An immeasurable amount of energy and billions of dollars are wasted on ineffective dieting. International No Diet Day, May 6th, was established to challenge the cultural attitudes and values that contribute to chronic dieting, weight preoccupation, eating disorders and size discrimination.
A study published in American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association confirmed what most people suspected: diets don’t work for long-term weight loss. UCLA researchers analyzed 31 long-term diet studies. They concluded that diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.
Despite the evidence, millions spend their money and put their lives on hold, desperately hoping to find that perfect diet or magic pill. No Diet Day is their opportunity to focus on health, fitness and well-being—free from endless dieting and weight obsession.
According to Michelle May, M.D., author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle, “Most diets fail because they are negative and unsustainable, leaving the dieter feeling guilty and disappointed. Diets focus on what people should eat without addressing why they eat in the first place. Dieters often don’t learn to recognize their eating triggers or effectively meet their true physical, emotional and social needs. As a result, the overeating cycle is never really broken.”
Dr. May refers to herself as “a recovered yoyo dieter.” She added that when nutrition and fitness are addressed from a non-diet perspective, people are able to learn to balance eating for enjoyment with eating for health and rediscover joy in physical activity. Dr. May said, “No Diet Day is not the day for breaking your diet, but for breaking free from dieting altogether.”
Many health professionals are out to spread the good news. Katie Jeffrey, a licensed Facilitator of the Am I Hungry? mindful eating program in Stonington, CT said, “Diets stand for deprivation, irritability, fatigue, restriction, rules, monotony, and a loss of trust in one’s hunger and fullness cues. There is little room for creativity and living when on a diet because the individual usually becomes preoccupied with food and exercise. Eating mindfully allows us to live our lives without being controlled by food. Individuals who eat mindfully make conscious decisions about why, when, what, and how much to eat based on their internal cues of hunger and fullness as well the nutritional content of food. This is a realistic approach to healthy eating and living.” Katie Jeffrey is a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist who is a co-author with Michelle May of the upcoming book, “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Athletes: A Mindful Eating Program for Sports and Life.” For more information about this and other innovative non-diet programs, see www.AmIHungry.com, and/or www.fitnutrition.net, or contact Katie Jeffrey.