The following article by Deneen Brown entitled, “Going Weigh Down” was published in The Washington Post. Below are excerpts from that article.
“I thought I was fat and ugly,” said Huntley, 31, a marketing association manager who lives in Silver Spring. “Not until I took this class was I able to look in a mirror again.”
With God, with scripture and with prayer and obedience to the dictates of the Bible, Huntley had lost 30 pounds in 11 weeks. Without exercising, without diet pills, without fen-phen, without counting calories, without abstaining from carbs, without abstaining from meat.
“The class has been a blessing,” Huntley said of the Christian-based weight loss program called the Weigh Down Diet. “Learning how God views gluttony and overeating as a sin. As Christians, we look at adultery and murder [as sins], but overeating is a sin, too. The Bible talks about presenting your body as a sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit resides in that temple.”…
…Christian-based weight loss programs have been sweeping the country as thousands of overweight people – having prayed to diet pills, weight loss clinics, surgeons’ staples and gyms – have finally turned to God for help. Since the Weigh Down program started 10 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the workshop. In this region alone, there are 441 programs operating within a 60-mile radius of Washington…
The Weigh Down diet was created in 1986 by Gwen Shamblin, a Tennessee dietitian who was struggling with her weight. She started looking at the way skinny people ate and discovered that many of them ate only half the food on their plates and ate only when hungry, a seemingly simple concept that is nonetheless difficult for many people to grasp. She started losing weight after following that regimen. And she started concentrating on this principle, which became the key to the program: Cut your meals in half and focus the other half on God and prayer.
With Weigh Down, there is no need to follow an eating plan designed by man. Participants throw away the concepts of three meals a day and the five food groups. The Weigh Down plan says eat what you crave when you are hungry. If that is chocolate, eat it but in holy moderation. Many participants say they have lost weight eating McDonald’s food, and steak and cheese sandwiches, and french fries – but eating only as much as they need to feel satisfied.
They had to move away from being afraid of hunger and away from thinking that they had to finish everything on their plates. Some say they may eat one or two meals a day, feeding their souls first, resisting the temptation to be greedy…
…More than 50 percent of Americans are now technically overweight, and about a third are obese – meaning 30 or more pounds overweight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“There is a big problem in this country with overeating,” [June Stevens, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] says. “Portions have gotten larger and larger. Research shows people who are served more eat more. There is some validity in the approach of listening to your cues and not letting the amount served dictate how much you eat.”