Support our Nonprofit Magazine!
Before you start reading... There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. Unlike other sites, we don't publish sponsored content or share affiliate links. We also don’t run ads on our site and don’t have any paywalls in front of our content–-anyone can access all of it for free.
This means we rely on donations from our community (people like YOU!) to keep our site running. We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able.
A single (or monthly) donation of just $5 will make a HUGE difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue offering peer support for mental health through our content.
May 11th is National ‘Eat What You Want Day’ for our American friends.
As a dietitian who believes we can and should eat what we want, I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m so excited to shed light on something that should be basic, natural, everyday behaviour. On the other hand, the fact that we need a specific day for it at all means this is certainly not natural or everyday behaviour for many of us.
I’m so happy that there is a day to celebrate this movement. The idea of trusting ourselves to eat what we want is gaining popularity, specifically in the intuitive eating and anti-diet communities.
When I’m discussing this with clients, I am met with a lot of concern. Clients wonder how it’s possible to eat what they want without falling into desserts or “junk food” all day. How could I possibly eat without the rules of diet culture telling me what to do?
And that’s the magic of it.
Removing Yourself from Diet Culture
While scary at first, removing yourself from the rules of diet culture can feel like drowning, but it allows your intuition to come in like a life raft and save you.
How freeing, satisfying, and powerful would it be to eat what you want?
I won’t lie to you- when you begin to remove diet rules and eat what you want, you will likely eat nothing but all the foods that were previously ‘off-limits.’
These foods typically are those conventionally considered to be junk foods or unhealthy foods, but I’m always surprised to hear the foods people crave or have been deprived of most.
After some time, the novelty of being allowed these foods wears off, and we can learn to consider how foods make us feel, the importance of variety, and when we’re ready, even nutrition.
This is a significant tenant of intuitive eating.
Closing Thoughts on National Eat What You Want Day
While I was so happy about the step forward this day represents, I was also deeply saddened. That we need one specific day for this tells me it’s a novel, far-fetched idea. Like wacky hair day at school, it’s all fun and games, but you’d never wear your hair like that every day (though you totally could!), would you?
What happens after this one novel day of eating what we want? Are we to believe that it should only exist for one day? Do we snap back to diet culture reality and rules come May 12th?
Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I have learned that diet culture can’t be trusted.
If you’re enjoying this article, please donate $2 to support our nonprofit magazine!
National Eat What You Want Day should be every day, and I firmly believe that. I practice and promote it in my nutrition practice.
However, thanks to the strong roots and widespread nature of diet culture, it is just not the reality for so many.
If you have never experimented with the idea of eating what you truly want, not what you were told to do and not what is good for you but what you really really want, then this might be the perfect day to try.
I hope you do conduct this experiment and that you savour and enjoy your favourite foods.
I hope you take a fine-toothed comb to the food rules you typically subscribe to and consider how they may be holding you back. Most of all, I hope you try it again on May 12th.
If you enjoyed this article, pass it on!A Dietitian Responds to National Eat What You Want Day Click To Tweet
This article was brought to you by a team of volunteers. Please support our nonprofit by becoming a Patron for just $5/month!
As a nonprofit, we want our content to be available free of charge to anyone who needs it. This means we rely on donations to keep our site running so we can continue offering mental health support through our content and community.
If you enjoy our content, please sign up to support us monthly!
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.