Did you know that it is entirely possible for you to lose weight without being on a diet? In this post, I want to share 3 biblical weight loss principles that helped me lose 85 pounds without dieting, and I’ll also share the big light-bulb moment that really got me focused to lose the 85 pounds without being on a diet.
I learned how to lose weight according to the bible, and now we have hundreds of Christian weight loss success stories through WeighDown Lifestyle. As you read this, I hope these biblical weight loss principles will help you in your weight loss journey too!
**If you want to watch my video on 3 biblical weight loss principles instead, here it is: **
Principle #1: Moderation And Portion Control.
So you might be rolling your eyes right now and thinking… yeah yeah yeah! In today’s society, we have completely gotten away from moderation and portion control because everything is supersized.
Take a moment right now to think about the last time you ate out at a restaurant. Hmmm. What did you order? How much did it cost, and how much food did you get? AND was it worth it?
I would venture to say that your mentality behind the value for your meal was based on the amount of food you got. So a big dollar amount must be equal to a big portion size.
What we seem to want, or our mentality for value is how much food we get on our plate for the money we are spending. But… we are not considering what that big portion (too much food) is actually doing to our bodies.
We must stop thinking that value is always associated with more because while that might be good for our pocketbooks, it’s not always good for our bodies. A lot of food on our plate is not about portion control or moderation, but rather about overeating and gluttony.
What Does Moderation Mean To Us?
I believe we need to get back to those two basic concepts. Moderation, which means sometimes but not always, and portion control which is eating to fuel our body and not overeating.
Think about your own definition of moderation in relation to what you eat. What perspective do you have?
We can look at moderation from a bunch of different perspectives. Moderation will probably mean something different to you than it does to me as well. For me, moderation does not mean I am going to go through a drive-through for junk food (like a burger and fries) three times today. Moderation doesn’t mean that I am going to have ice cream every night this week.
When we are looking to shed some weight and lose a few pounds, we can look at moderation from a daily perspective, a weekly perspective, and a monthly perspective. You have to determine what moderation looks like for you in terms of what you are going to choose to eat.
Maybe for you going through the drive thru only three times a week is practicing moderation compared to your usual habit of a daily drive thru routine.
We must become aware of what moderation actually means to us. Are we using moderation or are we overindulging? When we are aware of how we are living, then we are able to incorporate some changes and use moderation as a guideline to live according to our goals. We need to become aware of how often we are eating foods that we know are not healthy and that will prevent us from shedding the weight.
Become Aware Of Our Portion Sizes
Once we have done that, the next step is becoming aware of our portion sizes, and yes, this even means with healthy foods. Our bodies probably don’t need as much as what our mind is telling us. We need to think about food as fuel or energy for our bodies. We don’t want too much fuel (overfull) and we also don’t want too little fuel (starvation).
When you go to the gas station to fuel up your vehicle, you don’t keep fueling once the tank is full – that’s just wasteful. When we overfill our bodies, it’s wasteful as well. We also don’t want to underfill our bodies because then we don’t have the energy we need for the day. So many women are on starvation diets and that doesn’t work – you probably know what that feels like – I know I do!
Our bodies need good, healthy, nutritious food as fuel so we can live out our purpose, so we want to start paying attention to what we are fueling ourselves with.
You have probably heard me say this before, but one healthy meal does not make you healthy, and one unhealthy meal does not make you unhealthy. It’s what we do consistently over time.
Fire Your Diet!
So if you start to incorporate moderation and portion control into a healthy way of life with healthy habits, I believe that you will lose weight without being on a diet!
You will shed the extra pounds, feel better about yourself, and gain confidence in yourself because you will be reaping the rewards of treating your body like a temple.
Using moderation and portion control is not a diet. It’s a way of life following the biblical weight loss principles. All the fad diets that restrict us and feel like a punishment are not going to be a lifestyle that we can sustain. When we say, “we can never eat that again,” we feel defeated before we have even begun.
Starting from a negative starting point creates the vicious yo-yo dieting cycle, where we start and quit over and over and we feel like such a failure. This is what contributes to our lack of self-worth and lack of confidence in who God made us to be. We are always trying to live up to some unrealistic expectation of who we think we should be, so I don’t believe in the fad diet culture.
What Does The Bible Say?
So let’s ditch the diet culture and choose to consume healthy food as fuel for our bodies, using moderation and portion control. I want to bring this back to what the Bible says because this really is one of the biblical weight loss principles.
If you find honey, eat just enough, too much of it, and you will vomit.Proverbs 25:16 (NIV)
This verse does not say “don’t eat honey!” it says, “don’t eat too much or it will make you sick.”
