving force. It is built into our DNA.

And it’s a primal driving force because you’ve got to eat to live.

You have to do it. So we are programmed to be hungry.

Now, when we take care of survival hunger for food, the part of us that hungers for more then starts to turn itself to other experiences because once you take care of the hunger for food, then we have a hunger for life, for novelty, for discovery, for connection, for relationship, for learning, for growth, for love. We hunger for these things.

Is it an actual mouth hunger? No. But it’s a hunger that lives in ourselves.

Now, here’s the thing because the mind is metaphoric. Food sometimes equals love.

Love equals food.

Love equals touch. Food equals nourishment. Food equals connection. And when we go into a stress state, we get confused. We will confuse life hunger for food hunger.

Now, we eat food when we really hunger for experience. That’s what happens a lot of times. People say, “Oh, I overeat. I binge eat. I can’t control my appetite.” I get it. I get it. I get it. What happens is oftentimes when we don’t have a big enough appetite for life, we collapse it into an appetite for food.

So food becomes so important because we haven’t allowed ourselves to have the big meal.

And the big meal is your existence. The big meal is your life.

It’s what you’re here for. So here’s what I want to tell you: don’t suppress your appetite. If you have an eating challenge, don’t suppress your appetite. Expand it! And when I say expand it, make it bigger than food. Expand it into your hunger for love, your hunger for truth, your hunger for adventure, for possibility. Our job is to expand into life in the biggest way possible.

So, again, if you have an eating concern like overeating, binge eating, or emotional eating, here’s the good news: you’re hungry! That means you’re alive. That means you’re here. That is a great thing. So be willing to hunger for everything because when you hunger for everything and you allow that to happen, all the food challenges begin to take care of themselves in a natural way. And that, my friends, is the magic of life.

Marc David

To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.


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About The Author
Marc David

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.