Tag Archives: Marc David

More From Marc David- “A New Way To Lose Weight: Listen To It”

A New Way To Lose Weight: Listen To It

    

Here’s my new excitement: to get real and truthful and edgy about the gigantic subject of weight loss. Let’s all see if we can put our collective mojo together and spark something new in the weight loss conversation. Let’s invent some useful insights that have a chance to further the action and help us discover who we are and why, as a world, we keep growing more and more plump. So, in the spirit of pioneering a new trail in the still uncharted territory of weight, allow me to offer something that might sound a bit confusing, but I think is helpful:

If you’re trying to lose weight simply because you want to lose a bunch of weight, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to lose weight.

Here’s what I mean: most people who have extra pounds attack their body fat as if it was some foreign and hostile invader. We honestly believe that this excess weight is “not me.” So, we do our best get rid of this unwanted yuk that seems to be ruining our ability to have a good time. And it all makes sense. But here’s the rub – weight loss strategies don’t work. This isn’t headline news. Any study that has any scientific morals and scruples bears this out in the long term. If there was a weight loss diet or pill or program or gizmo that truly worked, we’d all know about it and guys like me would’ve been thankfully out of a job long ago.

What I’m saying is that if there was one single reason why we don’t lose weight – it’s because our reason for wanting to do so is all off, which leads us to invent or undertake weight loss methods that fail us. Again, most people want to lose weight simply to get the weight off.

The problem is, the weight is there for a reason and it has a message. It has a deeper purpose. It’s talking to us. The wisdom of life, of the cosmos, of the grand design of all that is  – speaks through the human body in the form of symptoms. We are fashioned with a brilliant operating system that has our biology taking direct orders from divine intelligence. Excess weight is a messenger from a higher source. If you kill the messenger – that is, if you actually do lose the weight but don’t get the wisdom it’s trying to impart – the messenger returns. 99% of people who lose weight on a weight loss diet gain it back. There’s no moral failure here. It’s not about eating less calories or switching to skim instead of half and half. We just didn’t listen deeply enough.

Trying to get rid of weight by “losing it” is like trying to get rid of paying a bill by ripping it up and throwing it out. It seems like such a great idea. Just get rid of the bill. The problem is though, when you throw out the bill, another one comes in the mail, and this time with a late fee. Throw that one away and the consequences grow steeper.

The bills and the extra weight have something very simple and profound in common – neither has any real value in and of itself. Yet they both point to something. The bill points to the fact that you purchased your house with a loan from the bank, and you owe the bank gobs of money. Ripping it up then, is a silly and nonsensical act. Likewise, excess weight points to something else. To simply get rid of it for the sake of getting rid of it goes against universal law.

The billion-dollar question then, is “What does excess weight point to?” The answer, in my experience, is that there are an infinite variety of possibilities. Here are just a few common and compelling ones. Excess weight can point to:

  • Our poor food choices
  • Emotional hunger
  • Unmet needs
  • Repressed feelings
  • Confusion around self identity
  • A call for love and help
  • Self hatred
  • Our disconnection from the body
  • Past history of sexual abuse
  • Being wounded by love
  • Financial worries
  • Repressed creativity
  • Being someone we are not
  • The need to forgive and move on
  • The need to earn how to truly nourish and care for oneself
  • Loneliness
  • Fear of sensuality
  • Too much stress
  • Separation from one’s spiritual source
  • Too many foreign chemicals and toxins in our world that directly or indirectly lead to weight gain – fluoride, mercury, bovine growth hormones, xeno-estrogens, and many more
  • The sickness in our manufacturing world that would have us invent and sell junk foods in the first place
  • A nation that values excess and over-consumption
  • A culture that values speed, disembodiment, and lack of awareness
  • A world that is filled with fear, anxiety, and mistrust
  • Someone else’s belief that we need to lose weight
  • An obsessive need to lose weight where no weight actually needs to be lost

Each one of these is literally like a bill to pay. We can’t just avoid these life lessons, rip them up, or exercise and diet them off. We’ve got to question, self examine, look, listen, feel, get real, be truthful, and grow into a more mature way of listening to the body and honoring it’s wisdom, even when the body isn’t conforming to our humble demands that it be beautiful and hot and skinny. Of course, this isn’t easy. The process of self-examination is predictably a bitch. For this reason, far too many of us look for the quick fix. We don’t want to be uncomfortable as we face the tougher questions, so we’re easily seduced by the next diet gimmick that never works.

