Christian Weight Loss: Learn a 7-Step Guide to Eating

As Christians, it’s important to understand that there are spiritual battles going on when it comes to eating —and spiritual battles cannot be solved with worldly answers. This is why dieting, obsessively counting macros and calories, doesn’t work.

Today I will teach you a 7 Step Guide to Eating that will help you learn how to eat with intention and give you a simple plan to live by to forever end mindless eating, stress-driven eating, gluttony, and the seemingly never-ending cycle of dieting failure.

Maybe no one has ever told you to give yourself grace because God doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He wants you to be faithful. God sees you. He knows where you struggle, and He wants to help you! This is a journey to be taken meal by meal, one day at a time, so remember to replace any food guilt with God’s grace and do your very best to glorify God in your body. One meal at a time!

We need to retrain our brains from the dieting mentality we’ve been taught. The following 7 Ps provide the daily structure to adopt the habit of Intentional Eating. They teach you a godly mindset toward food because it isn’t the food plan or the workout you follow that will get you fit—it’s your mindset. A mindset on Christ is how you will win this battle.

If you can, please take out your Bible and a journal. I highly recommend writing these 7 Steps down. 

The 7 Ps

  1. Pause. There is power in the pause! Before you decide to eat, pause and ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re just feeding your emotions, boredom, or stress. This will stop impulsive eating and eating while on autopilot. Sometimes a pause is all you need to stop yourself from reaching your hand into a bag of chips or saying yes to the candy in an office.
    Pausing readies your mind to eat with thanksgiving and self-control and gives you peace about your choices.
  2. Pray before meals. Thank God for the meal before you. Invite Him to the table. Ask God to help you eat the right foods in the right amounts and for the discipline to take care of your body (His temple). Learning about the right amounts is covered exhaustively in Fit God’s Way. Pray to surrender your appetite to Him daily and remind yourself to do so by using my acronym S.A.F.E. (Surrender Appetite Faithfully Every Day), based on Revelation 3:20.
  3. Prepare food ahead of time and learn how to prep your meals. Batching meals is a great way to always have something healthy on hand. Pick a day of the week to shop and cook. Collect favorite recipes and learn healthy ways to make all your unhealthy favorites. Prep and cook meat, chop veggies and fruit, and cook sweet potatoes and whole grains. Make it fun “me time” by cranking up your favorite Christian playlist or podcast in the background. Get good-quality storage containers in many sizes. Once the food is cooked, put it in your airtight containers; this will help it last up to four days.
  4. Portion each meal. Challenge yourself to measure everything for one week to learn what proper food portions look like. Be mindful of the amount of food you’re eating, and remember—small changes in your portion sizes equal big results over time. Eat from smaller plates and bowls. If you want to indulge in a treat, serve yourself a portion on a plate and then put the rest away. Refrain from eating out of containers, bags, boxes, or pans. “Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” (Proverbs 30:8 NLT)
  5. Practice being mindful and eating slowly and without distraction. Turn off the TV and your phone. Take the time to enjoy your food. Take smaller bites and chew them ten to twenty times apiece. Try setting your fork down between bites and thinking of food as fuel and nourishment rather than comfort or reward. Listen to your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues, and eat until you’re about full, not totally full. Also, practice having treats with your kids and on date nights—but don’t allow one indulgence to turn into a weekend off your plan (and then a week, and then a month). Get right back on track. Remember this rule: No back-to-back eating of C.R.A.P. (C = Cooking oils that are hydrogenated, R = refined sugars, A= Artificial sweeteners and colors, P = Processed [man-made] foods.)
  6. Plan ahead. Make healthy meals as often as possible, and always have healthy snacks. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to find food. (I know I rarely make good choices when I am starving.) When you’re going to a party or a restaurant, set a godly intention to enjoy what you’ll have and be satisfied with that. More is not better. Anytime you hear yourself thinking Just one more bite, that’s a cue that you’re sliding into gluttony.
  7. Persist! When you eat something you wish you would not have, write down how you feel; refer back to this when you’re tempted to do the same thing again and do not give up after a bad day. Recognize that this is not a perfect journey; we are not perfect—only Jesus is perfect. Repairing our relationship with food is a continual learning process that takes time. Acknowledge that you have power over food; food does not have power over you. Remember that you are always one God-made healthy meal away from being back on track—so make the next meal a whole God-made one! Grace over perfeciton

