New Years is coming up, are you thinking of making some resolutions around your eating habits? How can you structure these resolutions so that they can benefit the health of your mind and body the most? What small changes can you make with exercise that could lead you to make big and beneficial impacts on your health over time? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Dr. Michelle May about yo-yo dieting and New Years Resolutions.


Dr. Michelle May is a recovered yo-yo dieter and former family physician. She is the founder of Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs and Training to help individuals break free from mindless and emotional eating and senseless yo-yo dieting. She is the award-winning author of the Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat book series. Find out more and connect with Dr. May here. Connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


  • Experience the holidays without making food the focus
  • The cycle of deprivation
  • Yo-yo dieting and exercise as enjoyment

Experience the holidays without making food the focus

There are so many different aspects around food that you can enjoy, such as spending time with family or recreating some recipes that you used to make with your grandparents, or enjoying the aroma of certain foods that bring back different memories from your childhood; there are many things around food that you can take pleasure in besides the food. Of course, also the food, but you can take some of the stress away from yourself by not berating yourself for enjoying, and actually consciously allow yourself to enjoy it and everything around the holidays too.

The cycle of deprivation

When the New Year comes, nothing changes, because you did not start the cycle of deprivation.
Nothing changes, it’s the new year. Granted, holidays are gone so I might have a little more margin to do new things or try something new, but I don’t all of a sudden go to restriction and deprivation because my way of managing food during the holidays is the same way I manage my food all of the rest of the year. (Dr. Michelle May)
Eating the right amount of food is not about being good, but feeling good. With regards to New Years’ resolutions, center your intentions on things that have to do with taking genuine care of yourself from the inside, because it allows you to come out the other end with new skills and working with positive reinforcement. This contrasts with the general New Year’s resolution of losing weight which comes from the outside and focuses on slightly more negative mindsets.

Yo-yo dieting and exercise as enjoyment

For many yo-yo dieters, exercise was used as punishment for what they ate, or it was used to earn the right to eat. Therefore, by finding a way to make exercise fun and something to look forward to encourages you to do it more often and in this way, you can start to see and enjoy the health benefits you receive from exercising. Dr. Michelle talks about taking “movement snacks”, as something you can do throughout your way when you sit for long hours at your desk to give your body a break and enjoy movement as a fun activity instead of another thing on the to-do list. Add movement into life for energy and with these small changes, you can create big changes in your life and it does not come from another batch of New Year's resolutions. Get a free chapter of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat

Books by Dr. Michelle May



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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