Yes that is thin, not think.
I was asked on twitter the other day about religious diets, the person (www.twitter.com/blazslav) was actually talking about “stuffing their minds” (with bad thoughts), but I interpreted their initial tweet to be about “stuffing their bodies” (with bad food).
It piqued my interest to see if there were any “religious specific diets” lo-and-behold there are. Quite a few in fact, and AOL Health has even done a review of some of the more well known ones. The AOL Religious Diets review can be read in full on their site, but here are a few excerpts, including the opening paragraphs:
“God, help me, I’m fat.”
Does prayer really help you lose weight?
I’d have to say no, unless you prayed so much you didn’t get time to eat?
Faith-based diets are increasingly popular with Christians making up the largest base for the new trend. Many pastors and church leaders are recognizing obesity in their congregation and preaching about weight loss as it relates to the Bible.
I admit I haven’t read every word in the Bible, but I don’t recall ever reading, or hearing of, any weight loss programs in it?
All these different diet methods share the common message, “Don’t run to the fridge, run to God.”
Well I can see some benefit in that diet tip, running away from the fridge means running away from food, and if you “run to God” you are going to be running for along time. Seeing as, if God exists no one actually knows where “he” resides (so you’ll be running in circles all over the place). 😉
Here is the list of the diets reviewed by AOL Health:
Divine Health is based on a Mediterranean cuisine and encourages eating fish, salads and lightly cooked vegetables. The diet also encourages daily walking.
Maker’s Diet is “drawn from the book of Leviticus, the food plan is based on Old Testament dietary laws.” Like the previous diet, this diet also encourages people to eat less processed foods, sugars and pork.
Hallelujah Diet is “based on Genesis 1:29, the vegetarian diet primarily consists of eating 85 percent raw to 15 percent cooked fruit and vegetables.” In fact this diet is very nearly a vegan diet as it “restricts eating all meats, dairy or refined flour products, white rice or eggs.”
Body By God is a diet based on “foods given by God” namely natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, organic beef and poultry, fish and herbs. This diet also encourage exercise and encourages people to eat less processed foods, fried foods, sugars and pork.
First Place diet “instead of strict food guidelines or supplements, the focus of the group is spiritual awareness to replace food as comfort.” “The plan doesn’t leave out any food group but encourages members not to indulge on too many sweets or excess amounts of fried foods.”
Weigh Down and Thin Within diets have a similar focus to the First Place diet in putting emphasis on Bible study and prayer to rejuvenate spirituality and to replace food as comfort. There are no strict guidelines on what you can and can’t eat in these diets.
So are any of these diets any good, will any of them help you lose weight?
From the review in the AOL article and my own limited health knowledge I’d say yes, some of them will help you lose weight. Any diet that encourages you to eat less processed, fatty, sugary foods and more fruit and vegetables is going to be good for you. Any diet that encourages you to do more exercise is also good for you. Whether these diets are any better because they are God or Bible based is a very debatable point.
Personally I wouldn’t recommend a vegan/vegetarian diet to anyone, some people can lead healthy lives on them but you really have to know what you are doing to ensure you don’t miss out on any vital vitamins and minerals, or become undernourished.
One of the points the AOL article does raise that is mentioned in some of these weight loss programs is the problem of “comfort food”. Some people eat when stressed or depressed and this can often lead to weight gain, or make it difficult to lose weight. Reducing the emotional reasons for eating may be a necessary part of a weight loss program for some people. A few of the religious diets listed above promise to assist with this aspect of dieting, but I’m not sure prayer or scripture reading is necessarily the best method. I have the worry that “spiritual awareness” may only temporarily mask a deeper emotional problem, perhaps it would be better for these people to seek help from a highly trained competent psychologist?
The bottom line when it come to losing weight, and/or fat, is to reduce your intake and increase you out-take. Eat less and better, exercise more.
However, one should always eat sufficiently to ensure you don’t miss out on vital vitamins and minerals and maintain good health.