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Chelsea Clinton and Rick Warren Discuss The Daniel Plan on Rock Center

Tonight on Rock Center with Brian Williams, Chelsea Clinton interviews Pastor Rick Warren on a matter quite different than his usual subject. No, he’s not talking about his bestselling devotional The Purpose Driven Life or how he leads a congregation of more than 20,000, instead he describes his newest project. It’s a diet called The Daniel Plan.

Warren has led Saddleback Church, a megachurch in California, for more than 30 years, and as his congregation has flourished so did his weight.

“I was blessed with an abundance of energy, and since I didn’t care about how I looked and I really had relatively few health problems, I paid no attention to my health,” Warren explains to Clinton.

He describes a moment two years ago when he realized things needed to change. The pastor was baptizing hundreds of converts, and began to see a trend: most of them were overweight.

“As I’m putting people under the water, I’m lifting 867 people, along about number 500, I had a thought. It wasn’t a very spiritual thought. It was, ‘Good night, we’re all overweight.’ And I thought, but I’m overweight. And I can’t expect people to get in shape unless I’m in shape,” Warren relates.
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Rick Warren Creates the Daniel Plan to Inspire Weight Loss in his Congregation

Replacing the gym for church might be the key to health and weight loss success. In the last year, a movement started by famed pastor Rick Warren has lead to the loss of 250,000 pounds.

Warren, considered one of the most influential pastors in the U.S., is best known for his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life. Recently Warren was struck by how overweight his congregation was, including himself. Warren admitted to gaining 90 pounds over the last 30 years and failing at various diets along the way.

This realization lead to the creation of the Daniel Plan. The Daniel Plan is a diet and lifestyle program that was devised at Warren’s church, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and gets its vision and name from the story found in the book of Daniel in the Bible. In the story, Daniel and his friends refuse to eat royal food and wine. They only eat vegetables and water. In Daniel 1:15 it says, “they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”

The plan was also devised with the aid of three medical professionals: Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist; Mark Hyman, a family doctor; and Mehmet Oz, a TV host and cardiac surgeon. Essentially, the plan advises healthy food choices, promotes workout routines, and urges participants to join a small group for support.

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