International No Diet Day 2021
Author: Breanna Mills R.D.
Happy International No Diet Day! Each year on May 6th, we celebrate body diversity and acceptance and raise awareness of the potential impacts of dieting.
The dieting industry represents a multibillion-dollar industry that focuses on quick weight loss and achieving a certain body type. It has been widely reported that diets do not work and do not result in lasting change, and there is evidence that disproves the idea that weight is the most important metric of health and that losing weight will result in positive long-lasting health changes. In fact, research by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, has shown that focusing on weight may lead to preoccupation with food and body, weight cycling, weight stigma, and can lead to eating disorders. Their research has also shown that programs that are focused on a Health At Every Size (HAES) Approach produce positive and sustainable outcomes for health. HAES focuses on accepting the body you have, instead of attaining a different body and it also supports listening to internal cues versus rigid dietary rules. HAES promotes enjoyable activity that supports health, well-being and self-care over a strict exercise program.
Here are three ways you can celebrate International No Diet Day
Permission for all foods
Allow yourself full and true permission to enjoy all foods and with it, letting go of the dichotomy of good and bad foods. All foods have something to offer and we do not need rigid rules about how to consume them. If you do find that you are holding onto food rules, find a way to challenge these foods in a way that is strategic and helpful for you.
Move your body in an enjoyable way
While traditional approaches focus on rigid and intense exercise, moving our bodies is meant to be enjoyable! This could be a great time to explore new activities that are fun and enjoyable, or maybe revisiting old activities and finding ways to make them more supportive to your well-being, both mentally and physically.
Hit the unfollow button
The content that we consume on social media can be very powerful. It may be helpful to unfollow accounts that promote dieting behaviour and unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or your body.
There are many great body positive and anti-diet accounts to follow that highlight diverse body types and that also break down diet culture and promote HAES. If you would like to find positive and recovery focused social media accounts, a great place to start is checking out our follow list on our Instagram page @westwindeatingdisorderrecovery.