By Kayce Broening

May 30, 2022

10 day weigh down plan

Have you ever thought about what the Bible has to say about food and our relationship with food? When you start to look, the Bible actually has a lot to say about it all… and there are 3 weight loss principles that I want to share with you today. These 3 weight loss principles are rooted in scripture and they helped me lose 85 pounds without being on a diet.

But before I share the principles, I want to tell you a little bit about HOW Ruth and I got here, sharing this information with you.

Social Pressure To Look A Certain Way

It all began for me MANY years ago when I was a young teenager. 

Now, if you’ve been around here for a while, you will probably have heard me say that I have a COMPLETELY different body shape and build than Ruth (who just so happens to be my mom).

Ruth is petite – I am not.

I am built much more like my dad. And as a young and influential teenage girl, I was growing up in the midst of a fad diet culture. Photoshopped images were on every street corner – magazines were all the rage (this was the pre-social media days…I’m an 80s baby). We were in the era of low-fat everything and talk of the perfect body was everywhere.

I’m sure you can remember the social pressure of those teenage years to look a certain way. Now top that off with the constant bombardment of fad diets with the realization at around age 12 that I was already bigger than my mom.

I remember right around that time that I started to obsess over counting calories because I was so self-conscious and wanted to be skinny.

That first calorie counting diet sent me on a 2-decade journey of fad diets – a 2-decade journey of disliking myself and trying to “like myself thin” through deprivation and punishment.

Pregnancy Weight Gain

It was after going through a very difficult pregnancy where I gained 85 pounds that everything finally shifted.

I remember trying on a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans a few months postpartum. I could not even pull those pants up past my calves. 

devastated gif

I was devastated and felt like such a failure. My self-worth was in the dumps because I was measuring my value by the number on the scale.

That day when I tried on those pants is forever burned in my memory. Because it was in that desperately low moment that I realized that I had to do something different if I wanted a different result. The fad diets that I had been doing for years were just keeping me stuck on a hamster wheel. And that hamster wheel was destined for “I-don’t-like-myself” town.

Now, fortunately for me, Ruth has a background in health and fitness. So on that day, I called her up and asked her for her help. I told her that for the first time in my life, I needed to shift my thinking – from a diet that I hated to a lifestyle that I loved.

Creating A Lifestyle That I Love

I wanted to lose the weight once and for all – while still enjoying my life!

(Can you relate?! The second I used to think about going on another diet, it would feel like my life was ending)

So Ruth and I put our heads together and began to pray. In the next few weeks, we had put together a plan – and we believe that God gave us this plan.

If you don’t know the rest of the story, you can read about it here. Ultimately, I was able to lose 85 pounds without being on a diet because of this amazing plan that God gave to us.

And here’s the coolest part – it is rooted in scripture. The Bible actually has a lot to say about how we treat our bodies when we start to look for it.

These 3 weight loss principles are from the Bible and they are a BIG part of what helped me to lose those 85 pounds (and I’m currently in weight loss mode again right now after having another baby).

1. Portion Control And Moderation

A World Of Supersized

We live in a world of supersize. Managing how much we eat is often the furthest thought from our minds. We eat when we are hungry, we eat when we are not hungry, we eat when we are bored, lonely, upset, or stressed…the list is never-ending. We have gotten away from the concept of moderation when it comes to food in our North American society.

would you like that supersized?

And many of us are obsessed with thoughts of food all.day.long. From the second we wake up, our thoughts are consumed with what we will eat next (or what we are trying not to eat). It quite honestly becomes an obsession…and sometimes that can lead to food being an idol in our lives. We are more focused on food than anything else. But no one talks much about this in our society – or in the churches for that matter.

It’s a tough thing to talk about because as women we have wrapped up our identity in what we look like and what size we wear – and so to then have someone talk about how we look and our size…well that can feel like an attack on our self-worth. We have become very defensive towards this topic as a society.

