Here’s Why Diets Aren't the Best Solution

Dieting is all well and good, but you won't lose weight without spiritual discipline. (iStock photo)

You cannot fix a spiritual problem with natural means. We are surrounded with information about the obesity crisis, yet as a society, we continue to get fatter and fatter.

We are intelligent people, but we can't control our appetite.

Obesity is fast overtaking smoking as the number one preventable cause of death. This should tell us something. When will the church wake up and stop feeding the problem?

A 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76 percent were overweight or obese compared to 61 percent of the general population at the time of the study. Don't get mad at me; this is the truth. Unfortunately, I used to be one of those statistics.

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I thank God that I had a "divine interruption" one day. I saw a sign that said, "The devil wants you fat!" That hit home in my very core being. I was stunned! The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). About the only thing I had in abundance at that time was fat cells!

How can this be, I pondered? It was because I was ignorant. I did not read labels and I did not study nutrition, so I walked right into the food trap of the enemy. Satan has always used food to deceive people. It worked so well in the garden, why should he change?

Satan can only maintain what he can obtain; and when he has control of our appetite it opens the door to steal, kill and destroy our health, our joy and our peace. There is a power greater than your taste buds.

Information shows us the need for change, but only transformation gives us the desire to change. The power to change comes from the One who created us. When I read those words, "The devil wants you fat," I had an immediate burning desire in my heart to change. It was a moment that brought repentance and an awareness that I was responsible and accountable for the care of my body.

True repentance is believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth. "Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). We need a time of refreshing to face the battle of destroying any of Satan's strongholds in our lives.

First, get rid of the word "diet" in your vocabulary. A diet is the sum total of what we eat every day. Your diet is the opportunity to supply your body each day with the needed nutrients for proper function. A lack of nutrients in your everyday diet from "a magic" weight loss source leaves your body starving and constantly hungry.

The day I faced the truth that I was addicted to food was very painful for me. The truth hurts, but it will set you free. I did not set out to become addicted to food, and I didn't realize I was until the Holy Spirit showed me. I became addicted to certain food through ignorance.

I was too busy to plan and prepare nutritional meals; I just grabbed anything to stop the craving. I didn't take time to read labels and take heed to the information about food. I was meditating on 1 Corinthians 10:13, which promises a way of escape when the Lord whispered to my heart, "Planning and preparation are ways of escape."

Transformation power requires study of God's Word, prayer and an honest assessment of your life. Your body is not your own; you have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20). As a Christian, you are a steward of everything in your possession including your body. You are an ambassador, a representative of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Ask the Lord to instill desire in you that motivates you in the perspective of eternity, not just day to day. Surrender your diet failures, guilt, food addiction and your appetite to the Lord.

Weight loss is a by-product of obedience. Only the Holy Spirit can break the stronghold of habit and addiction in your life. As we learn the ways of the kingdom of God, we don't have to seek success; it will follow us as we follow Him. Live for eternity.

Die to the flesh and represent your kingdom to the best of your ability.

My testimony and walk in this journey of freedom are in my book, Why Diets Don't Work—Food Is Not the Problem.

Joyce Tilney is the Founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is an author and a conference speaker. To schedule a seminar or conference in your area, contact her at Her books are available on For information about Women of God Ministries, visit

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