The Daniel Diet is about as far from a fad diet as you can get. While fad diets are, by definition, very new, the Daniel Diet has roots that go back approximately 2,600 years! Most people may try this eating plan as a way to lose weight, but it is specifically designed to help you have a better relationship with God at the same time.
The diet has its origin in the following Bible verse: “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” – Daniel 1:8 (NIV). During this time, Daniel was a Hebrew living in Babylonia, and was saying that he would stick to the dietary guidelines his people received from God. Babylonians were not under the same rules for eating, and they would eat foods that were off limits to the Jews.
Skipping ahead about 2,600 years…
The Daniel Diet was developed by Rev. Elmer Townes. It does not have the exact restrictions as the Jewish dietary laws mentioned in the Bible. However, it serves the same purpose by putting God first, and the weight loss is secondary.
Partial fasting is a big part of the program. Some of the foods you can eat include fruit and vegetable juices, whole grains, water, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are all healthy foods. You may have also noticed that they are all foods that are derived directly from nature and not a scientific laboratory.
Foods that are not a part of the Daniel Diet include refined sugar, chemical sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, meat, white bread or rice, caffeine, fried foods, shortening, margarine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and additives or preservatives. This can be a big change for a lot of people.
As mentioned, this is more than just a diet. In fact, the first step is prayer so you can be spiritually prepared. You will then commit to staying on the diet for a set amount of time, and then letting others know about your promise to follow through.
Spiritual preparation is only the beginning. You will also have to get ready physically. This can take some doing–weaning yourself off the foods that aren’t allowed–but you have to be ready once you make the commitment.
How long you’re on the Daniel Diet is mostly up to you. Because of the strong spiritual component, a lot of people will tie it in with religious observances; Lent, for example. Others will do it as an entire church, or as part of a church group. That being said, a minimum of seven days is recommended if you want to see any weight loss results. Yet, there are even those who choose to dedicate one day per week to doing the Daniel Diet. As you can see, it’s a flexible plan that is more than just a diet and can be done by anybody.