The Best Christian weight loss books that put your faith in your food and exercise choices!
My heart smiles as I run my hand across the crisp, smooth pages of my new diet book. I had eagerly awaited the hum of the UPS driver coming to deliver this latest attempt to find the plan that would solve all my food problems.
But, it was never that simple.
If you are a Christian and you have found yourself struggling to lose weight or to find balance in your relationship with food, you are not alone. My work and ministry are helping women just like you, your sister, and your neighbor who seems to have it all together.
It is easy to feel like a failure when it comes to diet and exercise.
We know that we “should” be able to experience complete freedom by reading our Bible and diligently praying, but we haven’t gotten there.
Something is missing… but what?
Is a Christian Weight Loss Book Your Answer?
I will be the first to say that I 100% believe that there is unlimited freedom available to us through the Word and prayer. However, if you are a little thick-skulled like me, you may benefit from some additional resources. Resources that help to pave your way to the Godly wisdom.
(This blog uses affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclosure here.)
Below you will find several Christian weight loss books and a weight loss Bible study that I have found to be helpful over the years. Remember that these books are not our answer- Jesus is!
However, if we can wash our minds with Biblical truth from every direction, we will only be better for it.
Keep in mind– each of these books has bits and pieces that I (or you) may not completely agree with and that’s ok. As Christians, we have been blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us discern that which is right for us.
What is right for you may not be what is right for me and vice versa. Don’t get caught up in what you disagree with– look for the nuggets of truth for your life (Satan would LOVE to steal those gems from you!) and implement them with His strength to find the best diet for you.
The Best Christian Weight Loss Books
1. Grace Filled Plates
Grace Filled Plates: Ditch Diets and Find Food Freedom Through God’s Grace by Brandice Lardner (yes, that’s me) made it to the top of the list because I’m most passionate about the message in its pages: It’s not about you, you’ll never be perfect, and those imperfections are just an opportunity for the glory of God to shine like a city on a hill.
Each day, you’ll get a short and powerful teaching and a practical action step that you can take right away!
2. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Love to Eat, Hate to Eat, Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits by Elyse Fitzpatrick is one of my all-time favorite Christian weight loss books. Elyse targets the state of the heart when it comes to food, above all else.
Rather than providing a checklist of what to eat, she provides a spiritual checklist to review at each meal. Questions such as, “Does this particular food demonstrate a heart of independence?” and “If I eat this, will it create an inroad for sin?” are used to examine our motives.
Elyse does recommend finding a healthy eating plan, although there are very few specific recommendations (I like that!). This book is a great fit if you want to really target your heart issues with food, and overcome overeating.
3. Uncommon Vessels
Uncommon Vessels, A Program for Developing Godly Eating Habits by Elyse Fitzpatrick is a study guide based off many of the principles from Love to Eat, Hate to Eat. This book has a helpful introduction and 40 daily studies.
If you are anything like me, this book will take you much longer than 40 days to go through. Each of the scriptures and questions are so convicting and thought-provoking that you can’t help but camp out on them for a bit.
There is a Daily Diary for recording your food choices which may be a helpful tool for some.
4. The Wellness Revelation
The Wellness Revelation: Lose What Weighs You Down So You Can Love God, Yourself, and Others by Alisa Keeton teaches you how to be well so that you can help others. This book dives deep into mental, emotional, and spiritual reasons you may cling to food and gives you the tools you need to move past those dependencies.
This book is more of a workbook with interactive exercises to keep you focused and purposeful in your journey.
You will find some solid instruction on how to eat better without a bunch of rules that weigh you down. There is also a free online resource library with tracking sheets, workouts, and more.
5. Thin Within
Thin Within, A Grace Oriented Approach to Lasting Weight Loss by Judy Halliday, R.N. and Arthur Halliday, M.D covers a little bit of everything helpful. A 30-day Christian weight loss program, Thin Within marries intuitive eating with a solid scriptural base.
