What is Mind Body Nutrition?

The Institute for The Psychology of Eating’s online nutrition programs focus on groundbreaking work in the innovative approach of Mind Body Nutrition™.

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Here at the Institute, Marc David has originated and developed this new approach to nutrition to advance the field and indeed help us see nutrition in a whole new light. When you begin to incorporate the very practical strategies and principles from this approach, powerful changes can happen when it comes to overall health including weight, digestion, energy level, mood, immunity, overeating, binge eating and much more.

Here’s a simple definition:

Mind Body Nutrition focuses on how the mind has a profound influence on the body when it comes to how we metabolize a meal.

More specifically, Mind Body Nutrition looks at the psychophysiology of how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning and all the nutritive functions of the body are literally and scientifically impacted by stress, relaxation, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, pleasure, eating rhythm, eating speed, awareness, our personal story, and more...

To put it another way: What we eat is half the story of good nutrition – the other half of the story is who we are as eaters. That is, the person who we are literally and scientifically influences how we digest, absorb and calorie burn a meal. Previously in the field of nutrition, we’ve made the assumption that the nutritional value of a meal is given exclusively in the nutrients it contains - macronutrients, micronutrients and so on. So if you wanted to know the value of a meal, you’d merely look at the label and the nutrient profile.

But nutrition is way more interesting than that. The error in thinking here, is that just because a food has a specific nutrient content doesn’t mean we will ABSORB all of those nutrients. We need to look at the person who’s ingesting that food. We need to look at how their physiology is being impacted by mind and emotions. We need to ask the question “Are we in the optimum state of digestion, assimilation and calorie burning when we’re eating?”

The bottom line is this: you can be eating the healthiest food in the universe, but if you aren’t eating under the optimum physiologic state - which happens to be relaxation, then you won’t get even close to receiving the full nutritional value of that meal.

This is not some fanciful notion

This is simple and straightforward science.

According to the well accepted research, stress has the following impact:

  • It de-regulates appetite and drives us to eat more
  • It increases cortisol and insulin which signal weight gain and fat storage
  • It decreases muscle growth
  • It causes digestive upset
  • It leads to intense nutrient excretion
  • It kills healthy gut bacteria
  • It increases unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • It can lower thyroid and growth hormone levels
  • It can make us more susceptible to food allergies
  • And the list goes on

Clearly, stress has a massive impact on our health - more and more people know that these days. But here’s the tricky part: We’re all aware of the obvious stresses in our lives - work stress, relationship challenges, financial issues, and so on. But we often miss the powerful stressors that are more hidden.

Here’s what we mean:

Stress is any real or IMAGINED danger and the body’s response to that danger.

In other words, the brain literally doesn’t distinguish between a real stress or an imagined one. If you sat in a room all by yourself, happy and content, and started thinking about the guy who did you wrong years ago, and if that story still carries a charge for you – your body would quickly shift into the physiologic stress-state – increased heart rate and blood pressure, followed by decreased digestive function.

Meaning you can create stress chemistry day in and day out by simply the thoughts you think.

So we have to look deeper, we have to be more creative, and we have to be willing explorers of what exactly is causing us stress. This is precisely what Mind Body Nutrition shows us. It asks us to especially look at self chosen stressors.

And these self created stressors can take MANY forms. For example, any guilt about food, shame about the body, or judgment about health are considered stressors by the brain and are immediately transduced into their electrochemical equivalents in the body. So if you’re thinking self loathing thoughts, you’re automatically generating stress chemistry, which means the digestion of your food goes down, and your fat storage metabolism goes up.

Are you beginning to see the importance of our mental/emotional state when it comes to eating and metabolism? Can you see how the nutritional value of a meal is determined by way more than the nutrient profile of the food?

Mind Body Nutrition helps us learn how to navigate our physiology, our emotional state and our mindset so you can finally begin to master your metabolism in a natural and sustainable way.

This has been the missing piece in the nutritional puzzle for WAY too long. There are so many more examples like the one we mentioned above,and it’s shocking this information is not headline nutritional news.

Here at the Institute, we incorporate the tools, techniques, protocols, and tricks of the trade from Mind Body Nutrition in our trainings and programs. This includes our premier online, distance learning professional offering - the Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training. And it includes our well loved online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body called - Transform Your Relationship with Food.

Here are just a few of the Mind Body Nutrition highlights in our programs:

  • The Effects of The Physiologic Stress Response on Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Relaxation Techniques that Profoundly Enhance Digestion and Calorie Burning
  • Secrets to Accessing the Wisdom of the Enteric Nervous System – the Brain in the Belly
  • Simple breathing techniques that increase calorie burning capacity
  • Nutrition and Circadian Rhythm: Practical Keys to Modulating Appetite
  • The Hidden Influence of our Life Story on Nutritional Metabolism
  • Mind-Body Nutrition Techniques for Weight Loss
  • How Pleasure impacts digestion, appetite and calorie burning
  • The Nutritional Importance of Time
  • The Placebo Effect and Nutrition: How Thoughts Influence Digestive Chemistry
  • The Profound Influence of the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response on Willpower
  • Mind-Body Nutrition Techniques for Body Image Challenges
  • How Beliefs about Sexuality & Beauty Impact Nutritional Metabolism
  • The Impact of Culture on Health and Weight
  • And much more

We’re just scratching the surface here of what’s possible here, and we’d love for you to learn more about our work and joins us in one of our programs, trainings or events.

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“The study of nutrition alone is no longer adequate enough to address the issues we face with health, weight, body image, overeating, and the challenges of being an eater. Every concern with food and health has a deeper teaching that’s perfectly designed to fuel our growth and transformation. Our job is to listen. The biology of the body is always mirroring the experience of the soul.”

Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating

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“I’ve not only been able to dramatically heal my own struggles with food and body- I’m now able to serve others in a similar way. That, to me, is the beauty of this work. Each of us can use our own personal journey to serve others and do rewarding work in the world that supports us and makes a real difference.”

Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating

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