They say nothing is certain but death and taxes. We say there’s another certainty: If it’s December, there’s sure to be a blizzard of new weight-loss books.
This year, there’s one very special release – a non-traditional dieting book that’s appealing to the masses in a divine sort of way. If Pastor Rick Warren has his way, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life will be the answer to your dieting prayers.
This faith-based diet book, which was written with the help of Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, became available Dec. 3.
You’ve probably heard of Warren. He’s the author of The Purpose Driven Life and the founding pastor of the Saddleback Church in Southern California – a mega-church that boasts of a congregation that numbers more than 20,000.
Warren says he went to work on creating this diet book after noticing a large portion of his followers could stand to shed a few pounds along with a few sins.
Warren dropped 65 pounds about two years ago, but has since regained 35 of them and is in the process of practicing what he preaches – healthy eating and regular exercise mixed with a hearty dose of prayer, family and community support.
"You think that God is only interested in your soul? No, he is interested in your body, mind and soul. Jesus went into each village teaching, preaching and healing. The Daniel Plan has to do with healing,” Warren said.
The five essential components of the Daniel Plan – a plan linked to the first chapter of Daniel in the Bible – are food, fitness, focus, faith and friends.
"The last two components — faith and friends — are what I call the special sauce that makes the Daniel Plan unique," Warren said. "It's not just what you eat that makes you unhealthy, it's about what's eating you."
Followers are urged to eat healthier, fresher and more natural foods.
Warren has come up with a litany of sayings to keep followers from straying.
He said, "The line we use is: 'If it grows on a plant, it's healthy. If it's made in a plant, don't eat it.' My rule is no snacks, no sweets, no seconds."
Warren works to keep inspired by mixing up his exercise routines.
"I have four different workouts so I don't get bored," he said. They include hiking, swimming, treadmill walking and weight training.
So, is The Daniel Plan the answer to your weight loss prayers? eDiets chief nutritionist Susan Burke March says:
“I am glad that Pastor Warren has taken this initiative to help shepherd the physical health of his flock. By connecting with his congregation and emphasizing the importance of food and fitness, he’s hoping to empower believers into improving their health. And like all diets this one can work for you – if you believe you can modify it after 40 days and continue to choose healthfully. Since the diet suggests saying NO to snacks, sweets and seconds, I suggest that it fits my definition of a weight loss diet as a temporary solution.
“I like to tell eDiets members, “It’s your diet, your way.’ Make your daily diet one that’s mostly healthy – and that fits the way you like to eat – and keep that weight off permanently. If you like to eat smaller meals more frequently, and that fits your lifestyle, then that’s the right way for you. If you like a sweet treat on occasion, and that helps you to ward off cravings, then make that treat a healthier one, and build it into your own customized diet.”
The popular website dietsinreview.com lists the pros and cons as:
• Addresses the whole person, not just food or exercise
• The program and materials are all free and available online at danielplan.com
• Suitable for men and women
• Crafted by leading, trusted physicians in America today
• Geared towards Warren's church in California
• The curriculum is a Bible study focused on healthier living, which may not appeal to some
• Warren's rule of "No snacks, no sweets, no seconds" is rather strict, and not much is given on the site about slip-ups, although participants can adapt the plan somewhat to fit their needs
• It's up to participants to formulate their own specific plan, the program is more of a guideline with lots of tips
We commend anyone who preaches a healthier lifestyle. And we wish Pastor Warren and his flock good luck in their weight loss efforts.
However, we know that the eDiets weight loss plans have been helping thousands of men and women lose weight via a sound plan of healthier eating and increased activity since 1996.
eDiets Chief Editor John McGran has an extensive background in online dieting and tabloid news. He covers the celebrity beat for eDiets.