Catholic Bible 101

21st Century Catholic Apologetics for Mary's Spiritual Warriors

The Sin of Gluttony
Overeating and obesity are becoming an epidemic in America.  “All you can eat” restaurants with buffets are springing up all over the place.  The Bible warns  about the dangers of gluttony, but these warnings seem to go unheeded in America with restaurants that are little more than human feed troughs.  Catholics who go into these glutton cafes and eat too much are not giving a very good witness of the real Catholic lifestyle. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but today, most people see gluttony as no big deal.  Gluttony will shorten your life, and most definitely will affect your quality of life, with loneliness, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and an impaired lifestyle.   Gluttons who die and go to Purgatory may have a lot of purification to endure that involves years of going hungry while there. It is NOT God's will that you should have to suffer in Purgatory.

The problem may lie in trigger foods and drinks.  Whatever food or drink substances that we are addicted to and cannot get through the day without may be the cause of why we eat too much. Artificial chemical mixtures like soft drinks and fake genetically modified sweeteners may be the very things that trigger us all to eat and eat and eat.  Carbonated soft drinks, besides having chemicals in them that counteract the fat burning process, have carbon dioxide in them, which swells the stomach and causes us to need more food to feel full.  The human body was designed to take in oxygen and emit carbon dioxide, and here we are doing just the opposite - pouring tons of carbon dioxide into our bodies.  The acid in these drinks affects the ph balance of our bodies, making us overly acidic instead of the naturally occurring neutral or alkaline. These soft drinks also make fried foods with lots of salt taste even better, which causes us to eat more of them, thus packing on the extra pounds. Soft drinks with caffeine in them also keep us up at night, robbing us of our needed sleep. God did not invent gassy acidic chemical soft drinks, but instead gave us all natural water to drink.  Drinking lots of water during the day not only hydrates our bodies, which are mostly water, but creates a sense of  fullness, thus keeping us from eating too much at the next meal.  Water also is the neutralizer of acids.

Some people are addicted to sweets and chocolate, which are not bad in moderation, but which may trigger excess food intake later on during the day. Still others suffer from excessive worry and anxiety, which can only be calmed by eating lots of fat and carbohydrates (hint - try prayer instead!).  Extra food in our stomachs makes us lazy and sleepy, causing bad dreams, and turns us into couch potatoes, rather than exercise machines.

So the answer is to avoid like the plague trigger foods and man-made chemical drinks that may trigger you to eat more. You will know what these triggers are if they are unnatural, and/or you can't live without them every day of your life, like soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol, excess salt, sugar, chocolate, fried foods, etc. And at all costs, try to avoid eating all your food in huge meals. Huge meals stretch your stomach like a balloon, and that means that you will always need more and more food to fill it.  Try to eat smaller amounts more frequently, so that your stomach never gets stretched.  Surprisingly, you will stay fuller on fewer calories, and that means weight loss in the future.

There are many great diets out there to help you get rid of belly fat. Remember - Diet can get rid of 80% of your fat, but exercise can only get rid of 20%.

If you can’t give up your trigger foods today, then start praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary that you will be able to tomorrow (A rosary a day not only keeps the devil away, but also the excess pounds!  The specific virtue you should be praying for to overcome gluttony is TEMPERANCE).  Then, one day, you will not even want them anymore.  And then you can tell everyone that a miracle has occurred!

And always remember - It's no one's fault that they are gluttons.  It's only the cross that they have to bear in this life, and overcome; just like homosexuals have to overcome their affinity for same sex attraction, like fornicators have to overcome their love of illicit sexual pleasure, like angry people have to overcome their rage whenever something doesn't go right, etc., if they want to go to heaven when they die.  Eat, drink, and be merry is NOT the Biblical message.

Here are some tips on how to avoid gluttony:

Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets.

Don't overeat if you are depressed - Talk it out with a friend or exercise instead.

Never eat alone (It's a lot easier to overeat if no one sees you doing it).  If you do eat alone, eat in front of a mirror so you can see yourself eat.

Eat a balanced meal, rather than just one type of food (eating fiber or extra virgin olive oil first will slow down  or negate your body's glucose reaction to sugary foods).

Never eat a HUGE meal (it stretches the stomach, which means it will require extra food to fill it at the next meal).  Eat smaller amounts more frequently. 

Don't feel that you have to eat all of the food on your plate if eating out.  Take the leftovers home with you in a doggie bag.  If the waiter brings out appetizers like chips or bread before the meal, eat them VERY sparingly, if at all.   Save your appetite for the main course.

Avoid your personal trigger foods that make you want to eat more (sugar, fried foods, salty foods, etc.).

Avoid compressed gas drinks, like soda (compressed gas also stretches the stomach, and it is very unnatural to take into your body).

Avoid extra salt or butter, or anything that enhances the flavor of food.

Never munch while watching TV. 

Eat very slowly, chew your food a lot before swallowing, and try saying a silent Hail Mary between each bite.

Get up during the middle of your meal (it's amazing how much fuller we feel when we stand up) and go to the bathroom.  

Avoid fast food (most of it is fried, which means lots of extra great tasting fat calories). 

Beware of rewarding yourself after a hard workout - One doughnut has enough calories in it to overcome your calorie burn during your workout. 

Before going out to eat, eat some high fiber foods at home (almonds, oatmeal, etc.) as a pre-emptive strike on your hunger.

Drink lots of water during the day (it helps you feel full, and will flush out your system when you go to the bathroom). 

If you are a voracious late-night snacker, you may need to start going to bed early, and getting up earlier, and sleeping say, from 8 PM to 4 AM.  Early to bed and early to rise is a great recipe for improved health.

And remember, the paradox is that the more you eat, the more you need to eat to stay full. The less you eat, the less you need to eat to stay full.

The hunger pangs for skipping one meal a day only last for a few minutes, and then they go away. If you fast during the lunch hour and get light-headed, tell yourself that you will be eating again at 5 o'clock.  This will program your psyche that it's OK to skip a meal, because you will be eating again very soon. After a few days, the light-headedness goes away, and it will seem normal not to eat lunch.


Here are some great Bible verses on the dangers of gluttony.  Note how the Bible verses sometimes link gluttony and lust, as well as gluttony and drunkenness.

Proverbs 23: 20-21: Be not among winebibbers or among gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

Proverbs 28:7: He who keeps the law is a wise son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.

Sirach 23:6: Let neither gluttony nor lust overcome me, and do not surrender me to a shameless soul.

Sirach 31:20: Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating; he rises early, and feels fit. The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea and colic are with the glutton.

Sirach 37:30-31:   for overeating brings sickness, and gluttony leads to nausea. Many have died of gluttony, but he who is careful to avoid it prolongs his life.

Matthew 11:19: the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.

Titus 1:12: One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."

Philippians 3:18-19:For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.




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