We Are Called To Take Care Of Our Bodies

The truth is though, that as believers we are called to take good care of our bodies. Now, hear me when I say – health is not a size or a number on the scale. I’m not talking about being a size 0 – I am talking about being a healthy weight for our individual bodies. And being overweight is not good for our health. It is hard on our joints, our heart, our liver – all of our organs for that matter.

I believe that is one of the devil’s most effective tactics in our North American culture. He attacks us where we are weak…and for women, that is often by attacking our self-worth. First, he lures us into the trap of fad diets and food obsession. This plays with our minds and our self-worth plummets…all while our weight keeps climbing and climbing. He keeps us stuck there with thoughts that sound like this:

  • I’m worthless
  • I’ll never be able to lose the weight
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’ll never look like her
  • I just want to hide
  • I’m so embarrassed by how I look

So What Do We Do About All This?

Well, I believe it first begins with a reminder that you are not an accident. You were created with intention and for a purpose. So it’s our job to take good care of ourselves so that we can live out that purpose….but I’m getting ahead of myself (that’s point number 3 coming up in a minute).

The first step we need to take is to get back to managing how much we eat and eating with moderation in mind. Our bodies were not designed for the endless intake of food. Food is like fuel for our bodies. We don’t need too much but we need enough – we can’t let our tank run on empty, but we don’t need to overfill it.

Here’s an easy place to start: take less on your place than you want to and stop eating before you feel full.
Chances are you are taking more food than your body needs…so if you eat a smaller portion then give it a few minutes and you will realize that you are actually not hungry anymore – you probably just want to keep eating because it tastes good.

And moderation – well I believe that moderation looks different for each one of us because we are all starting at different places. For example, if you currently go through a drive-thru for fast food every day, then moderation (to start with) could look like cutting that back to once or twice a week. That’s different than the person whose starting point is a drive-thru trip for fast food once a week – moderation to them might look like cutting that back to once every other week. So take an inventory of some of your indulgences and ask yourself how often you are currently indulging and what moderation will look like for now. Begin to cut back for the sake of your health.

The Bible talks a lot about this topic, but I really like the scripture from Proverbs 25:15. It says

Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much of it, or it will make you sick!

Proverbs 25:15 (NLT)

That speaks to moderation and portion control. It doesn’t say “don’t ever eat it” – it says don’t eat too much. And I love this version that says “it will make you sick” – because too much will make you sick in the moment and it will make your body sick in the long run.

So, my friend, have the hard conversation with yourself and ask yourself how you’re doing with portion control and moderation. And I promise you that if you begin to manage how much you are eating and use moderation, you will experience some amazing results!

Don’t let the devil defeat you in this area – do the work and surrender your relationship with food to God because He truly cares about you and wants you live life to the full.

2. Get Rid Of The Processed Junk And Manage Sugar Intake

I saved this point for the second one after talking about portion control and moderation…because our goal is to help women create healthy lifestyles that they actually LOVE and can sustain forever. That means that there will be times in life that you will indulge in the cake or the chips or the chocolate bar. But all with moderation and portion control in mind.

Ruth and I can often be heard saying “1 unhealthy meal doesn’t make you unhealthy and 1 healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy. It’s what you do consistently over time that creates your results.”

And so being consistent with getting rid of the processed junk and managing our sugar intake is KEY in getting healthy and losing the weight.

Here’s the thing – you can still eat the foods that you love WITHOUT the processed junk. But you have to start becoming aware of the ingredients that are in your food.

Example: Tomato Based Products

Let’s talk about tomato based products for just a second.

Ketchup, in particular, is one of those products that can be found in almost any household in North America. Most people don’t think twice about pouring themselves a hearty portion of ketchup to go with their meal. 

But that mound of ketchup on your plate is full of processed junk…you could think of it like dousing your dinner with a few tablespoons of sugar and chemicals.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…there are lots of healthier options available, but we have to start looking. We have to take responsibility for what we are choosing to consume. For example, start checking the ketchup isle to find a brand with less sugar. They do exist! It might taste a little bit different at first, but I am here to tell you that your taste buds will change.

