No diet ever worked for me to lose weight and keep it off back when I weighed 430 pounds. However, I'm glad it didn't. If it had, I would be sure I had invented the cure for obesity.
Beyond that, though, I would have never learned to how important it is to follow God completely. After losing 250 pounds, I know for sure: God is the inventor of the cure for obesity.
Obesity Is Deadly
We shouldn't pretend overeating and weight gain are OK because we love to eat. These behaviors lead to obesity, which is a serious concern because it is the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Of course, everyone has their opinion on what someone should eat to lose weight. Opinions vary there. However, to avoid obesity or to lose weight, there are some things almost every doctor agrees on we should avoid eating.
This includes sugar, because it increases hunger and is empty calories; processed and junk foods that are designed to be addictive; refined flours, which are also addictive; and sweetened beverages.
There are foods most doctors agree can be consumed to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. These include high-fiber foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries and lean protein, at least four ounces per meal.
Eating from this list will help people feel more satisfied and full so that they eat less overall.
Why I Eat
Because I've lost a lot of weight, people want to know what I eat. I follow the eating plan God gave me over 40 years ago but didn't start following until about 10 years ago. I eat meat, fruits and vegetables. I don't eat things made with sugar and flour.
That's my simple plan. God had to make it simple in order for me to follow it. When I understood that things made with sugar and flour were very addictive for me, I made the decision to change how I ate.
I knew it wouldn't come from willpower alone. I knew my own personal willpower had a limit of about six to nine months before I'd cave and need a piece of cake or something sweet. Then, I'd start eating it again nonstop and gain back the weight I'd lost plus more.
How to Stop Cravings
I created my own cravings by eating very addictive things and then allowing them to master me instead of following what I know God wants for me.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASB) says, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything." My cravings for foods I loved mastered me.
To begin to rid myself of cravings, I had to begin to stop eating the foods that were addictive to me and start eating healthy foods in their place.
This is not just a mind or thought change, but it is actually a way to rewire our brains. Scientists have discovered how that is possible. And guess what? It starts with us identifying what we want in the bigger overall sense of our lives and telling ourselves what negative habits we need to stop and positive ones we need to start.
This is really what helped me stop dieting. When I changed my mind about what I wanted, I realized rebelling against a diet is what kept me bound in the first place. Instead, I just ate according to the plan God and I worked out.
Why Diets Don't Work
A diet is a one-size fits all plan. The problem is, we are not all the same. We must change, and to change, we must listen to God and allow Him to lead us on our healthy lifestyle change.
The reason I'm glad no diet worked for me is that now I finally understand how to allow God to lead me. It really is an obedience journey. Once I surrendered my issue to God and allowed Him to lead me, He can trust me with anything He throws my way.
Until we get this one huge area of our lives under control, it's hard for Him to trust us with world-changing decisions. And friends, we are called to be world changers. We are capable of controlling what we eat, even though many of us have given ourselves over to our own selfish desires so many times that it just comes naturally in this one area of food. It seems it is the one area that we see as free reign.
The Philippians 3:19 Gang
Surely in Luke 9:23a AMP, Jesus didn't mean foods when He said, "If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests]."
Surely, He meant all that other bad stuff like drinking, gambling, illicit sex and so forth. Eating delicious food can't be on that list, or can it?
I want to tell you friends, that sadly for me it was on that list. It was my main selfish interest. I lived for the next time I could have one of my favorite meals or desserts. It was everything to me, because I had made it everything.
I was in the Philippians 3:19 gang. Our motto was "Our destiny is destruction, our god is our stomach, and our glory is in our shame. Our minds are set on earthly things, like what's for dinner. There had better be dessert."
How to Get Free
So how do we overcome these issues if we see ourselves living inside this difficulty?
- Stay away from unhealthy addictive foods like sugar, flour, fast foods and sweetened beverages
- Eat healthy things such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries and lean protein.
- Create your own plan with God's help
- Be mindful of what you are eating and why
- Understand that you create your own cravings by what you continually eat.
- Put God first instead of the foods you crave.
- Know that you are just one choice away from stepping into total lifestyle change.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.
This article originally appeared atteresashieldsparker.com.
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