You will spend most of your time focusing on how you eat, not what you eat. One of the coolest tools is an hour-by-hour hunger graph that takes the guesswork out of listening to your body.
If you are looking for a solid scripture-based Christian weight loss program that will connect you with your physical body, Thin Within is going to hit home for you.
6. Made to Crave
Made to Crave, Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa Terkeurst is one of the most well-known Christian weight loss books to date. And, for good reason. Lysa’s conversational writing draws you in, making reading not only beneficial but fun.
A strong emphasis is placed on noticing your cravings for food and directing those cravings to God. If we are turning to food for anything other than sustenance, we can learn how to let God take care of it.
Lysa shares a bit about her diet but does recommend that you find a plan that works for you. She later went on to write more about the specifics of her eating program. I found those teachings less beneficial.
You may also want to check out the Made to Crave Devotional, Video Series and Workbook.
7. The Beck Diet Solution
While not specifically a Christain weight loss book, The Beck Diet Solution, Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. is an excellent accompaniment to any study or plan you decide to follow. Dr. Beck is an expert in what is called Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT, which is basically a psychological term for renewing your mind.
The book has several chapters of explanation and the 40 daily studies with a topic and task for each day. I have taken groups through this book and all of the participants found it to be hugely beneficial.
You’ll learn about important behaviors, the benefits of eating slowly, and examine negative thinking traps that may trip you up on your healthy eating endeavors. Now or later, you’ll definitely want to check it out!
Learn more about the companion workbook.
8. Chew the Word
Chew the Word by yours truly, Brandice Lardner here at Grace Filled Plate, is a scripture study designed to help you find your best “diet” practices through the Word of God, for yourself.
Each week you will study 5 hand-picked verses through a 6-question study process that will teach you how to find your personal application on how to eat and move– God’s way. You’ll wrap up each week with weekly reflection where you tie a bow on the gifts God has given you throughout the week.
Visit this post to get a free Christian weight loss Bible study PDF.
More Christian Weight Loss Books I Recommend
- I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat): A Christian Weight Loss Resource by Barb Raveling.
- Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole M.S. R.D. & Elyse Resch M.S. R.D.
Less of Me: A 30-Day Devotional for Your Weight Loss Journey by Becky Lehman
- Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End Your Food Problems by Karen R. Koenig
These are books that I have not read but have been shared with me by readers as their “must read” books!
- Eating With The King: A 40-Day Journey to a Godly Attitude Towards Food by Terri Rockwell
- Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction by Asheritah Ciuciu
- Fit For The King: Your Health And God’s Purpose For Your Life by David A Bush and Joe Tewell
- The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren.
But, Before You Buy a Christian Weight Loss Book:
As you can see, there are quite a few quality resources to supplement our faith-based health and fitness efforts. These are not “bibles”– They are books written by humans that can teach you godly tools for your journey.
Keep an eye out for your tendency to look to outside sources for solutions and use these as supplements to your spiritual “diet.” And, don’t feel like you have to do it all– rather, be led by your peace, the voice of the Holy Spirit.
It is that simple.
Are there any books that I did not include that you recommend? If so, please drop me a line, I’d love to check them out!
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, Homeschool Mom, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.
Michele Ervin says
Thank you! I love Made To Crave and even bought a second copy because I underlined and highlighted in a different color the 4 or 5 times I went through it and needed a new one just to read it well. 🙂 I have Love/Hate on my shelf but haven’t read it in years. Guess I need to get it down. Yes, I was surprised to see Weigh Down on the list, but do agree that Gwen had some solid ideas on food and heart issues even though she was way off on other things. I like your suggestion to eat the meat and throw away the bones.
Made to Crave is a great book! I love having the videos too. Yeah, it was a tough call to add in WDW but I felt like I had to since it made such a positive impact in my life. Thank you for chiming in!
