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Searching for a Christian diet plan? You may be missing out on ONE important truth from the scriptures we don’t often associate with diets- tithing! Learn how God has provided us with a tool to find greater health and food freedom through our faith.
Back when people actually read the newspaper and two words were not automatically scrunched into one (doesn’t it seem like it should be farside?), there was a sickly hilarious cartoon that was published in the Sunday news. The Far Side.
There was one in particular that made my dieting, overeater brain chuckle uncomfortably.
At the kitchen table sat an overweight man, only his billowing belly separating him from an almost empty plate. Below him was a dog who tracked his every bite, hoping and praying for just the thinnest morsel. With resolve, the man pokes his final bite with his fork and, in his stuffed state declares that he will force in just “this… one… last… bite”.
The Clean Your Plate Club, it’s real. I know because I am a card-holding member whose natural tendency is to leave no soldier behind.
I joined The Club in the wake of a diet where I was only “allowed” certain foods in certain amounts. If I were granted permission to have it, you can bet I was going to eat it.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you grew up in a family where you were forced to eat every last bite on your plate. Or, finances were tight and you had to fight for sustenance.
Regardless of how you obtained your gold card (or platinum), cleaning your plate is an unhelpful practice for those looking to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.
And, if your faith is near and dear to you like it is to me, I have an interesting concept to introduce you to how to eat a “Christian diet plan.”
Tithing in the Bible
From Old Testament writings to New Testament stories, the topic of tithing, or giving 10% of your income (back to) God is hard to miss.
The idea is that ALL we have ultimately belongs to God. Any wealth that we do possess is because He gave it to us. As an act of obedience, we are instructed to give a tithe or 10% back to His church.
When we honor this admonition we poise ourselves to be blessed (Malachi 3:8-12).
While the promises in the Bible are generally related to income (first fruits), I believe we can also apply this principle to other areas of our lives.
If you are struggling financially, it is important for you to honor God’s principle of tithing so that He can bless your finances.
When you enter a difficult season of life, tithing the first moments of your day to Him in weight loss Bible study, weight loss prayer, praise, and meditation would bear fruit that multiplies.
There is power in pushing past our comfort zones, stepping into faith, and giving up the very thing it seems as though we are earthly dependent on.
Food Focus in the Christian Diet Plan?
Do you feel like food holds a “too important” place in your life or that the Clean Your Plate Club has a mafia hold on you?
Then it is time to consider tithing bites!
I cannot think of a more powerful way to sow seeds for food freedom than choosing to set aside that which captivates us and yield it to our God.
What is Tithing Bites?
If someone lets you borrow their bicycle, you gladly give it entirely back– tires, handlebar, and painfully small seat. The bike wasn’t yours to begin with and you are happy to return it, grateful for the loan.
Tithing bites simply means giving God a portion back of what He has already given you. We say grace at meals and thank the Lord for our food, but do we truly comprehend that ALL we have on our plates comes from His hand?
This is an exercise in acknowledging just that with a greater purpose in mind– the fruit of obedience.
Your journey in tithing bites will be individual, so pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Here you will find a few suggestions to get you started, in order of challenge from easiest to hardest.
5 Ways to Tithe Bites
1. Leave it off. When serving yourself, plate your normal portion and then scoot a few bites back off. Easy peasy.
2. Push it aside. Serve yourself your normal portion and then push 10% off to the side, not to be touched.
3. Eat the best and forget the rest. Pick out several bites that are less-than-awesome and skip them. Tossing the wilted lettuce and burnt edges that you don’t love to begin with is a win-win!
4. Dedicate the best. This strategy is for when you are serious about making strides forward. Pick your most favorite bites and dedicate them to God. Wrap them in a napkin or prop them on your plate so that you can admire your trophies of victory.
5. Pass on the snack. Avoid mindless grazing and tithe those unnecessary bites. If you find yourself scrounging for food when you are not hungry, stop with intention, dedicating your efforts to God.
Good Great Attitude
Most of all, do so cheerfully. The victim’s mindset is for victims. You, my friend, are choosing to push the food aside for the greater calling on your life.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”2 Corinthians 9:6 (NLT)
Yes, I know it’s just food but every sacrifice done in the name of Jesus, matters.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)
If the idea of leaving food on your plate or tossing it in the trash makes you really uncomfortable, feel free to start “small.” It is not the size of the gift, it is the cost of it. One bite for you may require more faith than a dozen bites for someone else.
Then, progress through the 5 steps. You may use different methods on different days and that’s fine. The important thing is to keep those efforts focused above.
So whether you leave one soldier, two, or 10% of your “army” or every 10th meal behind, you are poised to find greater health and food freedom as you step away stop overeating by detaching from external cues that lead to more food being eaten than necessary. What follows is great health and a more trusting relationship with your Savior!
Comment below and share YOUR Tithing Bites story!
