Weight Loss5 Ways To Glorify God In Your Eating

5 Ways To Glorify God In Your Eating

If you struggle with emotional eating or overeating and you want to eat as an act of worship, use these 5 ways to glorify God in your eating.

God wants to be involved in every square inch of your life. That includes the activities that don’t feel spiritual or impactful (because they ALL are, even if it doesn’t feel like it!). ⁣

Eating can be an act of worship, but I sure didn’t use to treat it that way.⁣

If you are new around here, I’ve lost 100 pounds, but when I was at my heaviest, my eating was out of control and taking over my life.

A few of the ways I used to eat that were NOT worshipful:⁣

  • Binge eating – eating a massive amount of food with no “off” button.
  • Emotional eating – looking to food to meet needs food was never created to satisfy.
  • Secret eating – sneaking food when nobody else was looking, eating behind closed doors, and convincing myself overeating was okay as long as nobody else knew.
  • Scarcity eating – overeating because I was afraid that was the last of that treat I would be able to have for a long time…think the “last meal” before a diet begins.
  • Eating to impress – eating salads and green smoothies in front of people in an effort to earn attention and affirmation from others…often this is paired with secret eating.
  • Yo-yo dieting – jumping from extreme deprivation to binge eating, which is terrible for both your mind and body!

Eating as an act of worship is really less about the type of food you eat and more about the way you are doing it.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

All of the types of eating above can be done whether you are eating chocolate cake or carrot sticks.

And you can worship God in your eating just as much with a burger and fries as you can with a salad.⁣

⁣But the way you view food can change drastically when you put God at the center.

open hands holding apple

5 Ways To Glorify God In Your Eating

I believe all of the types of eating I mentioned above are rooted in fear (and not the healthy fear of the Lord, either!).

  • When you are emotional eating, you are afraid of feeling your feelings and desperately seeking any kind of distraction to not sit in that uncomfortable place any longer.
  • Scarcity eating is all about being afraid you won’t have enough, so you have to stuff down everything you possibly can right now before it’s all gone.
  • Eating to impress is rooted in a fear of what other people will think of you, instead of being confident in your identity in Christ regardless of your food choices.

Instead of living in fear, I would encourage you to use the Fruit of the Spirit in your eating, making eating an act of worship by responding to food with:⁣

  1. Joy
  2. Peace
  3. Patience
  4. Self-Control
  5. Faithfulness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

Now, I have a whole post on How the Fruit of the Spirit Can Help You Lose Weight, but I wanted to really focus in specifically on what that looked like in the area of my eating in this post.

Here are some ways that I try to embrace each of these fruits when I eat.

1. Savor Every Bite {Joy}

I don’t know about you, but when I was emotionally eating, secret eating, and binge eating, I was not slowing down to enjoy the food I was eating.

Did it taste good? Absolutely!

But the goal was to eat a lot of food and eat it fast, not appreciate the flavors.

girl smiling eating cucumber slice

And, instead of feeling joy in the delicious foods I was eating, I felt guilt, shame, and embarrassment.

I was scared to enjoy treat foods like chocolate, cake, and french fries in front of anyone else because I was just sure they were thinking something like, “Oh, of course the fat girl loves cake.

When I was binge eating/secret/scarcity eating, it was like I wasn’t even fully there tasting the food. I switched myself onto autopilot and just ate and ate and ate, knowing my hand was putting food into my mouth, but barely experiencing it at all.

These days, I savor every bite – of chocolate, french fries, roasted vegetables, and grilled chicken.

I slow down and let myself actually taste the flavors of the food.

I take delight in the different textures – the creaminess of yogurt, the crunch of a Little Debbie Nutty Bar, the chewiness of a soft pretzel.

I used to think the only way to make things taste good was to soak them in butter, salt, cheese, cream soup, or chocolate, but now I play with different flavor combinations that I never cared about before – things like curries, Asian marinades, and Greek spices (while still appreciating the simple classics, of course!).

On the surface, it seems like the more we teach ourselves to love food, the more tempted we would be to overeat, right?

But when you find joy (instead of numbness or guilt) in eating, you are more likely to stop when you are satisfied.

I can honestly tell you that I am more satisfied with one single bite of a chocolate bar these days than I ever was plowing through an entire box of Nutty Bars (and, believe me, I never thought I’d be able to stop at one bite of chocolate!).

And it’s not just about finding joy in the food itself either. When I delight in eating, I am so much more thankful for the people who prepare the food and God’s tangible provision.

Joy breeds gratitude and contentment.

Try it. It takes practice to break old patterns and old ways of thinking, but if you keep at it, there is so much more joy, delight, and satisfaction ahead!

You can read more about how I used joy to lose weight here.

2. Trade Your Guilt For Grace {Peace}

I’ve already mentioned that guilt used to be a constant companion in my eating.

During and after bouts of emotional eating, my guilt warped into shame and just about swallowed me whole.

It was never just about my eating.

I let my poor choices to overeat start defining my worth as a person.

I not only felt fat, but I felt like a failure all the time. I felt defeated when I tried to diet and just couldn’t keep it going.

girl holding Bible on lap

But, no matter how many poor choices you make, you can never mess up too much for God’s grace to cover.