It will make you sick in the moment, but it will also make you sick in the long run because our bodies were simply not designed to have too much! We aren’t meant to overfill our bodies because look what happens when we do. We are living in a society and in a culture where we’ve become accustomed to overfilling ourselves (gluttony) and we’ve got to stop!
Principle #2: Get Rid Of The Foods That Harm Your Body.
Let’s become aware and get rid of the processed junk and chemicals we are consuming and begin to manage how much sugar we are consuming.
In our world today the average North American is consuming on average approximately 120 grams of sugar per day. Our bodies are actually only designed to handle about 25 to 30 grams of sugar per day, and mostly from natural sources like fruit.
So the average North American is currently consuming more than four times the recommended amount of sugar in a day. And it is mostly from chemically produced or man-made sugars that are not good for our bodies.
Things That End In “OSE”
So it’s time we start to become aware of what we are putting into our bodies/temples. We need to start to read the labels and look for words that end in the letters “ose.” Anything that ends in “ose” is basically a hidden word for sugar, like dextrose, maltose, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, fructose, glucose; there’s so many hidden sugars in the foods we eat. It is really alarming because we are not aware of how dangerous this is for our health.
The fact is, a lot of these foods can be made without adding all the sugars and harmful ingredients and so we can still eat them. Then we are actually giving our body good fuel without hurting ourselves. We want to give our bodies the good stuff rather than just a bunch of sugar-laden processed crap!
The Ketchup Example
I often use the example of tomato-based products. Think about the last time you bought a bottle of ketchup. Almost everyone I know has a bottle of ketchup in their fridge. Ketchup is actually a sugar-based product and not really even a tomato-based product! If you look at the amount of sugar that is in that bottle of ketchup it’s actually sickening!
Did you know that you can find different ketchups that have way less sugar? There are even some that have no sugar! Now that is a tomato-based product and not a sugar-based product. But it certainly is a much better choice for your body than the one that is packed full of all the sugar.
** Ruth recorded a video of 10 Food Swaps you can do to make healthier choices, and ketchup was one of them. Watch the video on our Youtube Channel and make sure to subscribe! **
The Problem With Processed Foods
So often the products we are purchasing are filled with nasty chemicals or preservatives, or dyes and food colorings and things that actually harm our bodies. They are really processed junk foods that make us continue to crave more of it. We never feel fully satisfied and we keep going back for more. We have a taste of the chips and we can’t stop eating until the bag is empty. That is not feeling satisfied – that is more about cravings and food having control over us.
What we want to do for ourselves is to become aware of what we are putting into our bodies. We want to get rid of that processed junk food and get back to the basics. God made a lot of incredible foods for us to enjoy that actually taste amazing and nourish our bodies well.
Start Looking At The Labels – Maltodextrin
We need to start looking at the labels as we go through the grocery store. So the next time you go to buy tomato sauce, try and look for a brand that does not have sugar in the ingredients list. You can find them, but you’re going to have to search for them. You will want to start getting intentional about managing how much sugar you’re consuming so that your cravings go away.
Start to get rid of all that processed junk and chemicals. In fact, one major ingredient to look for that you will want to avoid is something called maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is often used as a shelf stabilizer, but it has been proven to actually cause your cravings.
The Glycemic Index
I want to talk for just one quick second about the glycemic index, also known as the GI. You might not know anything about the glycemic index, but Wikipedia explains it like this:
The glycemic index is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to a food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food.Wikipedia
It basically tells you how much a certain food will spike your blood sugar, low being better for your body and high meaning that your blood sugar will spike very quickly. That’s essentially a very layman’s term or overview of what the glycemic index is. This index was created from 0 to 100 and maltodextrin is approximately 130 on this index, depending on what site you look at. Maltodextrin is actually off the charts! Our bodies were not designed to handle foods like that.
This begs the question – is maltodextrin even food? I often say foods can either help or harm our bodies; so much of the chemical processed junk or so much of that added sugar is actually harming our bodies. All of those ingredients will make us sick over time. They might not make you sick in the moment while you eat it, but it’s making your body sick in the long run. It’s taking your health away little by little without you even realizing it.
What Does The Bible Say?
It’s time we start helping ourselves by looking at food through a different lens, the lens of health. Is this a healthy lens or a harmful lens? I believe that this is actually a biblical principle. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 talks about how our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to treat our bodies like a temple, not a trash can! Maybe you’ve heard us say that before, because it’s one of our slogans!
