How to Recognize a Deceptive Food (Bible Warning)

Proverbs 23:1-3 gives us a sober warning about food:

According to the Bible, you want to chose foods that are help you, not hurt you.

Biblical wisdom says that you should choose foods that help you, not hurt you.

When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you; And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food (Proverbs 23:1-3).”

Many people are overweight today because they do not know about the warning in this scripture.

Consider what we eat carefully applies to us too because we are the rulers; we control what we put in our mouths.

Our grocery stores are filled with deceptive foods – processed foods that appear nourishing to our bodies but are not.

Instead, these foods hijack our brain’s reward and calming systems (Dopamine, Serotonin, Beta Endorphin primarily) and we become addicted to them.

These foods interfere with our  ability to eat with self-control. Self-control is a fruit of God’s spirit.

One additional fact complicates the issue: Some people who are suffering from emotional issues actually want food to hijack them!

To quote an old commercial, it is their “Calgon, take me away!” substance. Food becomes their escape from emotional pain.

As a result, part of them wants to continue eating deceptive foods, even though the overeating they cause is ruining their health and quality of life.

I know this issue well. Deceptive foods hijacked my life for over 20 years!

But Proverbs 4:23 says,

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

God showed me that my heart issue needed addressing first. If I did not allow God to heal the emotional issues in my life, I would always be tempted to run back to deceptive foods as a means of escape.

The enemy could continue to deceive me in thinking:

  •  I can’t live without certain foods in my life
  • I’ll die if I don’t have certain foods
  • I can’t handle it if I don’t eat a particular food

The primary method the enemy uses to control God’s people is fear. Just like with Eve, the first woman, he uses the “fear of missing out” to keep you in bondage.

He had her focus on the one tree that would hurt her versus the hundreds, maybe thousands of trees that would help her.

His strategy is the same; he uses whatever means necessary to take God’s people out of their purpose. He doesn’t want us fulfilling the Great Commission.

But we have the power to stop this.

1 Corinthians 6:12 says,

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

While we can eat anything, we shouldn’t eat everything. Each of us is unique.

It is wise to focus on the foods that are truthful with us rather than deceive us: Helpful foods look good, taste good, and help us to feel good so that we can go out and do good works with energy and vitality.

We were created to do good works to glorify God!

Here are 5 tips to identify deceptive foods that have hijacked your brain. By the way, I can write about this because I fell for every single one of these deceptions:

1.After you eat it, your mind becomes obsessed with it. It tasted good, but now your thoughts keep drifting back to where that food is. You keep thinking about when you are going to eat it again.

2. You have difficulty controlling the amount you eat of it. You aren’t satisfied with one serving; you must have several in one sitting. You may tell yourself that you are only going to have a little, but you find yourself eating a lot and are unable to stop.

3. You fear giving it up. Feelings of deprivation are just fear in disguise. Here is an easy way to tell if a food has hijacked your brain:

Imagine yourself never buying that food again. What feelings come up? If you don’t have an emotional attachment to it, then you are fine. But if you feel a sense of loss and can’t imagine life without that food, it has likely hijacked your brain.

4. You say that you are buying the food for others, but you are the one who eats it. You may have feelings of guilt buying the food, so you tell yourself that you are buying it for the kids, for your spouse, or for guests who happen to stop by. But the truth is that you are buying it for yourself because you are the one who eats most of it.

5. You got the food from the center aisles of the grocery store, in the freezer case, at the cash register, the convenience store, or at the fast food restaurant. While not every deceptive food lives in these areas, most of them do.  

In summary, each of us must decide how we are going to show up for life. Do we really want to live our whole lives in a brain fog, and miss the abundant opportunities the Lord gives us to experience daily peace and joy?

I hope starting today, you decide to stop falling for the deception and eat nourishing foods that help you reach your best weight and feel good as you are doing good.

Kimberly Taylor

Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program

P.S. When I weighed 240 pounds, I discovered that my food selections played a key role in how bad I felt. I was low in energy, was depressed, irritable, and prone to feelings of self-pity. But in my weight loss journey, the Lord showed me how to eat to maintain emotional stability so that I could think clearer and make wiser decisions in all areas of my life.

It may seem like a small thing, but our Lord said:

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much (Luke 16:10).”

In the Take Back Your Temple program, you will learn how to eat for emotional stability so that you can reach your ideal weight. You will discover how you can feel your best so that you can do your best with what the Lord has given you.

Learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program

  • Jamie says:

    Thank you so much. What an awesome article. So helpful. Love this site.

  • Wanda Wardlaw says:

    The messages that I been receiving has been such a blessing and it causes me to do a deep examination on myself because I do eat unhealthy foods because they taste good and they bring comfort but they are not good for me. The Lord has been dealing with me for quite some time and I want to be set free once and for all. I’m 40 lbs overweight. I been caught in deception for a long time. Please don’t stop sending me the information it’s such a blessing. I want to reach a place of discipline and obedience please pray for me.

    • I am praying with you, Wanda! Seek the Lord in prayer to show you what your daily life looks like when you are free from this issue – and the courage to walk in freedom day by day. He will be with you every step of the way!