Podcast episode show notes:
As a Christian woman who desires to live by God’s Word, you know all about tithing. Maybe you even tithe your income and the first few minutes of your day to God. But what about tithing your food? Yes, your food!
Far from being difficult, weird, or wasteful, it’s a fun and unique way to eat less while honoring God. And it even comes with extra benefits: greater health, food freedom, and a more trusting relationship with the Lord.
Dig in now for 5 practical ways to tithe your bites back to God.
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Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, Homeschool Mom, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.
I’ve had this idea for a while and here you are writing about it! I dished up a serving of window pane-shaped pretzels (24) then put 2 back. Another one was broken so I considered that my .4 so that I tithed 2.4 pretzels! I think the easiest for me would be to not put a tenth on my plate to begin with. If it’s there and I push it to the side I might later completely forget why I did that and eat it unthinking.
Great minds 😉 I like how it is quantifiable and 10% feels really doable. Thanks for sharing your story!
What a great concept! I’d never thought about tithing my food before, but I like it! I liked your suggestion of putting a bit of your portion back in the serving dish, so you don’t actually have to waste anything.
Thank you, Jenny! I am glad you enjoyed the article. It’s a nice spin on eating less with a heavenly focus 😉 Hope you see you around!
Joyce Bennett says
This is so true. Giving to someone who needs. I made homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, and home-grown then canned green beans yesterday. For a family member wanting a good home-cooked meal. I had some for my husband and I took some to the sick family member. I also stopped and bought her some easy items for her to prepare when I was not there. I had not read this, but the tithing of a meal really applied. thank you for this. Great idea!
I love that, Joyce! There are so many ways to give back to God by giving to others. What a great example 🙂
All I can say is wow! When I began this journey this morning, armed only with the 7$ pdf and a big desire for more Jesus in my life and less food, I prayed a short sentence, “Lord, any food I choose not to eat today I give it up to you as a sacrifice. I knew by looking at it from this perspective would make it easier to give. I had a great day, a red letter day and it was easy to stop when satisfied because it was a gift to give the One who gave His all for me. Then this evening reading this about tithing bites just makes me excited to see how much I can give Him tomorrow.
Wow, Kimberly– I LOVE how He gave you the thought and then confirmed it with this article!
Wow! I’ve never thought about tithing off of my meals and it actually makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the insight to help us to live healthier lives. God bless you and keep doing what you’re doing.
Yay, Janeather! I’d love to hear how it goes (we have a whole lesson on this in Grace Fueled 😉 )
I knew about tithing financially and tithing my time, but never considered tithing food. It makes sense since everything is God’s and I’m only borrowing from him. I try not to keep up my clean plate membership, so taking off that portion first makes sense. I will do that. Thank you for your support.
I love how you took that even deeper, Jan!
Your daughter is beautiful!!
Aww, thank you, Wendy!
This was very inspiring! Went so well with the start of my Chew On the Word devotional today! Thank you so much for your inspiration!
That”s great to hear, Sarah!
Jane Stewart says
Great idea about giving back cheerfully – love that – changes the whole “clear the plate” mentality.
You’re welcome, Jane!
Love this! Thanks for helping me change my mindset ?
So glad to hear it, Tina!
Chasity S. says
Before I was adopted at the age of 7 I was starved & deprived of food for several years. So I shoveled food when I got the chance. I’m 37 now & still eat that way sometimes. I don’t know how to slow down. I love this tithing idea. Without God I would not be the person I am today. Now that I have an abundance of food why not give to God! Thank you for sharing this!
Thanks for sharing, Chasity and I know Jesus gets it and has compassion for you. Given your past, even the smallest bit would be quite an offering to Him!
I’ve been aware of tithing my money, but never really thought of it in any other way. I do know when I don’t start my day praying and reading scripture, my day does not go as well, so I guess I’ve been tithing my time a little each day. I really like the way you describe tithing food. I can do that. It sounds like a great way to reduce portion size without feeling deprived. Thanks
YES! Tithing the first parts of your day…love it!
Kim C says
I’m not comfortable throwing food away, so putting 10% less on my plate to begin with is how I’m tithing. It’s still there, in the kitchen, but for another meal (that will also be 10% less). Of course, if I’m satisfied prior to finishing, then that food shall go to the trash and not my body. Praying all the way, all efforts guided by the Lord because I have stubbornly proven I cannot make this happen of my own will. 🙂
I love how you’re adjusting to what you feel comfortable with, Kim!
I was having a soft taco and didn’t eat the last 2 bites, which I never do, and I felt really good about doing it!
Woohoo! Funny how we think it will be super-painful and yet…it actually feels really GOOD!
Heather McBride says
Brandice, This is a powerful way to control what you can during a meal, we are givers and this helps visualize the giving back to God and being obedient to Him. Dedicating our efforts to Him is also a powerful way to keep tithing. Thank you
Yay, Heather! So happy to hear that this resonated with you!