Just as it’s time to pay the bills, it’s time to pay homage to weight. It’s time to own that our challenges with weight require a whole new approach. No more quick fix. It’s time for the slow fix. Can we be brave enough to listen? Can we be courageous enough to be patient?

What important message and life lesson is your body trying to bring your awareness to?

Warm Regards,

Marc David

Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating

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From Marc David- The Psychobiology of Chewing

Several months ago when I read Marc David’s book about  his “Slow Down Diet” I started to eat my food more slowly and with more awareness. I have remained more conscious of my pacing and  chewing even when I have little time to eat.
That being said, I was amazed when I read this article.
The information about every aspect of chewing seems so comprehensive and compelling to me that I know it has already positively impacted my whole approach to eating.
I will be  dining much more often than reverting to my old habit of simply eating food most of the time.
Hopefully you too will find this article to be fascinating.
Enjoy and Mange!!!!
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The Psychobiology of Chewing

Posted on April 10, 2013 – 6 Comments

The Psychobiology of ChewingThere’s more to chewing than you might think. It’s arguably the first digestive activity that we bring to a meal, and unlike the chemical processes that occur in our gut, chewing falls under our conscious control. Except of course, when we go a bit unconscious and inhale our food. But chewing is more than a digestive aid. It also has a potent psychological function that helps keep body, mind and emotions in balance. Consider the following:

Have you ever wondered why crunchy foods are so popular, why advertisers promote products on the basis of crunchiness – “super crunchy,” “extra crunchy,” “stays crunchy even in milk”? Have you noticed that whenever you eat your favorite brand of potato chips, pretzels, or crackers, they each have a similar degree of crunchiness? What advertisers understand and capitalize on is that crunching and chewing are primal activities, inborn urges dating back to the first life-forms that ever “crunched” on each other.

So important is the level of crunch that many years ago, potato-chip manufacturers developed a sophisticated apparatus to measure the perceived level of crunch that consumers hear in their heads. The most pleasurable decibel levels were deciphered, and potato chips were subsequently manufactured to these standard orgasmic crunch levels.

From a psychophysiologic perspective, chewing and crunching are natural outlets for inborn aggression.

Throw a piece of meat into a lion’s cage and the lion will likely roar at it, attack it and tear it apart as if it were still alive. The lion must do this because its nature is to be aggressive. But aggression here isn’t meant as some mean, vengeful act. A lion doesn’t attack a jackrabbit because of hate. Quite the contrary, the lion attacks because it loves the jackrabbit.

Like the lion, human beings have a distinct measure of innate aggression, and developmental psychologists often see this energy as first experienced through the infant’s desire to bite. Psychologists call the original oral-aggressive act the “hanging-on bite” to the breast. This is a biting that establishes confluence with the mother. The baby must actively hold on for nourishment and will often keep holding on even when mama has had enough. The tension it experiences when separated from the mother before it’s fully satisfied is typically expressed through crying, screaming and facial contortions.

In the many body-oriented disciplines and psychologies, the jaw is associated with anger and aggression. When these emotions are habitually withheld and left unexpressed, they may become “frozen” on the face as a perpetually clenched jaw or tightened musculature resembling a scowl. Just as a dog clenches its teeth when angered or challenged, so too do human beings channel aggression through the face. From an evolutionary perspective, the process of biting and chewing allows for the release of what psychologists call dental aggressive urges.

Many people habitually fail to chew, swallowing their food almost whole.

They tend to derive pleasure not so much from the taste and texture of the food as from the velocity at which it’s eaten. In such instances we deny an important, natural outlet for tension and fail to experience full satisfaction from a meal. In an effort to free the unreleased tension, we may continue to eat past the point of satiation, turn to other oral based habits like gum chewing, or simply internalize the tension, allowing it to build over time and eventually express itself in chronic emotional or biological symptoms. For many people, TMJ is the result of unexpressed anger that’s looking for an outlet.