Barb Raveling has written very helpful Bible studies for weight loss and she has two podcasts, Christian Habits and Taste for Truth.
Thank you, Jeannie! I love her website and app (have you seen it?!). I think I’ll add a link on the bottom. Great idea!
Another very nice, helpful and Biblical book is the book ‘Full. Food, Jesus and the battle of satisfaction. Written by Asheritah Ciuciu!
Thanks, Tamara! I heard Asheritah on a podcast and I love her message!
I just came across your blog post and realized I have read many of the books on your list. I have gone through Made to Crave book, workbook, devotional and dvd multiple times. I was in a Weigh Down group and have read Barb Raveling’s books. I was surprised and happy to see the Beck Diet Solution on your list, as I am current going through that book and trying to reconcile some of the CBT strategies with what I have read by other Christian authors.
Hey Barb! I do love the Beck book. It gives such practical advice for applying what we read elsewhere. I look forward to hearing how it goes for you!
Like you, I hesitate to mention The Weigh Down Diet book to anyone because of the author’s misguided theology. However, I have to say that when I participated in The Weigh Down Workshop many years ago, that was THE first time anyone showed me that my overeating was a SIN…that my eating problem was really a heart problem. It was also the first time I successfully lost and kept off weight. The author’s basic mantra about all food being good and diets only making the food behave (instead of making us behave) made sense, as did her simple “eat less food” and “wait for hunger” rules. Thank you for mentioning the resource with a warning.
I’d like to add Fit for the King: Your Health and God’s Purpose for Your Life by David Bush and Joe Tewell (King of Kings Publishing, 2015). I have read this book and attended one of their workshops. The information is godly and encouraging—making us think about the importance of taking care of our body (the temple of God’s Spirit!) in order to remain healthy and able to serve in God’s kingdom.
I’m looking forward to reading some of the other titles on your recommended list!
I’m so glad you chimed in, Maryann! WDW was eye-opening for me too and it gave me my first taste of freedom. I’m going to add your recommendation to the list now!
Ann C says
You need to remove The Weigh Down Diet from your article or print an addendum. This article’s agenda is not to teach youa healthy way to eat but an Avenue to transform people into anorexic and bulimic people; in addition, to encourage you to leave your family and friends and join her church. This Remnant Fellowship church, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, has been characterized as a cult by cult experts, former church members. TV reporters, and government officials, not to mention many local citizens. If I were you, I would not recommend a book that has been banned by tens of thousands of pastors in the U.S. and whose teachings have destroyed hundreds of marriages, relationships, children, and the way that adults look at food. Check out http://www.spiritwatch.prg for more information, especially the testimonials from former Weigh Down members.
Thanks, Ann. I didn’t see any plug for her church… (I’ll paste what I wrote to Rachel as I’d love to hear your thoughts) I re-read the book again recently and still felt that it was helpful. Is the concern that someone would read the book and then research her church and start following her? I felt like my “warning” was enough but maybe not for a new believer or a seeker. I appreciate the conversation as my heart is to help and not hurt and I know that there is great responsibility as a teacher.
PSA – As a former member/survivor of Gwen Shamblin’s “church” I would not recommend it to anyone. While basic principles are good, it’s the deeper issues that come along with her “meat” that would keep me from ever referencing her book to anyone. There far better authors that offer the same principles that do not need to come with a warning. I still struggle with the “meat” to this day and there is no freedom in the struggle.
Thanks so much, Rachel. I re-read the book again recently and still felt that it was helpful. Is the concern that someone would read the book and then research her church and start following her? I felt like my “warning” was enough but maybe not for a new believer or a seeker. I appreciate the conversation as my heart is to help and not hurt and I know that there is great responsibility as a teacher.
