Pastor Rick Warren, best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, has been through his fair share of hardships and tragedy, from his wife’s fight against breast cancer to his son’s suicide earlier this year. But in his new book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, Warren shares a weight-loss program that helped him and his congregation to get healthy together and lose more than 250,000 pounds collectively in a year.
Written in collaboration with doctors Mark Hyman, Daniel Amen, and Mehmet Oz, the book focuses on five core components of the plan, including food, fitness, focus, faith, and friends, but Warren believes faith and friends are what makes the plan special.
What led Warren to create the Daniel Plan? While baptizing hundreds of people in 2010, he realized that most of them had something in common: they were overweight. But he included himself in that observation as well, so he decided to take action and get in touch with his fellow authors to create a solution. Warren says the plan is based on eating healthy, fresh and natural foods. “The line we use is: ‘If it grows on a plant, it’s healthy. If it’s made in a plant, don’t eat it.’
My rule is no snacks, no sweets, no seconds.” Warren personally lost 65 pounds, but, unfortunately, gained most of it back after his son’s death, stating, “But as anyone in recovery will tell you, setbacks are part of the process in long-term change. Rather than beat myself up, I simply asked God and my friends to help me get back on track. People often learn from their weaknesses.” He believes that the success of the diet is based on the support provided by others in the community. To accompany the book, Warren also released a journal and a cookbook to help people stay on track with the plan.