People read the Bible for a variety of reasons: from the drama and natural disasters of the Old Testament to the life lessons and terrifying warnings about the end of the world in the New Testament. But for Chris Pratt, it’s more than that — it’s the inspiration for his new diet.
In a now-expired Instagram Story, the actor discusses his new endeavor: “Hi, Chris Pratt here. Day Three of the Daniel Fast, check it out. It’s 21 days of prayer and fasting.”
What is the Daniel fast?
So what does the Daniel fast involve? It sounds like a combination of intermittent fasting and a modified vegan diet. Basically, for 21 consecutive days, you can only eat foods grown from seeds (so fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils) and drink only water. Meat and all dairy products, along with any leavened bread, processed foods, sweeteners (even natural ones), deep-fried foods, solid fats and beverages other than water are strictly prohibited.
The Daniel fast is based on the fasting experiences of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. According to the website, the point of the partial spiritual fast is not to focus on the food (or lack thereof) but rather on bringing the person doing the fasting closer to God. There is no specific amount of food you’re supposed to eat each day, but eating no more than three moderate meals and two small snacks is recommended.
In case you’re wondering, married people are still allowed to have sex while taking part in the Daniel fast. Per the website: “The Bible teaches that spouses are to be available to each other for marital relationships unless both choose to abstain for spiritual purposes (see 1 Corinthians 7). You and your spouse may choose to abstain from sex during your fast and instead use other ways of showing love and commitment to one another. Couples who do this often times experience great growth and value in this way.” Unmarried people, of course, are not permitted to have sex whether or not they’re doing the Daniel fast, given that this is based on biblical rules.
Is the Daniel fast healthy?
So, is taking eating advice from the Bible a good move? Dr. Wayne Jonas, a physician and author of the book How Healing Works, tells SheKnows that when done correctly, intermittent fasting can actually be beneficial to your health.
“Periodic low-calorie intake, whether through eating foods with lower caloric density — vegetables and fruits — periodic short-term fasting or simply removing high-protein foods — meat and milk products — from the diet for short periods of time, rapidly stimulates a number of healing responses,” he explains.
But like any other fast or diet or eating plan, there are a few caveats.
“It’s important that anyone who undertakes a diet based on very strict caloric changes ensure that they are consuming enough calories over the long run to maintain a healthy weight and are not depriving themselves of essential nutrients,” Jonas says. “If you are diabetic or on a special medical diet, you should consult with your doctor who can monitor you or modify the diet to be sure the fast is done safely.”
In addition to talking to your doctor, always be mindful of what and how you’re eating when you start a new eating plan. There can be a fine line between obsessively healthy eating, fad diets and eating disorders, and you want to err on the side of caution and make sure your body is getting everything it needs. We wish Pratt the best of luck with his fast.