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The Big Book of Bible Cures, Vol. 1: Weight Loss: Ancient Truths, Natural Remedies, and the Latest Findings for Your Health Today
by Don Colbert
Learn More | Meet Don Colbert
Chapter 1You Are God’s Masterpiece!
Before the finger of God touched the oceans with unimaginable creative power, God envisioned you in His heart. He saw you and all you could be one day through the power of His supernatural grace.
You are God’s masterpiece, designed according to an eternal plan so awesome that it’s beyond your ability to comprehend. Have you ever wondered what He saw in His mind when He created you? What was the perfection of purpose and plan He intended?
Now close your eyes and see yourself. For one moment you have no bondages, no imperfections, no shortcomings. Your body is as lean and healthy as it could possibly be. What do you look like? Is that the person God had in mind?
If you’ve struggled with obesity all of your life, you may not even be able to imagine yourself free of the bondage of unwanted fat. But God can. Don’t you think that if God is powerful enough to create you and the entire universe that you see around you, He is also able to help you overcome all of your personal bondages? Of course He is! That’s what this Bible Cure is all about. It is a plan of godly principles, wisdom, and scriptural advice to help deliver you from an unhealthy lifestyle and future ill health and to give you the freedom and joy of a healthy, fit, more attractive you!
An Obesity Epidemic
If you have a weight problem, you’re not alone. The terms overweight and obese are defined using the body mass index (BMI), which evaluates a person’s weight relative to height. Various health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), define an overweight adult as having a BMI between 25 and 29.9, while an obese adult is anyone with a BMI of 30 or higher.
In the last several years America has experienced an alarming arise in obesity. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and 30 percent of children age eleven or younger are overweight. This should concern everyone, particularly those of us who professes Jesus as Savior and Lord. God revealed His divine will for each of us through the apostle John, who wrote, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2, nkjv). With obesity at almost epidemic proportions, surely we are missing God’s best.
A Deadly Killer
Research tells us that, in the United States, an estimated 300,000 deaths per year are attributed to obesity. Obesity also comes with a fat price tag (pun intended). People considered obese pay $1,429 more (42 percent) in health care costs than normal weight individuals. And as shocking as all this sounds, no dollar amount can do justice to the real damage being done. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing thirty-five major diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, hypertension, acid reflux, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and gallbladder disease— plus more than a dozen forms of cancer.
Besides obesity’s physical implications, it carries a social and psychological impact. Obese individuals generally contend with more rejection and prejudice. Often they are overlooked for promotions or not even hired because of physical appearance. Most obese people struggle daily with issues of self-worth and self-image. They feel unattractive and unappreciated and are at an increased risk of depression.
Many of us have watched the humiliation an obese person experiences trying to squeeze into an airplane, stadium, or automobile seat that is too small. Maybe you have been that person. If so, you know how obesity can affect the way others treat you and how you treat yourself.
Power for Success
Instead of looking for the next new-and-improved medication to manage obesity-related disease, we need to get to the root of the problem, which is our diet, lifestyle, and waistline. The standard American diet is full of empty carbohydrates, sugars, fats, excessive proteins, and calories, and it is low in nutrient content. Combined with our poor diet is a lack of physical activity and excessive stress that usually raises cortisol levels. Because of this increase of cortisol, many are developing toxic belly fat, which increases their risk for incurring a host of other diseases, including diabetes.
This simple Bible Cure provides all you need for health and successful weight loss to help you become the person you saw or imagined when you closed your eyes. With fresh understanding, proper nutrition, exercise, and supplements you can find all the physical elements you need for radical change. Mixed together with the power of God found in prayer and Scripture, you will discover strength for success that is beyond your own ability.
Originally published as The Bible Cure for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain in 2000, The New Bible Cure for Weight Loss has been revised and updated with the latest medical research on ways to reduce your waistline, control your weight, and rid yourself of the toxic body fat that leads to so many diseases. If you compare it side by side with the previous edition, you’ll see that it’s also larger, allowing me to expand greatly upon the information provided in the previous edition and provide you with a deeper understanding of what you face and how to overcome it.
Unchanged from the previous edition are the timeless, life-changing, and healing scriptures throughout this book that will strengthen and encourage your spirit and soul. The proven principles, truths, and guidelines in these passages anchor the practical and medical insights also contained in this book. They will effectively focus your prayers, thoughts, and actions so you can step into God’s plan of divine health for you—a plan that includes victory over obesity.
