Ah, the Bible. The most read book in the world. The most controversial and polarizing book in the world. The book claimed to have all the answers to human overall needs. But does it really talk about weight loss or have hidden secrets to help you lose weight? In this article I’m going to try answering this often-asked question and hopefully, my explanation will help you understand whether the holy book is useful and/or relevant for weight loss.
Yeah, some of you may be wondering: Why on earth is Contra Health Scam talking about the Bible? Isn’t this website supposed to be a medically oriented site? Well the short answer to the question is that scammers are taking advantage of Christians by using the Bible to sell their scam. Not long ago, I exposed The Faith Diet – a program claiming that it has discovered the ‘secret ingredients’ hidden in the Bible that will help you lose weight. I hate seeing my fellow Christians being exploited for their beliefs and so this article will set the records straight.
Don’t fret, though. I won’t go too spiritual in this article. I’ll be interpreting the commonly used bible verses for weight loss first as it was originally intended by the authors, and will only go spiritual when it is absolutely necessary.
So let’s begin, shall we?
The Bible, an Overview
As you all know, the Bible is the holy book used by Christians all over the world. It is basically a mini-library made up of 66 books, which are in turn divided into two broad parts: The Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament has 39 books, and these books contain the history of ancient Israel, complete with prophecies, psalms and wise sayings. The New Testament has 27 books, four of which are the Gospels. These books talk about the life of Jesus and the acts of his early disciples.
Now the Bible holds the record for being the world’s all-time bestseller, as well as the most translated book. In fact, the Bible has many different translations in a single language. It is also the most scrutinized, studied, and debated book the world has ever seen. It is a constant topic of fiery debates in both online and offline platforms, and it is the book responsible for the modern-day Western society.
Bottom line is that the Bible has a tremendous impact on people’s lives. It influences their emotions, their way of thinking, their attitude to life, et cetera. So it is very important to understand this book and know the message it has because, due to its immense popularity, misinterpretation is rampant, and has resulted in the emergence of cults and destroyed lives.
Bible Verses Used in Weight Loss
After scouting several Christian websites, here are some of the common Bible verses they cited for weight loss:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
This one is pretty straightforward. As regards to weight loss, this verse is saying that you should involve God in your weight loss workout and diet plans and He will make it successful.
For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.
Many other versions translates the word ‘timid’ to ‘fear’. This verse actually refers to Christians remaining loyal to God and the Gospel in the face of trials and persecution. But when put in the context of weight loss, you get this interpretation: God gives us power, love and self-control so as a Christian you should have no reason doubting your ability to actually lose weight.
What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
These popular verses are actually railing against sexual immorality. But according to Michael Krauszer of Patheos.com, it also means that you should honor God, who owns your body, by maintaining a healthy body. And of course, an obese body isn’t healthy. See?
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Here Paul the Apostle is talking about improving himself through discipline constantly so that he could remain qualified to continue teaching others. In the context of weight loss, however, this verse is all about discipline. Lesson here: If you want to lose weight, be disciplined enough to set a goal, stick to it and achieve it.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The first verse talks about our bodies being acceptable as a form of worship to God. Now you wouldn’t want to worship God with a body full of excess fat and the diseases that come with it, do you? Don’t you want to look nice and beautiful in God’s presence, hmm? Not just that, but God makes it clear elsewhere in the Bible that he only accepts sacrifices without blemish (Leviticus 22:17-25). So how sure are you that God will accept your obese body if you offer it to him as a form of worship? These thoughts will give any God-fearing person all the motivation he needs to hit the gym and change his eating habits to lose weight.
The second verse talks about renewing your mind, aka changing the way you think. We all know where this is going when it comes to weight loss: Have the proper mentality for weight loss, and you’ll be successful.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Again, pretty straightforward. So in whatever you are doing to lose weight, do it for the glory of God.
