The Joy Choice

How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise


By Michelle Segar, PhD

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD

Learn to live a happier and healthier life with the help of this book—start changing behaviors and create new habits using fun and easy science-based solutions.

What if you could easily and joyfully resolve the in-the-moment conflicts that often derail your eating and exercise goals? Much of what we’ve been taught about creating change in eating and exercise is simplistic, outdated, and for many, misguided. Sustainable-behavior-change researcher and lifestyle coach Michelle Segar has devoted decades to the study of how to achieve lasting changes in eating and exercise and other self-care behaviors. Segar explains the surprising reasons why our eating and exercise plans so often crash when they come up against real life. She calls these conflicts “choice points,” and shows that they are the real place of power for achieving lasting changes in eating and exercise.The Joy Choice offers a fresh, brain-based solution that turns the old behavior-change paradigm on its head. This groundbreaking book liberates you from the self-defeating obligations and rigid requirements of past diet and workout regimens and reveals what emerging research suggests really drives the consistent choices that power sustainable change. Designed from cutting-edge decision science and real-world experience coaching clients, you’ll discover the easy, flexible, and three-step joy-infused decision tool that works with the chaos of daily life, guiding you to finally achieve and maintain your eating and exercise goals once and for all—and enjoy doing it!

"One of the best health books of 2022”—Washington Post

“If you want a smart, science-based, and joyful approach to sustainable behavior change, start here."  ―Tom Rath, NYT bestselling author of Eat Move Sleep and StrengthsFinder 2.0  

"The Joy Choice…reveals easy and fun ways to stay consistent with our health goals, while still tending to the meaningful people and demands in our lives."―Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., NYT bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child and author of The Bottom Line for Baby

"If you’re frustrated with your progress in exercising and eating right, this book is for you. Michelle Segar shifts the focus…toward a new approach to our choices that is full of humanity, imperfection, and, yes, joy.” ―Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author of The Power of Regret and Drive


