International No Diet Day (INDD) was started in Britain in 1992 by Mary Evans Young. Outraged by a series of news stories, including the suicide of a teenager who couldn’t stand “being fat” (she was a size 12 U.S.), Young sent out a press release titled, “Fat Woman Bites Back”. This got some media attention. At the end of a prime time television interview she spontaneously said, “Don’t forget to celebrate No Diet Day!” And so International No Diet Day was born.
Young’s goals for INDD are to celebrate natural body diversity, promote positive body image, advocate healthy non-restrictive eating patterns, and end fatphobia and weight discrimination. She credits the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination for her Top 10 Reasons to Give Up Dieting:
10. DIETS DON’T WORK. Even if you lose weight, you will probably gain it all back, and you might gain back more than you lost.
9. DIETS ARE EXPENSIVE. If you didn’t buy special diet products, you could save enough to get new clothes, which would improve your outlook right now.
8. DIETS ARE BORING. People on diets talk and think about food and practically nothing else. There’s a lot more to life.
7. DIETS DON’T NECESSARILY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH. Like the weight loss, health improvement is temporary. Dieting can actually cause health problems.
6. DIETS DON’T MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL. Very few people will ever look like models. Glamour is a look, not a size. You don’t have to be thin to be attractive.
5. DIETS ARE NOT SEXY. If you want to be more attractive, take care of your body and your appearance. Feeling healthy makes you look your best.
4. DIETS CAN TURN INTO EATING DISORDERS. The obsession to be thin can lead to anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, and compulsive exercising.
3. DIETS CAN MAKE YOU AFRAID OF FOOD. Food nourishes and comforts us, and gives us pleasure. Dieting can make food seem like your enemy, and can deprive you of all the positive things about food.
2. DIETS CAN ROB YOU OF ENERGY. If you want to lead a full and active life, you need good nutrition, and enough food to meet your body’s needs.
And the number one reason to give up dieting:
1. Learning to love and accept yourself just as you are will give you self-confidence, better health, and a sense of wellbeing that will last a lifetime.