There is a danger to becoming involved in any way with Weigh Down Workshop. WDW is fully backed by Remnant Fellowship and the “church” members are the only employees of WDW. If you reach out to contact them you are directly being sucked in by Remnant members, and boy do they do their due diligence to suck you in. Any promotional videos or webcasts are actual Remnant services with ONLY Remnant members (they are big on being exclusive) so to answer your question, yes, the fear of someone reaching out for more is a big reason I would remove it from the list because it has the great potential to harm more than hurt. Throwing out the bones and keeping the meat is compromised, especially when it could cost someone everything.
I meant harm more than help….
Thanks, Rachel. I appreciate you taking the time to have this conversation with me!
Although, the Weigh Down Diet is nutritionally sound, the theology is so heretical that I feel it should not have been mentioned. There are so many other Biblically sound books that could have been substituted so as not to spread the heresy.
I know you didn’t want to be “beat up” but I am a Remnant Fellowship Cult survivor, and just would like to say that even though the “diet works” I would still not have shared the book.
Thin Within is the pre-cursor to the WD diet and it is where Gwen got her information on the eating plan. The heresy began and continues with her.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I’d really prayed about whether to include this book or not as it was my first taste of food freedom. I really appreciate you mentioning the tie in with Thin Within. I’ll give this some more thought and prayer, Terasee, thanks!
Sarah Perman says
Hi, Brandice –
This may seem harsh or unrealistic but I pray we can get through to you & you will see this comes from hearts that break for Gwen & pray for her turn from heresy to truth.
Imagine yourself standing before God. There is a line of ladies to your left who’ve just been told, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” They turn to you and say, “But, Brandice, you recommended the WDW. I thought I was saved. I thought all my self-sacrifice and self-denial was leading me to God?! Why did you do this?”
WDW is not a program with lots of truth & small amounts of error. It is abundant error with small amounts of truth. This ministry is a cult & as such, doctrine of demons. I would distance yourself from it post haste.
Please do a little more research. See if a “ministry” that separates families, believes we can be sinless, teaches legalism & denies the Trinity is something you want to point others to. If you still think it’s ok for you to advise others to this ministry I ask you to seek counsel from a pastor you trust & to whom you will submit. I truly believe this is a grave matter & one to which you will be held accountable in your position as a public teacher.
Hi Sarah, thanks for the note and for the kind tone! As you can see above, I removed the WDW book quite some time ago. Unfortunately, there are some Pinterest pins out there that can not be removed.
Jodie Newcomer says
I also had great success with WDW, and became an instructor. Our church took a bus down to the conference and that is where I first heard her false teaching. We were all completely caught off guard, literally caught! I chose not to teach it or recommend it ever again, and warned my students of the danger. I am still interested in doing a class like that. Can you recommend something like WDW, that IS truly Biblically based.
Hi Jodie! What an interesting story! Thin Within is a great option that’s similar 🙂
You’re welcome, Cyndi!
What about Weight Loss Gods Way, The Lords Table, or Bod4God?
Personally I too wouldn’t use Made To Crave.
Many Women Reading Terkeurst and Voskamp Contemplative Books
Teaching false doctrine
As many other popular Christian teachers do these days, Lysa promotes the unbiblical practice of “listening prayer,” which is a form of contemplative prayer. Not only is this practice itself not mentioned or taught anywhere in Scripture, the mere suggestion that we need to be hearing – audibly or inaudibly – the voice of God during prayer flies in the face of clear biblical pronouncements that God’s word, and God’s word alone, is all we need and all we are to look to for the doctrine and practice of the Christian faith.
Lysa proves this out in her PDF entitled “How to Hear God’s Voice,” a piece pointing women toward her book, What Happens When Women Say Yes To God.
In the PDF, Lysa’s opening sentences say:
“Every day, God speaks to us. Sometimes He invites us to draw close and listen as He reveals Himself, His character, and His direction. Other times He calls us to participate in His purposes. Still other times He simply whispers to remind us of His amazing love for us.”
Where, chapter and verse, in context, does Scripture say this? Where does Scripture say we need to be hearing from God as the PDF goes on to talk about? It doesn’t.
