No Diet Day–Should it be every day?

This will be a short post because I’m already a bit late for my afternoon run — it’s a speed sesh so maybe being hurried to get there will start the workout on the right foot? I didn’t want today to go by without putting a post out though, as it’s International No Diet Day.

no diet

In honour of that, maybe check out this article by Health at Every Size advocate Linda Bacon over at the NEDIC website.  She advocates for learning to trust our bodies, which goes in line with the kind of intuitive eating and self-acceptance/love approach that I myself get behind. I especially like the part where she hits the nail on the head when it comes to the element of control that dieting so alluringly offers:

“As long as things go well, the dieter can maintain control. But if anything gets in the way or changes, she can’t. The reason is clear: Dieters don’t rely on the normal signals of fullness to regulate their eating, so there are no brakes in place.”

…I know that when I have gotten sucked into restriction, or obsessing over/tracking my every meal, judging it, etc., there’s been a sense of control and power that I have–and it felt good. It’s nice to feel like you are totally in charge. And what thinking we need to get really strict about our food does all the time is convince us that we are otherwise out of control monsters who will binge at the first chance.

And unfortunately, after restriction, that’s what happens. I still have foods that were formerly “forbidden” that I have to remind myself–it’s OKAY–or else I end up overeating them to the point of feeling like crap. My experience tells me that I am not in fact a madwoman around food, but the more I think that I eat too much or eat the wrong things, the more likely I am to go ahead and go “off the rails.”

My hope is that some day, it won’t be the exception or the one day of the year where we don’t diet–but that we’ll learn to feed and take care of ourselves in a way that doesn’t require us to feel like failures or to give all of our energy to controlling ourselves.

two diets


Remember: we are not crazies. The diet industry likes us to think that, so that we keep paying them for programs. And trackers. And diet coaches. And unless these products and people teach us long term habits that make it so we don’t require them, I’m weary. Our bodies are on our side!

There’s my two cents!
What do you think about ditching diets?
Do you make a point to avoid diet talk / dieting / buying diet books, or do you just go with it?
Does controlling your food work with you? Tracking? Monitoring? 
Have you given up on diets? What have you found?
What keeps you dieting? 


3 thoughts on “No Diet Day–Should it be every day?

  1. The sad reality is I think I’m past disordered eating because I eat foods I used to restrict, but I’m not. I regularly skip meals. If I am completely honest (normally I’m not and tell myself I am not hungry), I’m controlling my intake. Maybe not with rules, but with withholding.
    Sigh. I’m going to take a small step away from this tomorrow and eat in the morning.

    This is hard. Harder than I thought.


  2. I too am a reformed dieter. It actually took YEARS to really give up dieting, the thinking is pretty insidious, and honestly still pops up now and then (how can it not? I’m a dietitian, working with people to change their eating is my day job!).
    I hope we get to a place where people can trust their bodies, where the food system is less a commodity, and the diet industry is no more. It’ll take a while, but no-diet days and the like are good steps in the right direction.

  3. I’m with you. No diet day should be everyday. It’s tough to let go of thinking and obsessing about health and/or body image when diets and health enhancing claims are everywhere in the media. I have been trying to ‘ditch the diet mentality’ for a couple years now, but it’s an ongoing process. Thanks for writing about it and making me feel more normal. It helps.

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