Eat Less and Lose Weight!

By on March 1, 2012

By Jennifer Cote, Chef at The New Deli, Pinole, CA –

Holiday splurging is past, resolutions may have dissolved, and swim suit season has yet to hit. But no matter what the time of year, the ads on my computer suggest that I must still be hoping to trim down.

Given that the percentage of overweight people continues to grow, advertisers can probably make a lucky guess that many are seeking a weight loss program. Even the French are increasing in girth, perhaps in direct proportion to the increased growth in fast-food-chains. McDonald’s revenue in France grew 79% between 2004 and 2009, and so did enrollment in Jenny Craig and Weight Watcher’s programs there.

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While plenty of weight loss programs do successfully equip the earnest “loser”, food (or the lack of it) can become an obsession. While “gluttony” typically indicates excessive consumption, even an over-zealous focus that carefully monitors all things food-related might get our focus off God.

C.S. Lewis, in “The Screwtape Letters”, mentions a condition called “delicacy”—a case where one is so fixated on the exact amounts, or the precise preparation, or the particular ingredients, that he can tolerate nothing less. Instead of becoming strong by suffering the minor inconveniences of life, this person will insist that his requirements be met.

I must confess myself guilty of similar regimens in my past. I would get into a legalistic mindset, believing I would achieve my weight-loss goals through my own power. Of course God doesn’t want us to rely on our own selves; I eventually realized that. My approach did prove fairly futile, or at the least, not very joyful.

God doesn’t want us to obsess! In the eating of food, or even the not eating of it, we need to keep the right perspective. As mentioned in 1 Corinthians 8:8, “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”

For me, and other friends who have successfully lost weight and kept it off, a very simple trick has worked: Eat less! It’s certainly easier said than done; we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the fruit of self-control. Our society’s perception of food has been super-sized, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.

It seems only right to eat in a way that will keep us healthy enough to do God’s will. Paul talks about how we’re all to run the race “to win” (1 Corinthians 9:24), staying fit enough in the process to finish well. Even in the midst of luscious foods, the Holy Spirit gives us the fruit of self-control. It’s not that we have to deny the good things in life; we can apply the fruit of self-control that’s been promised to us when the Holy Spirit resides within us.


Chef and author Jennifer Cote discovered how to cook healthy food quickly and efficiently while running The New Deli and raising two kids. In her cookbook/devotional, From the Land of Milk and Honey, Jennifer shares lessons learned from her 30-plus years in the food business. Find recipes and shortcuts at Jen Cote’s recipe website,


About Jennifer Cote

Jennifer's love of cooking with natural ingredients is inspired by the organic garden she's cultivated for over 25 years. A cutting garden provides flowers for The New Deli Cafe, an herb garden lends herbs for culinary creations, and twenty-some fruit and nut trees are scattered throughout her fairly urban back yard. New Deli compost keeps the garden flourishing, as Jen and her family carry on the family business, established in 1985. A blessed grandmother, mother, and wife, Jen gets much joy from sharing recipes (and perhaps an occasional basket of figs or platter of home-baked goodies).

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Eat Less and Lose Weight!