The principle of replacement

10 Nov 2021 12:40 PM | Josh Hunt (Administrator)

Steve Reynolds weighed a hundred pounds before he started grade school. He ate a bowl of ice cream every night of his life until he was forty eight years old. Through the principle of replacement, he lost 100 pounds. He has written an excellent book on the subject which includes a program for churches to use that includes a “Biggest Loser” style contest. Fox news dubbed him the “Anti-fat pastor.” What is his secret formula for weight loss?

  • Replace a bagel with a health bar
  • Replace ice cream with non-fat yogurt
  • Replace a hamburger and fries with a chicken salad
  • Replace mayonnaise with mustard
  • Replace beef with fish and chicken
  • Replace white bread with wheat bread

Steve doesn’t teach a complicated diet. His is a common sense approach that has helped thousands of people lose weight. It comes down to habits. It comes down to a thousand little decisions. It comes down to the principle of replacement—of replacing a healthy food for an unhealthy one. Most of us know how to lose weight. The formula is actually pretty simple: eat fewer calories and exercise more. Through the principle of replacement, eating fewer calories can become a reality. It can become a habit. Through the principle of replacement, exercising more can become a habit in your day-to-day life.

The principle of replacement doesn’t just apply to eating and exercise. James Macdonald says:

None of us can overcome evil by simply renouncing it. Rather, we must substitute that which was evil and replace it with that which is good. Sinful habits cannot be broken without replacing them with righteous ones. Try this simple experiment: Think of the number eight. Have you visualized it? If yes, then use your willpower to stop thinking about the number eight right now.

Were you able to do it? Of course not. Can you, by sheer willpower, stop thinking about the number eight? By no means. Trying to push it out of your mind actually causes you to focus your attention on it.

Although we can’t stop thinking about that number by sheer resistance, we can push it out of our minds quite easily. Here’s how: Think about a few bits of information you remember about your mother while growing up. Reminisce about your place in the family, whether you are still connected with them or disconnected. Concentrate on this new information, and you’ll stop thinking of the number eight.19

It is not hard to imagine a number of areas where the principle of replacement might apply. Here are a few:

  • Replace a meal with a meal replacement shake.
  • Replace nicotine for cigarettes with nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. People who do so are two or three times as likely to kick the habit.
  • Replace one thirty-minute sit-com with thirty-minutes of reading.
  • Replace French fries with a side-salad.
  • Replace complaining with gratefulness.

Josh Hunt, Break a Habit / Make a Habit (Josh Hunt, 2013).

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