10 Bible Principles on How to Lose Weight

What?! Does the Bible actually offer instructions on how to get rid of our double chins and spare tires? Well, not exactly—but Scripture does provide some important clues about how to care for these bodies, which are created in the image of God. In fact, His Word is abundant with guidance that can help us to be healthier and happier, which sometimes includes achieving and maintaining a more appropriate weight.

Let’s explore some of these principles.

1. Our bodies are God’s temple. The Bible informs us this way: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). So we should honor God by the way we take care of our bodies, but we don’t have to go it alone. He has promised to help and strengthen those who trust in Him (see Isaiah 41:10).

2. Seek wisdom from God. Our heavenly Father cares about all of our struggles in life and desires to help us. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). As our Creator, God knows exactly what we need to succeed in our health goals, and He will give us wisdom if we ask.

3. Consider starting a whole-foods, plant-based diet. According to the book of Genesis, humanity’s original diet came from plants. Although some people claim that humans were meant to be omnivores, consuming both plants and meat, scientific studies demonstrate that simple, plant-based eating is generally the healthiest option with multiple benefits [1, 2]. Eating a plant-based diet tends to make a person leaner and greatly reduces the risk of obesity.

4. Don’t overeat. Proverbs 23:2 says, “Put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.” Overeating causes chemical changes in the brain that produce food cravings or addictions [3]. It overburdens the digestive organs, which results in the absorption of fewer nutrients, so hunger returns sooner. Overeating can also make you drowsy, which means you’ll be less likely to burn off the extra calories.

5. Limit sweets. The Scripture advises, “It is not good to eat much honey” (Proverbs 25:27), and this has been confirmed by research. Studies point out the dangers of eating large quantities of concentrated sweeteners, such as sugar or honey. The long list of harmful effects includes unwanted weight gain [4].

6. Avoid rich foods. The Bible advises, “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you … Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food” (Proverbs 23:1, 3). Rich foods, which are generally high in fat and calories, can sabotage weight management plans and contribute to a host of other health problems.

7. Get up and move! Exercise is an important factor in weight management. For the best results, you should make it a permanent part of your life. God’s Word confirms that “physical training is of some value” (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV). And you don’t need to join the gym to benefit. Something as simple as walking regularly can go a long way toward maintaining good health and optimizing your weight. Remember that exercise produces the greatest benefit when combined with a healthy diet.

8. Minimize anxiety. Many people eat when they are worried or anxious as a way to calm their nerves. But it can easily become a habit that leads to unwanted weight gain. Instead of automatically eating when you’re worried, try praying first. The Bible’s advises: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7). Allowing God to relieve your mind of problems will free up your cognitive powers to make healthier choices.

9. Make choices that honor the Lord. As you go through each day, put God first in your thoughts and actions. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This practice will help to steer you away from dietary temptations.

10. Deepen your relationship with God. Spend time daily with the Lord and focus on His grace and love for you. This will help give you a balanced view. When you’re struggling with a weight problem, it’s easy to have a poor self-image. But whatever your opinion of yourself, God’s love for you is consistent and intense. You are treasured by the King of the universe. In fact, He considers you part of His family—His own precious child: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

The Bible makes it clear that God wants us to “prosper in all things and be in health” (3 John 1:2). By looking to Him for wisdom and strength, making intelligent choices for our bodies, and being persistent in our health goals, we can reach and even exceed our expectations!


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