One of the most interesting May holidays is May 6th, which is internationally celebrated as “No Diet Day.” While the name implies that everyone has the opportunity to ditch their dieting protocols, the No Diet Day isn’t about giving in to all your cravings for sweets and snacks (that comes later on May 11th). Instead, the day is about embracing positive body image attitudes and creating a healthy relationship with food. The day was founded by Mary Evans Youngs, a woman that had suffered from anorexia nervosa and was bothered by the number of women and girls who also suffered from eating disorders and poor body image. The day became a moment dedicated to appreciating the body rather than focusing on changing it.
The Importance of the Holiday
By celebrating No Diet Day, you can help create a culture that promotes a healthy body image and exposes the dangers of unhealthy, fad dieting. The overall goal of a legitimate weight loss program, like the HCG diet, is to help an individual reach an appropriate weight while teaching healthy eating habits. However, fad diets and eating disorders generally push an individual into dangerously, unhealthy habits that are considered extreme. Rather than following a carefully prescribed meal plan and exercise recommendation, too many people try to use restrictive eating methods that borderline starvation in order to get down to their desired image. It isn’t about being healthy but about achieving a certain look, at any cost and any sacrifice. This is why taking time to celebrate No Diet Day can help improve the quality of life for individuals around the world.
How to Safely Cheat
Dieticians and healthcare professionals have different opinions on whether cheat days or cheat meals are healthy for those trying to work on their weight. To the benefit of those struggling to stay true to their eating plan, some dieticians feel that individuals demonstrate a strong commitment to their healthy eating plan when there is some flexibility built into the program. When the body is continually refused certain items or treats are taken away, the more it seems that the mind and body start to develop a stronger craving for a certain item. Instead of limiting your intake to three healthy meals a day, it is better to maintain a well-balanced diet full of protein and veggies with two light snacks a day to keep your blood sugar levels steady. You don’t have to grab a snack cake full of processed and refined sugar as your cheat item. You could pick a healthier snack that may be a little heavier on the carbs or natural sweeteners that you have normally been including. Cheating doesn’t always mean been binge-eating whatever foods you are craving. You can loosen up a little on your restrictions.
How to Dangerously Cheat
Just as some dieticians think cheating here and there will be okay, others believe that giving in to your body’s cravings or desires will set your dieting plans back. Many people will keep their eating plan for six days then decide to splurge with their calories and intake on day seven. The problem with cheating too often or saving up the “cheat cards” to cash them in altogether is the effect that it can have on your metabolism. When you don’t get your body into a regular pattern with your digestive system and your metabolism, it makes it more difficult to consistently lose weight. The dieting yo-yo accounts for a lot of the weight gains and losses that lead to prolonged dieting traps. It is also easier to justify your indulgences over time, especially if you are just chalking it up to your “cheat item.”
The Best Ways to Celebrate
If you have been following a diet plan and don’t want to take a cheat day, there are still ways you can celebrate with others around the world. Consider these options.
- Spend the day raising awareness for eating disorders, whether through your social media activity or by joining in a community event.
- Don’t look at the scale all day. Focus on eating what feels right, allowing yourself to enjoy certain foods while still focusing on being healthy.
- Indulge in one delicious or decadent treat that you would normally turn down. If you are concerned about the effect on your diet, you could choose plant-based treats, such a coconut-milk ice cream or a vegan chocolate cake.
- Spend time doing something that shows love to your body. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure, or go on a brisk walk through the park. Spend time outdoors soaking in the sun and give your body some positive attention.
On International No Diet Day, you have the freedom and the excuse to give your body a little extra love and attention. Have a sweet treat and appreciate the body you have and the body you are working towards.
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