HOW MUCH WEIGHT DO YOU NEED TO LOSE? As an American, chances are that you need to shed a few pounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 71% of adults aged 20 and over are overweight or obese. It’s no wonder!
Finish these 3 sentences to see if you’ve been food brainwashed:
- Eat everything on your _______________
- You are finished eating your meal when you are _____________
- The most important meal of the day is _______________
We’ve all been taught to overeat since we were children and have carried that bad habit into adulthood, which will be shortened if we don’t re-think our food consumption. Not only that, but carrying extra poundage has been linked to a number of chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. What if we all did something radical and obeyed this commandment from the Bible? “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Eating everything on your plate until you are full may not necessarily be for God’s glory. And, what about those starving children in Africa and China whom our parents guilt-tripped into us into consuming all of our broccoli and liver?
“Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (Proverbs 23:2)
People get so desperate to lose weight that they subject themselves to unrealistic, crazy diets that are unsustainable and counter-intuitive, like the Atkins Diet, where you can “enjoy” bacon-wrapped fried cheese and all things meat, meat, meat; or the Keto Diet, which is modified Atkins. Carbs are good! Food is good! God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Then there are the really crazy fads like the Tapeworm Diet (yuck!), the Twinkie Diet (yup, just eat those), and the Cotton Ball Diet (eat a few before you chew). The problem with any diet is that you have to eat like this for the rest of your life. What’s a chubby to do?
I read a book called “The Eden Diet” several years ago (TheEdenDiet.com) after someone I know lost 75 pounds. I lost 25 when I did it…and I’m ready to do it again ‘cuz, well, I fell off the wagon! It’s named after Genesis 2:16—”And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden….’” The best thing about this “diet” is you can eat anything you want, anytime you want as long as you follow two rules: Eat only when you’re hungry and eat only till you’re…full? NO! Eat only till you’re satisfied. It’s very simple, but not that easy. Why? We are used to eating according to time, whether we are hungry or not: Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.
“If you find honey, eat just enough– too much of it, and you will vomit.” (Proverbs 25:16)
This way of eating actually works if you start listening to when your body says that you are hungry. Forget about breakfast being the most important meal of the day; you may not want to eat until noon, or 1:00PM—or later. It depends on when you are hungry. It will be hard at first to know when you are hungry because Americans don’t know anything about hunger pangs since we are always eatin’ morning, noon and night (and now, there’s that Taco Bell 4th Meal!). If you don’t know when you are hungry, then take the Apple Test: If you are hungry enough to eat something bland like an apple, then you are hungry. Then eat! But only till you are SATISFIED.
That second rule is a bit more challenging. When do you know that you are satisfied since the brain receptors don’t kick in until about twenty minutes after you eat? Eat half of what you are used to. If you are still hungry, eat a little more BUT ONLY TILL YOU ARE SATISFIED! At a restaurant, I will ask the server to bring me a doggie bag when she brings my meal, then I’ll divide my portion in half to eat later—when I’m hungry again.
What about sweets like chocolate cake? Or, ice-cream? Eat as much as you want, provided that you only eat when you are hungry and only till you’re satisfied. After three days of eating that garbage, guess what? Your body will direct you to more nutritious options.
I’m writing this article now because after my last week’s column on exercise (www.bit.ly/waistline1), I was convicted about what I’d been eating. It was too much, too late, whenever I wanted, and too much buttery popcorn and Blue Bell—especially when I wasn’t hungry. I weighed myself today: 205 pounds! I started this program today with my goal being 180 pounds. When you see me, ask how I’m doing. Better yet, tell me how you are doing!
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)
Now read my article on Christian exercise here. https://stonethepreacher.com/thou-shalt-watch-thy-waistline/