Counting The Cost of “Dieting”
by Ellie Marrandette
Published on January 2, 2023

Counting The Cost of “Dieting”

By Ellie Marrandette

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30 28)

Many people jump into the dieting realm without counting the cost too.

A sensible diet begins by contemplating ALL options of a health plan before initiating. How fertile is the “soil” I’m building upon, how much time can I invest, and what is the environment surrounding the “healthy details” like? Which architect designed the diet plans and is he/she credible?

Do you decide which diet you’ll try because it’s currently popular? “Well, that celebrity lost weight!” Bear in mind that celeb has a personal trainer, chef, massage therapist, psychologist, and a contract!!! That’s quite an incentive.

Successful weight-loss plans begin with solid foundations.

1. Does the diet plan include wholesome complex carbohydrates, (which are fibrous) lean protein, and good fats? Is it sensible or is it a fad? Turn away from fake diet gurus who advocate eliminating entire nutritionally-dense food groups. The brain’s hypothalamus will nag for specific nutrients you’re lacking until you give in. (But you’ll believe you have no willpower.)

2. Does this plan fit into your lifestyle?

Let’s say in the corporate world your job includes escorting clients to restaurants. Getting healthy will then only work if you know what constitutes sound selections like grilled meats or fish, veggies, and a salad with a smidge of dressing. (Mediterranean, DASH, Volumetrics diet) Guard against peer pressure or persuasion, and concentrate on nutrients.

Pre-plan accordingly. A stay-at-home mom has different challenges than a teacher surrounded by thirty feisty children. Realtors or nurses face different scenarios than business managers who sit at a desk all day.

3. Are you focused on an event rather than a lifestyle change? Do you contemplate the time of year or events coming up; vacations, holidays . . . parties?

Some people go on a “diet” to look sensational for a wedding, class reunion, or another social occasion. When the event is over, there goes their motivation. Remind yourself: how happy was I walking into that room feeling like a million bucks?  Don’t you want to feel like that every day??? You’ve worked hard to get in shape; now use visualization/mental discipline to maintain your hard work.

Remember: The only true diet is the one you stay on forever.

4. Recognize what type of personality you have and whether it will complement the diet plan you attempt.

For example, if you absolutely love food, going on a liquid diet will drive you crazy. Besides that, the body has an innate desire to chew because it releases enzymes to metabolize food. If you work at a stressful job, you’ll be grabbing some pretzels by 2 pm. (Crunching on something hard, psychologically releases stress.)

If you’re a curious person, stay away from buffets. Especially if you grew up poor. You might decide to test everything on display or eat your money’s worth.

5. Most importantly, you must ask: are you truly, mentally ready for a lifestyle change? Have you emotionally hit rock bottom, been ridiculed or lost total control, become addicted, or currently addressing a debilitating health issue? Even those won’t motivate some.

All of these questions, and others, must be addressed before you jump onto the diet bandwagon. Otherwise, you’re set for failure and all that does is discourage, shame, and have you believing the lies of the devil who whispers in your ear, “See, I told you, you couldn’t do it. You’ve failed yet again!”

When faced with an overabundance of decisions at buffets or a party, ask yourself, “Which do I love more, this food or my Lord who sacrificed himself for my gluttony and idol worship of food?”

No contest – my Lord Jesus wins every time!

Crazy diets never work and yet even healthy diets won’t if you aren’t ready to change your lifestyle!

So, how do I start?

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)

“This is the day,” you vow.  It’s January 3rd. You and millions of your closest friends pledge to lose those pesky pounds you’ve gained over the holidays. Good for you.

Here’s my first piece of advice:  Don’t Stress About It!!! Anything’s fine in moderation.

Start with the basics.

When a golf pro begins a golf lesson he always starts with the basics: grip, aim, stance, etc. It’s the same with a health quest: start with the basics.

Begin with realistic, smaller goals. Don’t attempt everything at once – it’s overwhelming. You’ll get frustrated and quit. Start small:

Consider why you want to change. If you don’t have a good reason or you aren’t ready, you’re simply spinning your wheels. Start when you’re determined to succeed.

Analyze what you’re eating now. Is it primarily processed foods or whole foods?

Consuming whole foods should be one of your first goals. (Whole foods is what it sounds like: anything you can distinguish, such as grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs.) Choose lean meats, such as sirloin, pork loin, fish, or chicken breast.

 How much stress is in your life?  Stress changes chemistry into an acidic pH which creates hunger pangs and worse, illness. Practice relaxation techniques, soft music, massages, aroma therapy . . . Keep your mind and hands busy and don’t remain in the kitchen.

Do you eat too quickly? Why? Do you lead a hectic life? Put that fork down in between bites, breathe, and savor your food. Chewing releases enzymes that metabolize the nutrients you consume into energy.

How much exercise do you incorporate into your daily routine? Find something you enjoy; walking, gardening, pickleball, dancing . . . exercise should be PLAY. You know: fun! It was when we were kids, why not now?

 Are you skipping an entire food group because of crazy diet fallacies? Contrary to popular belief, there are only three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. (Water, minerals, and vitamins are included in those basic food groups already.)

Target one unhealthy habit a week. Trying to accomplish too much only leads to frustration. But surely you can overcome ONE habit and then go on to the next, right? That builds self-esteem and confidence.

“Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you.”   (Proverbs 2:11)

Start small –avoid fast food restaurants. Eat at home more often. Add more vegetables and different whole foods and less processed foods into the daily mix. Search for recipes that are simple to make, chocked full of nutrients, and well-balancedThis means carbohydrates, protein, and good fat in each serving. Eat for nutrients!

“But I heard carbs are fattening!” You declare.  Not if you eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains, (all carbs) instead of pie and donuts. That’s where we get most of our B vitamins. Whole grain means corn, sweet potato, flaxseed, beans, quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, whole wheat, or whole grain pasta to name a few.

Please distinguish the simple versus complex carb difference. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins. Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin, and the various other B’s convert fats, protein, and carbohydrates into energy. If you fail to eat complex carbs, how are you going to absorb B vitamins? Become cognizant of what you eat.

This is a start and always remember: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)

After attending Graham Jr. College in Boston and Moody Bible College, Ellie Marrandette earned her Bachelor of Ministry (BMIN) from Trinity Theological Seminary. Fascinated by psychology and physiology, God directed Ellie toward a rewarding healthcare career. She became a licensed, certified nutritional counselor, working with doctors, nutritional centers, and independently as the founder of New Creations Ministries, a faith-based solution in overcoming health challenges.

In recent years, God has focused Ellie’s path toward writing. She is the author of four Christian novels, a novella, and a non-fiction book on healthy living entitled, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us.)  Her current endeavor is to complete a children’s devotional this year. For more about Ellie Marrandette visit her at New Creations

Feature Photo by Wallpapers

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  1. Bruce Coleman

    A wonderful post! Full of great nutrient dense advice. Reading this was like a breath of fresh air with rays of light on a subject usually filled with smoke and mirrors. Thanks.

  2. Ellie Marrandette

    Thank you Bruce for your lovely comment. You are so right about the smoke and mirror diet plans. Unfortunately, some search only for the diets their “itchy ears” want to follow. Striving for true health is a Godly mental, physiological, and spiritual quest. It feels great when we conquer “self” and dedicate everything to our LORD!


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