The secret to weight loss is that there is no secret. Most of us simply have to eat less and exercise more.
You have to face this reality and quit looking for a pill or potion to solve your weight-loss need. So let's talk about the issue of managing your habits. Again the Bible comes to the rescue.
The main verse that has helped me here is 1 Thessalonians 4:4: "Each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor."
In the beginning, I didn't know how to "possess" my own body—I didn't know how to manage it. I had to learn. We can all do better about the way we eat. We can all improve. But how? How do we make choices that are healthy? How do we learn what is best for us?
Proverbs 4:20-22 is helpful: "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh."
The place to start with lifestyle changes is the Bible—the Word of God. There are two basic things that the Word of God teaches with regard to losing weight and having a healthy lifestyle:
1. Eat in moderation. "And put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite" (Prov. 23:2). For me, and for many of us who are overweight, that means eating less. For all of us it means making healthier eating choices. For someone who is anorexic, it will mean eating sensibly—the right things in the right portions to keep the body healthy.
2. Get the right amount of exercise. "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it" (Gen. 2:15). Overweight people don't want to hear that. We blame low metabolism as the reason they can't lose weight, and it is probably true for many of us. But some of you are skinny and you have terrible eating habits.
You are sneaking by because you have high metabolism. While many overweight people envy you, you too may be a glutton. (Tough talk, huh?) I'm not a scientist or a nutritionist, but I know we can't use slow metabolism as an excuse to be overweight. We have to get our body moving. We have to exercise to get our metabolism going. If you do enough exercise and eat less, you will very likely lose weight.
How then shall you eat? The answer to what shall we eat is simple: better and less. Eat less, and eat foods that are as close to the way God made them as possible—straight from the ground, straight from the trees.
Eat food for health and not because you think it will make you happy.
Steve Reynolds is the senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Virginia. He is the author of the books Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. He is also the creator of the Losing to Live weight-loss competition. Steve has lost more than 120 pounds and has led his church to lose over nine tons of weight.
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