How to Keep the Holiday Weight Off
Is it really possible? Can a person actually lose or control weight amidst multiple holidays and a reduction in physical activity that winter often brings? The answer is yes!—but especially if we embrace the important principles shared in Scripture—principles that hold true even during the frigid months and can help us be healthier and happier all year long!
- Acknowledge that our bodies are God’s temple. The Bible tells us that we were “bought at a price” and our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). While we should honor God by the way we care for our bodies, we don’t have to go it alone. He will strengthen and help us (Isaiah 41:10) so we can sidestep dietary temptations and make health-promoting choices for our body.
- Consider a whole-foods, plant-based diet. According to the Bible, humanity’s original diet came from plants. Dozens of scientific studies have demonstrated that a simple, plant-based diet is generally the healthiest option1, 2 and greatly reduces one’s risk of obesity.
- Don’t overeat. Proverbs 23:2 says, “Put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.” Overeating causes chemical changes that produce food cravings.3 Overburdened digestive organs absorb fewer nutrients, so hunger returns sooner. It can also make you drowsy, which means you’ll be less likely to burn off the extra calories.
- Limit sweets. The Scripture that says “it is not good to eat much honey” (Proverbs 25:27) has been confirmed. Studies point out the dangers of eating too much concentrated sweeteners, such as sugar or honey, including unwanted weight gain.4
- Avoid rich foods. The Bible calls delicacies “deceptive food” (Proverbs 23:3). Rich foods, which are generally high in fat and calories, can sabotage weight-loss goals and contribute to a host of other problems.
- Get up and move! Exercise is an important factor in weight management. To get the best results, make exercise a permanent part of your life. God’s Word confirms that “physical training is of some value” (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV). And you don’t need to belong to a gym to reap benefits. Something as simple as walking regularly can go a long way toward optimizing your weight. So bundle up and get out there!
- Minimize anxiety. Holidays can be stressful, and many people eat when they are worried or anxious—gravitating to food as a way of calming their nerves. But it can easily become a habit leading to unwanted weight gain. Instead of automatically eating when you’re worried, try praying first (see Philippians 4:6, 7). Giving your burdens to God and allowing Him to relieve your mind of problems will free up your cognitive powers to make healthier choices.
The Bible makes it clear that God wants us to “prosper in all things and be in health” (3 John 1:2). By looking to Him for wisdom and strength, making intelligent choices for our bodies, and being persistent, we can reach and even exceed our expectations this winter and beyond.