Why Diets Don’t Work and the Daniel Fast Does!

By April 29, 2015Articles

Let me ask you a question: How many diets have you been on? Can you remember? Can you count them? 

And as you think of your health today, were they successful? Or were they merely a temporary change that you tried to follow and then finally gave up and went back to your more typical ways of eating? If that ‘s the case for you, you’re among the masses. Most people only stay on a diet for three or four days. Then their resolve gets weak and they abandon their good intentions and the diet’s restrictive eating plans. 

So why do so many people use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting . . .  and then be totally surprised when they find unwanted pounds dropping off and a significant improvement to their health? 

I believe it’s because of one essential element, along with a really healthy way to nourish your body and promote healing to some of the breakdowns in your system. 

The Daniel Fast is first and foremost a spiritual experience. When you fast you submit all of who you are – your spirit, your soul and your body – to the Lord. You allow the Lord to lead and direct you in a deeper and more profound way as you focus more of your attention on Him. To be engaged in this power-packed spiritual adventure, you change what you eat. You follow the guidelines because of the desire you have to walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh during your fast. Your reason or your “why” to eat differently is a deep inner commitment that is spirit-led. 

While you may have cravings and temptations confront you, you stay the course while on the fast. You resist. The power of a chocolate brownie or a cup of coffee is diminished compared to the benefits you receive by not giving into the carnal desires. 

Do you see the difference between this mindset and how you have tried to muster your own will-power to stay on a diet, even if it’s for just a week or two? The inner resolve during a diet is different as its source is your will rather than your spirit, which is connected to the Spirit of God!

The Daniel Fast as a Jump-start to Weight Loss and Health

Since I started guiding women and men toward a successful Daniel Fast in 2007, I’ve received tens of thousands of messages about the startling health benefits of the Daniel Fast. While people use the fast for spiritual reasons, which is right, the side-effects of increased energy, lower cholesterol, stable blood sugar levels and weight loss came as a surprise. Plus, the health benefits aren’t even the purpose of the fast. They just happen while using the Daniel Fast as your method of fasting. 

I remember a woman (I’ll call her Rhonda) who was obese, sickly and even a little depressed when she started the Daniel Fast. She entered into the fasting experience with others in her church. She wrote to me about half-way through her 21-day experience and was overjoyed at the unexpected side-effects of her fast, “I’ve never been able to lose weight,” Rhonda wrote. “And I had settled on the fact that I would be overweight and unpleasant to look at for all of my life.”

She went on to tell me about starting the Daniel Fast and being able to resist sugary and fatty foods that used to have control over her. After six or seven days she started feeling better, her moods had improved and she felt happier. Then after a Weight Loss with the Daniel Fastfew more days it seemed that her clothes weren’t as snug. So she decided to weigh herself. To her amazement she had dropped ten pounds. “I could hardly believe the number on the scale,” Rhonda wrote. “And even though it was only ten pounds, compared to how much weight I need to lose, this was a huge breakthrough. It was ten pounds of hope for me.” 

Rhonda was writing, like so many others do, asking if she could just fast forever. I explained to her that fasting is a temporary, highly focused spiritual experience and that God didn’t plan for us to fast as part of our normal day-in and day-out life. However, she could take what she had learned on the Daniel Fast, encouraged by the successful experience, and continue on a journey toward a lifestyle of health. 

The Internal Shift

The Daniel Fast afforded Rhonda and others a change in their hearts and in their understanding. First, they experienced victory over what before had been defeat. They realized that there was an internal source for their self-discipline that they hadn’t accessed before. They also learned that when they connect with God that they can rely on Him, His Word and His Spirit rather than depending on their own willpower. 

When Rhonda, and those with similar goals, asked me about how to keep going after the fast, I encouraged her to set her mind on a fresh and new goal. I coached her to set her thoughts and actions on developing a lifestyle of health. Do you see the difference? A lifestyle is not a temporary diet that has a start date and an end date. Instead, a lifestyle is a way of being. And the truth is that’s how God wants us to be. He wants you and me to be healthy and to live our lives in a way that keeps our bodies physically strong and in good shape. He needs us to be healthy, not only to serve as a positive witness to the world, but so that we can be strong to fulfill the purposes He has for us. 

When we change our “why” for losing weight to fulfilling God’s desire for us internal booster rockets start to explode. If you’ve never experienced this transformation it might seem hard to understand and even believe. But a power or charge starts to rise up in you that thwarts the challenges that used to defeat you. 

