I’ve recently been reading about Bob Harper’s (Biggest Loser) heart attack and new diet. I used to be a fan of the Biggest Loser during its first few seasons on television. I enjoyed watching the process of people working hard to achieve their weight loss dreams. Eventually I ceased watching the show after personally deciding the show promoted weight loss methods that were not healthy or manageable for the average overweight person.
I was happy to see the positive influence the show had on people who were trying to lose weight. The show encouraged people to exercise and diet their way to a healthy weight. What we now know is the majority of contestants did not keep off all the weight they lost during the competition and some even regained even more weight than they had lost while on the show.
It’s easy to believe that if we can find the perfect diet and do the right sweat inducing exercises, we will achieve weight loss perfection for the rest of our lives. We look towards personal trainers, nutritionists, registered dietitians, and celebrities for the answer. What I learned from reading Bob Harper’s story leading up to his heart attack, is that even some fitness and nutrition minded professionals don’t have the answer.
Bob Harper went from promoting his vegan lifestyle to promoting a paleo type diet. Now that he’s had a heart attack, he is promoting the Mediterranean diet. If a person who makes a living from physical fitness and dieting can’t make up his or her mind about which diet and exercise regimen is most successful, what chance do we as consumers and followers have in winning the weight loss and healthy lifestyle battle?
Fitness instructors encourage us to follow the latest cardio or strength training trend and add to that the constantly changing recommendations regarding what is and isn’t healthy for us to eat. I’ve always advocated for finding an activity you like and sticking to it. When you like something you are more likely to remain committed. As for eating habits, one of the simplest things to remember to keep processed foods at a minimum. When you reduce processed foods your only other option is to eat healthy, fresh foods. The consumption of healthy fats, whole grains, a modest amount of proteins, and fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy diet. There is never a need to follow strict eating plans unless you have a medical condition.
As Christians it is important that we be discerning when it comes to the foods we consume and how we care for our body. Following restrictive trends and fads show how gullible we are.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33
Thankfully what we eat has no influence on our salvation. But as believers it is important that we not encourage others to follow trends. By chasing fads we run the risk of not listening to the true needs of our individual bodies. You’ll also find yourself frequently moving from one method to another. Instead, find out what is best for your body and your lifestyle. Pray and ask God to reveal to you how to eat, what to eat, and how much exercise is good for your health. Let God be a part of your health.