The increasingly popular “Daniel Fast” provides yet another approach to weight loss:
In the Bible, the Jewish noble Daniel and his companions are captured by the Babylonians and inducted into the service of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians offer Daniel and his men rich food (“the King’s meat” and wine), but Daniel was wary of God’s prohibition of “unclean foods.” … Daniel said he and his friends would eat a diet of only vegetables (“pulse”). After 10 days, they grew healthier and stronger than the Babylonians, and his diet became a small demonstration of his opposition to the King’s power.
This passage is occasionally used to encourage Christians to resist the corrupting influences of the outside world. But several years ago, some Protestant churches began to take the “diet” aspect of Daniel’s story literally.
Defiling Effects of the Diet
Daniel understood that the king’s food and drink would do harm. He knew from the Book of Proverbs that intoxicating wine is defiling both in its moral and physical effects. Moreover, he undoubtedly knew that one reason for God’s stricture against unclean foods is that many are unwholesome. Otherwise, if he did not view the royal cuisine as a poor diet, why did he tell the king’s servant that within just ten days after being excused from it, he would look better than all the other boys? He asked to eat "pulse," which can refer to any vegetable food, including grains (7). Eating nothing but pulse assured that he would avoid all wine, unclean meats, and bizarre delicacies. Some of the dishes and beverages on the king’s table might have been acceptable, but he evidently believed that if he wanted to be healthy and morally safe, feeding himself with a few vegetables was far better than trying to pick and choose from the regular menu.