Struggling to turn to God instead of food with your stress, grief, worry, & other feelings? Use these 10 Bible verses to help you overcome emotional eating.
I am no stranger to the struggles of emotional eating. I am a big feeler and on my 100-pound weight loss journey, it was just so much easier to drown my emotions in food than turn to God.
In my boredom, stress, grief, insecurities, frustration, worry, sadness, anger, and even joy…you name it and I ran straight to food (Little Debbie Nutty Bars, Cheetos, and fruit snacks, most commonly).
For a while, I wasn’t even really aware of what I was doing. It was almost like a natural instinct that sent me to eat.
Then, I told myself that the food helped. That eating made me feel better.
But honestly? Turning to food was just a distraction that took my focus away from dealing with the real problem (my boredom, stress, anger, etc).
And after I gave in to emotional eating and sat in the middle of an empty pile of wrappers and cartons, I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame about what I’d just done. The thoughts poured in, “You’ll always be fat.” “You’re such a failure.” “You’re hopeless.” “You’ll never be able to do this.”
Until one day, I recognized those thoughts for the lies they are and I started hearing God’s voice in my emotional eating.
You can’t shame yourself into overcoming your emotional eating.
But God’s grace is powerful and when you take your thoughts captive and replace the lies with His Truth, He will strengthen you to overcome this struggle, one choice at a time.
What Do You Do With The Bible Verses Below?
If you want these verses to actually impact your life, I would highly encourage you to pick the ones that resonate most with you, memorize them, and use them in the moments you are most struggling with emotional eating.
- use them as a part of the 3 Ps when you’re most tempted to turn to emotionally eat.
- write the Scriptures on notecards
- use a dry erase marker to write the Bible verses on your bathroom mirror
- make the verse the lock screen on your phone
- go through Less of Me: A 30-Day Weight Loss Devotional for more faith-focused encouragement from my own 100-pound weight loss journey
Download Your Free Printable Bible Verses on Emotional Eating
Scripture for Emotional Eating
1. 1 Corinthians 10:31
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
When you make the focus of eating bringing glory to God, it really shifts your focus.
You’re no longer trying to use food to fix a problem that only God can fix. You are putting food in its proper place in your life and keeping God at the center.
2. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‘ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.“
It can be devastating to acknowledge our weaknesses, can’t it? It feels so vulnerable and scary to admit to others and ourselves that we don’t have an area of our lives under control.
Pretty much all of my emotional eating was done behind closed doors so that no one else could see and it was mortifying when I was caught in the act.
But God’s logic isn’t our logic. Weakness doesn’t equal failure in His eyes. Weakness is just another opportunity to lean into Him as the ultimate Savior and anchor in our lives.
What a beautiful thing that God can bring beauty from ashes and use our weaknesses to perfect His power in our lives.
3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.“
It’s pretty common in emotional eating to switch ourselves into autopilot and detach ourselves from the consequences of our decisions.
After the first few bites, we stop thinking about the effects of our binge – the weight gain, the upset stomach, the heartburn, the guilt. In autopilot, all we are thinking about is how desperately we need “just one more bite,” even though one more bite is never enough to satisfy.
Emotional eating treats our bodies so unkindly. It uses them as a trashcan for extra food we don’t need. It uses them as a punching bag, catching punch after punch with every handful.
And, sometimes, when you’re already overweight, you convince yourself that you deserve it. That you already hate your body and so it doesn’t even matter anymore.
But, oh my friend, it absolutely does matter. Every bite. Every punch.
It matters because your broken, wounded body was intentionally created and you are an image-bearer of God, carrying His Holy Spirit inside of you as a precious gift from Him.
4. 1 Corinthians 10:23
“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.”
One of the most common things I used to tell myself in my emotional eating was, “It’s not really that big of a deal. I’m not hurting anyone.”
You have the right to eat. You can eat as much as you want, when you want, and all of the kinds of foods you want. You have so much freedom to choose.
Just remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Emotional eating is never beneficial or constructive.
God designed food for so many things – to sustain us, to fuel us, to bring us together around the table in community, and to bring us joy, but none of those things are achieved in emotional eating.
5. 1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
This is the Scripture I have used most often in my weight loss journey. I’ve leaned on this Truth in thousands of moments of temptation.
Emotional eating is one of those cycles that begins practically unnoticed. You don’t even mean to eat as a way to avoid your emotions. You just grab an extra bite or two and it really isn’t that big of a deal. The first time.
But then the cycle continues. You eat more and more and food becomes an idol in those times of stress that you now feel like you can’t live without.
It becomes an irresistible temptation in those moments….or, at least, that’s what it feels like.
But the Truth is “when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Every temptation is resistible with God’s help.
Just take the time to look for the way out.
6. Galatians 6:4
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.”
In emotional eating, it’s easy to compare yourself to others. In fact, American culture really celebrates and encourages emotional eating these days.
Having a stressful day with your kids? You need a glass of wine.
Going through a tough breakup? A pint of Ben & Jerry’s is the answer.
Tough week at work? Go out with your coworkers and eat all the pizza.
Our walks with God are not about looking at everybody else’s choices and choosing to shoot for the average.
Each one of us have different strengths, weaknesses, and purposes given to us by the Lord.
You are the only one who can decide whether an action is right for you. Is that extra bite because you’re still hungry? Or are you seeking comfort? Or trying to fit in?
Nobody knows but you. Don’t measure yourself against anyone else’s standard.
Ask God to show you when the next bite you take is sin.
7. Isaiah 40:29
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
I did not lose 100 pounds overnight. It took years and years of practicing saying no to my cravings, taking my thoughts captive, and redirecting my desire for food to my desire for God.
And, let me tell you, years and years of doing anything difficult is tiresome.
I was weary and weak more times than I’d like to admit. And, every time those feelings set in, the temptation was to give up.
But that is not the path that will take you where you want to go. And we serve a God who gives us strength and increases our power in those moments of our greatest weakness.
Don’t give up. Lean into His strength.
8. Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
When I run to food for comfort, I’m rarely thinking of godly thoughts.
I tend to have a mind wracked with worry, trembling in fear, raging in anger, or disconnected in apathy.
Our thoughts matter so much.
In those moments when emotional eating sounds so tempting, take a minute to try to redirect your thoughts to things that are true, noble, right, and lovely.
9. Romans 5:3-4
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.“
Remember all of those moments I told you I was tempted to give up?
This is a battle. Emotional eating is not something you conquer in an hour or a week or even a month of practice.
It takes you clinging to the truth and continuing to fight for it again and again.
It’s not just about weight loss. It’s not just about emotional eating.
It’s about us becoming more and more like Christ with every decision we make to honor Him.
It will feel like suffering, but that suffering produces so much fruit in our lives and hearts. It won’t feel like it at the time, but you are becoming stronger and stronger with each choice.
10. Hebrews 12:11
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
This discipline of conquering emotional eating is the process of you laying healthy boundaries for yourself.
In the beginning, it feels awful and completely unnatural! I could have given you every justification in the book to tell you all of the reasons why it wasn’t that big of a deal and I should be able to continue to eat that way.
It was so uncomfortable to tell myself no.
But that healthy boundary, when I practiced it again and again, turned out to be the very best thing for me. I lost those 100 pounds. I developed healthy habits. My relationships grew stronger and my insecurities grew weaker. I grew closer to God and, where I had been riddled with guilt and shame, I now had so much peace and confidence.
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