Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to the podcast! For more help with weight loss, check out my blog at

Dec 5, 2023

I would love to know how many pounds I've gained and lost in my life. In the old days it was all about "Go on a diet, lose weight, live it up, then gain the weight back." Over and over and over again. Every once in awhile I could muster up the self control to lose the weight, but I always gained it back. I had little self control, I loved food, and I was an emotional eater. And because of that I gained the weight back every single time.

I actually knew how to lose the weight, but I didn't know how to keep it off. So today I'd like to look at why we gain our weight back and how to stop the old merry-go-round. Let's begin by looking at why we gain it back.

7 Reasons We Gain Our Weight Back

  1. We let go of boundaries once we lose our weight. Think of it. Have you ever lost weight without setting some sort of boundaries? Maybe you did intuitive eating and ate only when you were hungry and stopped when you were full. Or you joined Weight Watchers or you did intermittent fasting. But in some way you set limits for yourself. Unfortunately, once we lose the weight, all limits go out the window and that's the biggest thing that makes us gain the weight back. There are two ways we do this: 1) We do it consciously. We think, "Yay!! I get to live it up again!!" Then immediately go to living it up and gain our weight back. 2) We do it without realizing we're doing it. So for example, I may have lost my weight by counting carbs faithfully with a set limit each day of how much I could have. When I lose the weight, I still try to watch how many carbs I eat, but I don't have a set limit. Or I lose weight with Weight Watchers. I still focus on free foods and eat as many as I want--but I no longer count points. So what we have are some practices, but we don't have actual boundaries.
  2. We switch to different boundaries and don't go through the necessary work to learn how to follow our boundaries. In the first reason, we let go of boundaries altogether, but with this reason, we actually do have boundaries--we just haven't learned how to follow them. Here's an example. Let's say you lost your weight with a diet, but then you decide to switch to 3 meals and one snack a day for your boundaries. Since those boundaries are looser than what you're used to, there is a learning curve to figuring out how to maintain your weight within those boundaries. If we don't make the effort to learn how to make those boundaries work, we'll gain our weight back.
  3. We have a new trial in our lives that makes us feel like eating. Often we'll be going along smoothly and then something happens that makes us want to eat. Some trial that triggers all our emotional eating tendencies. Maybe there's a pandemic. Or the world is looking a little scary. Or someone you love is having a crisis. Or you're having a crisis. When those new trials crop up, it makes us want to eat. And we may gain our weight back at that time.
  4. We stick to our boundaries most of the year but go off during holidays and vacations. This is a good one to think about now because we're smack dab in the middle of the holidays--halfway between Thanksgiving in the United States and Christmas. When we go on vacation or it's a holiday, it's easy to justify a few extra treats. We think, Oh I'll just eat this now and get back on track when I get back to normal life. When we do that, we usually only gain a few pounds a year, but after ten years, those few pounds a year have become 30-40 pounds and we're back in a situation where we need to do the whole thing over again.
  5. We reintroduce sugar and/or flour when that was part of the reason we lost the weight to begin with. I've talked to many people who lost their weight without renewing their minds. They were able to do it because they took away their biggest source of temptation: flour and sugar. Unfortunately, I've also talked to a lot of people who then reintroduced sugar and flour at some point and either gained all their weight back or at least a good share of it.
  6. We lose it with self control and/or obsession rather than renewing. I've talked to many women who are either all in or all out. When they work on losing weight, they have a hard time doing it without obsessing about it. The temptation is to think about being healthy, exercising, and eating right all the time. This becomes so exhausting that eventually they can't handle the stress anymore and go back to eating. Then there are people like me who don't obsess and have no temptations in the exercise-too-much department, but I still used to gain my weight back because I never took the time to change the way I thought about food.
  7. We start believing new lies and don't take the time to renew. With this reason for weight gain, we do renew while losing it. In fact we renew our minds so much that we change the way we think about food and we no longer even want to overindulge or binge. But then if we're not careful, we start fudging our boundaries.