A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
The original Hebrew word for ‘glutton’ used in the Bible manuscript of this verse is ‘zâlal’, which is figuratively used to mean ‘vile,’ ‘morally loose’, ‘worthless’, ‘prodigal’, ‘riotous’ and ‘glutton.’ So basically the Bible is saying that a glutton is a disgrace to his father. So as a Christian, do you want to be a disgrace to your own earthly father, talk more of being a disgrace to your heavenly Father (God)? If your answer is no, then stop overeating or being a glutton.
Also, this verse talks about having bad companions. So check yourself. Do you have friends who influence or support your bad eating habits? Are you a member or supporter of the Fat Acceptance Movement or Fat Feminism, which tell you that ‘fat is beautiful’ and/or blame others for your own decision to overeat?
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
Woah. The Bible really hates gluttony. And as we all know, gluttony is a major cause of obesity. So if you love food and can’t take your hands off any edible stuff that passes you by, then the Bible says that you’re better off dead. Pretty strong words right there, don’t you think?
Actually though, this verse is talking about how to behave while dining with a king as his guest (Proverbs 23:1 – read the entire chapter, it’s very interesting). Here you’ll notice that again, the Bible is emphasizing on self-control. So when put in the context of weight loss, the lesson is simple. Control yourself around food.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Here the Bible is hinting that you can’t complete your weight loss journey by your own power and strength, but through the strength that comes from Christ. I know that many non-Christians who lost weight without opening the Bible will scoff at this, but not everybody is the same. Besides, this verse isn’t really about weight loss, but a verse that can be applied to almost any situation. Hence why it is used for weight loss.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As a medical professional, I can tell you that the success of a treatment plan depends heavily on the psychological state of the patient. If a patient is not relaxed, confident or strong psychologically, no amount of drugs or surgeries will make him feel better. The same with weight loss. If you are always worried about failing or something bad happening as a result of your weight loss effort, the stress of worrying will eventually result in hormonal responses which will eventually lead to rebound weight gain.
So the Bible is telling you not to be anxious of anything, but instead present your request to God and He will give you His peace. That peace will give you psychological stability, which is crucial if you want to lose weight or achieve any other goal in life.
So these are ten of the most common Bible verses used for weight loss. Hope I did a good job interpreting them? Now let’s return to the main question: Does the Bible talk about weight loss?
The Bible Does NOT Talk Directly About Weight Loss
The average person reading this article should have realized this by now, but I’ve decided to re-emphasize this point. This is because many Christian oriented health sites don’t give this point the attention it deserves, hence the reason why scammers exploit it to dupe people. To give you an example of what I’m referring to, the scammers behind The Faith Diet claimed that they discovered ’12 Biblical ingredients’ from the Dead Sea, Red Sea and Sea of Galilee, which, when taken ‘in a precise order’ will help you lose weight.’ And since the Bible is a big book only few can say they have finished reading, this gives the scammer an awfully large audience to target with their scam programs. And since they are master manipulators, they can twist the Scriptures to suit their narrative, hence completely deceiving any naïve, desperate Christian that visits their website.
That being said, the Bible is NOT useless for weight loss either. Let’s talk more about it.
The Bible is Crucial For Weight Loss Motivation, Mental Health
As you must have noticed above, the Bible is indisputably filled with motivational verses and quotes. In fact, most of the New Testament books ( especially the Pauline letters) are filled with messages of encouragement and advice. In the Old Testament, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes have thousands of motivational quotes and are very interesting to read.
There is a reason why motivational cards made with Bible verses are so popular. This is because a ton of people find them useful and effective in their respective difficult life journeys, including weight loss.
Now given the huge influence the Bible has on the lives of billions of people, it is safe to say that it is crucial for their psychological and mental health, a state that is needed for the body to function properly and allow planned weight loss to take place.
In summary, the Bible is a highly influential book that can be used in some capacity in any situation, including weight loss. However, it does NOT explicitly talk about weight loss, nor does it have any ‘secret ingredients’ you have to mix together in some special diet recipe. However, it is crucial for maintaining mental and psychological health and is best used as a source of motivation and support during your weight loss journey.
So my advice? Stick to your regular weight loss diet and exercise plan (you can check my Whitelist for good weight loss programs if you’re looking for one). Then use the Bible as your source of motivation and support. It works.