Mind over Food

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This integrative program combines nutrition knowledge with psychological and behavioral tools necessary to lose weight and keep it off for the long run. 

Mind Over Food was developed by Behavioral Science Services’ (BSS) dietitian Rana Parker and psychologist Dr. Edrick Dorian, two health professionals committed to offering you the nutrition and mind skills needed to eat and think in ways to a healthier you!  

Program participants learn a variety of skills to succeed at weight loss, a few of which are:

  • Dealing with emotional eating
  • Identifying sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that torpedo progress
  • When, what and how much to eat
  • Overcoming obstacles like cravings and mindless eating

Our first program began in October 2012 at BSS, and the response was tremendous.  Most participants lost weight (average 5lbs), many continue to lose weight and one person has lost 50 pounds.  We’ve also held the program in the downtown area with good success as well.  This program is popular!  Four times the number of people expressed interest than what the program could enroll.  Participants must have found the program interesting and helpful, with attendance throughout the program at 75%.

Program Details

The 6-8 sessions, classroom-format training generally meets every other week for an hour and a half.  Meetings include presentations by the instructors, in-class activities and weight tracking (weigh-ins at every meeting).  Participants are expected to do some between-class activities, such as maintain a food log, step-counting and completing worksheets.

Who Is Eligible to Attend

The best candidates for the Mind Over Food are those individuals that:

  • Need to lose at least 30 pounds or more or have a Body Mass Index greater than 30.  For more info, click here.
  • Are committed and able to attend the vast majority of the sessions.
  • Are willing to do between-class activities.
  • Want to make long-term, lifestyle changes to improve their diet, not “go on a diet.”


Our next program runs

May 21, 2014, every other Wednesday from 13:00-1430h.

Marvin Braude Building (near Van Nuys Division)

                                     6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA, 91497


Interested in joining or just have questions?

Contact Dietitian Rana Parker at N4246@lapd.lacity.org or 213-252-3090.


 Participants may be able to attend on-duty.


We recognize that there are many people who would benefit from this program, who may not be available to attend this next session.  Here are a few activities from the program that you can do at home to enjoy food more while eating less.

  • Motivation: Just like you wouldn’t expect to be able to run a marathon if you’ve never run a mile, it’s important not to set yourself up for failure by taking on too many dieting steps at once. Make an effort to take one small step at a time in changing your diet, and watch the small steps gradually add up to big results!
  • Are you an “emotional” eater? Make a list of 3 things you can do for at least 15 minutes INSTEAD of eating (such as take a walk, play with your kids or pets, do household chores, read, or work on the computer). When the urge to eat emotionally strikes, pick something from the list and focus on that. Then reassess. Often times, the urge to eat will pass.
  • Do you eat mindlessly, either munching all day without realizing it, or overeating at meals to the point of discomfort? Eating more mindfully will allow you to enjoy the food more and eat the right amount. You can make one meal a day a “mindful” meal with a few simple steps:
    1.  Sit down to eat, preferably in a designated eating area, not at desk or bedroom;
    2. Give thanks for the meal: this can be silent or aloud, however and to whomever you wish;
    3. Focus on the single task of eating for at least 15 minutes- without TV, computer, phone, or other distractions. Focus on the food (appearance, scent, taste, texture, etc.);
    4. Eat until you feel 80% full, then stop.  It takes your brain a few minutes to catch up with your stomach and realize you’ve eaten enough.