Day-to-day struggles with weight loss can be consuming. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults, and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19, are obese. Faith-based diets are becoming scripture for those who have tried relentlessly to shed weight only to succumb to frustration and failure. Some people are now looking to a higher power for strength since spirituality is considered an aspect of wellness.But do spiritually-oriented, biblically-based weight-loss programs offer something that other programs do not?
According to Irene Lubker, R.D. with Virginia Commonwealth University, most of the faith-based diets follow sound healthy eating tips while working on the motivation and strength piece. “For example, the Daniel Diet encourages eating natural foods and abstaining from meat, alcohol, fried and processed foods for a period of time,” says Lubker. The plan is geared toward omnivores who include a variety of healthy animal and plant based options in their diet. The Daniel Diet is a holistic program that teaches biblical principles of natural health and healing that is aimed at a three-week regiment. It essentially takes away a lot of the unhealthy foods and relies on fish and beans for protein.
“We all know that the more natural our food is, the better it is going to be for us—you are what you eat,” says Lubker. She further contends that any diet rich in fruit and vegetables is to be valued. She cites Daniel 1:12 showing the value of a natural diet and verse 15, the success of the diet. “If your faith is what motivates you, I would say yes, please follow faith-based diets,” notes Lubker. The beauty of the Daniel Diet is that you can decide what you want for your three squares and can add various side dishes to accompany the dinner plate.