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How To Respond To Your Food Cravings With The 3Ps

Struggling with food cravings? Use the 3 Ps to give you a practical way to respond to the temptation to overeat treats on your Christian weight loss journey.

Food cravings can be intense.

They can come over you when you least expect it – driving past a billboard with a giant picture of a hamburger, seeing a commercial for ice cream, walking past someone talking about eating a candy bar.

As much as I’d love to say when you get to your goal weight, all of your food cravings disappear, that has not true (or it sure hasn’t been true for Sara and I).

Even though you can’t completely avoid temptation with food, you can choose to respond differently (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now).

One of the most common questions we get at Faithful Finish Lines from women trying to lose weight is, “What do I do about my food cravings?

At Faithful Finish Lines, Sara and I teach a simple and practical system called “The 3 Ps” – pause, pray, plan.

Let me explain each one a little bit more for you.

The 3 Ps for Food Cravings


The first response to your food craving is simply a pause.

We recommend a pause of about 10 minutes where you simply just wait in responding to your desire for that food.

Food cravings have a lot of urgency that can make us feel like we have to eat that food right away and practicing this pause is a great way to take your food craving out of the “driver’s seat” and make an intentional choice in your eating.

If 10 minutes feels way too long (which is normal when you first start practicing this!), start where you are. Maybe you start practicing the pause by setting a timer or even just walking into the other room to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water.

After you have paused, move on to step 2 – pray.


Step 2 is to pray.

Praying, talking to God, in the midst of your food cravings is a great way to invite Him to be the center of your weight loss journey and to seek His help when you are struggling with the temptation to eat foods (or quantities of food) that you know wouldn’t be good for you.

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.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Scripture tells us that God will provide a way out when we are tempted.

When I was at the height of struggling with intense food cravings, it didn’t feel like that was even an option. The craving was so “loud” that it felt like there was no other option but to give in and eat the food (usually a lot of the food).

The Bible tells us that feeling I had simply isn’t true.

There is a way out.

One of my most-used prayers in the middle of a food craving is simply, “Lord, show me the way out.”

Your prayers don’t have to be long or elegant, just real and raw, acknowledging that you are struggling and that you need His help.

You can read more short and powerful prayers I wrote for weight loss here.

Remembering to pray in the moment can be tough when you aren’t in the habit. There’s no need to beat yourself up about it!

When you first start practicing this skill, you may not remember to pray until later. Pray as soon as you remember. The more you practice, the more those “after-thought” prayers will become “in-the-moment” prayers and then even “before-the-craving-hits” preventative prayers.


The third step just might be my favorite because it is so outside of the typical diet advice.

Diets tell you to go cold turkey and just avoid those foods that taste really good and tempt you to overeat. And let me tell you from experience that forbidding foods never worked for me.

What did work for me was practicing eating that treat food when I wasn’t in the intense part of my food craving.

When food cravings hit, first you pause, then you pray, and then you make a plan to eat that food (or not).

Planning to eat that food at a later time takes an intense, in-the-moment food craving and makes it a part of your calm, intentional food plan.

Let’s say it’s 10 am and you really want to down a box of Nutty Bars (that was my most common food craving before I lost 100 pounds).

Instead of following that craving’s demands, you could plan to eat a Nutty Bar after lunch or the next day for your treat.

The “plan” part of the 3 Ps turns your “no” to yourself into a “not yet” and gives you practice eating treats within healthy boundaries.

Discover how the 3Ps helped LaNette manage cravings and lose over an incredible 350 pounds! Read the full story in Woman’s World magazine.

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More Help With Food Cravings

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