We can’t put garbage into our bodies and expect health! We can’t put garbage into our bodies and expect to be at a healthy weight! Let’s even take it one step further and say we can’t put garbage into our minds, bodies or souls and expect a healthy lifestyle!
So the second principle is really to start reading labels and getting rid of the processed junk that you’re currently consuming and manage how much sugar you are eating!
Principle #3: Change Your Mindset.
The third of the biblical weight loss principles that I used to lose 85 pounds without being on a diet and keep it off was actually a big shift in the way that I was thinking. Now ask yourself this question: why do I want to lose the weight? Is it because…
- You’re busy comparing yourself to everybody else?
- You don’t like who you are?
- You’re embarrassed?
- You hate yourself?
- You have no self-worth?
In my opinion, those reasons are what really feed the fad diet culture. Those reasons make us stay stuck and they keep us on all those yo-yo diets. They are negative starting points that don’t have a good end result.
If You Don’t Like Yourself
If you don’t like yourself, then you’re punishing yourself because you don’t like who you are. I don’t believe that is a good reason to try and change your lifestyle. I think that as women of faith, as Christian women, we should be choosing to honor the bodies that God gave us because we love ourselves enough to treat our bodies well.
Sometimes people tell us that loving ourselves is very self-centered, but I’m not talking about this kind of love. I’m not talking about the egotistical, vain love, but the love that says you love yourself enough to take care of what God gave you and to honor God with your body.
Mark 12:31 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We are called to love ourselves so we need to start thinking about losing weight from the perspective of – I want to do this because I’m called to love myself; I’m called to take good care of myself, so I am loving myself well. That right there is a total game changer! That right there is what can change your mindset from “I’m just on another diet” to “I am going to make healthy habit changes to my lifestyle to reclaim my health, to reclaim my weight, because I am doing it to honor God and honor the body that He gave me.
When you are dieting because you don’t like yourself or because you’re comparing yourself to others, because you’re trying to live up to an unreasonable standard for who you want to be like, you’re never going to get there! You could diet and lose the weight that you want to lose, but with the mindset of wanting to be somebody you’re not, of trying to live up to unrealistic standards, even if you get to that magic number on the scale that you have in your head, you still won’t like yourself. It still won’t be enough because all of those thoughts are rooted in not being good enough and so then when you get there, it still won’t be enough!
We have to change the way we think about it. We have to make choices that honor our bodies because we are loving ourselves enough to make good choices and that changes our whole perspective.
Bonus Point #4: Start Focusing On The Process, Not The Outcome.
This bonus point really helped me to lose 85 pounds and keep it off without being on a diet. I really began to focus on the process, not the outcome. I stopped focusing on the scale because the scale is just a number. The scale doesn’t necessarily indicate the progress that you could or could not be making; it’s just a number. The scale moves slower than most of us expect – am I right? And that doesn’t mean we should quit. That doesn’t mean we should go back to our unhealthy ways.
It’s the opposite of what’s going to get us where we’re trying to go. So the more that we can begin to focus on the process of treating our bodies well, of loving who God made us to be, then the more we’re going to continue making better, healthier choices. This shift in the way that I was thinking helped me so much more than I could ever possibly begin to tell you.
You Were Created On Purpose!
You are NOT a mistake! You were created on purpose to live a life of purpose and when you’re busy hating yourself, I believe that really hurts the heart of God.
You were created with intention to carry out the purpose God designed for you.
So does that mean we should stay stuck in unhealthy bodies when we have the ability to make better choices? No – absolutely not. We want to honor these bodies well and that means that we need to start thinking about how we eat from the perspective of, “is this helping me or is this harming me?”
I think this is really truly the key, because when you start to think differently you will begin to make different decisions.
A Quick Recap
#1 – The first point was moderation and portion control.
#2 – The second point was to get rid of the foods that harm your body.
That’s about eliminating the processed junk and chemicals and managing how much sugar you’re having.
#3 – The third point was to change your mindset. This all about changing your perspective – choosing to love yourself enough to treat your body well.
Then I promised that I would share with you the light bulb moment that I had that really set this whole weight loss journey on fire for me, where I learned what it meant to lose weight without being on a diet.
Bonus #4 – Start focusing on the process, not the outcome. Remember, You were created on purpose with the intention to carry out the purpose God designed for you.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorites verses:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
I really hope that this has been helpful for you. I know that sometimes the information is not new, but sometimes it just hits us in a different way where it finally makes sense for the first time.
P.S. if this blog post has been helpful for you, please let us know in the comments below. We appreciate your feedback 🙂