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Dr. Oz discusses 'Daniel Plan' weight-loss program with Rick Warren

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Dr. Oz is one of the creators of the Daniel Plan weight-loss regimen that recently helped Pastor Rick Warren lose over 30 pounds.

On the Dec. 12 episode of the Dr. Oz Show, he spoke with Warren, and with Drs. Mark Hyman and Daniel Amen, who collaborated with Dr. Oz to create the faith-based Daniel Plan.

Warren, 59, said losing weight is about more than just exercise and diet. Once you accept that you have a spiritual obligation to take care of your health, it becomes easier to lose weight, he told Dr. Oz.

"God says your body is the temple of his spirit and you're supposed to take care of it." said Warren. "That's a bigger motivation than 'I want to look good' or 'I want feel good.'"

Dr. Oz agreed, adding that the community aspect of the Daniel Plan makes it especially effective. "It does help you lose so much more weight when you have people to support you," said Dr. Oz.

The Daniel Plan has helped 15,000 members of Warren's Saddleback Church lose over 250,000 pounds so far (or about 17 pounds per person).

Pastor Rick detailed his weight loss in his book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life. The Daniel Plan is based on passages in the bible which described how the prophet Daniel fasted and ate only vegetables and water as a show of devotion to God.

The Daniel Plan's diet is largely plant-based, but doesn't have to be vegetarian (although Warren follows a mostly vegetarian diet). It mainly emphasizes eating whole, natural foods and eliminating sugar and processed junk.

Dr. Mark Hyman, a metabolic expert, said you don't need to count calories or fat grams on the Daniel Plan. "Fat is not the problem," said Hyman, author of the 10-Day Detox Diet. "Sugar is what makes you fat. I do not count calories. If you eat the right foods you don't have to."

Hyman said the dietary tenets of the Daniel Plan include the following:

  • Banish sugar and flour.
  • Load up on clean carbs like vegetables and fruit.
  • Make protein a side dish at every meal (it helps keep you full).

A sample menu on the Daniel Plan looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Whole eggs, turkey bacon (nitrite and nitrate-free) and whole-wheat muffin.
  • Snack: Mixed berries and nuts.
  • Lunch: Vegetable-lentil soup topped with turkey sausage
  • Dinner: Pasta, turkey sausage and mixed vegetables.

Pastor Rick lost 65 pounds in 2011 on the Daniel Plan but recently regained 35 pounds following the April 2013 suicide of his son Matthew.

Since going on the Daniel Diet a second time, Warren has lost 30 pounds so far and wants to lose even more weight. "I’m interested in helping my people be well so they can make a difference," he said.

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