Christian Diet – Is There Such a Thing?


There’s no question that many people have made money promoting a Christian diet. There’s Gwen Shamblin and her Weigh Down Diet that sold more than a million copies, making her the bestselling Christian weight loss author of all time. Her second book, Rise Above, recycles the same thinness is equal to godliness theme and emphasizes submission to a scary extreme.

She certainly wasn’t the first Christian author to write weight loss books. Before her we had Neva Coyle’s Free to be Thin in 1979, Patricia Kreml’s Slim for Him and Joan Cavanaugh’s More of Jesus, Less of Me,” which were all published earlier in the ’70s. These books were all descendents of Charlie Shedd’s 1957 book, Pray Your Weight Away, which emphasized calorie restriction and counting calories.

You would think that a Christian diet would have the potential to be more effective than secular diets. After all, Christians are taught about how to resist temptation and the power of free will. The Bible teaches that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and should be treated with care. Plus, Christians are more likely to pray and scientific studies have shown that prayers do have an effect on reality.

Most of all, however, I would expect a diet book written by a Christian to question our society’s obsession with thinness and beauty. I would also expect a nuanced approach; sometimes a woman overeats, not because she’s a sinner and gluttonous, but because of deep emotional pain or spousal abuse. But Shamblin remains superficial and, to her, being overweight is a sin, period.

The bottom line to dieting is that you need to burn more calories than you eat. This applies to everyone, whether Christian, agnostic or Hindu.

If you are a Christian and are trying to lose weight, use a common sense weight loss approach and then tap into the elements of your faith that might help you, such as community support, prayer support and inspiration from scripture. You don’t have to have blind faith in a Christian diet guru like Shamblin who tells you to submit to her plan like you submit to God.

My favorite diet was invented by a woman who happens to be a Christian but it’s not a Christian diet per se. Whew. For 40 years she tried every diet under the sun to lose weight and nothing worked so she invented her own. You can check it out here [].

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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