On another level, by swallowing food whole, we make a statement about the way we approach the world. We want our hungers in life satisfied but aren’t fully willing to take the necessary steps. This need for immediate gratification is reflected in our refusal to chew. Ironically, a side effect of the short-cut method of not chewing is more hunger. Chewing and tasting are basic to hunger satisfaction. When we limit these simple gustatory requirements, the brain screams for more food. Taste, texture, and satisfaction are literal nutritional requirements.

In one fascinating experiment, scientists deprived a group of test rats the sensation of taste. This group of “tasteless” rats, along with a control group, were placed on a normal rat diet. Both groups ate the same amount of food, and in a short time the taste-deprived rats all died. When the rats were autopsied, researchers could only find one cause of death – clinical rat malnutrition. The scientists could come up with only one explanation – that there are important yet unknown physiological connections between taste and health. Similarly, hospital patients fed intravenously or through feeding tubes that bypass the mouth often report a nagging hunger for taste, and can experience digestive, immune and other health issues. Though the mechanisms that govern these phenomena are little understood, this much is certain: to be fully nourished by food, we must experience it through tasting and chewing

In a comparable manner, to be fully nourished by any experience, we must “taste” and “chew” it thoroughly.

It’s no accident that many of the words we use to describe eating are the same ones used to describe the thinking process. When presented with an idea, the mind will first grasp it and “chew” on it. Our conscious mind breaks it down into its component parts, “tastes” it, then “swallows” it into the subconscious for final “assimilation”. When we accept something without “ruminating” over it or when we swallow something “hook, line and sinker,” or when “biting off more than we can chew,” what we say in our metaphoric language is that just as food works with digestion, so too do perceptions work with the mind. Improper chewing of food or ideas are equally disturbing to our system.

The mouth deserves our nutritional respect. It’s the first step in the digestive process. Here the chemical digestion of starches is initiated with amylase, an enzyme that breaks down the complex carbohydrate molecules in a well-salivated mouth. The mechanical digestion of food is also initiated in the mouth with the process of chewing. The surface area increases as the food is broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. When the food reaches the stomach, the number of molecules exposed to the stomach’s acid and enzymatic environment is maximized.

If we swallow something whole, such as a piece of meat, an abnormal series of events occurs. First the stomach must churn the meat with its own muscular movements to help break it down into smaller pieces, a function it’s not ideally designed to do. Next, we go through the lengthy chemical process of breaking down large pieces of food. Because we started with one large bite, only the surface of the meat remains exposed to the stomach’s digestive juices. To digest the meat further, the stomach may secrete more acid than normal. This irritates the stomach lining, which is the reason many eaters experience acid indigestion. The condition is exacerbated if the food is high in protein. The greater the protein content of the food, the higher the level of stomach acidity required to digest it.

Chewing is a “pacesetter”. Whatever speed and number of times we chew sets in motion a rhythm that our entire body adopts. By chewing rapidly and insufficiently, we initiate an unsettled frame of mind that is reflected in the body as uncomfortable sensations in the digestive system. Chewing at a moderate to slow rate promotes a relaxed, grounded demeanor and for many, a noticeable stronger metabolism

Full chewing need not be a discipline, but can occur spontaneously simply by eating with relaxed awareness, and settling in to an attitude of nourishment with our meals. Rather than concentrate on chewing food, eat your food, savor it, delight in it, and let chewing be a natural part of the eating process.

Can you see how chewing is more than just a digestive activity? Do you have your own personal story of how chewing food is a metaphor for how we munch on life?

Warmest regards,

Marc David

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From Marc David- A New Definition of Metabolism

Once again I am passing on to you the simple, intuitive truth about food and our bodies that Marc David specializes in.

This week’s discussion is about the concept of metabolism. I loved one of the final paragraphs in which metabolism is equated to personal power.

Does this ring true for you? It certainly does for me.

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