Oh the world of Eating Psychology and Mind-Body Nutrition! I love this area of study. Why? Because it helps us dive deeper into why we eat the way eat; why we “can’t” seem to change our habits and helps bring so much more awareness to our lives and our relationship to food.
The psychology of eating is a newer approach in the health & wellness industry as it takes the approach of holistic nutritional healing. Marc David, founder of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, has been teaching, writing and consulting for the past 3 decades, and has found that we need to approach our health from a holistic standpoint that reunites “the psychology of eating with the science of nutrition.” He has come up with two powerful approaches that I learned about and studied through my training at the institute: Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition.
Dynamic Eating Psychology
Dynamic Eating Psychology is an approach that empowers everyone with their relationship with food; it’s positive and uplifting and “honors the unique, fascinating, and ever changing experience of food and body that each one of us has.”
It’s a fascinating approach that sees our eating challenges as doorways and our symptoms as messages rather than problems to just try and “fix.” If listened to, these doorways and messages can lead to growth, transformation, healing, and the opportunity for us to become more of who we’re truly meant to be.
This approach truly is for anyone who eats, as it’s all about your own unique “food story” and it embraces all of who we are, as people and as eaters – body, mind and soul.
You can find more information about Dynamic Eating Psychology here: http://psychologyofeating.com/what-is-dynamic-eating-psychology/
Mind-Body Nutrition is really one of my favourite things. It is an approach that also originated at IPE. It takes the approach that what we eat is only half the story; the other half is who we are as eaters.
Each of us is unique and different, and to some varying degree, our approach to health should be as well. We each have our own story and our own relationship with food and eating, and so we really cannot expect our healing journey’s to all be the same.
Mind-Body Nutrition therefore is the psychophysiology of how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning, and all the nutritive functions of the body are impacted by stress, relaxation, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, pleasure, nourishment, awareness, meal timing, our personal story, and more.
All of these do indeed have an impact on us nutritionally, therefore by taking the Mind-Body Nutrition approach to health, we are connecting what we think and feel with our food choices, and how and when we eat, and more.
It’s an approach that uses techniques and strategies to create lasting changes, and teaches us to become more aware of who we are as eaters, and to learn how to tune into our own body wisdom.
And learning to tune into our own body-wisdom is so important. Why? Well, simply put, our heavenly Father created our bodies with such intelligence that we would be silly not to learn to listen! Our bodies are so incredibly smart, they know how to heal themselves!
A Whole-Person, Holistic Approach
Eating psychology, or the psychology of eating, encompasses who we are as a person, as eaters and our relationship with food. What you eat is only part of your story and your health challenges and concerns.
Generally speaking, most health, nutrition, diet, fitness, etc. experts tend to create approaches from accurately reading the needs of their own body, and then mistakenly translate their findings as being good for everyone else’s body as well. While there are basics across the board, and yes, ‘science’ can prove virtually any position in health, medicine and well-being, using the eating psychology approach teaches us it’s our own body wisdom and experience that is key to nutrition and health.
But is it Biblical?
Great question! While the Institute itself is not a Bible-based institute, the realm of eating psychology and mind-body nutrition fits so well with my personal Biblical beliefs.
We are so incredibly made, and food is such an important aspect of Biblical living. The Bible is saturated with stories involving food, and the if one truly reads the Bible they’ll be able to see how eating can be and in fact is a spiritual act.
Personally, through studying the world of eating psychology and mind-body nutrition, I feel like I have grown in my area of faith, and trusting in our Father’s intelligent design.
If you are wanting to dive deeper into nutrition, are looking for a career change, or are interested in taking your current practice to a new level, then I would love to encourage you to check out The Institute for the Psychology of Eating.