  • Kathy McRay says:

    Thank you Kimberly, your articles are so helpful. I need to be reminded so often, I slip into that hijacked mindset to easily and you help me see the importance of resetting my mind.

  • Rita says:

    Thank you so very much sharing your experiences with all of us “overcomers”.
    What a joy it has now become to grocery shop, the free factor gone.
    Have another 25-30 lbs to lose but have noticed it difficult, if not impossible if one of the 3 components is ignored….portion size, adequate water (not just any fluids), and some exercise daily. If one component is missing, it seems easier to become less focused. At age 72. I can say I wish all of this information, Biblical and otherwise, would have been available years ago. May God bless you!

  • Rhonda Koellen says:

    This is what I needed to see. I have questioned abstinence vs moderation. This pointed out that we need to be careful of everything we put into our body. I prayed about this very question and this article is so appropriate that I have printed it out and read it frequently to remind myself of the answer.

  • Kimi says:

    This article spoke directly to my soul. The part of me that cries out to align with Gods purpose and plan for me. The comfort I feel eating deceptive foods is solely in the pallet. No sooner than it hits my stomach, I begin to feel a foggy headache coming on. And it lasts for some time. I eat deceptive foods emotionally. And always in the afternoons when I am exhaling from a demanding day. It’s hard when you live in a large household of people. It requires a great deal of prayer and self control. I’m 51 this year and tired of feeling tired. Need to lose 60lbs. I want to be around for both grandsons who I care for each day after my full time job as a school principal. My grandsons are 3 and 2 years of age. I could follow a simple nutritional diet of no cooking please just to get out of the gates! I know part of it is doing your homework and getting educated about food and portion control. I just need someone to tell what to eat and how much right now.

  • Like the way the article is laid out; also like the messages, so empowering without beating people over the head and trying to make them feel guilty. It encourages and not discourages us to be the best we can be and to think about what we put into our bodies before we do. Good job, Kimberly.

  • Linda Payne says:

    Hi Kimberly, this is an excellent article. Can it be copied to share? Even a portion? Then refer back to your site?

  • Vicky Guy says:

    I am 5’9″ and weigh 219 and am 57 yrs old I’ve had a hysterectomy and take Estradiol . before the surgery and 2 family member deaths I was at the gym 3 times a week and delivered mail, and weighed 144 lbs!! well i am looking for help!! I don’t deliver mail, and go to the gym, I am unemployed and my knees click. But God will help me get back into the right path for recovery. So thank you for your field of interest I chose to be deligent and watch what I eat.

  • theresad says:

    Fear of missing out… that is my biggest problem, has been from since I was a child. How do I break out of it. And I am guilty of all the above scenarios.

    • Hi Theresa – to answer your question, the first thing you have to be willing to do is face that fear. As long as you don’t, then fear will rule your life.

      You said you fear that you will miss out through not having deceptive foods in your life. Ask yourself, “What do these foods give to you that you feel that you would be missing without them?” See, when we have emotional attachments to particular foods, it’s not really the food itself that we fear we’ll miss out on; it’s that we believe an emotional need won’t be met without that food in our lives.

      Let’s say that when you feel lonely, you’ve trained yourself to reach for a Snickers bar. You know logically that you won’t drop dead if you stop eating Snickers bars every day. After all, there are other foods you could eat.

      But to you, Snickers bars have become more than that; they’ve become a balm for loneliness in your own mind. So removing Snickers bars means to you that you miss out on the balm it provides. And you fear the discomfort of being lonely.

      Underneath every fear is the belief: “I won’t be able to handle it.” But are there other things you could do for loneliness rather than eating it away? Of course. You could get involved in service or connect with others with similar gifts and interests.

      The bottom line is that you need courage to look at the real need that you fear won’t be met if you removed these deceptive foods from your life and ask the Lord for wisdom on meeting these need rather than burying them under food.

  • Rachel says:

    A big THANK YOU for sending me this article! God has clearly blessed you with insight and wisdom on an issue that so many people struggle with. God bless you.

  • Sylvia Hernandez says:

    I feel so ashamed of myself. I just started and making my old excuses. Holy Spirit and community I need you!

    • Kimberly Taylor says:

      Sylvia – that shame is not coming from God. That is the enemy speaking to you to keep you in bondage. God loves you to LIFE and He meets you exactly where you are. You are doing the right thing by calling on the Lord. Ask Him for wisdom for the 1 thing you need to do right now that will make the most difference. He knows your heart is to follow Him and He will answer that prayer. God bless you, sister (((HUG))).

  • Suzette says:

    So far, this program is powerful. I need to get my walk with God back in shape not just my body. I tend to focus on the negative, what I have to do (that I don’t want to do), what I cannot eat… Poor me, right!?

    This article grabbed me! “He had her focus on the tree that would hurt her…. ” “All things are lawful for me but all things are not helpful…”

    These two phrases really put it into perspective for me. I know you pray for everyone who responds. Can you pray for a daily stirring of hunger and desire to meet with Him? Thanks!

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