Happy International ‘No Diet’ Day! Here’s how to honor the day
Step away from your scale, hide your measuring tape and just say “no” to diet pills. May 6 is “International No Diet Day.” Interpret that as you will, but we see it as a day to go easy on yourself and stop obsessing over numbers on the scale.
Here’s the deal: While it’s important to eat healthy, well-rounded meals, “dieting” can actually hinder your weight-loss goals. Dieting for weight loss is often associated with weight gain due to increased episodes of “binge eating,” according to the National Eating Disorders Information Centre. Also, studies show that teen girls who diet are at 324 percent greater risk for obesity than their peers who don’t diet. Crash diets are code for gaining the weight back.
A quick little history on No Diet Day: It was started in 1992 by Mary Evans Young, who is an author and the director of a British group called “Diet Breakers.” Young has said her own battle with anorexia has inspired her to help people with body acceptance.
Here are 10 great ways to celebrate or honor no-diet day:
- Take the International No Diet Day Pledge, where you make a few simple, self-accepting promises to yourself.
- Create a colorful plate. Instead of counting calories on your plate, count colors. A color-bursting plate usually indicates it’s a nutritious one — especially when you load up on fruits and veggies.
- Avoid multi-tasking when you’re eating. Stop eating at your desk during lunch or turning on the television during dinner. When you’re multi-tasking, you’re more likely to overeat and less likely to enjoy your food. Make your meal times a time when you relax and focus on conversation with friends and family, or, if you’re eating alone, reflect on your day.
- Re-frame the way you think about your body. The scar from your C-section is a symbol of motherhood and your full thighs can be a symbol of strength. Happiness is a state of mind — not a particular body shape.
- Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Try to never let yourself get to that tummy-growling, “starving” state because you’ll tend to overeat. Stop eating when you’re not hungry anymore and remember it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to report to the brain that it is full.
- Weigh yourself once a week, not daily. Your body weight can fluctuate 4-5 pounds throughout the day — depending on your water and food intake. You can psych yourself out with a small uptick in your weight — even if it’s to be expected.
- Live in the present. Don’t link your happiness to your weight-loss goals. You’re busted if you’ve ever said … “Oh, I’ll buy myself a bathing suit when I lose 20 pounds.” Look your best now and be patient with your weight loss. Dress in clothes that make you feel confident. Those comfy sweatpants are probably not flattering your figure. (Get cash back offers at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Lane Bryant, Sears and your other favorite stores from ShopAtHome.com).
- Keep a weight-loss journal. With a healthy weight loss routine, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Journal your success — what works for you, recipes you enjoy, work-outs you’d like to try.
- Stop criticizing yourself, and start taking a critical look at the ads: Remember that magazine spreads and ads are majorly airbrushed. Yes, that’s why “Photoshop before and after” is such a common Tumblr theme.
- Get help for an eating disorder: If you’re struggling with an eating disorder or suspect a friend or family member is, take advantage of the free resources from the National Eating Disorder Association.
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