Another change since the original The Bible Cure for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain was published is that I’ve released two important books on weight loss, The Rapid Waist Reduction Diet and Dr. Colbert’s “I Can Do This” Diet. I encourage you to read those books, because they delve even deeper into the changes that will empower you to lose weight and keep it off. I also recommend my book The Seven Pillars of Health because the principles it contains are the foundation to healthy living that will affect all areas of your life. It sets the stage for everything you will ever read in any other book I’ve published—including this one.
I pray that these spiritual and practical suggestions for health, nutrition, and fitness will bring wholeness to your life, increase your spiritual understanding, and strengthen your ability to worship and serve God.
There is much you can do to change the course of your health. As you learn about obesity, understand its causes, and take the practical, positive steps detailed in this book, you will defeat obesity in your life and discover the abundant life promised by Jesus when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, nkjv).
Now is the time to run to the battle with fresh confidence, renewed determination, and the wonderful knowledge that God is real, alive, and more powerful than any sickness or disease. It is my prayer that my suggestions and guidelines will help improve your health, nutritional habits, and fitness practices. This combination will bring wholeness to your life. I pray that they will deepen your fellowship with God and strengthen your ability to worship and serve Him.
A Bible Cure Prayer for You
I pray that God will fill you with hope, encouragement, and wisdom as you read this book. May He give you the willpower to make healthy choices about your nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle. May He strengthen your resolve to maintain a healthy weight and not to overtax your body with excessive weight. I pray that you live a long and prosperous life living in divine health so that you may fulfill your purpose and serve the Lord. Amen.
Chapter 2Did You Know?— Understanding Obesity
The Bible instructs us to be wise in our eating habits: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31, nkjv). The way you eat, drink, and care for the body that God gave you can bring glory to Him for this wonderful gift.
Chances are that if you are struggling with obesity, you may have been waging a war with it all of your life. By now you realize that you need more than a good dieting program. You need power to enforce it. You need the strength it takes to change a lifetime of poor eating habits and the discipline to stay with it. This Bible Cure pathway to wholeness not only provides the information necessary for a healthier, trimmer body, but it also provides insight into an endless source of power to insure success. Stop limiting yourself to your own strength.
The Bible reveals a better way: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13, nkjv
Gaining new power in your battle against obesity must begin with gaining fresh understanding of the causes for obesity.
Why We Eat Too Much
Being overweight has many causes. Some are biological. You might be predisposed to obesity through genetics and body metabolism. Some of the causes are psychological.
You also may be emotionally dependent on food for comfort during times of stress, crisis, anxiety, loneliness, and a host of other emotions. If overeating has an emotional component in your life, you probably grew up hearing statements such as the following:
• “Eat something; it will make you feel better.”
• “Clean your plate, or you can’t leave the table.”
• “If you’re good, you will get dessert.”
• “If you don’t eat everything, you will be impolite to the host or hostess.”
• “If you stop crying, I’ll give you ice cream.”
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
—Lamentat ions 3:22–23, nkjv
The list of unhealthy childhood motivations can be endless. But whether the causes of your weight problem are genetic or psychological, you are not bound to your past. Today is a new day, filled with fresh hope for an entirely new way of thinking and living. Begin considering what lifestyle factors might be contributing to your situation.
A sedentary lifestyle
Another cause of obesity is the increasingly sedentary lifestyle in our society. In an agricultural or industrial culture hard work gives people plenty of exercise during the day. In our corporate, technological culture we sit more at desks and in meetings. What about you? The problem doesn’t just plague adults. Too many children no longer play sports and participate in outdoor activities. Instead they get entranced by video games, smartphones, text messages, social networking, online media, TV, and movies. Combined with their favorite fast food, reducing exercise to a flick of the finger on a remote control spells ever-increasing weight gain.
The excessive stress that most adults and many children labor under also contributes to our expanding waistlines. Stress increases cortisol levels. As a result, many are developing toxic belly fat, thereby increasing their risk for incurring diabetes and other diseases. Longterm stress eventually depletes stress hormones as well as neurotransmitters. This often helps unleash ravenous appetites, plus addictions to sugar and carbohydrates. It’s like a nightmarish vortex, each bad habit working to ensnare sufferers in a downward spiral to poor health and disease.
