Today is #InternationalNoDietDay, a day that aims to challenge cultural beliefs about weight obsession and increase awareness of the social and emotional impact of diet culture. Health isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about what you’re thinking and saying. No diet day isn’t about going off your diet the day, it’s just as much about activism for Health At Every Size. Everyone has the right to fitness, health, and emotional well-being - regardless of size or shape and today is a beautiful place to start advocating for quality, compassion, and equitable care for people in ALL bodies.
Here are 5 ways to celebrate International No Diet Day:
1. Honor your hunger, preferences, and cravings (and if you’re feeling brave - try a new fear food!).
When we diet, we restrict our bodies - mentally and/or physically. Keeping your body biologically well fed with adequate nutrients will help you avoid excessive hunger and primal drives to overeat. Try approaching your hunger with curiosity, nonjudgmental awareness, and compassion. There are no wrong answers and no foods are off limits! All foods can fit into a healthy diet, and remember - your mental health is just as important as your physical health!
2. Read a new non-diet book.
Our bodies are hardwired against dieting so if you’ve been on a million diets and feel out of control with food - these books are for you. These books will not tell you what to eat, how much to eat, or tell you to try and achieve a certain side. Instead, these books tackle the inherent flaws of dieting and diet culture through explaining the physiological, mental, and emotional consequences of weight obsession.
Some of my favorites are “The Fuck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner, “Anti-Diet” by Christy Harrison, and “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Triboke and Elyse Resch.
3. Unfollow any diet-oriented social media influences (or just any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself).
Do you ever feel insecure, inadequate, or discouraged after scrolling through social media? You’re not alone. Many studies have shown the detrimental effects of social media on self-esteem, so try to avoid bringing negative feelings into your daily life by choosing to be surrounded by positivity. I call it spring cleaning!
4. Bring awareness to your own beliefs about bodies, and reappraise your negative body talk.
The way we talk to ourselves matters. Bring awareness to the ways you choose to speak about your bodies and others’ bodies. Do you consistently say things that involve appearance? Are you constantly criticizing your body? Notice your inner critic, change your language and remove the negativity from your language. Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your individuality and strengths. You have everything you need INSIDE you - regardless of what you look like or how much you weigh.
5. See diet culture for what it is, then reject it and its harmful ideals.
Christy Harrison defines diet culture as a system of beliefs that “promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status” and “demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others.” Diet culture is just that - a system of BELIEFS. Beliefs are learned, and can be unlearned! Stay educated on what the dangers of dieting are, and remember how it can disrupt your life. Intuitive Eating or Health At Every Size are two of many weight-neutral approaches to health and wellness that you can consider adopting.
Remember, you are not alone. There is a large community of individuals actively choosing to reject diet culture alongside you.
Here are some resources or platforms to help aid you in your journey:
Food Psych with Christy Harrison Life. Unrestricted. with Merit Boxler The Reclaiming You Podcast with Sarah Vance Love, Food with Julie Duffy Dillon Finding Body Freedom with Caitlin Croteau Fearless Rebelle Radio with Summer Innanen The Recovery Warrior Show with Jessica Raymond Dietitians Unplugged with Glenys Oyston and Aaron Flores FeustelFit Health & Fitness Show with Nicola Feustel Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield
Embrace – Taryn Brumfitt of The Body Image Movement The Illusionists – Elena Rossini
ASDAH – The Association for Size Diversity and Health NEDA – The National Eating Disorders Association HAES – Health at Every Size Community More-Love.org – Support for Parents of Children with Eating Disorders Intuitive Eating