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The Daniel Plan

Lose weight through biblical principles

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  • Started by Pastor Rick Warren in 2011

  • Incorporates medical expertise from Doctors Mehmet Oz, Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman

  • Participants in Warren's megachurch, Saddleback, began the program, and thousands of members found success with it

  • Based on the biblical story of Daniel

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Pastor Rick Warren, head of the California megachurch Saddleback, resolved in 2011 to lose 90 pounds. Using simple principles and incorporating biblical truths, Warren lost 60 pounds in one year, and encouraged his flock to follow his lead. The lifestyle plan is based on the Old Testament account of Daniel. He and his three friends were conscripted into a pagan king's service. It is based off of this passage in the Bible: "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way... "Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food" (Daniel 1: 8,11-15). The Daniel Plan has six components: 1. Connect for Success - join a small group or do the plan with a buddy, or join an online group 2. Rely on God's power - pray and journal 3. Eat delicious whole foods - cut out highly processed foods, white flour, sugary drinks, caffeine, and instead opt for vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds 4. Move your way to health - incorporate daily exercise 5. Think sharper and smarter - get plenty of sleep, engage in brain-building exercises 6. Heal for life - consider a detox plan, identify food and sugar addictions, allergies, and plan for health long term

  • Addresses the whole person, not just food or exercise

  • The program and materials are all free and available online at danielplan.com

  • Suitable for men and women

  • Crafted by leading, trusted physicians in America today

  • Geared towards Warren's church in California

  • The curriculum is a Bible study focused on healthier living, which may not appeal to some

  • Warren's rule of "No snacks, no sweets, no seconds" (Interview with USA Today, 2/5/12) is rather strict, and not much is given on the site about slip-ups, although participants can adapt the plan somewhat to fit their needs

  • It's up to participants to formulate their own specific plan, the program is more of a guideline with lots of tips


The Daniel Plan focuses on eating mainly a plant-based diet. It encourages a 70/30 plan, or 70 percent of foods should be live and whole, while the other 30 percent can be lean protein, whole grains, and starchy vegetables. The doctors guiding the plan show participants how to clean out their pantries, understand food labels, and eat out less while cooking healthful foods at home more. A popular line with Daniel plan members is "If it grows on a plant, it's healthy. If it's made in a plant, it's not." A typical day could include a homemade breakfast burrito, mahi mahi burger with pineapple salsa for lunch, and for dinner, chile lime chicken with veggie kabobs.


Exercise with The Daniel Plan is not specific; a variety of sports and workouts may be used. The goal is for participants to get moving in whatever way possible. Burst or interval training is highlighted as an effective way to quickly burn calories, but the website also has positive articles on weight training, aerobic conditioning, and how to "play" while really exercising.


The Daniel Plan uses simple, tried-and-true methods for losing weight, eating better, and making a commitment to exercise. It may not appeal to non-Christians with its emphasis on Biblical guidance and prayer, but its methods are sound. Its reliance on a team of medical professionals, acknowledgement that mental and spiritual aspects are a big factor in dieting, and support groups increases its effectiveness.

Common Misspellings

daneil plan, the daneil plan, rik warren diet, teh daniel plan, daniel plna

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(Page 1 of 1, 4 total comments)

Jacqueline Phillips


My husband lost 30 pounds in 3 months (240 down to 210). i lost a little, but the best was the lack of cravings. When we really cut out the white stuff and lowered our sugar, we didn't crave it. We even went to parties and didn't want chips or cake.

posted Jul 13th, 2015 5:05 pm

Roxanne Hallman


why a single person cannot get points for cooking a healthy meal at home In the FOOD point legend. 1point for cooking at home with family and or friends QUESTION: I live alone since my husband died. My family lives an hour away. I do not have any c lose neighbors and so I'm told that because I'm alone I can't get any points for eating at home. I realize the purpose is for families to eat together, but I think persons who live alone should get a point for cooking a healthy meal to eat at home rather than g I out to eat.

posted Apr 20th, 2015 12:03 am



I thought it was great. I think including the spiritual aspect is why it worked for me. Since we are more than just a body, we need to give proper nutrition to our spirits as well!

posted Jan 24th, 2015 5:18 pm



This diet helps me stay focused, lose weight and enjoy better overall health and confidence in myself.

posted May 14th, 2014 5:44 pm


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