Repairing Our Relationship with Food

Meet Lisa! Lisa enjoyed cooking, and her food diary was like a spreadsheet of macros and calories—but her happiness and wholeness were a painful place of struggle. Lisa thought that if she prepped and cooked all her meals, recorded every bite she took, and ate perfectly, somehow she’d feel good about herself. But she didn’t. In fact, her preoccupation with the numbers was completely stealing her joy! I understood what she was going through because I had once made fitness and my food an idol, too, so I could help her. 

I taught her to seek Jesus first and surrender this to Him and that He wanted her to have a healthy, balanced relationship with food, fitness, and her body. After a few months, Lisa said she realized how much trying to be perfect made her miserable.

Have you ever noticed we tend to choose either oblivion or obsession with certain topics? We can be so all or nothing, right?

I think that sweet spot in the middle, called balance, is right where Jesus wants us to live. Being obsessed with what we eat, how much we weigh, or what we look like is not only disordered—it’s idolatry. Have you ever wondered what causes an unhealthy relationship with food and where the obsessive or overindulging behaviors start? In a word, dieting! Dieting won’t fix your issues; it creates them.

Here are 5 Tips to help you

1. Ask God to Reveal the Foods that Have Power Over You.

 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NKJV)

Paul is saying here that we must allow nothing to enslave us in sinful habits. If you struggle with gluttony, which foods or drinks have control over you? Or on the other side of the spectrum, which extreme diets have you tried, and how did they control you with rigid rules and false promises?

2. Enjoy Food without Guilt and Condemnation.

Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink, and his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes: 2:24 NKJV)

Take note of how you think and feel when you eat. Afterward, do you feel guilty? Do your thoughts condemn you? If so, these are worldly dieting teachings and not of God. Begin to view food as a gift of nourishment that fuels your body to accomplish the work He has called you to.

3. Know You’re Not Alone in Your Struggle.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV)

We’re not alone in our weaknesses. Jesus was not only tempted just like we are, but He overcame the temptation—and in Him, we can overcome it, too. This overcoming is found in learning to say no and getting back on track quickly when we miss it. Think progress, not perfection. Don’t spend any time beating yourself up when you blow it; instead, pray this scripture back to God, and He will help you.

4. Find Balance and Avoid Extreme, Man-Made Diets.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. (1 Peter 5:8 AMP)

The enemy wants you to engage in extreme behavior because he can devour you in those places. Be cautious with foods that you know you can’t control yourself around, and be wary of the extremes of trying to eat perfectly.

5. Recognize the Spiritual Battle with Food

I often hear myself saying that if the enemy can steal your health, he can steal your future. Learn to spot the trap when it comes to emotional eating. Whether you’re lonely, bored, stressed, or tired, look for the root cause, take it to God, and search the Word for your healing.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:14 NKJV)

Grace Always Wins!

When you mess up (raising my hand here), find comfort in knowing that we all do. There is no need to beat yourself up. Don’t waste a moment in self-loathing because this is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. The longer he can keep you living in your head and believing you’re a failure, the further he can take you from your health and wholeness. Don’t give the devil a foothold here; otherwise, he’ll turn one not-so-good choice into a weekend of not-so-good choices—and then a month of them could turn into a year!

Instead, when you do engage in gluttonous behavior, ask God to forgive you and skip the guilt. He didn’t create all the rigid rules about food and extremes of dieting to force your body to look a certain way—the world did. We need to retrain our brains from focusing on extremes to focusing on grace because grace always wins.

If you ever struggle with food, fitness goals or body confidence? I deeply understand this, so I put together resources to help you with these very issues. Find them >>HERE<<

Links mentioned:

Fit God’s Way 7 Ws Challenge

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