No Diet Day is the 6th of May.
The day is meant to celebrate body size and shape acceptance. It promotes eating with a focus on improving health, rather than with a focus solely on decreasing weight.
Why a No Diet Day
There are whole industries built up around selling unsound diet information. Many diets can be harmful in terms of mental health about body image, or in terms of physical health. They can contribute to eating and mental disorders, as well as depression and anxiety. And too many diets give false hopes of happiness through weight loss.
“The ‘no diet’ movement focuses on equally providing people of all weights with optional healthy lifestyle choices and ensuring they live in a safe place of acceptance — not self-loathing. The movement also focuses on health not diets and long-term lifestyle goals and achievements, not short-term fads… Willer explains the difference between having a good diet and the term ‘dieting’. Dieting in this context implies constant fad dieting that shocks the body into losing weight but often ends up causing you to put on more weight once the diet has finished. “Instead of dieting for weight loss, what we want to be is weight-neutral. We want to encourage people to work on their health behaviours and enhance the health outcomes in their body. Noone, Yasmin. Why you should forget about dieting and be kind to yourself on #NoDietDay. Special Broadcasting Service, Australia. 4 May 2018. Accessed April 2021 at https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2018/05/04/why-you-should-forget-about-dieting-and-be-kind-yourself-nodietday
No diet should ever restrict a balanced nutritional intake from a wide variety of foods.
Don’t let a weigh scale determine whether you have a good day or not. After all, in determining your health, doctors use a host of other tests that actually mean a lot more, from blood pressure to blood tests. Ask your doctor what he or she advises is a healthy weight range for you personally to aim for.
How to interpret No Diet Day
Some people interpret today as a go crazy and splurge day. And there’s nothing wrong with having a splurge day now and then, if your health allows it. That’s certainly how restaurants are now marketing today as.
Dieticians and public health agencies prefer to treat today as an opportunity to educate about long-term eating habit changes for improved health. They want you to think life-style diet changes, rather than crash diet changes.
Today, you might wish to host a dinner party or a picnic with your friends, with each one bringing their favourite food to share with others.
The symbol of today is a light blue ribbon.
‘No Diet Day’ was started by Mary Evans Young in England in May 1992.
“When a British consultant Mary Evans Young battled anorexia nervosa, body image issues, and bullying for years and saw other women suffering from the similar problems on May 6, 1992, she decided to put a stop to it. Reportedly, she organised a get together, asked her girls to wear “Ditch That Diet” stickers and unknowingly started a global movement.” Jha, Anjali. International No Diet Day: 7 best foods you should definitely dig into at least once in life. The Indian Express. 6 May 2018. Accessed April 2021 at https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/food-wine/international-no-diet-day-world-best-food-dishes-5164437/
It was actually first held on the 5th of May, but as it spread, people in the United States noted that it conflicted with the Cinco de Mayo holiday, so it was switched to the 6th of May, which was also Mary’s birthday.  Evans Young, Mary. Diet Breaking: Having It All Without Having to Diet!. Hodder & Stought. 1995.
A blogger who participated in the first day recounts the experience:
“Firstly, it wasn’t really an impromptu picnic, it was a press conference that Mary organised under the name of Dietbreakers, which was the name she used for campaigning. It was meticulously planned! There was food around, but none of us got to eat very much because the day was an exhausting parade of reporters, television cameras, and sundry people needing a soundbite. It was exciting to be a part of it, I’d never really been on TV until then, and people wanted to talk to me because I was one of the fattest people in the room, and that’s the kind of thing that TV news reports want to broadcast: an unrepentant fat girl making a show of eating stuff.” Cooper, Charlotte. Revisiting International No Diet Day. Blog posting. 6 May 2010. Accessed April 2021 at http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com/2010/05/international-no-diet-day.html
Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition (Free online course from Deakin University. Valid as of spring 2021)
Nutrition and Well-being. (Free online course from the University of Aberdeen. Valid as of spring 2021)
Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets (Free online course from the University of Turin. Valid as of spring 2021)
Weight Watchers (promotes a whole-health lifestyle)
Centre for Integrative Health. International No Diet Day. 5 May 2017. Accessed April 2021 at https://cfih.com.au/international-no-diet-day/
Downtown Guelph businesses help spread No Diet Day message. Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The Guelph Mercuruy. 24 April 2018. Accessed April 2021 at https://www.guelphmercury.com/community-story/8566850-downtown-guelph-businesses-help-spread-no-diet-day-message/
National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). International No Diet Day. 5 May 2018. Accessed May 2018 at http://nedic.ca/blog-categories/international-no-diet-day
University of Nebraska Extension Service. No Diet Day. Accessed April 2018 at https://food.unl.edu/may-food-calendar#diet
|Noone, Yasmin. Why you should forget about dieting and be kind to yourself on #NoDietDay. Special Broadcasting Service, Australia. 4 May 2018. Accessed April 2021 at https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2018/05/04/why-you-should-forget-about-dieting-and-be-kind-yourself-nodietday
|Jha, Anjali. International No Diet Day: 7 best foods you should definitely dig into at least once in life. The Indian Express. 6 May 2018. Accessed April 2021 at https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/food-wine/international-no-diet-day-world-best-food-dishes-5164437/
|Evans Young, Mary. Diet Breaking: Having It All Without Having to Diet!. Hodder & Stought. 1995.
|Cooper, Charlotte. Revisiting International No Diet Day. Blog posting. 6 May 2010. Accessed April 2021 at http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com/2010/05/international-no-diet-day.html