Lose weight now, ask the Bible how
January 10th, 2014
01:45 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Happy This Year! If, like me, you’ve already broken a few of your resolutions, you might be done with new diets in 2014.
 
If, however, your will to lose weight is stronger than ever, US News & World Report has some helpful intel. It ranked 32 current diets for effectiveness and simplicity, naming the DASH Diet (developed to fight high blood pressure; the focus is on fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy) and the TLC Diet (focusing on increasing fiber intake and cutting back on saturated fat) as the winners.

Tied at the bottom of the list are the Dukan Diet (the super-strict high-protein diet that claims you’ll lose 10 pounds in the first week) and the Paleo Diet (followers eat like cavemen: lots of meat, fish and vegetables; not a lot of refined sugar, beans, grains).
 
And then there are a few new weight loss plans that somehow missed the rankings, like the Mushroom Diet and the God Diet. Read on to learn how to lose weight according to the Old Testament.
 
The M-Plan (a.k.a. the Mushroom Diet)
Kelly Osbourne and Katy Perry are both fans of this new British diet, which claims to help dieters lose weight in target areas - butt, thighs, belly - without losing it from another key place, your breasts. The secret, they say, is to replace one meal a day with a mushroom dish over a two-week period.

Nutritionist Jeannette Jackson, author of The Drop Zone Diet, argues for the Mushroom Diet: “The dietary fiber in mushrooms helps ... you feel more satisfied, so you won’t be hungry again as quickly, preventing you from snacking.”

Nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot has bad news about the diet’s ability to target problem areas, though: “I’m sure you will lose weight, but the fact remains that no food in particular can create targeted weight loss. Whether it’s mushroom or steak, the laws of thermodynamics dictate, if you consume less calories, you will lose weight, just not everywhere but your breasts.”
 
The Daniel Plan (a.k.a. the God Diet)
People look to the Bible for a lot of things. And now, finally, for specific weight loss guidance. This diet is based on the eating habits of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, who refused rich foods and ate only vegetables for 10 days to demonstrate his resistance to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 1:8 says, "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank..."). 

The modern-day version of Daniel’s diet, as promoted by the Daniel Plan, is less ascetic: It focuses on vegetable-heavy meals and some lean protein (either meat or vegetable), with at least 50 percent of one’s plate consisting of nonstarchy vegetables. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in So Cal is among the diet’s founders, who also include Dr. Mehmet Oz and the appropriately named Dr. Daniel Amen.
 
The Miracle Berry Diet
In January 2013, Homaro Cantu (chef of the Chicago restaurants Moto and iNG) published "The Miracle Berry Diet Cookbook". It’s based on the properties of this Miracle Berry to alter flavor perceptions. The berry, grown in West Africa, makes sour flavors taste sweet for 30 to 40 minutes, so dieters can eat the berry (which also comes in powder or pill form, available at mberry.us) and then replace traditional high-calorie sweeteners like sugar with lemon juice, which will taste sweet. So have a berry with your glass of lemon water; you’ve got lemonade.

Cantu also suggests that having a berry with your yogurt can make you think you’re eating cheesecake. “Everyone talks about taxing sugar,” says the chef, “but at end of the day, we’re addicted to sweetness. We’re never going to give up, so let’s give them sweetness without calories and chemicals.”

More from Food & Wine:
Best Hotel Bars
Greatest Restaurant Dishes of 2013
Amazing Cooking Classes
Best Napa Wineries to Visit
Sonoma County Wineries to Visit

Previously:
'Miracle' pill takes the bitter with the sweet
Paleo diet ranks last on 'best diets' list
Poll: Never say 'diet' – even after holiday indulgence

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Diet Tools • Diets • Food and Wine • Religion • Trends


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soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Preen Maddox

    In very basic terms it is imperative that you consume less calories than you expend in order to lose weight. holisticdietlab dot com

    February 3, 2014 at 10:03 am | Reply
  2. Off the subject

    I know I'm going to get majorly razzed for this, but may I point out that Daniel did not eat his vegetable diet "to demonstrate his resistance to King Nebuchadnezzar," but to stay compliant with the laws of his god? There's kind of a big difference in the interpretation.

