International No Diet Day
May 6th is International No Diet Day
*“International no diet day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of how unhealthy dieting can be harmful, or respecting and accepting body types, and promoting healthy eating rather than dieting. No Diet Day aims to help to teach people to have a healthy relationship with food, and to ditch restrictive diets and the harmful results they often have, such as anorexia and body-type perceptions in the media.”
Current evidence suggests that only one dieter in every 20 who loses a significant amount of weight will maintain this loss in the long term. Losing weight and keeping it off is pretty tricky. This is due to many contributing factors.
David Bainbridge in his book Curvology states:
”The body’s food-mood-shape control system thwarts the dieter as the body loses fat, her physiology responds by reducing metabolic rate and heat production to conserve calories and stymie weight loss and it is well recognised phenomenon that periods of dietary restraint are usually followed by compensatory periods of over-eating – many women end up weighing more and having more fat than before dieted.”
The starvation/restriction response appears to have two distinct phases in that initially the body drives us to think about and find food, and then, if these attempts fail, the body helps to conserve energy stores.
In his 1940-1950s research, Ancel Keys found how, when deprived of food, individuals may experience:
- preoccupation with food and eating
- episodes of overeating
- low mood and irritability
- becoming obsessional
- difficulty in concentrating
- loss of interest in everyday activities
- loss of sexual desire
- feeling unsociable
- relationship difficulties.
For some this pattern of restrictive eating may lead to disordered eating, but I wonder if for most it leads to feeling out of control with food, trapped in a constant cycle of dieting, feeling perpetually anxious about weight, shape and size?
With this in mind, can I please invite you not to diet on May 6th and to consider the International No Diet Day pledge -
*I will accept myself just as I am
I will feed myself if hungry
I will feel no shame or guilt about my size or eating
...and I will LOVE MYSELF for who I am, not who I feel pressure to be!
*extracts from International No Diet Day facebook page established in 1992 by Mary Evans Young, British anti-diet campaign*
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