Can I Lose Weight By Eating Liturgically?

Can I Lose Weight By Eating Liturgically?

This is, by far, the most common question I’m asked about Eating Liturgically.

And I get it.  This kind of thing, this “eat such-and-such at these times with a gimmick” thing is very popular right now.  Not only am I an official Blog-About-Stuff person, I’m also a certified group exercise instructor.  I observe first hand the sweeping fads that ripple through our consciousness as we try again and again to figure out that hook, that connection, that will make our weight loss and healthy living hopes come true.

I get it.  I’m female in America.  Disordered body image and eating patterns is part of the fabric of our society.

I get it.  Choosing to eat or not-eat foods for any reason other than being on a diet just isn’t common for most folks.

So I don’t bristle at the question.  I am a bit weary of the question, but you know, I get it.


It is so the antithesis of what Eating Liturgically is about!  Mindfully choosing and planning food and drink around the rhythms of the liturgical calendar is about lining your day-to-day up with the divine.  When you’re eating a delicious decadent meal, and you think “today is that day when I Feast!” and you remember it’s Sunday, the day we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, the day we Rest and Rejoice in God’s creation – it’s about that remembering and honoring.  When your tummy grumbles and you intentionally do not eat, you remember that this is a day you are opening yourself up to God, to creating space for the Holy Spirit, to a more mindful, humble, prayer – it’s about that practice.

It’s not about the food itself.  It’s about the using the ritual of the food to transition away from mindless business towards intentional Worship.  Take, Eat, this is my Body…it’s not about the bread itself, is it?

Do this for the remembrance of Him.  Otherwise, it’s just a game, a diet…a ripple.

If I am being completely honest, however, I must confess that I find eating on the liturgical calendar to be helpful in establishing and maintaining healthy habits. Rather than detracting from the mindfulness of being on God’s time, I find it actually strengthens my prayerful connection as I ask for God’s help in being healthier, and as I commit myself to caring for my body not as “my body” but as the temple for the Holy Spirit within me.  Since the majority of our days are not Feast, and not Fast, but those other “regular” days which I call Fierce – how you mindfully divide your food choices can, perhaps, help you lose weight.

Thus, I reluctantly concede that yes, yes, you CAN lose weight by Eating Liturgically…but while I don’t bristle at the question, I do bristle at the idea of practicing this with losing weight being the sole purpose.  I think the Soul purpose is more the matter at hand.  (See what I did there?)

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