    On topic:
    I've heard of this miracle berry being used for cancer patience, but I hadn't heard of the diet. I thought it was used to to encourage you TO eat, not to curb appet ite. I'd be interesting in seeing how it works both ways.

    January 13, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  3. Yul Brynner

    I saw the movie–I missed the book.

    January 12, 2014 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      It's in the nightstand. Take a look.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply
  4. eyb

    I just want to point out that the "Daniel plan" is not a diet. It's a spiritual fasting. Has nothing to do with losing weight. It's known in the Christian community as the Daniel fast. There are different ones

    January 12, 2014 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Thinking things through

      Thanks for the clarification. Today, however, everybody (and all the headlines) are about losing weight.

      January 12, 2014 at 7:25 am | Reply
  5. Thinking things through

    I like the mushroom diet. No, this is the first I've heard about it, and no, I doubt it could remove weight just in the areas of the body one would like to target, but... I just simply could get behind that plan with no effort whatsoever...

    January 11, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  6. Steven Gold

    People need to stop trying to 'diet' and change their eating and lifestyle habits, for life.

    January 11, 2014 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • iRex

      Yeah, pretty much this. Unless one of these fad diets actually clicks with someone and they love it so much they can do it the rest of their lives, its not going to work in the long term. Pay attention to what you eat and how many calories you consume and make the right choices to feel full while being at the right calorie count to lose or maintain your weight, and have a bit of patience and it will work itself out. Trying to totally deny yourself foods you like just won't ever work long term.

      January 11, 2014 at 1:56 am | Reply
  7. wadej420

    christafobe- the fear of christ. how about naiveafobe or just belief in god is my back up plan so i can do whatever i want and hate everyone not like me and still feel good cause i go to church and preach pointless judgments to people- a-phobe

    January 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Rosetta

      You are an idiot. Lets see the atheists or LGBT community step up and run the homeless shelters, food banks or battered women shelters.

      January 11, 2014 at 2:23 am | Reply
      • RC

        Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. Compensating for something? Afraid you might get g@y cooties?

        January 11, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
      • GOD of all GODS - yes even that one

        so if a non-religious person(s) set up a homeless shelter and ran it, then you would no longer believe in your god?

        January 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  8. Mrs.H

    I'm curious when the Daniel Plan was founded because I remember "Losing It With Jesus" as a weight loss product integral to a storyline on the television show GCB (Good Christian B*itches or Belles) that was on ABC a year or two ago.

    January 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  9. Kramer

    I thought praying to God each day was enough to lose weight

    January 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • James Barkeep

      I figured the answer was to rape young girls, commit Incest and genocide. And never ever spill your seed or see your drunk dad naked.

      January 11, 2014 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • Rosetta

        Those are traits that muslims have.

        January 11, 2014 at 2:24 am | Reply
        • sam stone

          and christans too, rosetta

          January 12, 2014 at 8:12 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Interesting. Either James has read about (and missed the entire point) how Noah was a drunk at one point in his life, or is repeating something he heard in a bar. He is correct either way, though.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:30 am | Reply
    • GOD of all GODS - yes even that one

      ever been to a catholic wedding...up down up down up down, now kneel, now up, now down
      those people get enough exercise to lose weight just by going to church, who need the gym become a catholic

      January 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  10. Hadenuffyet

    Jeez....you want to lose weight....don't eat. Pretty simple.

    January 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  11. snowboarder

    that is just plain nuts.

    January 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  12. fsmgroupie

    And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man. Ezekiel 4:12, 15

    January 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • mike

      I'll pass.

      January 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Reply
      • Hadenuffyet

        and you'll most certainly lose weight.....lol

        January 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • Mama

      It should be clarified that the scripture says to use human excrement as fuel not as something to be baked into and consumed as food for human consumption.

      January 11, 2014 at 12:07 am | Reply
  13. I hear eating shrimp and pork and lobster is A-OK now

    As long as you pick and choose what to adhere to and what's safe to IGNORE.

    It's up to you – ENTIRELY TO YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION.

    Just don't get married to someone of the same gender.

    January 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • bilbilbit

      I think it's funny that your interpretation of the bible is limited to what you have read on the internet. If you read the actual bible you'd understand that passage. :)

      January 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • James Barkeep

      The entire thing is garbage. Rape young girls, commit incest and genocide, kill babies, but eat pork or marry someone of the same gender and it's all over. The bible is pure drivel and the god of the bible deserves to be spit on and killed, not worshipped. No god would ever be so inept, morally relative, murderous, and childish as the pathetic invisible lunatic one of the bible.

