Recent research has discovered that those people who practise yo-yo diets unwittingly release dangerous toxic chemicals into their bloodstream. Four men and four women were sealed into a large greenhouse-like structure known as Biosphere 2, to study the feasibility of setting up self-sustaining environments on other planets. “The team was forced to follow a strict diet when overcast weather caused by El Nino and losses due to insect pests greatly reduced the yield of the crops they were cultivating.”
To counter this problem they were compelled to adopt a low calorie but highly nutritious diet that consisted mainly of fruits, grains, beans and vegetables, supplemented with small amounts of goat’s milk, goat meat, pork, chicken, fish and eggs. The Biosphere team seemed to thrive on this diet and their blood pressure and cholesterol fell. But, the rapid weight loss might have its dangers, because harmful chemicals absorbed from the atmosphere and safely stored in the fat were released into the bloodstream.
As they continued with the diet they found that the chemicals were gradually flushed from their system and it appeared that, providing the diet was kept to, these chemicals would be transient. However, yo-yo dieting would repeat the process over and over again and the body may not have the time to flush out the poisonous deposits before they were locked up again into new fat deposits.
This may seem technical and may worry those readers who fluctuate repeatedly on such diets but the spiritual application can also have serious consequences. There are those Christians who go on crash diets of spiritual absorption to reduce fleshy appetites and excessive weight in worldly modes. Bible reading, prayer, worship and self-denial all conspire to make them spiritually thin. So that they can run the race and lay aside every sin that besets them and adopt a strict regime to ensure their spiritual weight is stable.
And then – self-discipline flags and the weight comes rolling back on, and they feel fatter and more sluggish than before. Bible reading is neglected, prayer is scant, worship almost a second thought and, as for running the race, they hardly ever raise their gait above a stroll! The result is, as they well know, because they’ve often been there before – overweight and not feeling very well – spiritually.
When they lost weight rapidly they failed to realise that poisonous chemicals like pride, self-contentment, boasting, safety in the flesh were building up inside. Had they kept to the diet they would have eventually rid or reduced themselves of such dangers. The Bible has well stated – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,” (2 Timothy 2:15). Not steadfast one day and wobbling the next. Not lettuce one day and chocolate bar the next. Not church one week, miss a couple of Sundays, and back again at the end of the month – keep consistent.
Spiritual flushes are dangerous. Super spiritual one month, depressingly carnal the next, leads to a yo-yo life. I don’t think people realise the dangers they store up for themselves as they play diets with God. Such people keep their larger size clothes in the wardrobe just in case they put the weight back on again – that is cheating! The Bible says, “Make NO provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14) and that is very wise advice.