I am a medical doctor with special training in nutrition, obesity, and weight loss. Through my training, I uncovered a very important research study that points us directly back to God for advice on how to lose weight. The study was conducted in 1968, by a social psychologist named Dr. Stanley Schachter.

Dr. Schachter found that his obese research subjects tended to eat because of what he called “external” cues (the sight of food, the smell of food, the time on the clock, emotions, intellectual reasons, etc.), whereas his thin subjects tended to eat according to their “internal” cues (their hunger pangs).

That study suggests that a major reason why people gain weight is they stray from their hunger pangs and eat for external, non-physiologic reasons. It also suggests that the key to overcoming a weight problem is to learn how to tune out those external factors and eat according to internal cues: hunger pangs.

Okay, friend. Let’s pull the camera back so we have a broader perspective on this subject. Dr. Schachter used a scientific study to prove what we should have already known from common-sense. He proved something that should have been self-evident. Think about it; if God made mankind with hunger pangs, then hunger pangs must be important. When we override them and rely on worldly rules and regulations for weight loss, all we do is mess up a perfect system that the all-knowing Creator of the Universe developed.

But that opens up another question. If people gain weight (at least in part) because they eat for reasons other than hunger, then how can they re-learn to block out those external cues (such as emotions), and eat the way God intended? Ah…..that’s the million dollar question.

For those who are Christian, the obvious starting point for wisdom and encouragement is the Bible. In it, God tells us everything we need to know on every subject, including how we’re supposed to eat. But here’s the deal: to simply say “Read the Bible and pray,” rarely translates into weight loss. For most people, that kind of advice is far too general.

As a physician, I know that people need detailed and specific advice when it comes to weight loss. They need a road map that tells them what to do in different circumstances–when they’re tempted to eat by their emotions, when they’re tempted to overeat at a buffet, etc. I also know from first-hand experience what kind of advice works because I, too, once suffered from morbid obesity. I grew up weighing double what the other kids weighed, mostly because I ate for the wrong reasons–external reasons.

Thankfully, toward the end of high school, I lost 75 pounds and have kept it off for 25 years. Through that weight loss and weight maintenance journey, I learned lots of tricks for overcoming those bad eating habits.

Several years ago, for the benefit of my patients, I compiled all my personal and professional experience into a Biblical, Christ-centered weight loss program. It’s called The Eden Diet. For more information about how you can learn to use your God-given hunger pangs to lose weight, feel free to visit my website.

God bless you.

Rita Hancock MD

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