International No Diet Day is about raising awareness of what restrictive diet can do to your health and wellbeing. You know that Snickers ad –
“You’re not you when you’re hungry…” – well that is true!
Symptoms of dieting can include fatigue, headaches, constipation and loss of bone density. In the long term, dieting can lead to overeating due to the restriction of food, and our bodies needing more food to compensate for what it missed, plus more. Our bodies will also retain weight for any future starvation the body may go through. It’s not surprising that 95% of people who diet for weight loss regain what they have lost, plus more, within 2 years.
Many people are stuck in an ongoing cycle of dieting for weight management. People may begin a diet, but feel so restricted and hungry that they “break” the diet. This can bring on feelings of failure for not having the “willpower” to continue with the diet, and guilt for continuing to eat “forbidden” foods. Then, the cycle starts all over again. This can have severe consequences for mental health, and increases the risk for developing an eating disorder.
However, it is possible to break out of this cycle by changing the way you think about food and eating. You can learn to eat intuitively, and improve your relationship with food and your body.