Fasting for religion is no new tendency. Don’t be surprised if waistlines around the Bible Belt appear to be shrinking of late. The recent popularity of Bod4God implies the Scripture-hungry are gobbling up the guidance from religion-based weight loss regime programs. Participants take part in a 12-week contest in which they’re delegated to teams and attend meetings once per week.
What are religious weight loss regime programs?
Bod4God turned “DIET” into an acronym to be able to boost its message:
- D = Dedication: Honoring God with your body
- I = Inspiration: Motivating yourself for change
- E = Eat and Exercise: Managing your habits
- T = Team: Building your circle of support
A spiritual weight loss regime, when including a healthful diet, can be successful and valuable. Dieters already have a built in support system and may use their desire to enhance their spirituality as additional motivation to get the outcomes they need. Nevertheless, there’s now no solid research indicating that religiously based weight loss programs are far better than secular ones.
Having said that, Bod4God isn’t the sole deity diet out there. Here are four others that use a higher power to drive lifestyle changes — but not always healthy ones.
The Hallelujah Diet
If you’re one of those people who believes Noah actually did build an ark and Jonah actually did survive for days inside a live whale, there’s a diet for you that takes the Bible just as literally. The Hallelujah Diet weight losing regime is simply a more rigorous variant of veganism, with substantial supplementation, excessive quantities of juicing, and recommended exercise. However, the creator chooses to describe it as “Gods way to optimum health.”
The Hallelujah Diet extracts its guidelines from Genesis 1:29: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat [food].” Therefore, the diet relies on fresh fruit and vegetables and additionally restricts consumption of saturated fat and hydrogenated oils while supporting more exercise and relieving anxiety, plus substantial supplementation. The 12-lesson class “Biblical Nutrition 101” might be downloaded online at no cost, and followers of the dietary plan can get recipes on the website. The nutritional supplements, which are sold on the internet site for significantly more than their price at drug stores, make this a profitable company for the diet’s creators.
Developed by Rev. George Malkmus and his wife, Rhonda, the Hallelujah Diet is marketed by Malkmus business, Hallelujah Acres. Thirty-two members of a church apparently finished the class and followed the diet, which resulted in a complete weight loss of more than 700 pounds.
Raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based food consists of 85 percent of the dietary plan, and cooked, plant-based food is allowed for dinner to compose the last 15 percent. Significant supplementation is also an element of the deal; though we were sadly unable to locate the Genesis reference supporting Gods acceptance of nutritional supplements.
Dairy Farm, booze, caffeine, carbonated beverages or soft drinks, drinks with human-made or natural sugar, sports drinks, juices containing preservatives, processed salt, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed grains, meat, eggs, chocolate, drugs (including over the counter and prescribed drugs).
Other facets of the diet
Exercise, strength training, and stretches 30 minutes a day; appropriate cleanse; adequate rest; and sun exposure.
Where could we begin? The website is packaged with unsubstantiated claims. Exhibit A: “What most folks don’t understand is that virtually every physical difficulty they experience, other than injuries, has a diet-associated cause.” This, along with the limitation on prescription drugs (albeit with a note to go over with your health care provider), is a recipe for catastrophe. Picture if individuals with genetic disorders and ailments considered everything could be prevented or treated with a diet shift.
Second, the Hallelujah Diet is so strict that it may cause deficiencies. Stephen Barrett, M.D., creator of Quackwatch, said: “Although low-fat, high-fiber diets can be healthy, the Hallelujah Diet is unbalanced and can lead to serious lacks [e.g., protein]. The entire plan is high-priced since the recommended nutritional supplements price over $2,000 a year. Rev. Malkmus’ sales pitch includes beliefs that are historically and nutritionally senseless, as well as health claims for which he lacks appropriate substantiation. Using his diet rather than proper medical care is incredibly silly.”
In case you’re wondering what Barrett meant by “historically and nutritionally senseless” beliefs, please note that the main reason Malkmus excluded meat and cooked food from the diet is because he believed Genesis indicates that when these foods were added to humankind’s diet, “the lifespan of man dropped from an average of 912 years on God’s original diet for 100 years.” He’s currently 79 years old, so if anyone from the year 2923 is reading this, he better still be alive.
Specialists maintain this diet could bring about deficiencies of vital minerals and vitamins. In the event you truly need to “treat your body like a temple,” insufficiencies aren’t the solution to go. Plus, the Jesus who highlighted a minimalist lifestyle likely wouldn’t have spent $2,000-plus a year on nutritional supplements.
The Bible Diet (aka the Maker’s Diet)
The Bible Diet is what you would like in the event you interpreted the Bible literally but believed the Hallelujah Diet seems like it should have been named the Hell Diet.
This weight loss diet regime is founded on some biblical references, especially the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which say that God considers specific foods “unclean.”
Created by motivational speaker Jordan Rubin, the Bible Diet publication touts the plan is a “40-day health experience that may alter your life forever.” (You’ve got to give him credit for detail, he even used the Bible’s “40-day” theme.) Rubin maintains the diet was responsible for his healing from Crohn’s disease as a teen; although there’s no scientific evidence to back this up.
Organic veggies, fruits, and legumes, fish with scales (e.g., salmon and trout), cows, goat, lamb, plus an ungodly amount of supplements that Rubin sells through his website. Also, Rubin believes in eating many different unprocessed, whole foods, or at the minimum, foods which have been less processed than others (e.g., brown rice instead of white).
