by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
For many people, the foods they consume are primarily rooted deep in their cultural and religious beliefs. There are many diets and rules that people follow based on their religious beliefs, and Daniel Fast diet is one of them.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck is a Daniel Fast?” And you’re not alone. The Daniel Fast diet is a 21-day partial fast based on a story in the Book of Daniel. The Daniel Fast has gained a lot of popularity after an endorsement from none other than Chris Pratt.
Unlike other fasting diets, the Daniel Fast restricts what you can consume rather than when you can consume. Essentially, the Daniel Fast t is a vegan diet without any sugars, caffeine, refined carbs, or alcohol. If you are telling yourself that sounds like an impossible diet, many people would tend to agree.
In this article, we are going to discuss everything you should know about the Daniel Fast diet so that you can decide if it’s something you’ll want to try or not.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before trying the Daniel Fast to ensure you are healthy enough to do so and that it won’t interact with any drugs or medications you may be taking.
What is the Daniel Fast Diet?
The Daniel Fast is a 21-day fast that was started by the prophet Daniel, who fasted for 21 days to receive an answer from God. To this day, Christians observe the Daniel Fast as a way to draw closer to God and focus on Him during a period of fasting.
But whether you are religious or not, the Daniel Fast diet seems to be an effective diet for better overall well-being. The Daniel Fast is a modified vegan diet that excludes meat, dairy products, fish, and eggs but allows plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Foods To Eat and Avoid
There are many variations of the Daniel Fast diet, but most people follow the diet for 10-21 days and then return to their everyday diet.
Here are the foods that are approved while on the Daniel Fast diet:
- Nuts and seeds. Do not consume those with added salts.
- Beans and lentils.
- Oils and fats. Only vegetable oils are allowed in small amounts.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Unleavened bread. Flatbreads and whole grain bread made without sugars, yeast, or preservatives are allowed.
- Whole grains.
- Herbs and spices.
- Beverages. Water should be your primary beverage. You can consume 100% natural fruit juice in small amounts as well.
- Vitamins and supplements. All are approved as required. If you take whey protein, it should be processed minimally and must meet the diet’s guidelines.
Here are some foods that you should avoid:
- Dairy products.
- Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
- Added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Refined grains.
- Processed foods.
- Certain beverages like alcohol, coffee, kombucha, tea, soda, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Solid fats.
Additionally, you should also avoid fermented foods, tofu, and processed veggie burgers.
Benefits of the Daniel Fast Diet
There are many benefits to the Daniel Fast diet, and the reason why many people are finding success with this diet program.
Some of the benefits include:
1. Can improve mental and emotional health
The Daniel Fast has been shown to help improve mental clarity, concentration, and focus. This can be especially helpful if you are struggling with depression or anxiety. Many people find that they experience an increased sense of peace during their fasts, along with an increased ability to cope with stress and difficult situations in their lives. This can also translate into better emotional health overall — which is excellent news when you’re feeling down or stressed out.
2. Makes you feel full and promotes weight loss
Most foods on the Daniel Fast diet are high in fiber, which takes longer to digest and can help promote fullness. Hence, you may feel fuller on less food and consume lesser calories.
Hence, this may not be a weight loss diet, but you may lose some weight while on the Daniel Fast. It is also important to note that the diet is only followed for 10-21 days, which is not enough time for long-term and significant weight loss. So, this diet may help you lose some weight, but it is not ideal for long-term weight loss results.
If you want to lose weight, consider incorporating some principles of the diet into your regular diet, such as increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods and limiting sugar.
In a study, 135 churchgoers who attended weekly nutrition education on the Daniel Fast were observed to have this pattern.
People who followed the diet’s principles and incorporated home-cooked, plant-based meals lost an average of 3.9 pounds after 40 days.
3. Good for physical health
The Daniel Fast diet can help detoxify our body by encouraging us to eat more nutrient-rich foods. Since it’s a plant-based diet, it may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
The vegetables and fruits included in the Daniel Fast provide various nutrients, including flavonoids and phytochemicals. Other essential nutrients include potassium, fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and folate.
4. It’s an inexpensive diet
The Daniel Fast is one of the most inexpensive diet plans because it doesn’t require special foods or supplements. The diet consists of whole foods that you can find at any grocery store or farmer’s market.