Too much refined sugar and starch
I believe one of the most important reasons for our epidemic of obesity is our high intake of both refined sugars and starches. The standard American diet is full of empty carbohydrates, sugars, fats, excessive proteins, and calories, and it is low in nutrient content. This diet literally causes us to lose nutrients such as chromium, which is crucial in regulating glucose levels in our blood.
The average person consumes 130 pounds of refined sugar per year.
These sugars are sometimes hidden in foods we think are good for us. Take a look at how most of our bread is made. First the outer shell of the grain of wheat is removed. This is the bran or the fiber portion of the grain. The germ of the wheat is then removed; the germ contains the essential fats and vitamin E. These are removed to affect the shelf life of the bread. What is left over is the endosperm, which is the starch of the grain. This is then ground into a very fine powder. The powder of the grain, however, is not white, so it is then bleached with a bleaching agent.
With both the bran and the wheat germ no longer present, and after the bleaching process, very few vitamins remain. Therefore manmade vitamins are then added back, along with sugar, salt, partially hydrogenated fats, and preservatives. White bread is very constipating because it contains no fiber. Also, since it is highly processed when it is consumed, it is rapidly broken down into sugars, and this then causes high amounts of insulin to be secreted, putting a strain on the pancreas and programming our body to store fat.
I believe that increased consumption of white bread, sugar, processed cereals, and pasta is largely responsible for our epidemic of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity. In centuries past, these refined breads and sugars were given mainly to extremely rich and royal families. This is why many of the wealthy in those days were obese and suffered from diabetes and gout.
A Word About Wheat
The problem with breads, pastas, cereals, and other starches may not be limited to the refining process they undergo. The wheat itself may be the real culprit. Renowned cardiologist William Davis, MD, believes foods made with or containing wheat are the number one reason Americans are fat and suffering from diabetes. Modern wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and genetically altered by agricultural scientists in order to increase crop production. As a result, modern strains of wheat have a “higher quantity of genes for gluten proteins that are associated with celiac disease.” Modern wheat also contains a starch called amylopectin A, which raises blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate.
In addition, wheat is an appetite stimulant, making you want more and more food. It’s also considered addictive. Approximately 30 percent of all people who stop eating wheat products experience withdrawal symptoms such as extreme fatigue, mental fog, irritability, inability to function at work, and depression. The addictive nature of wheat, coupled with the fact that it triggers exaggerated blood sugar and insulin responses, sets your body up to pack on the pounds.
Sugar and Your Body
A lot of people think eating fat makes you fat. It’s actually the way your body stores fat that makes you gain weight. Overconsumption of carbohydrates and sugars stimulates your body’s production of insulin—which is the body’s fat storage hormone. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels when they are too high. However, elevated insulin levels also cause the body to store fat.
For example, when you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as breads, pasta, potatoes, corn, and rice, the carbohydrate is broken down to glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. If insulin levels are elevated, the carbohydrate is more likely to be converted to fat by the liver and then stored away in fat cells.
Easier On Than Off
If you consume a lot of starch and sugar on a frequent basis, your insulin levels will remain high. If insulin levels remain high, your fat is, figuratively speaking, locked into your fat cells. This makes it very easy to gain weight and extremely difficult to lose weight. Elevated insulin levels usually prevent the body from burning stored body fat for energy. Most obese patients cannot break out of this vicious cycle because they are constantly craving starchy, sugary foods throughout the day, which keeps the insulin levels elevated and prevents the body from burning these stored fats.
Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. And do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
—Psalm 69:16–17, nkjv
The average person can store about 300–400 grams of carbohydrates in the muscles and about 90 grams in the liver. The stored carbohydrates are actually a stored form of glucose called glycogen. However, once the body storehouses are filled in the liver and muscles, any excess carbohydrates are then usually converted into fat and stored in fatty tissues. When one skips meals or goes over four to five hours without eating, the blood sugar usually decreases, unleashing a ravenous appetite.
Exercise may not help you if you don’t eat right. If you eat refined carbohydrates throughout the day, much of the excess carbohydrates will be converted to fat. The high insulin levels also make it more difficult for the body not to release a significant amount of its stored fat. Therefore you can work out for hours at a gym and still not lose fat because you are eating high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day. Your body usually will store excess carbohydrates as fat and make it difficult to release any fat that is already stored.