  • “Michelle Segar is my go-to expert on sustainable behavior change. Her work is smart, innovative, and actionable. In The Joy Choice, she reveals some of the most interesting and counterintuitive findings that I have read in years. Perhaps most importantly, this book shows us how to eat better, move more, and have a sound night’s sleep. If you want a smart, science-based, and joyful approach to sustainable behavior change, start here." 
    Tom Rath, bestselling author of Eat Move Sleep and StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • "If you’re frustrated with your progress in exercising and eating right, this book is for you. Michelle Segar distills the research and enlists a warm, engaging style to shift the focus away from narratives of willpower and toward a new approach to our choices that is full of humanity, imperfection, and, yes, joy.”
    Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Regret, When, and Drive
  • "If you’ve ever felt challenged to stick with health goals and plans amidst a busy, chaotic life, The Joy Choice was written for you. Segar uses understandable science, stories, and graphics to explain why failing to meet our eating and exercise goals isn’t because we just fail. And even better, she reveals easy and fun ways to stay consistent with our health goals, while still tending to the meaningful people and demands in our lives."
    Tina Payne Bryson, LCSW, Ph.D, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child & No-Drama Discipline, and author of The Bottom Line for Baby
  • “Even the most committed couch potato is no match for Michelle Segar’s energy and expertise. If you don’t think working out and eating well can be fun, get ready to think again. This is an insightful and entertaining read on the science and practice of adopting healthy habits.”
    Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
  • "She's done it again! I’ve been sharing Michelle Segar’s insights in my lectures around the world and with my patients at home since reading her first book, No Sweat. Her new book, The Joy Choice, builds on this past work with new science and deeper insights into how we can cut through the all-or-nothing thinking that accumulates over time, eventually derailing our goals. Using stories from her health coaching practice and graphics to relay this fresh thinking, The Joy Choice is a riveting and quick read. By the end, we’ve learned the know how to painlessly and playfully maintain consistency with our healthy eating and exercise goals while still living our busy lives."
    John Ratey, MD, Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction and Spark
  • "The Joy Choice is a humane and inspiring book about how we can learn to stick with our greater eating and exercise goals. It uses cutting-edge research to explain why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we can’t do what we planned, and provides us with a science-based, practical framework for successful behavior change. Eloquent, informed, and wise, this is a book I’ll be telling all of my friends to read."
    Ethan Kross, bestselling author of Chatter
  • "The Joy Choice offers a new, practical approach to sustaining healthy behaviors that’s both science-based and humane. Dr. Segar fully acknowledges the daily challenges that threaten to disrupt our self-care plans and reframes them as “choice points”— opportunities to think flexibly, connect to our values, and accept imperfection. Going for consistency over time (rather than aiming for an unachievable perfect execution of the plan) is liberating and, yes, joyful! The Joy Choice comes at a time when we couldn’t need it more."
    LuAnn Heinen, Vice President of Business Group on Health
  • "If you feel you have 'failed' at every healthy eating or physical activity plan you’ve ever tried, you are almost certainly a victim of the modern-day diet culture we live in. But there is a way to escape this trap, and it’s called the Joy Choice!  Dr. Segar provides a step-by-step guide and the specific tools needed for implementing meaningful, healthful changes, once and for all. The Joy Choice is a must read -- not only for individuals, but for dietitians, therapists, and coaches, too."
    Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and epidemiologist
  • "Combining her accessible, optimistic, can-do ethos with research, Michelle teaches us the art of thinking about our own thinking. Through learning how to flexibly reframe and re-imagine our perfectly imperfect lives, we can divine our own Joy Choices even when 'stuff happens,' every day."
    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist, blogger at Health Populi, and author of HealthConsuming: from Health Consumer to Health Citizen
  • "The science of behavior change forms the foundation of the work educators and trainers do every day. The Joy of Choice explains the latest research and new thinking about how to encourage changes in behavior in ways that support (instead of stress out) everyday living. Beyond helping individuals better stick with healthier lifestyles, this insightful book provides compelling examples and a roadmap for learning and development professionals to put these new principles into practice in our work creating behavior change for others."
    David Kelly, EVP and Executive Director of The Learning Guild
  • "The Joy Choice offers up a counterintuitive new formula for creating sustainable changes in eating and exercise through joy, purpose, and play. From a creative integration of the latest science and provocative stories from her work with clients and industry, Segar tells us a new tale of behavior change that lets us reach our goals in perfectly imperfect ways. This book is for anyone who has felt like a failure or simply hasn’t figured out how to stick with healthier lifestyles and seeks to do so."
    Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Transcend and host of The Psychology Podcast
  • "An essential read on how behavior change really happens (hint: it's not just habits!). A go-to expert, Michelle Segar knows exactly which levers to pull to achieve lasting results. If you've ever struggled with exercise or eating goals you need to read this book!"
    Ron Friedman, PhD, bestselling author of The Best Place to Work and Decoding Greatness
  • "As one who has struggled over the years to lose weight and maintain regular exercise regimes because life always seems to “get in the way,” I found The Joy Choice a wonderfully powerful guide to fresh ways to approach our relationship with our most important self-care-goals. Dr. Segar reveals why so many of the goal-achievement strategies we've been taught actually sabotage our success. And she helps us embrace a new approach that works because it aligns with our deepest values, supporting who we are in our core and preventing the deep internal resistance that so commonly gets in our way. Get The Joy Choice today! It will finally free you to achieve your top self-care goals in a far simpler way that aligns with your most empowered and confident self."
    Kathy Caprino, MA, career & leadership coach and author of The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss

On Sale
Jul 11, 2023
Page Count
256 pages
Hachette Go

Michelle Segar, PhD

About the Author

Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, MS, author of No Sweat, is an award-winning, NIH funded sustainable-behavior-change researcher at the University of Michigan and a lifestyle coach. For nearly three decades, she has pioneered methods to create sustainable healthy behavior change that are being used to boost patient health, employee well-being, and gym membership retention. Inaugural chair of the United States National Physical Activity Plan’s Communication Committee, former director of the University of Michigan’s SHARP Center, and consultant to companies like Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, and Anytime Fitness, she is frequently interviewed in major media outlets like The New York Times, NPR, PreventionReal Simple, and The Wall Street Journal. Segar is a sought-after speaker and trainer and lives with her husband and son in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Learn more about this author