1. No More Sumo Girl or Sumo Boy!
Have you ever skipped breakfast? I’m sure a lot of us have. While that happens from time-to-time, we shouldn’t make it a habit. Why? Well, did you know that skipping breakfast is one of the secrets trainers use to develop Sumo wrestlers? Yep, those huge wrestlers with the big tummies always skip breakfast. They eat large meals several hours later, then go to sleep. The metabolism remains low, the body holds on to fat and that’s one of the ways they get those big tummies. Hey, before I started eating breakfast every day, I was turning into Sumo girl!
If you want to lose fat and be fit, you’ve got to fuel the furnace – eat a healthy low-fat, breakfast every day – in fact, eat three meals-a-day with 2-3 healthy snacks in between – you’ll feel better, have more energy and no more Sumo girl or Sumo boy!
Don’t like breakfast? Ask the Lord to help you. Decide you’re going to live healthier and be a fit witness for Him. Remember Philippians 4:13 says that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
2. God’s Heavenly Weigh—Garnish Your Plate with Praise
Many of us thank the Lord for our meal before we start eating, but have you ever thought of garnishing your plate with praise?
When I was looking for a way to start eating healthier, the Lord directed me to Isaiah 55:2, “Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and let your soul be satisfied with abundance.”
Do you see the three parts of that scripture?
- Listen carefully to Me
- Eat what is good, and
- Let your soul be satisfied with abundance
While we understand that spiritually, I believe we can also look at it for our physical health. #1 Listen to the Lord and His inner guidance in your heart. #2 Eat the foods you know are good for you and in the proper amount. And #3 – when you’ve eaten the proper amount, push the plate away and start praising the Lord for His goodness. If you’re with others, tell them something wonderful the Lord has done for you. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you feel full!
Remember Isaiah 55:2 – “Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and let your soul be satisfied with abundance.”
3. Accountability – Write it Down!
What did you eat for dinner last night? How about for breakfast or lunch? Do you remember any snacks you had? I was amazed when I first began writing down what I ate every day. Those little nibbles here and there were putting on pounds here and there – and everywhere!
Then I began writing down a food plan the night before and committing it to the Lord during prayer time the next morning. I began holding myself accountable for what I ate – and the Holy Spirit helped keep me honest about it, too! You may want to ask a friend join you, and hold each other accountable as well.
Write down what you’ll have for 3 meals plus 2 healthy snacks – if you want, add the exercise you plan to do, and the amount of water you’ll drink that day, then commit it to the Lord.
At the end of the day, look over your food plan – how’d you do? Write down your feelings and prayer requests, and ask the Lord to guide you.
If it’s true that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – you can win by planning ahead!
4. Tummy Curfew
One of the most effective tools to aid weight loss and improve sleep is what I call “Tummy Curfew” – stop eating three hours before bedtime. If your body is still digesting food while you sleep, you’re not getting the rest you need and you probably won’t burn off those calories you ate, so guess where they go? The Fat Fairy makes it all go away? Uh, no. How about straight to your tummy, hips and thighs?
If you’re like me, you may have done well during the day but heard the refrigerator calling your name at night. Here’s where having a plan helps. Decide to quit eating at a certain time. Write it down, hold it up to the Lord and ask Him to help you.
Later, if the refrigerator starts calling your name, tell it to shut up and get behind you – drink some water, get up and get moving – write a letter, take a walk, clean out a dresser drawer and shout out loud “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want!”
Tummy curfew – for more rest and less weight.
5. Making Good Foods Convenient
Which is the healthier choice – pre-packaged convenience foods or making fresh food more convenient? If you make healthier choices convenient, you and your family will be less likely to opt for poor quality, highly processed foods when blood sugar is low and you’re not thinking as clearly.
I learned a long time ago the wisdom of four little letters H-A-L-T which form one big word HALT! “HALT” means we’re not to allow ourselves to become too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
If we become too hungry or stressed, we’re apt to eat too much of the wrong foods, so having fresh fruit, unbuttered popcorn, fresh veggies, almonds and other good foods handy will help you eat for fitness, not fullness.
Another idea when stressed is to HALT and take a 1 Peter 5:7 break: Cast all your care on the Lord because He cares for you. Caring for you is God’s job – so cast the whole of your care on Him.
6. Planting Seeds of Discipline
Galatians 6:7 says that whatever a man sows – or plants – that he will also reap – or harvest. What kind of seeds have you been planting lately?
In the area of habits, I sowed a lot of bad seeds to my flesh – a lot of bad food choices and inactivity – and I reaped a lot of corruption there, just like the Bible says.
But then I learned I could sow little seeds of discipline, little positive choices here and there – and commit them unto the Lord. Galatians 6:8 says that whatever we sow to the Spirit reaps everlasting life – life to the good seeds sown.
Bit by bit, my desires began to change – those good seeds began to grow. I started wanting water instead of soda pop – I wanted to take a walk instead of a nap.
Plant some seeds of discipline unto the Lord today and watch them grow into good habits that become a part of who you really are – in Him. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!
7. FAD – Fat Adding Demon Diets!!!
Over the years we’ve seen countless diet books and fads, yet the obesity crisis has continued to escalate.
When it comes to fad diets, I’ve decided f-a-d stands for “Fat-Adding Demon.” Here’s why: God designed muscle not only to give the body mobility and strength, but also to burn fat. Muscle weighs more than fat, and muscle is often destroyed on fad diets. While it might look good on the scale, less muscle = less fat burned.
That means you’ll probably gain weight back quickly when you’re off the diet — and the weight gained back is fat, not muscle. By continually jumping on and off diets, a person’s body can change drastically, losing muscle and gaining more fat—sounds like a Fat-Adding Demon to me!
So, instead of the fad diet, follow a sensible low-fat, low sugar food plan and commit it to the Lord every day. Let Him direct your steps to the healthy weight for you.
8. Commit Your Way unto the Lord
Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” Can we do that in the area of health and fitness, too? Certainly. After all, the Lord made your amazing body – He knows how best to care for it. Let’s present our body to the Lord today like the apostle Paul said in Romans 12:1.
I invite you to say this with me, “Father God, I present my body to you today, a living sacrifice – I present my eyes and ears to behold those things You would have me see and hear; I present my mouth and tongue to speak the truth in love; my hands, my feet, my appetites, dreams and desires to You, Lord so I may do Your will Your way. Help me to take good care of myself and my family today. I trust You to lead and guide me, in Jesus’ name – amen.”
Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass!
9. Are you an emotional eater?
Are you an emotional eater? What do I mean by that? Well, an emotional eater eats for reasons other than hunger or nutrition. I was one of them – for over 30 years. As a little girl I began using food to stuff down emotion – the anger and fears I couldn’t deal with as a child.
After I turned my life over to Jesus Christ, I still had a problem with compulsive overeating. “Lord, help me,” I cried. He did. He led me to a group of caring people who were “in recovery” – following a 12-step program that dealt with the reasons why I overate.
Now there are wonderful Christian 12-step programs. For me, it was helpful being in the company of others who were recovering from a similar problem, and to whom I was accountable. Committing my food plan and my life to the Lord on a daily basis ensured that He would direct and order my life – every step of the way.