What does the Bible say about dieting and weight loss? I’m sure you’ve probably thought about this before. And in this post we are going to talk about nutrition, diet, and weight loss from a biblical stand point.
According to the USA Center for Disease Control in 2010, 35.9 % of adults age 20 years are obese and 69.2% of adults age 20 years are overweight. That is a staggering number. If you’re a Christian I’m sure you’ve noticed this while attending church. What’s worse is that we are now passing this on to our children 18.4% of adolescents age 12-19 years are obese, 18% of children age 6-11 years are obese, 12.1% of children age 2-5 years are obese.
How do you think God sees this? What the bible says about food, eating, weight loss, dieting & nutrition is exactly what God thinks about it. Here are some scriptures to consider:
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
When God created the garden of Eden it was a perfect place and he created plant life to be man’s sustenance. Adam and Eve were vegan. Yes, contrary to popular belief we actually do not need to eat meat or any kind of animal flesh to be in good health. If we did, God would have given it to Adam and Eve in the garden.
Genesis 1:29 “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
This was the the world in perfection. It wasn’t until after sin and the fall of man and the flood with Noah that man was then given the go ahead to eat meat. You must remember that all these wild animals were in the ark with Noah and they certainly weren’t eating each other! After the flood here’s what the Lord said…
Genesis 9:1-29 “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
This was the first time man was told to eat meat.
This scripture is referring to the ungoldly… Philippians 3:19 “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
And, here is a scripture that talks about church leaders 1 Timothy 3:8 “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.”
So what should you be eating? What’s on the Bible Weight Management Program?
Genesis 1:30 “And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
Deuteronomy 8:8 “A land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey”
Deuteronomy 14:1-29 ““You are the sons of the Lord your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “You shall not eat any abomination. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. …”
Genesis 43:11 “Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.”
Leviticus 3:17 “It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”
Proverbs 23:1-3 “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.”
Leviticus 11:1-47 “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.”
Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”
Please notice that the bible never says that we shouldn’t drink wine. What it says is that we shouldn’t get drunk on wine. Abstinence from alcohol and other grape products was a vow for a special group of people in the bible known as Nazarites. So this is a personal choice and a decision that is left up to you and what the Lord has reveal to you as His will for your own life.
As you sit to eat consider this scripture
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
This is an awesome scripture that we should all meditate on before we eat our meals so that we can truly ask ourselves “Is this meal glorifying the Lord?” “Will the Lord be pleased with what I am about to eat or drink?” I think if we meditate on that we would make better choices and we would focus more on portion control.
When we are Praying over our meals before we eat it is also a good time to reflect on what we are eating and how much we eat and ask God for guidance in managing our weight.
Do you know the story of Daniel who was brought to King Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace and was given the king’s food and wine daily? Daniel asked for the chief eunuch, who was in charge of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego, to feed them only vegetables.
Here’s the story in Daniel 1…
11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
Many Christians use this scripture to go on what is known as a Daniel Fast of only eating vegetables. The truth is that Daniel and his friends were not on a fast, this is the way they ate all the time! This was Daniel’s lifestyle this was not a diet or a fast for him. He asked the chief eunuch to test it out for 10 days but this was only so that he could prove the results of his chosen lifestyle. The fact is that Daniel continued to eat this way after the 10 days. Some of us need to seriously consider a lifestyle change and not just a diet.
The following is a prayer for all who may be struggling with weight management. God does not want you to live in an unhealthy lifestyle. He wants you to be healthy and strong so that you can carry out His purpose for you.
Prayer for Weight Loss
Father God we thank you for making us in Your image and for creating us beautiful. We repent for the abuse that we have put upon this temple that you’ve entrusted to us. Forgive us for drinking too much, for abusing drugs & alcohol, for our eating disorders, for our lack of exercise, for not practicing portion control, for eating because of our emotions and not because of hunger, forgive us for eating all the wrong things that we know offer no nutritional value to our bodies. We ask that you would take your Word and renew our mind. Renew our desires by your Holy Spirit. When we look at food cause us to see it the way you see it as sustenance and nothing else. For you are the One who offers us true comfort and not food. Educate us on what is good and wholesome for our bodies. May we be satisfied with just what we need to live. Take away the desires and cravings that we have for things that are not good for our bodies. Cleanse us and detoxify our minds. Allow us to start afresh today by praying over our meals and asking for your grace to keep on track with proper eating and exercise. We know that You have begun this good work in us today and will carrying it through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. We hand our temple over to you Holy Spirit and ask that you impart upon us the fruit of the Spirit of Self Control. We ask that you would create a new heart in us and make us new creations in Christ Jesus that want to do nothing more than glorify You with our bodies. Give us the mind of Christ to see food, drinking and exercise as you see it. Create a lifestyle change in our minds and hearts. We praise you for the results, in Jesus Name, Amen!
If you have any tips for weight loss or have a success story or testimony that you would like to share with us about losing weight and staying on track with the Bible, please share it below in the comments.
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