      January 11, 2014 at 1:23 am | Reply
      • Rosetta

        Ok penis puffer, are you a child molester also. You sound like someone who would hurt children.

        January 11, 2014 at 2:26 am | Reply
      • VladT

        I am curious as to what version of the bible's ten commandments you are referring too.

        Tell me, was Alfred E Neuman on the cover, or do you just make this up as you go along?

        January 11, 2014 at 3:55 am | Reply
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        James is describing humanity with free will, not God. Pay him no mind, Vladt

        January 13, 2014 at 1:25 am | Reply
  14. sampleanswers

    Human 'shrooms?

    January 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  15. GEORGE

    How about the decreased portions, eat more frequently, avoid processed foods, limit recreational screen time to 1/2 hour per day and exercise diet. Lose 1-2 lbs per week. Only catch: you have to work at it consistently. The only thing Biblical about this diet is......nothing

    January 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  16. s.a.bleyle

    Early Man ate what they could find,roots,berry's,tuber's and an occasional dead animal.I prefer the "See Food Diet"/

    January 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  17. Dean

    Old Testament prophet Daniel, who refused rich foods and ate only vegetables for 10 days to demonstrate his resistance to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 1:8 says, "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank..."). ---------and Daniel did not do the diet for 10 days, he did it for ever. The 10 days was a time period for the king to use to compare his soldiers to Daniel and see the results after the 10 days.

    January 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  18. Dean

    Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in So Cal is among the diet’s founders, who also include Dr. Mehmet Oz and the appropriately named Dr. Daniel Amen.--------Sorry, the founder of the diet was Daniel. And it does not include any meat of any type. It is totally fruit, vegetables, water , juices and some breads made of complete whole grain breads, like unrefined oats. And the diet is not for losing weight, it is for a life of healthy eating.

    January 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  19. scottca

    The old testament way of losing weight would be by committing genocide upon a neighboring city, killing all the kids, except for the girls too young to have had sex, and keeping them as your new slave brides.

    January 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  20. SixDegrees

    " the Paleo Diet – followers eat like cavemen: lots of meat, fish and vegetables; not a lot of refined sugar, beans, grains."

    Which is nothing like how cavemen at, even a little bit. It's how Fred Flintstone ate in the cartoons.

    January 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • Keith

      What do you suppose a paleo diet would consist of?

      January 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • RC@Keith

        Paleontologists?

        January 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  21. Jdizzle McHammerpants from a different browser

    God says "Eat more Shrooms."

    Let it be done.

    January 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • steve

      if gods telling you to eat shrooms you my have ate to many already

      January 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • sampleanswers

      Human 'shrooms? :)

      January 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  22. Ally

    Kat mentions that the Paleo Diet ranked quite low. I actually just read an article that said a study found the "cavemen" didn't eat that much meat and likely subsisted on tiger nuts (a starchy nut/legume) and likely slugs and grasshoppers..

    I'm interested in hearing from the paleo diet people for what they think.

    January 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants from a different browser

      So that's what happened to the Sabre Tooth...

      January 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      "Kat mentions that the Paleo Diet ranked quite low."

      Actually, it ranked dead last.

      January 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Thinking things through

      No, the cavemen didn't eat *that* much meat, and nor do most of the paleo/primal folk. Vegetables, tubers, berries, meat when available. And yes, some paleo people go overboard. The point is that grains came into dietary play much much later, and so by that thought, we should avoid those. Legumes apparently have nutritionally bad phytoproteins, but letting them either ferment briefly / letting them soak overnight takes care of most of that problem.

      January 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  23. Truth™

    Ok, now you've done it Kat...We can now expect an invasion of the Christophobes who hang out on the belief blog all day...

    January 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • RC@Truth™

      I was thinking the same thing. Boy they can get riled up over there....

      January 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
      • Truth™

        But it is fun to yank chains once in a while...

        January 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
        • RC@Truth™

          Oh man is it ever!

          January 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • AleeD® @ Turth™ & RC

      "Christophobes"?!?! Really? Cain't wh0rdly wait.

      January 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply

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