You have a loved one who’s always trying the next crazy fad diet or who eats in unnaturally restrictive or obsessive ways. Weight loss is often her goal, but as you will see, there is usually more to it. You will want to read part 1 where I gave the first two ideas. Now in part 2, we continue with the remaining three ideas that may help you help her.
Encourage a focus on health over a fad diet
Instead of the often-temporary focus of weight loss, try to encourage your sister in Christ to focus on long-term health. This begins with growing spiritual health habits of Bible study, prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and loving fellowship.
But long-term health should also include discovering unobsessive, health-conscious habits that she can live throughout life. This idea contradicts the crazy fad diet rules that are weighing her down now. You will want to help her adopt better sleeping behaviors, handle stress God’s way, and find enjoyable physical activities. Your hands-on help can be very valuable in this area.
I do caution you to tread lightly, though. Even a focus on “health” instead of weight can become a preoccupation for someone who is continually drawn to the newest fad diets. If you are in a position to watch for this, you may be able to share godly wisdom and loving truth to steer your sister toward a focus on pleasing God first and foremost.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
Encourage God’s way over a fad diet
As I mentioned earlier, crazy, crash, or fad diets are unnatural ways of eating – or else we wouldn’t have to learn them. They are based on rules that someone somewhere came up with. Because these methods are so foreign to a natural relationship with food, they set people up for failure. You may recognize this in your loved one’s current fad diet.
However, God has already given us all the information we need for eating. He designed each of us with signals that we need food and signals that we are satisfied and need no more. But if your loved one has a history of dieting, like so many of us, these signals can be hard for her to sense.
The great news is, you can encourage your loved one to relearn these cues and relearn the enjoyment of eating God clearly meant for her to experience!
Send your loved one this link so she can get a free ebook that can help her relearn to eat by hunger and satisfaction cues and enjoy the good gift of food God has provided without obsession or the overeating which may have led her to the fad diet in the first place.
Support, but know your limits
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
God has provided a support system in the local body. Yet even though you are a helper to your sister in Christ, you are only one piece of her support system. You alone won’t be able to bear the burden of someone else’s eating decisions, and you aren’t meant to. Notice that this verse:
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2)
is followed shortly after by this verse:
“For each will have to bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:5).
In the first passage, burden refers to a heavy weight, a trouble. In the second passage, burden indicates a task or service that is required. You could help your sister discover the deeper troubles which lead to and result from the lies of crazy diets and together find help. You can give her seeds of truth and encouragement, as well. However, it is up to her to accept and act on the truths and encouragement you give.
Christians are blessed by fellow saints who help us in times of trials and testing (1 Thessalonians 5:11). But even as a part of that fellowship, you can never be the full solution to your loved one’s enslavement to repeated crazy fad diet behaviors. Her full solution lies in Christ. That means the best thing you can do is to build her up in the truths of the Gospel and God’s power in her life. Edify her in the faith (Ephesians 5:19-21). Pray for and with her so she can find the help she needs.
Is this fad diet really a big deal?
I know all of this may sound like an overreaction to a crazy fad diet. Yet I have found that there is often an underlying, enslaving heart issue that leads people to continually turn to crazy or crash diets.
Sister, if you are concerned that your loved one is having a disordered relationship with food, you will need to be honest with her. This can be difficult. Consider directing her to biblically faithful professional help. If I can be of service, I am happy to have a free chat with your loved one to help her determine her best course of action.
Also, feel free to join our free Facebook group here, and bring your friend along with you! She will find many like-minded Christian women for support.