To make matters even worse, when you consume sugar or starches frequently, especially cake, candy, cookies, fruit juices, ice cream, or processed white flour, you may develop low blood sugar within a few hours after eating and unleash a ravenous appetite for more sugar and starch. This raises your blood sugar and your insulin levels, programming you for even more fat storage and preventing you from burning stored fat when you exercise. How frustrating this can be for the uninformed patient. Symptoms of low blood sugar include spaciness, shakiness, irritability, extreme fatigue, headache, sweatiness, racing heart, extreme hunger, or an extreme craving for sweets or starches.
Caught in a Trap
This creates a vicious cycle. If you don’t eat something sweet or starchy every few hours, you may develop the symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a very important point. You can turn this entire situation around very easily by taking a very simple step: avoid sugar and refined starches.
By avoiding sweets, starches, snack foods, junk foods, or highcarbohydrate foods, you can lower your insulin levels and turn off the main trigger that is telling the body to store fat and preventing the body from releasing fat.
When the brain doesn’t get enough glucose, you will get cravings. The brain requires a constant supply of glucose. When too much insulin is secreted, such as when you consume a snack that is high in sugar (i.e., a doughnut, a Coke, or cookies), the pancreas then responds by secreting enough insulin to lower the sugar. Often too much insulin is secreted, which lowers the sugar too much, thus causing low blood sugar. Since the brain is not getting the glucose it requires, the low blood sugar creates sugar and carbohydrate cravings, extreme hunger, mood swings, fatigue, and problems concentrating. The brain releases different hormones to increase one’s appetite. These signals cause the individual to reach for a sugar or starch “fix” in order to raise the blood sugar the fastest, which will then be able to supply the brain with adequate glucose.
The Power of Glucagon
Glucagon is a hormone that works totally opposite than insulin works. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone, whereas glucagon is a fat-releasing hormone. In other words, glucagon will actually enable the body to release stored body fat from the fatty tissues and will permit your muscle tissues to burn your fat as the preferred fuel source instead of blood sugar.
How do you release this powerful substance into your body? It’s easy. The release of glucagon is stimulated by eating a correct amount of protein in a meal along with the proper balance of fats and carbohydrates. We will look at this in greater detail later on.
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. —Psalm 73:26, nkjv
When the insulin levels are high in the body, the level of glucagon is low. When glucagon is high, then insulin is low. When you eat a lot of sugar and starch, you raise your insulin levels and lower your glucagon, thus preventing fat from being released to be used as fuel. By simply stabilizing your blood sugar and lowering your insulin levels, you can keep your glucagon levels elevated, which enables your body to burn off the extra fat. Thus you’ll begin to realize a more energetic, slimmer you! Eating your protein first helps boost glucagon levels, or you can eat a salad with sliced chicken, turkey, or fish.
Should You Count Calories?
Many people still say, “Why not count calories? A calorie is a calorie.” Most people believe that since fat has 9 calories per gram and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram, then eating a gram of fat is much more fattening than eating a gram of carbohydrate. But the hormonal effects of fat are not nearly as dramatic as the hormonal effects of carbohydrates and sugars.
Fats will not raise insulin levels, which programs the body to store fat. However, sugars and starches will trigger dramatic releases of insulin, which is the most powerful fat-storing hormone. So don’t count calories. Instead, be aware of how your body works. Keep in mind the powerful hormonal effects that sugars and starches have on both insulin, the fat-storing hormone, and on glucagon, the fatreleasing hormone.
The Bible says, “Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird” (Prov. 1:17, nkjv). That means you cannot capture a prey if it understands what’s happening. By understanding this powerful truth about how your body actually works, you can avoid the trap of high blood sugar, of high insulin levels, of being overweight or obese, and even of diabetes. Now that you know, the power is in your hands!
Glycemic Index 101
The glycemic index was created in the early 1980s to track how quickly insulin levels shot up in individuals after they consumed carbohydrates. While studying individuals with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that certain carbohydrates increased blood sugar levels and insulin levels, while other carbohydrates did not.
They tested hundreds of different foods to determine their glycemic index value. Because their methods and findings have proven so reliable, they are the standard by which we measure the internal processing of foods.
The glycemic index assigns a numeric value to how rapidly the blood sugar rises after consuming a food that contains carbohydrates. Sugars and carbohydrates that are digested rapidly, such as white bread, white rice, and instant potatoes, rapidly increase blood sugar. These are high-glycemic foods and have a glycemic index of 70 or higher. On the other hand, if foods containing carbohydrates are digested slowly and therefore release sugars gradually into the bloodstream, they have a glycemic index value of 55 or lower. These foods include most vegetables and fruits, beans, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, and the like.
