woman with foodTraining ourselves to listen to our hunger may be one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do in our lives. We’ve spent decades eating what we’ve wanted when we wanted, or depriving ourselves of eating what we wanted when we wanted because we were on yet another diet.

Setting boundaries in any situation where they have been weak, non-existent, or violated has to first become an intentional act before it can naturally become a healthy habit.

Learning to listen to our hunger before we eat is a boundary that must be established on our road to finding freedom from the bondage of over eating or emotional eating.

Try to keep your notebook nearby and the next time you find yourself going to the refrigerator, pantry, vending machine, or about to drive into a fast food restaurant, I want you to deliberately stop yourself first and listen to what the hunger is really saying—and write down what is happening and how it makes you feel.

Knowledge is power and that holds true especially when it comes to the food we are putting inside our bodies and inside the bodies of those we love and are called to protect.

Try to buy only whole foods, and cooking from scratch more often. Begin to pay more attention to reading food labels, especially when it comes to the sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients. Looking at the protein level is also critical—the higher the better.

We need all the power possible as we change our eating habits and set healthy boundaries with food.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Romans 12:1

If we’re serious about honoring God by taking care of the bodies He has given us, a significant boundary that needs to be set with food is how we experience the act of eating.

We’ve become a nation where toxic food is acceptable and an environment of physical inactivity is normal.

Sadly, it’s not only easier, but acceptable to fill our bodies and the bodies of those we are responsible for with unhealthy food.

It is an irrefutable fact that if we eat less and exercise more we will lose weight.  But eating less doesn’t mean starving yourself for a few days and then binging. Eating less doesn’t mean living only on salad and depriving yourself of protein, and other necessary vitamins and minerals. Eating less doesn’t mean only when others see you eat.

The eating less I’m referring to is all about portion control, you can eat whatever you wish, just less of it.

Hopefully, the “whatever you wish” will soon consist primarily of nutritional, healthy foods that honor and respect your body.


Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Food, Six Steps to Lose Weight, Gain Freedom, and Take Back Your Life by Allison Bottke © 2008. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information.