Yes, we need to feed those internal forces through prayer and with God’s Word. That’s how we keep the resolve strong and support the transformation. The key is that this internal experience is why the Daniel Fast works and diets don’t. The Daniel Fast stimulates an internal fire, whereas diets lack the life and resources that lead to lasting change and success. 

The Daniel Fast can serve a the reset for your soul and body as you look at your life and your health in a different way. Then you can gather up the great knowledge and experience you’ve gained during your fast and use it for your future. You can continue walking in the same direction and toward increased energy, improved health, weight loss, and well-being. And it all happens when you integrate your faith with your everyday life and experience the amazing results that are there for you to receive. 

cln-ad300x300How about you? Have you been defeated by yo-yo dieting? Have you tried, without success, to drop unwanted and unhealthy pounds? Consider joining me and others as we all work together to develop a lifestyle of health. Choose Life Now is not a forever fast, but instead setting our minds on God’s desires for us, learning about who we are in Christ, tapping into the power of activated faith, and moving toward health and well-being for the rest of our days. Choose Life Now, which I developed in response to the many requests like I wrote about in the post above, may be the next step you want to take. 

Learn more about Choose Life Now by clicking on the image. 




  • Lydia says:

    Hi, I have also been on the Daniels Fast for 9 days and have shed 10 pounds. I’m super excited. I went from about 148 to 138.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, this is one of the greatest side-benefits of the Daniel Fast. Your body is getting what it needs for nutrition and not all the high calorie foods that pack on unwanted pounds. Stick with it!

      Be blessed!

    • Denise says:

      Hi Susan,

      Can you eat as much as you want, or should you watch your portions? How much do people normally lose on the 21 day fast? Thanks

      • Susan Gregory says:

        You can eat as much as you want, however gluttony is against God’s ways. So you want to eat healthy amounts.

        Weight loss varies, however it’s not uncommon to drop about 10 pounds during the Daniel Fast. If getting healthy is important to you, I encourage you to get a copy of The Daniel Fast for Weight Loss, which is a biblical approach to weight loss – not a diet book. Instead it’s about recognizing that your body is God’s dwelling place (you are not your own) and that you are the caretaker.

        Be blessed on your fast.

  • Kay says:

    Is there a current blog for questions and answers for 2016?

  • Teresa says:

    I’m wanting to start the Daniel fast and would like to be on your mailing list as well. I’ve heard many wonderful things about the fast, but i’ve never done the fast before. Not only will the fast help me spirtually, but i’m also in need of loosing a lot of weight. I’m looking forward to this journey.

  • Darlene says:

    This is my 2nd Daniel fast and both times I have gained a tremendous amount of weight. I can’t tolerate raw non-starchy vegetables so all I eat is fruit, potatoes & corn. But I’m doing it for spiritual reasons so that is what is most important. But it would be nice not to gain weight.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Darlene,

      All the foods you are eating are high in natural sugar content and consequently have a lot of calories. Do you not like salads? How about soups? It’s good that you are using the Daniel Fast for its most important purpose, which is to grow spiritually. But fasting should never cause harm to the body. So you might think about foods that you can eat that aren’t so high in calories.

      Meanwhile, be blessed on your fast.

  • Jennifer Espinoza says:

    Is there any coffee substitute? I am prone to migraines if I don’t drink caffeinated.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Jennifer, the only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water. Also, stimulants such as caffeine are not allowed. However, if you need a substance for medical/health reasons, then it would be allowed. I always say, “Follow the advice of your earthly physician while you pray for complete healing from the Great Physician.”

      Be blessed on your fast

  • Janice Agnew says:

    I am just starting the 21 day Daniel Fast. I would like to be on your email list. Thank you for giving me a jump start.

  • alex boyd says:

    Hi there brothers and sisters in Christ thanks for for the encouraging comments I have felt distanced from God, but by starting this daniel fast it has brought me and God a lot closer I thank God for you all.

  • Deborah White-Bond says:

    I did the Daniel Fast for 40 days during the Lenten Season ( Feb 18 – March 20th). I lost 12 pounds. Today is May 4th. and I only gain back 1.5 lbs. of the 12 poinds that I lost. I developed great eating habits. More vegatables and veggian items like cream cheease, tofu stuff shells. My husband who would never say that he would not change has enjoyed some of the items that I replaced in our menu. I would suggest that everyone try this form of weight lost and eating habit change. During this time the Lord has spoken to me about things that where going on in my life. He has answered prayers and the most wonderful thing is I know that it was Him that was speaking to me. I also learned that there are 5 Books within the Book of Psalm, which I didn’t know. God bless you all!!

