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Mindful Eating Weekend Intensive vs. Mindful Eating Retreat

By Michelle May, M.D.

Some people have asked about the differences between our Mindful Eating Weekend Intensive vs. our Mindful Eating Retreat, so I decided to write a post to answer your questions.

Mindful Eating Retreats

One of my favorite professional activities is facilitating live, small group Mindful Eating Retreats. Over a relatively short period of time (typically 5 days and 4 nights), I have the opportunity to guide and witness remarkable transformations in our participants! From our very first workshop, Why do I eat?, to our wrap-up conversation about their biggest take-aways, the change in the way people feel about themselves and their ability to manage their eating is inspiring.

As you read the comments from people who have attended an Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly Retreat, a Mindful Eating for Emotional Eating and Binge Eating Retreat, or a Mindful Eating and Yoga Retreat, it is clear that this is not just my impression. Their words are heartfelt and touching, and affirm my passion for the difference this work makes in people’s lives. I truly wish everyone could experience the insights, new skills, connection, and fun we have during those five days!

Mindful Eating Weekend IntensiveMindful Eating Weekend Intensive

The truth is, five days might be too big of a commitment for people who don’t yet know what to expect from Am I Hungry? Maybe the cost of an all-inclusive retreat, or five days away from their family or work isn’t possible right now. Perhaps they feel they’ve tried everything so they’re afraid this won’t “work” either. Those are understandable barriers but it breaks my heart to think that someone might miss the opportunity to heal their relationship with food out of fear!

So how can we give people a real taste of what Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs are all about without having to make a larger investment than they are comfortable making right now? A Mindful Eating Weekend Intensive!

Instead of spending 4 nights and  5 days at a retreat location, we are hosting a weekend event near my home base (Phoenix, Arizona) that will cover all of the key lessons from our Mindful Eating Program. We won’t sacrifice the group interaction (or the fun!), but we won’t have a lot of downtime–thus the word “Intensive” in the title!

We will start on Friday evening with a favorite ice-breaker activity then jump right into our first workshop to explore our personal “Eating Cycles.” Right away, everyone will discover that they are not alone, and that there really is a whole new way to think about eating!

On Saturday morning, we’re going to dive into the basics of the Am I Hungry? approach to mindful eating:

  • How to tell if you’re hungry.
  • How to know how hungry you are.
  • How to do a Body-Mind-Heart Scan to notice physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
  • How to decide what to eat without rules or restriction.
  • How to set an intention for how full you want to be when you’re done eating.

Once we have laid this foundation, we will apply what we learned with a guided mindful lunch! You’ll experience a wonderful meal while practicing mindful eating.

During the afternoon on Saturday, we’ll work on other common, but difficult issues:

  • What to do when you’ve eaten too much.
  • What to do when you’re not hungry but you feel like eating.
  • How to heal a negative body image.

Then we’ll take a much needed break! For those who want to go to dinner with other participants, we’ll make reservations for you at a nearby restaurant (no host) on Saturday evening. (You don’t have to decide until Saturday afternoon.)

On Sunday, we’ll reconvene to explore some challenging topics:

  • How to identify your triggers for overeating.
  • How to change your thoughts so you get the results you want.
  • How to decode your emotional triggers for eating.
  • How to build a self-care buffer zone.

We’ll wrap-up before lunchtime so you have the afternoon free to travel home, enjoy our beautiful Phoenix weather, or spend some time digesting everything you’ve learned!

Obviously, we aren’t going to skimp on the workshops, but there won’t be time for our mindful movement activities, social meals, overnight stays, massages, or relaxation like we build into our five day retreat. Sure, it’s a bit of a trade-off but if it makes it possible for someone to experience mindful eating, I think it’s worth it!

Please download a detailed Mindful Eating Weekend Intensive information packet, and feel free to contact us or post your other questions below!


About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.


  1. Yana says:

    i want to come with my teenage daughter, both of us are emotional eaters and can use this retreat

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