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Welcome to AmIHungry.net
your Member Portal!

Am I Hungry?® Participants

Welcome! This Member Portal provides mindful eating resources, tools, news and an online community for our participants in our mindful eating programs.

Am I Hungry?® Licensees

Welcome! Mindful Eating workshop facilitators, coaches, and therapists may use this Member Portal to provide mindful eating resources, news, and program information. You may also share ideas and best practices with other licensees.

Interested in Am I Hungry?®

Visit http://AmIHungry.com to read articles, find out about our workshops, buy books, CDs and DVDs or arrange a keynote by Dr. May for your organization.

Different Shades of Grey

By Michelle May, M.D.

Shades of grey has changed the lives of countless individuals--and can change your life too. No, I'm not talking about the blockbuster book series!

Between Black and White

You may have noticed a false "either-or" dilemma that plagues our culture's approach to eating--and most other things: good or bad, right or wrong, all or nothing, in control or out of control. Psychologists call this "dichotomous" or "black and white" thinking.

This extreme thinking has characterized yo-yo dieting for decades. At first, dieters are highly motivated to adhere to a strict diet of "good" food. Eventually, feelings of deprivation set in, leading to preoccupation and cravings for "bad" food, increasing sensitivity to temptations, giving in, guilt and consequently, overeating. I call this predictable pattern the eat-repent-repeat cycle. One version of this cycle is upon us: holiday overeating followed by New Years resolutions!

Ironically, it is the false dilemma--on the diet, off the diet--that reinforces the guilt and fear that fuel the eat-repent-repeat cycle. The reality is that, unless you know some fancy tricks, a yo-yo never stops in the middle.

But a healthy lifestyle is a long-term process, not a short-term pledge of perfection. Therefore, I prefer to think of eating and physical activity as a pendulum instead of a yoyo. It's easy to picture what happens when you draw a pendulum in one direction and let go: it swings to the opposite extreme.

Rather than seeing your choices as either good or bad, right or wrong, or all or nothing, small changes practiced consistently allow the pendulum to gradually find a smaller arc in between the extremes. An eating and physical activity plan that takes into account your health concerns, preferences, schedule, goals, cultural and other personal matters makes it possible to establish a healthy lifestyle that's flexible enough to withstand the realities of daily life in our abundant food environment.

From Grey to Great!

Contrary to what some claim, healthy eating cannot be reduced down to a rigid and overly simplistic prescription for what to eat and how much to exercise. Further, health doesn't require perfect eating (whatever that is) anyway. It does, however, necessitate mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a dynamic, flexible approach that embraces curiosity, non-judgment, and the grey areas. The Am I Hungry? approach to mindful eating (http://amihungry.com/weight-management-programs.shtml) encompasses the entire decision making process, including:

- Paying attention to hunger and fullness cues
- Recognizing emotional and environmental triggers for eating
- Using nutrition information as a tool, not a weapon
- Choosing food that reflects balance, variety, and moderation for optimal nourishment and enjoyment
- Appreciating the appearance, aromas, and flavors of food
- Noticing how different foods, ingredients, and quantities affect satiety, energy, and pleasure
- Learning from mistakes rather than shaming, blaming, or judging
- Engaging in regular, joyful physical activity
- Practicing consistent self-care that decreases vulnerability to stress and unhealthy behaviors
- Giving up the dichotomy of being in control or out of control, and choosing to be in charge instead

When you look for the shades of grey in place of old black and white thinking, you will discover how colorful your life can be!

To learn more about Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs, please visit: http://amihungry.com/weight-management-programs.shtml

Michelle May M.D.

Michelle May is a physician and recovered yoyo dieter. She founded Am I Hungry?® to provide an alternative to restrictive and ineffective dieting.

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News Archive

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This website will be down for maintenance

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Four Critical Lessons for Mindful Eating

Bariatric Surgery: It's STILL Not About the Food!

Stop! Don't Pull that Trigger!

Dining with Myself...Uh Oh!

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Your Picture of Health

Rewrite Those Ridiculous Holiday Eating Tips

Thankful for Food...The Great Connector

Boot the Bully from Your Brain

The Italian Treadmill: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Sensuous Eating: Eat with Beginner's Mind

Do You EatSpeak?

Emotional Eating: Reading the Clues to Your Feelings and Needs

Dr. May on Dr. Oz Exploring the Power of the Mind-Body Connection

Cure for Chocoholics: Eat Fearlessly!

Habits Recreate the Past again and again

Can Mindful Eating Really Lead to Weight Loss (and does it matter)?

Foodie's Guide to Mindful Holiday Eating

Playing a Game of Chance

Duck Your Cravings

Eat, Learn, Live

Going Bananas: Weird thoughts about food caused by dieting

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Regret and Her Horrible Twin, Guilt

How to Enjoy a Cruise - Without Going Overboard

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Would You Allow Someone to Buy You Off with Food?

TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCTS: Tuning In to Your Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit

THE END OF YO-YO DIETING

WHAT IS AM I HUNGRY? ANYWAY? (PLEASE DON'T ASSUME YOU KNOW!)

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THE FOOD LOVERS GUIDE TO TRAVEL, MEETINGS, AND DINING OUT

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WHEN YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO, YOU'LL NEVER EXERCISE A DAY IN YOUR LIFE!

7 STEPS TO MEANINGFUL, MAGNETIC NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

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Am I Hungry? Member Portal

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