The official ‘cheat’ day

City Health

International No Diet Day, which is celebrated on May 6 every year, aims to promote body positivity.

Indore: Losing weight, staying healthy, or getting in shape – these are a few reasons why people follow diets, either willingly or with continuous cribbing. But every year, these avid dieters get a chance to enjoy an unscheduled ‘cheat day’ if they wish to.

The International No Diet Day is celebrated on May 6 every year and aims to promote body positivity, reject strict diet culture, and raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. But most people aren’t aware of this day and do little to celebrate it. However, diet-followers are divided on whether they would let go of their diet, even for a day. 

The ‘yays’

Murtuza Gadiwala, a student from Mumbai, follows an intermittent fasting diet plan in which he fasts for 16 hours and eats only between 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. This diet helps him maintain the weight he lost during his keto diet days. “I followed a keto diet for nearly four months and lost around 10 kilograms (kg). Intermittent fasting helps in keeping my calorie intake in check,” he said. Being overweight as a child, Murtuza is all about body positivity. “I don’t mind celebrating the no-diet day. I’ll eat right now if you tell me to,” he chuckled.

Vasu Sharma, an interior designer based in New Delhi, didn’t know about the occasion. He was very enthusiastic about celebrating the no-diet day. He is trying to gain weight and follows a carbohydrate and protein-heavy 3500 kilocalories (kcal) diet. “I eat healthy food and have stayed away from junk, but I won’t mind having a no-diet day,” he said.

The ‘nays’

Mariya Beguwala, a mass media graduate from Mumbai, tries to include a workout in her daily schedule and cuts out carbohydrates after 6 p.m. She follows a five meal plan and practices portion control. “I didn’t know about the day. I am not a very strict person in terms of diet and do it just to feel healthy. Since I am home and have an opportunity to stick to healthy food, I won’t let go just today,” she said.

Soumen Mishra, a student from Odisha, didn’t know about the day either. He designs his diet plan and follows it. At present, he fasts for 16 hours, three days a week, as a part of his diet plan. “I started dieting strictly around five days ago. I can’t really break that cycle so early on, otherwise, it will be difficult for me,” he said. He proposed that he could postpone his no-diet day celebrations and reschedule it sometime later.

Pragya Vashishta, a home baker from Noida, follows a balanced diet and measures her calorie intake. “It has been more than a year since I started, and it has become a lifestyle now. So, it is like any other day for me,” she remarked.

Kiran Reshwal, a beautician and make-up artist from Indore, has lost 10 kg after following an intermittent fasting diet plan in which she fasts for 16 hours and eats only between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. She doesn’t mind having a cheat day. “But since it’s a lockdown and I can’t go out, I can’t indulge in a lot of my favourite delicacies. I might as well stick to my diet,” she said.

The formula for a healthy lifestyle

Dr. Rashmi Shrivastava, a nutritionist, believes that the best way to stay healthy is by following a balanced diet and including some physical activity in our daily chores. “Most of the diets, including Keto and Atkins, have a lot of side effects since they are not nutritionally balanced,” she said. 

She suggested that people consult a nutritionist before starting any diet. “A nutritionist will give them a tailor-made diet keeping in mind their lifestyle, body-mass index, and their comorbidities,” she added.