Foods can either help or harm us – and SOOOOO many of the foods that we consume on a daily basis are actually harmful to our bodies. The processed junk, chemicals and sugar causes all kinds of inflammation in your body and inflammation leads to many health problems and diseases.

The Truth About Sugar

Here’s a little shocking statistic for you. The average North American is consuming more than 4X the amount of sugar each day than they should. That’s every single day. 

Our bodies are designed to handle about 25 grams each day – mostly from natural sources like fruit. But on average, North Americans are consuming more than 100grams every day…from a lot of nasty sources.

Think about the effects of too much sugar every day of your life…it’s no wonder we are a society of overweight and unhappy people. It’s because we are addicted to sugar…we use it to soothe ourselves, to numb ourselves, to feel happy, to feel sad. We are addicted.

It’s time to cut the processed stuff that’s harming you and get back to the basics. God created amazing food for us to enjoy, yet instead we are busy stuffing our faces with harmful stuff that is making us addicted and sick.

So What Does This Mean?

Well, if you’ve been around for awhile, you will know that Ruth and I do not believe in diets. We do not believe in eliminating food groups or saying “I’ll never eat bread again, or chocolate, or…(insert your favorite thing here)”. What we do believe in is getting back to basics with the foods that we eat.

Bread is a great example. Bread and carbs are not bad – but many of the breads that we buy at the grocery store are full of chemicals, sugar, and processed junk that is really not good for us. Does that mean we will never eat bread again? No! Absolutely not! We love bread – but we are intentional about the type of bread that we eat so that it is helpful to our body, not harmful. You can check out the benefits of sprouted grains here and you can view our sprouted spelt bread recipe.

The moral of the story here is to ask yourself: is this food helping or harming me? 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are called to honour the bodies that God created for us – so let’s treat our bodies like a temple, not a trashcan!

3. Love Yourself Enough To Care For Yourself

Let’s not discredit the fact that most fad diets are about deprivation and punishment. The average woman starts a diet because dislikes herself and is embarrassed by how she looks. 

Your Negative Self-Talk

Think about the last time you started a diet. What was your reason?

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m embarrassed to be seen
  • I hate the way I look
  • I’m such a failure
  • I’m worthless

All of those reasons are rooted in an “I’m not worthy” place. So it’s no wonder all those fad diets fail when we start them out of dislike and hatred for ourselves. We dislike ourself and we dislike our diet and we wonder why it’s not working.

Instead, we need to view our weight loss journeys as a choice that we are making to love ourselves and to love and honor the bodies that God gave us. Women often object to this as believers because they think that loving themselves is sinful, conceited, vain and self-centered.

You Need To Love Yourself

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:31 (NIV)

But in Mark 12:31, we are told to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” So think about how you love on the people in your life. You honor them, you respect them, you take care of them, you do nice things for them…well if we read Mark 12:31 with those thoughts in mind, then we are to do the same for ourselves. We don’t say mean and horrible things to our neighbors and beat them up….no way! And we should not be doing that to ourselves either. In fact, I believe that it really hurts the heart of God when we are busy disliking ourselves. 

When we change the perspective of losing weight from “I hate myself so I’m gonna go on a horrible diet” to “I am choosing to love this body that God gave me and therefore to make decision that are helpful to my body” – it changes the entire equation.

You will begin to view your food choices differently when you look at it through this lens.

Biblical Weight Loss Principles Conclusion

So I would challenge you today – flip your perspective. Start to look at your body with awe and wonder. God took great care when you were knit together…so let’s honor Him with our health.

There you have it – my 3 weight loss principles that helped me to lose the weight. 

I know that if you begin to implement them that you will begin to see some drastic changes to your lifestyle.

So let me know in the comments which of the 3 principles resonates with you the most!

And until next time, let’s treat our bodies like a temple, NOT a trash can.
Kayce Broening

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