This idea of trading your guilt for grace is the foundation of our Faithful Finish Lines 2.0 Christian Weight Loss program. If weight loss were only about fixing habits, anyone would be able to do it.

But, most of the time, overeating is about something much deeper – a heart issue, not a habit issue.

When we believe we are a failure, we make choices according to that truth (making the same mistakes over and over again, believing we can never change).

But when we truly believe that we are a beloved child of God, having confidence in His strength and not our own, it changes everything. It makes impossible things possible.

When you make a poor choice in your eating, acknowledge it and take full responsibility (which is easier said than done in the beginning!).

It’s only when you can fully recognize and confess your sin (and I do believe that overeating is a sin!) for what it is that you can fully experience God’s grace and forgiveness.

Living in the freedom of God’s grace brings so much peace – His peace that passes all understanding.

And that’s a pretty stark contrast to living in the uncomfortable, unsettling storm of guilt and shame, constantly beating yourself up for your bad choices, but never seeming to choose better.

Beating yourself up doesn’t help you break the cycle, but God’s grace has the power to break every chain, including the chain of overeating.

3. Slow Down {Patience}

Food cravings are full of urgency.

When you feel that urge to eat a certain food, it’s like a screaming voice filling your thoughts telling you that you NEED that food and you need it NOW (and usually, that you need A LOT of it, too!).

Now, most of us know that food cravings aren’t ever a “need,” but in the moment, it sure does feel like it!

Another tool we teach in our program to handle food cravings is called the 3Ps (I explain more about that in this post on Conquering Cravings).

When you feel a food craving, the first thing we teach you to do is pause.

That pause feels so unnecessary and unproductive at the time, but it accomplishes so much!

girl looking at an apple and a Lindt chocolate on the table in front of her

It puts space between you and the urgency of your craving.

Instead of acting on impulse, that pause starts taking some of the intensity out of the craving and helps you to be more intentional and thoughtful about your decision.

It helps you to consider, not just how good the food will taste in that moment, but also the longer-term effects of your decision (regret, remorse, guilt, weight gain, etc).

Practicing delayed gratification with that pause is a great way to prove to yourself that cravings aren’t as urgent as they feel.

4. Practice Saying No To Yourself {Self-Control}

As we all know, our feelings can often lead us astray if we let them call all the shots.

When I was 100 pounds overweight, I was eating everything because I felt like it.

Of course, I had all of the rationalizations for my overeating:

  • I deserve it. I’ve had a hard day.
  • There’s barely even a serving left in here. I might as well finish it.
  • Everyone else is eating so I should be eating, too.
  • It’s just a few more bites. It’s not that big of a deal.

But when our feelings are leading our eating without any boundaries to keep them in check, there are consequences.

Just like every other area of our lives, we need to have healthy boundaries.

Bible laying out with coffee mug, pink and purple pens, and a journal

We need to say no to ourselves when our desires are leading us into sin and self-destruction.

Obviously, that’s a lifelong process of building the self-control to say no to sin, but I highly recommend starting with one small change (the foundation of my own 100-pound weight loss).

Leave one Cheeto in the bag. Add a vegetable to your dinner. Drink a glass of water instead of soda. Leave the overdone french fries on your plate. Don’t eat the chips just because they are sitting in front of you. Stop eating before your plate is clean (and before you are stuffed to the gills!).

Break the cycle of I-want-it-so-I-should-have-it.

Practice saying no to your cravings to build that self-control. The temptation never fully goes away (at least it hasn’t for me!), but you will grow stronger and stronger and it will become so much more manageable!

5. Pray Before Eating {Faithfulness}

I actually have a whole post written about 5 Ways Praying Before Meals Can Help You Overcome Overeating because I just believe prayer is so incredibly important when it comes to both heart change and habit change.

If you are regularly overeating, chances are, you really need God’s help here.

I’m not saying you are weak or a failure. I’m saying you’re human.

We were never meant to be able to navigate life and all of its challenges alone.

We were created to need God!

And one important way to stay in touch with who we are and whose we are is prayer.

girl holding hand in front of her face with the word

Connecting with God regularly and making Him the center of our lives is not about legalism and checking a “have-to” off your list, it’s about relationship.

Your prayers don’t have to follow any kind of a formula. They can be short, long, spoken, silent, or even sung. The point is just to bring your focus back to Jesus and take the time to connect with him.

When we pray before we eat (meals and snacks alike!), we not only have that built-in pause to prevent us from plowing headfirst into our plate, but it also reminds us of things like God’s provision and goodness.

It leaves us with a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving, feeling personally cared for by our Creator. It reminds us of His strength and also of food’s rightful place in our lives.

Food is a gift (a delicious gift!) from the Lord that brings nourishment to our bodies and also pleasure to our palates.

But it’s not a crutch to hold us up and fill our holes of loneliness, boredom, stress, and fear.

When we can learn to eat in such a way that exudes joy, peace, patience, self-control, and faithfulness, I believe we glorify God in our eating.

Your life and, yes, even your eating can give praise to God depending on how you do it.

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