The Daniel Plan
I don’t like the idea of diets. The deprivation of food, the guilt you feel if you have something outside of the approved diet list, the feeling of starvation – it just doesn’t appeal to me. That is why I loved this Daniel Plan, it is all about abundance and nourishment. Most diets tell you that you need to restrict yourself for a set amount of time (and maybe have some cheat days) and once it’s over then you can return to your normal eating habits. This is not sustainable. This is teaching people to starve themselves then binge on the days when they aren’t dieting. The Daniel Plan is teaching people how to make sustainable eating habits and once the 40 days are over, you enjoy it so much that you want to keep up the lifestyle.
What is the Daniel Plan
This is a plan which Pastor Rick Warren created with the help of Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Mehmet Oz to get himself and his congregation back on track with their health. He noticed that everyone, including himself, was overweight and he decided to do something about it. The Daniel Plan is an eating plan based on 5 focus areas which are explained further below: Friends, Focus, Food, Faith and Fitness. You can go onto their official website where everything is explained in detail. It is suggested to do The Daniel Plan for 40 days to get the full results and create the correct habits.
The Daniel Plan should not be confused with The Daniel Fast which is similar to a vegan diet but also excluding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, refined carbs, fried foods, any pastries or raised bread. The Daniel Fast is a diet that is based on the book of Daniel from the Bible which is more focused on strengthening your relationship with God by restricting the foods that you eat. Losing weight is not the main goal of The Daniel Fast while The Daniel Plan focuses on changing your eating habits and losing weight as a result.
What can you eat?
Food has been given to us because God knows what nutrients we need to function optimally. We can’t survive on just lettuce. Each vegetable has its own properties and we need to ensure to eat each one in moderation. Too much of something good is bad. That is why we need to have a rainbow on our plates. It also makes the food visually appealing and you won’t get sick of eating the same boring veg every night. This is a list of the foods to focus on eating in your Daniel Plan.
There is the ‘Daniel Plan Plate’ which is a guide to what foods you should have on your plate. Ensure to have 50% of your plate filled with non-starchy vegetables, 25% lean proteins and 25% whole grains.
Why Should I Try The Daniel Plan?
Most people do not link the way that they’re feeling to what they are eating. Food is fuel for our bodies. So the quality of food that you are giving your body will be the quality of energy and health conditions that your body will produce. You can’t give your body processed foods that are high in fats and sodium and expect it to give you clear skin, good energy, no health issues, and happy emotions. Food is our medicine and we need to realize that so that we can feed our bodies what it needs.
The Daniel Plan helps you to feed your body with unprocessed, good foods. The focus of this plan is to nourish your body and create a lifestyle where eating whole, sustainable food is the norm.
When someone asks you what your favorite food is, do you answer with a junk-food? The most common response I get when I ask people this is hamburgers or pizza. Now if this is your response, don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing to be eating these things once in a while. But it is good to be aware of why you find that to be your favorite food.
It’s almost strange these days to hear someone say their favorite food is a fruit or healthy food. But we can change that! Why shouldn’t a banana or a smoothie be our favorite food?
The 5 Focuses
These 5 focuses will help you stick to the plan and keep you on track.
This is your first and main focus. God has the power and strength needed to transform your habits and lifestyle. Keep Phillipians 4:13 in mind during this time, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
This diet was designed to be done in community. Gathering a group of people together to join with you in doing the Daniel Plan will keep you motivated and will help you keep on track. If you can’t find someone to do it with, you could also ask someone to just be your accountability partner. They will be there if you are feeling unmotivated or need support.
Exercise benefits you both physically and mentally. Moving your body releases endorphins and helps reduce stress. It also goes hand-in-hand with eating healthily while trying to lose weight.
Eating whole foods and not processed foods will heal your body and help you function optimally. Do not deprive yourself of delicious and wholesome foods but rather nourish your body with the essential nutrients you need.
Learning the way that your body functions will help you so much to know why it reacts the way it does and how to heal and fix it. Keep focused on how your body reacts to the new lifestyle and transform your mind to think differently about healthy eating.
If you’re looking to change your lifestyle and you want to lose weight then this is the perfect place to start! By eating these wholesome foods, you will not feel deprived and you will be practicing habits that will benefit you in the long run.
Looking for some inspiration?
Here are some yummy recipes on my blog to get you started with The Daniel Plan.
For some more information and to hear my journey on The Daniel Plan, look on my Instagram (@theedengirlza) under my saved story called The Daniel Plan.