Lysa goes on to say:
“God will never speak to us or tell us to do something that is contrary to His Word. But unless we know Scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.”
My question to Lysa would be, “Did God speak to you and tell you to preach to men, partner with false teachers, and promote false doctrine?” Because all of these things are “contrary to His word.” Either Lysa doesn’t know Scripture well enough to know that these things are not consistent with the Word, or she is not discerning enough while she is “listening to God’s voice” to know that these things are not consistent with the Word, neither of which speak in favor of heeding her teaching about listening prayer.
Furthermore, extra-biblical revelation is unnecessary. We already have God’s sure and certain Word in the Bible. We don’t need God to “speak” to us. He has already spoken – and had men write down – everything we need for living out the Christian life. All we have to do is study it. So, if God “speaks” something to us and it matches what the Bible says, we didn’t really need God to “speak” it. It was already in the Bible in the first place. And if God “speaks” something to us and it doesn’t match up with the Bible, we know it wasn’t God. Either way, we don’t need to be hearing voices. We only need to study God’s Word.
So we can see that “listening prayer” is both unbiblical, and – from Lysa’s own words and according to her own parameters – doesn’t even work for the person who is teaching it. When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he gave them a very simple model. No guess work or instructions to listen to God’s voice. We would do well to follow His teaching.
From the doctrinally sound reviews of her books, it seems Lysa’s main method of teaching is eisegesis. Her books contain a plethora of stories and personal experiences, which she uses to formulate her own spiritual principles, and then adds in portions of Scripture (often out of context) to support her ideas.
Another improper teaching method Lysa uses is to imagine how a character in the biblical text might have felt, or what might have been going on behind the scenes in a Bible story, present these imaginings as fact, and build doctrine off of them instead of just sticking to what the text actually says.
The proper method of teaching Scripture is exegesis. Exegesis is taking a passage of Scripture in context, and “leading out” of it- teaching what the passage says and means.
Lysa also tends to use inaccurate and unreliable paraphrases of Scripture in her books, such as The Message and The Voice. When we study God’s Word, we need to study God’s Word, not what somebody else thinks God’s Word says.
Here are several fair and doctrinally sound reviews of some of Lysa’s books. Most of them contain excerpts and quotes from the books demonstrating Lysa’s mishandling of Scripture and other theological issues.
Review of The Best Yes by Aimee Byrd
The Best Yes? at Housewife Theologian
Unglued at The Gospel Coalition
Review of Unglued at Wise in His Eyes
Book Review: Uninvited at A Beautiful Inheritance
A Review of Lysa TerKeurst’s Book: Uninvited by Lois Putnam
What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Nana Dolce
Lysa does not strike me as someone who is consciously and intentionally trying to maliciously deceive women and lead them astray, but rather as a (sadly) typical evangelical woman – undiscerning, centered on feelings and personal experiences rather than fidelity to Scripture, and a woman who has – like countless others – received poor instruction in her church and has no idea how to rightly handle God’s Word. Unfortunately, Lysa has not heeded God’s warning in James 3:1 that she will be held to a higher standard than those other women because she has chosen to teach when she is not qualified to do so.
For the reasons outlined in this article, I regret I must recommend that women not follow, support, or receive teaching from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries (including any writers or speakers affiliated with Proverbs 31 Ministries).
Shelly Murdock says
Another book that has good overall Godly perspective on wellness and a pretty solid nutrition plan to follow is The Danial Plan by Rick Warren. I really appreciate that he connected with experts to speak to the many different aspects that affect the wellness of our bodies. He “stayed in his lane” as a spiritual leader and brought others along to speak to their areas of expertise. I’m still fat and have many areas to work on where wellness is concerned, but I am working on and through it with the Lord’s help/guidance and that Daniel Plan book was of significant help for me.
Thanks for sharing, Shelly! I’ll add it.