Because these foods cause the blood sugar to rise more slowly, blood sugar levels are stabilized for a longer period of time. Low-glycemic foods also cause satiety hormones to be released in the small intestines, which satisfies you for longer periods of time.
In truth, there is nothing fancy about the glycemic index. The degree to which a food has been processed is one of the most important factors that determine its glycemic index value. Generally speaking, the more highly a food is processed, the higher its glycemic index value; the more natural a food, the lower its value.
The Glycemic Load
Almost twenty years after the glycemic index was created, researchers at Harvard University developed a new way of classifying foods that took into account not only the glycemic index value of a food but also the quantity of carbohydrates that particular food contains. This is called the glycemic load (GL). It serves as a guide as to how much of a particular carbohydrate or food we should eat.
For a while nutritionists scratched their heads over patients who wanted to lose weight and were eating low-glycemic foods yet weren’t shedding many pounds. Some actually gained weight. Through the GL they discovered that overconsuming many low-glycemic foods can actually lead to weight gain. Not surprisingly, many patients were eating as many low-glycemic foods as they wanted, simply because they had been told that foods with a low value promoted weight loss. They needed to know the whole story, which is how the glycemic load balanced the picture. A food’s GL is determined by multiplying the glycemic index value by the quantity of carbohydrates a serving contains (in grams), and then dividing that number by 100. The actual formula looks like this:
• (Glycemic Index Value x Carb Grams per Serving) ÷ 100 = Glycemic Load
To show you how important the GL is, let me offer some examples. Some wheat pastas have a low glycemic index value, which makes many dieters think they’re automatically a key to losing weight. However, if a serving size of that wheat pasta is too large, it may sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Despite a low glycemic index value, the pasta’s GL is high. Another example is white potatoes, which have a GL double that of yams. On the other end of the scale, watermelon has a high glycemic index value but a very low GL, which makes it OK to eat in a larger quantity.
Don’t worry, though. You will not have to calculate the GL for every item you eat. By understanding the GL, you can identify which low-glycemic foods can cause trouble if you eat too much of them. These include low-glycemic breads, low-glycemic rice, sweet potatoes, yams, low-glycemic pasta, low-glycemic cereals, and so forth. As a general rule, any large quantity of a low-glycemic “starchy” food will usually have a high GL.
Three Types of Sugar
Three main types of simple sugars (called monosaccharides) make up all carbohydrates. These include:
Glucose is found in breads, cereals, starches, pasta, and grains. Fructose is found in fruits, and galactose is found in dairy products. Plain sugar, or sucrose, is a disaccharide and consists of glucose and fructose joined.
The liver rapidly absorbs these simple sugars. However, only glucose can be released directly back into the bloodstream. Fructose and galactose must first be converted to glucose in the liver to gain entrance into the bloodstream. Thus they are released at a much slower rate. Fructose, found primarily in fruits, has a low glycemic index compared to glucose and galactose.
Other Glycemic Foods
Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that is not absorbed. However, it does slow down the rate of absorption of other carbohydrates. Thus the higher the fiber content of the carbohydrate or starch, the more slowly it will be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. Most fruits are high in fiber and have a low glycemic value. The exceptions are bananas, raisins, dates, and other dried fruits. Almost all vegetables are high in fiber and low-glycemic except for potatoes, carrots, corn, and beets, which have a high glycemic value.
In the next chapter we will discuss in more detail the best foods to eat for overall good health and especially if you want to lose weight. The right carbohydrates balanced with the proper portions of proteins and fats will create a much lower glycemic effect on your body and interrupt the vicious cycle of weight gain.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities. —Psalm 31:7, nkjv
The Worst Kind of Fat
You may not like the number on your scale, but that figure does not tell the whole story regarding your overall health. Researchers are finding that one of the greatest indicators of potential health problems is having a high percentage of belly fat. The fat that settles in the belly is different from other types of fat in the body. Fatty tissue or fat storage areas, such as belly fat, are active endocrine organs that produce numerous types of hormones, such as resistin (which increases insulin resistance), leptin (which decreases appetite), and adiponectin (which improves insulin sensitivity and helps to lower blood sugar). The more belly fat cells you have, typically the more estrogen, cortisol, and testosterone your body produces. This is one of the reasons obese men typically develop breasts and obese women often grow hair on their faces. Their fat cells are manufacturing more estrogen and testosterone, respectively.