  • THATO says:

    Thank u so much Susan for a wonderful article. I’m also currently in the 21 days. I started on the 21 April, and I am feeling restored in my spirit. The Lord is doing great things. In the past few months I gained a lot of weight and was feeling depressed and just eating junk, but now I am losing some pounds and feel blessed and restored. The Daniel Fast is powerful, it is a life restorer!

  • Grace says:

    Thankyou, I feel energized to try it again. It is a daily struggle for me. I lost 50 lbs with medifast and chemo, but I need to loose alot more. The Dr scared me and said I have to loose the belly because that is where the cancer will come back I exercise every day and your Email has energized me.

  • Suzette says:

    I did the 21 Day Daniel Fast in January and lost 19 pounds and 2 dress sizes… What an awesome feeling… and I felt wonderful..I am not on the Fast now but incorporated a lot of what i learned into my daily living…I plan to go back on the 21 Day Fast in the near future..

  • Michelle Morgan says:

    Hi susan,
    I’d like to recieve your newsletters.

    • Margaret. moore says:

      During my 40 days of prayer &fasting,your daily devotions were so encouraging. You became my mentor. I need that encouragement again.Thank you & I look forward to your daily devotions once again,

      • Susan Gregory says:

        Thank you, Margaret.

        The response to them is so positive. I have been thinking about writing a year-round daily devotional for a long time. Time is the issue . . . but I need to get it higher on my priority list! 🙂

        You have inspired me to raise it up!

        Be blessed.

  • zinhle says:

    Dear Susan

    my friend and I did the Daniel Fast twice and we both lost a lot of weight…the ironic part is that I was on the Biggest Loser competion at work, lead by the Dietician. but I didnt follow the plan , instead I did the Daniels fast and thats how I lost 8kg in 12 weeks. my friend lost a good 12kg.
    I does work!!!!!!!!!! Thank You

  • Elva says:

    I also fasted with the same results and am now disapponted as well. I will not deny that I was so pleased with the weight loss but more so with how well I felt,, overall it is as if I had a physical transformation. It was so easy for me as a spiritual fast, but much harder to get started otherwise.

  • Shaun says:

    Dear Susan,
    January 2014 saw me tackle the Daniel Fast after reading about it in your blog. Together with my wife we stayed on it for 5 months. The first 10 days was agony with severe headaches and exhaustion, but then amazingly we felt energized and more focused. I lost 20kg in those 5 months, and since coming off the strict fast I have adopted a mostly vegan diet. Importantly I stay completely away from sugars in any form, and continue to feel great. My wife needed to supplement her diet with iron rich foods,so a little meat and a supplement has helped her lose 6kg.
    The reason for my writing is that the fast has challenged our view of what we eat and how we have returned to really basic food ingredients in our meal planning. It is more work but we always start with raw ingredients rather than packaged food( the hidden sugars in there are fatal). And we feel great. Yes ,we still do eat out and have a glass of wine,and occasionally have something sweet, but our main plan remains.
    Exercise daily has also helped to keep this weight off and I am steadily working to lose another 12kg.
    I hope this message gives someone the will to challenge themselves to take up the Daniel Fast and feel the amazing difference it makes.
    Thank you

  • Diantha Reddy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I want to say thank you for your newsletter that has taught me a lot for the Daniel Fast. I have tried to stick with this fast in the beginning of the year and have failed. This was very discouraging and I told myself that this fast is not for me. And the circle of quitting things that are too difficult for me continues. I have a desire in my heart to be married and have children as I am 36 years old. I believe that your newsletter was not a coincidence and have decided to take the Daniel fast again. Please keep me in your prayers. God bless you abundantly.

  • Toni Bessette says:

    Hi Susan,
    This past March I did the 21 day Daniel Fast for the first time in many years. I too was pleasantly surprised that I lost 9 lbs and felt better than I had in a long time. Unfortunately, once I finished the fast, I immediately went back to my old style of eating and gained all the weight back. I have been so disheartened these past few day and I was trying to figure out what to do when i opened up your email. I think the Lord is directing me today to go back to what worked in more ways than one. Thank you for all you do and share. Be blessed. Toni

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Toni, your experience is like so many! The good news is that you are at a new day! You know you can make the kind of changes necessary to drop the unhealthy pounds. I hope the very best for you!

      Be blessed!

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