Jeannette Marasco says
Awesome concept! Now to create some kind of visual reminder for mealtime. 💕
This message talk to me. I am Christian and it could be a good way to intensify my relationship with God
So glad to hear that!
Sarah Perman says
Our God is brilliant & I am grateful He has given Brandice this wisdom. I am going to sacrifice the very best bites for my Savior, in His precious name. Starting now…
Love the idea. While I am here more because of all the confusion ‘out there’ on how to eat, and being Celiac and all the conflicting do’s and don’ts with that. While I normally don’t over eat I will find myself over eating and snacking when under heavy stress and/or find myself tired of my food world growing smaller because we shouldn’t eat plants because they don’t want to be eaten, or beans because of Lectins, or fruit because too much sugar, or taking handfuls of herbs and vitamins (astronomical cost). My world is narrow enough as a Celiac and suddenly I find that all That is safe to eat…oh, I forgot that isn’t good for you either. I woke up yesterday begging God to help me know what is the best thing for me to do. Somehow, later that day I came across this. Coincidence. I think not.
As far as tithing, smaller plates and leave behind 10%, maybe every 10th meal as I’m rarely hungry. Not snacking in between. Maybe something different each day, and giving it to God. Whatever it is each day I am already experiencing freedom. Tonight’s dinner is spaghetti and meatballs. The bread crumbs are gluten free, and the linguine is gluten free, but I will be eating in freedom. I will be eating plants as in the tomatoes, herbs, and meat. My mind goes that God gave us these foods and man who overdoes the research takes that away. Freedom to eat the wonderful bounty God gave us in great fullness to Him. Freedom to give back to Him for all He has given us, food to nourish us and to enjoy. Freedom to ask the Holy Spirit to guide my choices.
I hear you, Veryl…the food rules and guilt can be endless. I agree that it doesn’t have to look the same every day and it’s a great opportunity to chat it through with the Lord each day!
Janet Hughes says
This is the most amazing idea ever! I use a salad plate when I eat because it is smaller and it helps with portion control. But, because it is smaller, I always eat everything on it. I’m going to start tithing from my smaller plate and stop justifying eating the whole thing!
So glad you found it helpful, Janet!
Cheri Gillean says
So…. I am so glad to have read this today. I have watched my sweet husband give the Lord the first couple hours of his day…. every day… reading the word, praying for all that he has on his mind and heart and also using warfare prayers against the enemy of this world. His life has changed so much. He is on his 7th time through the Bible. I have watched this since Holy Spirit tapped him on the shoulder and he gave his life to Jesus. It has been over 10 years. He has changed in so many wonderful ways. I have also watched him leave food on his plate. LEAVE FOOD ON THE PLATE?? How does one do that. LOL…. he has lost so much weight. And of course…. I have eaten what he leaves on his plate. Ugh. But … no more. I have said before that I would like to spend time with God every morning and I actually did it … for a whole week. Shaking my head at myself but knowing that God will and has forgiven me for not following through. Will be spending 15 minutes at least a morning in the Word. Knowing that as I raise my face to the Father I will feel his love even more and will be able to work on this thing that I just let go crazy. Thank you for your timely placement of this workshop. I missed the first couple days and am reading up on your emails. Blessings to you and all the women in this group who are taking this journey.
Thanks for sharing, Cheri! What a great story about your husband! However, it’s a “high standard” to try to live up to…your journey may look completely different and that’s ok! Just follow the Spirit and He will lead you in the way YOU need. No guilt, no condemnation, just His divine guidance 🙂
Jenna Sibley says
I love this concept! I think putting 10% back in the serving dish would work good for me. I’m excited to try this!
Teri Marant says
Thank you for this blog. Tithing food kind of scares me. Growing up, food was pretty scarce and we were hungry often. We weren’t made to clean our plates, we just did! As a result, food is so important to me. I’m an all-occasion eater: I have sick food, celebration food, comfort food, etc. Also, I’m a retired nurse and have the habit of “eating fast or possibly not at all”, depending on patient load. I’ve had a gastric bypass 16 years ago & can eat small portions. Excuses, excuses, excuses! I may have to do baby steps, but I’m going to try this with Heavenly help. Would you consider stopping eating while commuting tithing? And from there I could progress to tithing from my meals (not putting it on my plate would work for me). Thank you for your input.
Hi Teri! It’s helpful to look at the reasons we have certain behaviors. I get it, they can become excuses but we need to know what areas we have to grow in, in order to change. It think fasting while communicating is a fabulous habit! In fact, that would be a great time to talk with the Lord and praise Him. What a lovely way to “sandwich” your work day 🙂
Jonna Ballard says
What a wonderful new way to look at eating less. Instead of the “oh poor me” deprivation, it can be the acknowledgement that all good things are from God in the first place! I also love the thought of tithing the first moments of my day! Thank you!!
Yay! Glad that resonated with you, Jonna!