When your fatty tissues spew out all these hormones—most likely raising your estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol levels—and produce tremendous inflammation in your body, the result is weight gain. Your extra toxic belly fat then sets the stage for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and a host of other diseases. That’s because belly fat is like a wildfire. It spreads throughout your body and inflames your cardiovascular system, which eventually causes the production of plaque in your arteries and inflammation in the brain. This can even potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
The dangers of this toxic belly fat is one reason this Bible Cure encourages you to set a weight-loss goal based on your waistline rather than your body weight. Typically if your waist measurement increases, your blood sugar will increase; if your waist measurement decreases, your blood sugar will decrease. By reducing your waist measurement, you will probably reverse your risk of many diseases. In fact, lowering waist size ranks higher than weight loss.
Although it is helpful to weigh yourself on a regular basis, I want you to start looking at your waistline as a key indicator of weight management. You should measure your waist around your navel (and love handles, if you have them). Initially your waist measurement goal should be 40 inches or less if you’re a man and 35 inches or less if you’re a woman. But your ultimate goal should be to have a waist measurement that is half your height or less. For example, a 5-foot-10- inch man is 70 inches tall, so his waist around the belly button and love handles should be 35 inches or less.
Other Weight Management Measures
While I see waist size as the most important measurement for establishing weight-loss goals, another key measurement is body fat percentage. There are many ways to measure body fat percentage, including a bioimpedance analysis, underwater weighing, and using skinfold calipers. Whatever the method, you need to have your body fat percentage measured the same way each time. Consistency is the key, since the percentage can fluctuate dramatically with inaccurate measurements.
I hold more stock in body fat percentage than I do the body mass index reading. The reason is simple: accuracy. BMI uses only height and weight to judge how overweight or obese a person is. For example, a twenty-three-year-old professional football player and a fifty-six-year-old executive may both be 5 feet 10 inches tall and weigh 220 pounds. This gives both men a BMI of approximately 35, which is considered obese. In reality, however, the football player can have a 32-inch waist and a remarkable 6 percent body fat; the executive can have a 44-inch waist and 33 percent body fat. That is an astounding 27 percent differential in body fat percentage alone, which the BMI doesn’t take into account. Although many physicians simply use BMI to determine if a person is overweight or obese, I strongly believe more accurate assessments come from using body fat percentage and waist measurements. However, because it is a helpful tool to measure your weight loss goals, I have included the following chart to help you determine your BMI.
Rating Your Body Fat Percentage
According to the American Council on Exercise, a body fat percentage greater than 25 percent in men and greater than 33 percent in women is considered obese. A healthy percent body fat in women is 25–31 percent and in men is 18–25 percent.
Initially, obese men should aim for a reading of less than 25 percent, while obese women should shoot for less than 33 percent.
Eventually aim for a percent body fat in the healthy range. However, body fat ranks second to your initial focus to reduce your waist measurement.
Many health clubs, nutritionists, and physicians have the equipment to measure your percentage of body fat. Once you have this initial number, monitor it each month.
However, don’t get too hung up on body fat or other measurements like your BMI reading. Mainly focus on one thing and one thing only: your waist measurement. You really do not need a scale or any other fancy tools—just a tape measure. By focusing on your waist and achieving your goal measurement, you will eliminate one of the main risk factors for disease.
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. —2 Peter 1:3, nkjv
If you see yourself in the symptoms I’ve described in this chapter, don’t wait. Make a decision to stop the process of disease in your body right now. God will help you to stay with it if you give Him an opportunity. Why not turn this entire matter over to Him right now? God is at your side to help you. He promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5, nkjv). God is your helper and loves you more than you will ever know. He longs to give you all the strength, power, and hope you need to triumph in your battle. Pray this Bible Cure prayer and keep pressing forward.
A Bible Cure Prayer for You
Lord God, You alone are my strength and my source. My ability to stay committed to weight loss and healthy eating comes from You. Help me to maintain the willpower I need to eliminate sugar and empty calories from my diet. Give me the focus I need to implement all that I am learning. Almighty God, replace any discouragement with hope and any doubt with faith. I know that You are with me and will not leave me. I thank You, Lord, for seeing me through this battle and giving me victory over obesity. Amen.
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