Home » About

What is the Weigh Down approach?

For those new to Weigh Down, welcome! And for those returning, welcome back!

Weigh Down is a revolutionary faith-based approach to overcoming obesity, overweight and other eating disorders. The concept is simple: eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. So often, we fill our empty, longing hearts with physical food. In fact, we have fallen in love with food and result has been painful.

So, what is the missing key to rising above the magnetic pull of the refrigerator? God. Through classes, videos, testimonies and accountability, Weigh Down helps you put food back in it's place and turn to God as the one who can meet your emotional and spiritual needs. The result is a permanent transformation that affects the heart, soul, mind and yes, the body too! Weigh Down is not a diet, it's the beginning of the end of dieting, food rules and focus on the body. Join with the hundreds who have found success through Weigh Down!

How to Feed the Heart

“We have been trying to feed our hurting, longing hearts with physical food and substances, but only God can truly fill our hearts.”


About the founder, Gwen Shamblin Lara

Gwen was truly the pioneer of faith-based weight loss. As a registered dietician with a master's degree in food nutrition, she was familiar with mainstream approaches to weight management. She taught at the University of Memphis, worked as a nutritionist for the Tennessee Department of Health and spent countless hours counseling others. After experiencing her own struggle with food, it was clear diet and exercise alone were not the answer. By utilizing her deep faith in God, she stumbled upon something revolutionary; how to transfer her love for the food into a deeper love for God. The result was permanent self-control with food and weight loss. In 1986, she founded The Weigh Down Workshop and, for over thirty years, she dedicated her life to helping others address not just the physical, but the emotional and spiritual aspects of health and nutrition. She lived the concepts herself and her teachings have helped thousands lose unwanted pounds and grow closer to God.

Weigh Down continues with this legacy today through the direction and support of her children, Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah and Michael Shamblin.

Gwen Shamblin Lara

Ready to get started?


Frequently Asked Questions

1What does God have to do with weight loss?
Many people ask, “What does God have to do with weight loss?” Our answer is: EVERYTHING! He created your body to work wonderfully, with intricate systems and an ability to maintain itself. However, the more that mankind tries to control these internal systems with dieting rules, the more weight people gain. God did not dictate the Basic Four Food Groups or command that we eat according to food exchanges and fat-gram content. He did provide boundaries for our eating – hunger and fullness. He created the digestive system to create a growling stomach when the blood sugar level drops to a certain point to alert you to the fact that the body is ready for fueling. Unfortunately, this foundational cue to the body has been ignored for so long that most people do not even know what it feels like and think it is a bad thing to even find out! Aside from the damage to the body that overeating creates (after all, the body is His Temple), God is brokenhearted over the fact that so many of His children have learned to run to the food instead of to Him for comfort, companionship and acceptance. People are giving their heart and passion over to something other than God! But the hard fact is that food is NOT a friend and it cannot give back to you; in fact, it robs you of time, money, self-esteem, clothing, relationships, everything. But the One True God gives BACK to you! He loves to provide you with all these things and MORE if you will only take His hand and turn away from grabbing onto the food that your body does not need. Once you are obedient to God’s rules in the area of eating (hunger and fullness), you not only lose the excess weight, but you will lose the desire to overeat. Food will no longer tempt you, and you will be free to live life without a heavy heart. God does not care about what we eat, so we should no longer feel self-righteous about following any man-made rules. Instead, what God cares about is how much we eat; He cares very much about – and is displeased with – overindulgence.
2Is Weigh Down a diet?
No more dieting…period. Really. From the day you begin a WeighDown seminar, you will never again count a single calorie or fat gram, you will never again examine the contents list on a box, you will never again consult a food-exchange list or menu planning card, you will never again do your shopping in the dietetic food aisle of the grocery store, and you will never again step onto a treadmill to work off the candy bar you ate. There is no gimmick to WeighDown. We will never approach you to buy our foods or our pills or our exercise equipment…because we don’t have any! Typical diets have not worked because everyone is using man-made rules instead of God’s rules. God has never asked anyone to eat food off of a list, count fat exchanges, or take an appetite suppressant! WeighDown doesn’t have any of those things. What we DO have is a future-a future to be filled and fulfilled. Hunger will be filled and appetites will be under control and given to God. We fully believe that dieting – making the food behave by changing the ingredients or forcing yourself to temporarily follow strict man-made rules – only aggravate the problem of overweight. How many times have you tried “one more diet,” only to again gain back all the weight you lost and maybe more? Think about it: the more diets fail, the better off the diet industry is! Today’s diets only make you MORE focused on the food as you must examine it, think about it, plan for it, buy special foods, cook in special ways, and constantly consult a food list to see what you will be able to eat today and what you will not be able to have (which of course, only makes you want it more!). The fact is, we will fall in love with what we focus on. The more you focus on it, the more in love you become with it. We must break that focus on the food and instead transfer the focus to God Almighty! God programs us to desire and long for a correct weight and the strong knee joints and circulation that go with it. The motivation to be thin is not vanity – it is natural. God programmed us to want the best for our bodies, but He will not reward these “Band-Aid” diet approaches to problems of weight. We cannot continue to ask a doctor to suck out the fat (suction-assisted lipectomy) while we continue to stuff our mouths. That ends today. You are entering the No Diet Zone! And this will be permanent – never again will you be restricted to tasteless diet foods and regimented “have-to” exercise plans. We are going to break that cycle today! The WeighDown seminars will teach you to approach food with control and confidence, eating according to the perfect way God created your body. You are going to eat much less food than you did before, but the wonderful thing is that you will not WANT more than that! Can you imagine being finished after only half a cheeseburger, not able to eat one more bite? You will be able to do just that! Although the diet industry will tell you otherwise, the root problem of being overweight is not the content of the food we eat today. The problem lies in the volume of food that is going down the old hatch! Think about it: consumers wanted the fat taken out of cookies so they can eat more cookies! God did not “accidentally” leave the Basic Four food groups out of the Bible! He created the wonderful flavors of blue cheese dressing, pepperoni pizza, and chocolate brownies. He wants us to enjoy them – within His boundaries of what is healthy for our bodies. The body is the Temple of God, and we must begin treating it as such. This will be a true lifestyle change that will benefit your whole family. Regular foods! No special meals! No special cooking! Regular shopping again! These are all blessings that God will allow when you begin approaching eating on His terms instead of man-made rules.
3Can Weigh Down help with anorexia and bulimia
Weigh Down has helped many anorexics and many more bulimics to let go of control and become at peace with their bodies. They have lost their focus on food and their obsession for thinness, trading this in for a focus on and devotion to God. While individuals with anorexia or bulimia can certainly benefit from this program, they should remain under the care of their physicians.
4Does the Weigh Down approach require exercise?
You will find WeighDown to be a refreshing approach to health and weight loss! No exercise plan required! You will learn how God can bring you to peace with food—never to return to the nightmare of endless overweight, yo-yo dieting, and “have-to” exercise regimens, but rather to a calm, non-magnetized approach to regular foods with the ability to approach foods such as rich entrees and desserts without losing control. Exercise need no longer be connected to burning calories; instead, it can be an enjoyable activity. You will be free!