Processed foods, or those produced with hormones, pesticides, or fertilizers; smooth fish (e.g., catfish and eels); crustaceans with hard shells (e.g., lobsters, crabs); pork; bacon; ham; sausage.
Other facets of diet
Prayers of thanksgiving, healing, and prayer are said in the start and ending of every day.
Rubin has a degree in naturopathic medicine from the Peoples University of the Americas and a Ph.D. in nutrition from the Academy of Natural Therapies. Since the former is not accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education or licensed by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners and the latter is not accredited by the American Dietetic Association or other mainstream nutrition organizations, Rubin’s credentials are often criticized.
There presently is no scientific research to back up the diet’s claims, as well as the emphasis on all-natural food isn’t directly supported by scientific evidence, as stated by the Gale Encyclopedia of Diets. And while Rubin is certainly making an attempt to follow Gods law, he’s perpetrated several sins in the eyes of the Food and Drug Administration, which ordered his firm, Garden of Life, to cease making unsubstantiated claims about eight of its goods and nutritional supplements in 2004.
With the exclusion of the excessive supplementation, which appears to have been contained in the diet only as ways to gain from it, this diet may be worse. It at least contains protein along with a number of foods from every important food group, but the strict emphasis on natural foods, in addition to the reliance on nutritional supplements, will necessarily bring about the thinning of your wallet along with your waistline. On the bright side, the religious facet could supply a little extra motivation for religious individuals.
The Daniel Fast
The Daniel fast is what it seems like a rapid based on the book of Daniel. While a fast isn’t exactly a diet, we’ve added it to the list because the Daniel Fast Research website suggested it could be an “ideal diet for many individuals seeking enhanced health and function via food intake” if followed on a regular basis (“possibly with a few modifications to allow for additional food choices, such as lean meat and dairy products”).
The Daniel Fast continues 21 days and relies on Daniel 10:2-3: “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Seems interesting, right? Clearly, the reality that it’s a tremendous challenge is the thing that makes it a religious sacrifice, though keeping such a strict diet long term would only make all of us chocolate- and wine-loving people look bad and likely impair your health (not to mention your sanity). The aim of the fast, as stated by the website: “To consecrate (set aside) a specified period to draw closer to God to hear from Him. A robust side advantage of the Daniel Fast is the development in health that a lot of folks experience.”
It’s a short list: vegetables, fruits, and water.
Anything that tastes even moderately delicious: All meat and animal products, all dairy, all sweeteners, all leavened bread, all refined and processed food products, all deep-fried foods, all solid fats (e.g., shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat), alcohol, and any beverages other than water.
We couldn’t find any reviews of the diet plan online, but nonetheless, it undoubtedly lacks adequate nutritional necessities for a long term diet.
We urge that if you follow the fast, you only follow it for three weeks. Depending on your spiritual inclinations, it might help your relationship with God, but we wouldn’t look to it as a weight reduction plan (though with the severe limit on calories, you are going to necessarily slim down, only not the wholesome manner).
Weigh Down Workshop
As long as you pray and are skilled in noticing when you’re hungry, there’s no need to count calories or look at nutrition facts labels anymore — at least according to the Weigh Down Workshop. The program offers a 12-week Bible study in 35,000 churches around the world and sells online video classes on its website.
Weigh Down believes that lots of people erroneously make an effort to fill a spiritual void with food when the problem lies in their own beliefs. The dietary plan targets preventing the second deadly sin, gluttony; and supports its diet strategy with parts of Proverbs, Ezekiel, and Ruth. The website describes that “God gave us natural body signs,” and all we need to do is pay attention to them to understand when to quit eating.
The solution, according to Weigh Down, is only to eat when you hear your stomach growl; and then to step away from the food and replace your love of food with your love of God. You can eat whatever you want. Really, the strategy encourages you to eat your favorite foods first and leave the least favorite foods on your plate.
Tennessee-based Weigh Down was founded by Gwen Shamblin, a dietitian and Christian fundamentalist, in the 1980s. In line with the website, more than a million individuals in 70 nations have signed up for the workshop.
Daniel would be appalled: You can eat whatever you want. The web site encourages dieters to “trust instincts and make great choices,” also as “seek divine intervention”. Talk about a simple diet to follow religiously!
Other facets of the diet
Well, what’s an eat-anything diet with no no-exercising-needed policy? Courtesy of the website: “In Weigh Down, the only exercise God requires is surrendering your will to His perfect system of hunger and fullness.”
There are no research studies indicating that this is a powerful weight reduction strategy. And looking forward to your stomach to growl isn’t always the most reliable means of knowing when you need to eat. WebMD quoted Toby Smithson, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, pointing this out:
“Growling in your belly is a standard section of digestion and might not consistently indicate an empty stomach. It might be an outcome of consuming atmosphere,” Smithson says. It could be a result of swallowing air,” Smithson says. “Furthermore, when you let yourself get so hungry, your blood sugar can get too low, and starvation is likely to trigger a binge or overeating.”
If it sounds too good to by true, it is. In addition to the potential adverse consequences of waiting too long to eat, a diet that puts more emphasis on your “favorite foods” than your “least favorite” can’t be a healthy way to lose weight, unless you have the luckiest taste buds in the world and Brussels sprouts and carrots taste like chocolate and french fries to you.