So what do we do? With so many reasons driving us to gain our weight back, is there still hope that we can avoid all of that? Yes, there is hope! The Bible tells us we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. It also tells us that He who began a good work in us will complete it. God can help us stay free from the control of food. Let's look at seven strategies we can use to stay free from the control of food.

7 Ways to Keep Our Weight Off

  1. Keep relying on God for help with life. So many times I've had women tell me, "I'm so thankful I learned how to truth journal. It has helped me go to God for help with so many things." They started out renewing for food, but then started renewing for life and that drew them closer to God. With me it was the opposite. I started renewing first for the hard things in life, and only later started renewing for food. Here's the truth: God wants us to go to Him for help with life. And the more we go to Him, the more we'll fall in love with Him and the more we'll grow in our character and be like Him. And as a little side benefit, if we keep going to God for help with life, we'll be far less likely to gain our weight back because we won't be going to the refrigerator.
  2. Renew often about each new trial that comes up. Things will often be trucking along just fine, and then some new difficulty comes up in life that causes us stress, worry, or fear, and we find ourselves reaching for food again. When we learn the valuable skill of truth journaling, we can start going to God right away when a new trial comes into our lives. We can truth journal and ask Him to show us the lies we are believing about our current situation. By going to God about the trial first, we will be far less likely to continue to run to our old idol (food) to bring us comfort.
  3. Catch any weight gain early. It's far easier to lose a couple pounds than 20 pounds. And it's far easier to lose 20 pounds than 100 pounds. Some women will put away the scale for good, but when they find their clothes getting tight it's a wakeup call to be more diligent about following their boundaries--and renewing if necessary. For me, I weigh about once a week. If I find my weight is up for several weeks in a row, I try to be careful about eating less at meals.
  4. Continue to have firm lifelong boundaries. I can't emphasize how important it is to have some sort of boundaries with food if you're a person who loves food, is not opposed to large quantities, and has a tendency to eat emotionally. Boundaries keep our passions reigned in.
  5. Be VERY careful about reintroducing sugar if you lost the weight without it. And by careful I mean either don't do it, or do it carefully.
  6. Be careful during vacations and holidays. Fudged boundaries (which might involve actual fudge!), lead to weight gain.
  7. Check to see if you still believe any lies that make you overeat and also look out for any new lies that crop up (see below).

Lies We Often Believe after We Lose the Weight

  1. It's okay to break my boundaries because I'm free from the control of food now. I may be free from the control of food, but that doesn't mean I can't gain my weight back and I will gain it back if I consistently eat too much!
  2. This little bit of sugar won't hurt. While it's possible this little bit of sugar won't hurt, it's also possible that this little bit of sugar will set in motion weeks or months or years of overeating. I should think carefully if I really want to do this and then make a plan for it if I decide to do it and go back to renewing if necessary. The truth is that I am a person who tends to overeat with sugar--I just love it too much--so I'll probably have to be careful all of my life.
  3. I still have boundaries. I don't actually have boundaries. I have intentions--more fruit and vegetables for example--but I don't have primary boundaries that tell me how often or how much I can eat. If I really want to keep this weight off, I need to have boundaries and follow them. Boundaries keep me safe.

Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating  I talk more about boundaries in my recent book, Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating, and hope to do a video or podcast about them sometime as well. Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating also contains 100 exercise you can use to renew your mind to break free and stay free from the control of food.

Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study is a 30-day Bible study focused on the lies that make you eat, body image, and the weight loss process. I wrote this Bible study to go along with the questions and Bible verses in I Deserve a Donut, and it’s best if you have both books when you do this study. I Deserve a Donut is also available as a free app for your phone. The Android app isn't working on new phones at the moment (November 2023), but I hope to have it up and running again soon!

Listen to the Podcast

  • Google: Click here to subscribe or listen on Google Podcasts. 
  • Apple Podcasts: Click here to subscribe or listen on Apple Podcasts. (If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast on Apple, this can sometimes take a few hours to update.) 
  • Android: Click here to subscribe or listen on Android. 
  • Spotify: Click here to subscribe or listen on Spotify. 
  • Amazon Alexa: To listen on Amazon Alexa, say, “Alexa, play the Taste for Truth Podcast.”