International No Diet Day
International No Diet Day is observed next on Monday, May 6th, 2024 (150 days from today).
There has been a long-standing movement to remove the shame often associated with Hollywood's imperfection. Edited images found in fashion and beauty magazines have been cited as a direct cause of the growing prevalence of eating disorders among young people.
Health has long been associated with unrealistic body types and dangerous, unhealthy diets. International No Diet Day has been pushed forward with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles for all body types.
History of International No Diet Day
Dieticians and dietitians date back to the 18th century when the obese British physician George Cheyne experienced a terrible weight loss by eating only vegetables and only dairy - completely abstaining from eating meat. He then recommended his diet to all people suffering from obesity, and wrote an essay titled "An Essay on Health and Long Life". This essay advises fresh air and avoidance of “luxury foods” and thus the first diet was born.
People have continued to use specific eating habits to become healthier or to make their bodies become a certain social ideal. British implementer William Banting created the first popular weight loss diet "Banting" in 1863. It has remained in print since 2007 and is considered the model for popular diets. It includes four meals of meat, green vegetables, fruit and dry wine per day.
In 1918, the first best-selling weight loss book, "Diet and Health: With the Key to Calories," was created by American journalist and physician Lulu Hunt Peters. It promotes calorie counting, which is still popular to this day. Since then, more than 1000 weight loss diets have evolved, but most focus on consuming a low amount of calories, fat, carbohydrates, or sugar.
Diet culture exploded. With the growing number of media available to them, from television to internet advertising, marketers have promoted fitness standards and ideals that are hard for many to achieve. In many cases, photo editing and plastic surgery have made these shapes be impossible naturally, but many people feel social pressure and turn to dieting to slim down.
In 1992, British feminist Mary Evans Young had been battling anorexia, bullying and body image issues for years, and had had enough. Although she firstly planned her International No Diet Day to be celebrated in the UK, she was inspired to see it spread internationally. In 1992, only a few dozen women in the United Kingdom celebrated the holiday, with "Ditch That Diet" stickers and a picnic. By 1993, women in many countries wanted to celebrate and the date was changed to May 6 to avoid conflict with the Cinco de Mayo festival.
Today, INDD's stated purpose is body acceptance and body shape diversity and is symbolized by a light blue ribbon. However, many restaurants use this day as a marketing tactic to encourage customers to buy delicious food. While the meaning of International No Diet Day has evolved depending on each person, it is a feminist milestone and an important reminder to focus on wellness at any scale, as well as an important way to expose the dangers of dieting.
Some reasons for International No Diet Day being loved
- It's delicious
Mashed potato? Yes. Brownies? Sure. Italian toast? Sign us up! On International No Diet Day, anything goes - and there's no shame in eating what you want. Of course, we appreciate International No Diet Day for body positivity and self-acceptance, but we also appreciate some good cheese fries.
- It is helpful to focus on other things
As Mary Evans Young astutely asked "What do you think would happen if you spent as much time and energy on your career as you did on a diet?" And the woman had a point. Focusing on constantly limiting and self-defeating in the name of a diet will steal focus on things that are proven to improve your life more than ever being leaner.
- It teaches self-love and acceptance
Sometimes it's hard to love the person in the mirror. Especially for young people and women, it has been shown that social pressure to look a certain way takes a huge toll on morale. From the slim models in commercials to the ever-present billboards heralding the fad diet, the physically ideal society has made us feel inevitable – and many none of us were made with the same cookie cutters. INDD reminds us that is okay. It is beautiful in all different size and shape.
Some interesting truths about dieting
Very low calorie diets, or weight loss diets, consist of less than 800 calories consumed per day. If left unattended, they can provide inadequate nutrients and even lead to cardiac arrest.
- Eggs & Cholesterol
Contrary to what some diets preach, eggs contain no unhealthy cholesterol. They are safe and healthy to eat as they usually do not raise cholesterol levels in the body. The truth is that studies have shown that they are not harmful to heart health and are very nutritious!
- Gluten-free growth
Many people are embracing the gluten-free trend, but that may be pointless - gluten-free diets are generally only recommended for people with celiac disease or other conditions who would benefit from a gluten-free diet.
- Can I skip breakfast?
This is just: good breakfast for you. Enjoy eggs and waffles! Studies show that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight than those who don't skip their first meal. There is also a myth that breakfast boosts metabolism.
- Supplements, a Cure-All?
Although many dieters desperately look to supplements to lose weight, they may be throwing money down the drain. Very little real effect can be frustrating and expensive. Even the best one can help you lose a small amount of weight.
How to celebrate International No Diet Day
Celebrating International Day of No Diet is best done by realizing that your body is beautiful as it is. Without emphasizing your weight loss efforts to look one particular way, it's better to celebrate the holiday with efforts from the start to live a healthier lifestyle altogether. Worry less about your end goal, and more about getting out, active, and keeping your body healthy. Rapid weight loss or attributing to unrealistic body types is a great way to self-harm in the hope of better health. Instead, love your body by finding active hobbies and loving yourself the way you are!
There are a number of different ways you can participate in International No Diet Day. This includes the following…
- Helps put an end to weight discrimination, agoraphobia and size deviation.
- Understand the ineffectiveness of commercial diets and learn about the diet industry.
- Embrace body diversity and challenge the idea of a 'right' body shape.
- Declare a no-diet day and obsess over shape and weight.
- Praise co-workers for their contributions, accomplishments, and skills, rather than focusing on looks.
Below are some references for us to have the happiest day:
- Eat what you love! Don't worry about calories or anything like that. Instead, eat anything you really would like because of its good tastes. Let that be your sole concern today.
- Throw away your scales. Don't judge yourself based on a number. You will be surprised by how liberating this feeling is.
- Instead, celebrate and embrace your intrinsic qualities, such as your uniqueness, ingenuity, kindness, or strength!
- Take a risk and cook a dish you've always wanted but you've never cooked before.
You can also use International No Diet Day to help people know about different eating disorders. There are many ways for you to choose. If you have had your own personal experience and you feel ready to share it, you can take this opportunity to start a blog about it. You may also decide to raise money for people struggling with an eating disorder. Whether you're raising funds or simply raising awareness, you're doing a great job helping so many people.
However, you shouldn't feel guilty simply using this day as an opportunity for number one wellness! After all, we have to care for ourselves well. How about making a list of all your favorite things about your body? International No Diet Day is the perfect time to pay attention on the positive rather than the negative. Most of us tend to focus on the things we don't like instead of focusing on what we like about our bodies. International No Diet Day is the ideal time for you to change yourself!
ObservedInternational No Diet Day has been observed annually on May 6th.
Friday, May 6th, 2022
Saturday, May 6th, 2023
Monday, May 6th, 2024
Tuesday, May 6th, 2025
Wednesday, May 6th, 2026
Mary Evans Young in 1992