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Trying to Lose Weight? You're Not Alone With Church-Based Diet Program

Woman stepping on scale

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing almost half of Americans (49.1 percent) are trying to lose weight.

This is according to data gathered by the CDC from 2013 to 2016.  

According to the CDC, almost 40 percent of Americans are obese and are trying more than one way to take off the pounds, including daily exercise; eating more fruit, vegetables, and salads; eating fewer carbohydrates, and even changing their eating habits in order to eat less. 

"Most people were doing things ... that I would encourage all my patients to do," Dr. Holly Gooding, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School told radio station WBUR.

She added that exercising and eating fruits and vegetables are healthy measures for all — even those not trying to lose weight — and heavily cautioned against skipping meals.

One diet plan developed by a Dr. Daniel Amen, a Christian and a physician is a church-based weight loss program known as the Daniel Plan.

As CBN News reported in February, while classes last six weeks, the diet is intended as a lifelong discipline.

One Hampton Roads couple say they turned their lives around with the Daniel Plan. Before following the diet, Phyllis Neill says she suffered from pain, depression, and sleeplessness due to a number of health issues. 

She ultimately lost 65 pounds, stopped taking medications, felt happy, and began sleeping like a baby. She attributes much of her success to the faith element of the plan.

"And God just took control," she said. "And he has just blessed my life so much!"

Her 75-year-old husband Dennis committed to the plan as well.

"I lost 65 pounds just by eating God's food," he said. 

The Neills believe so much in the program that they now teach it to others, creating their own Daniel Plan network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which they call the Neill Daniel Plan. They currently coordinate 11 locations, mainly through local churches and YMCAs.

"One of the things I tell people in the classes is if God came down today and said, 'Look, I want you to do this task for me,' and then you tell Him you're not physically fit to do it because you're overweight? Nah, that doesn't work," Dennis told CBN News. 

The Neills emphasize the importance of breaking free from processed foods because of ingredients like MSG, industrialized oils, and high fructose corn syrup.

"Diabetes, cancer – all of it's related to sugar," Dennis said. "And we've got to get that out of our system. We've been hijacked by the food industry." 

Instead of packaged items, Phyllis fills their kitchen with natural, whole foods, free of chemicals and sweeteners – chicken strips, cut-up vegetables, boiled eggs, beans, cheese, and nuts.

"I keep fruit available," Phyllis said. "My grandchildren come in the house – they don't ask for candy here. They go over and get a piece of fruit, and their parents are so happy for them."

Drinking water helps with weight loss because sometimes our brain tricks us into thinking we're hungry when really we're just thirsty. 

People adhering to the Daniel Plan exercise regularly and attend support group meetings.

Christians nationwide are shedding millions of pounds, thanks to the Daniel Plan, named after the Bible hero whose diet reflected his commitment to God.

To purchase the Daniel Plan from ShopCBN, click here

To purchase the Daniel Plan Cookbook from ShopCBN, click here.

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