“I look so fat in these jeans”, “I’ll start my diet on Monday”, “Why don’t I have more willpower?”. For many of us these statements are depressingly familiar but on May 6, International No Diet Day, do yourself a favour and give yourself the gift of loving your body, accepting your size and eating what you feel like – guilt free.

What is International No Diet Day?

International No Diet Day is a celebration of body diversity, body acceptance and body positivity. It’s also a day that promotes healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle free from pressure to look ‘perfect’.

So what is the purpose of International No Diet Day?

  • To accept and respect our bodies and those of others without judgement or criticism.
  • To get or stay healthy without resorting to restrictive diets.
  • To acknowledge that you don’t need to be thin to be fit and healthy.
  • To celebrate the diversity of body shapes and sizes.
  • To end fat-phobia, sizeism and body shaming.
  • To allow people to eat what they want free from guilt and shame.

The day was created 20 years ago by a woman named Mary Evans Young. She was bullied at school for being fat and later became anorexic. And she is not the only one to believe in the futility of stringent dieting. According to research most people gain all or some of the weight they lost from dieting, and dieting can even cause weight gain over time.

What does No Diet mean in practice?

So is there an alternative to liquid diets, cutting carbs completely or starving yourself? The answer is yes. One of the purposes of International No Diet Day is to promoting healthy, responsible and mindful eating, and to create a healthy relationship with food. Here are a couple of tips on how to do this:

  • Lose the diet mentality
  • Eat when you are hungry
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat with pleasure
  • Eat filling foods that are full of fibre
  • Don’t see any food as ‘bad’ – all food has its place
  • Allow yourself guilt-free treats
  • Avoid crash diets

Ways to celebrate No Diet Day

This coming International No Diet Day, join the movement to rid society of its obsession with weight: don’t comment on anyone’s weight or eating habits, and read up on how ineffective commercial weight loss products can be. Here are a few more ideas on how to celebrate the day:

  • Cook something delicious that you have never made before and share it with those you love
  • Throw away your scale and concentrate on getting fit and healthy
  • Eat what you love because it tastes good, not because a diet gave you permission to eat it
  • Complement a colleague on an aspect that has nothing to do with size or appearance
  • Acknowledge our differences in size, shape, personality and outlook – and celebrate it!

Remember International No Diet Day gives you an opportunity to tell yourself that you are worthy, and that your value in life has nothing to do with your shape or your weight. So stop judging yourself (and stop judging others) on the basis of size, celebrate who you are, lose the diet mentality and eat with pleasure and free from guilt.