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How to Do a Daniel Fast

Three Parts:The Daniel Fast and Your Relationship to GodThe Daniel Fast, Part IThe Daniel Fast, Part II

There are two references to fasting in the biblical book of Daniel from which the "Daniel Fast" is drawn. Daniel, chapter 1, describes how Daniel and his three friends ate only vegetables and drank only water. (Daniel 1)[1] At the end of a 10-day trial period, Daniel and his friends appeared healthier than their peers who ate the rich foods from the royal table. In Daniel, chapter 10, Daniel fasts again, abstaining from "pleasant food," meat, and wine. (Daniel 10)[2] You, too, can gain a healthier body and clearer mind by following this diet "fast" in moderation.

Steps

The Daniel Fast promotes healthy eating. But if you have specific health concerns, consult with a trusted health care provider before committing to this 10-day (or 3-week) diet.

Part 1
The Daniel Fast and Your Relationship to God

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    Avoid distractions. This is a sacred time between you and God, so avoid secular television and radio programs.
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    Start the diet by focusing on your faith. Worship God through sacrifice and love Him more than His gifts.
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    Pray. Your days should be filled with unselfish prayer. During the fast, increase the frequency of your daily prayer time by a factor of three or more.
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    Reserve time with God during the day by studying the Bible.
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    Seek the Lord diligently for the answers to your prayers.
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    Ask for God's guidance in your life.

Part 2
The Daniel Fast, Part I

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    Make your meals somewhat lighter for a few days leading up to your fast. It's an especially good idea to reduce your intake of caffeine.
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    In the first Book of Daniel, the Prophet ate only vegetables and fruit, and drank only water for 10 days. A short rundown of acceptable foods include:
    • All fruits and vegetables
    • All legumes
    • Whole grains
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Tofu
    • Herbs and spices.
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    Conversely, there is also an agreed upon list of foods to avoid. Keep in mind that no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals are allowed in the Daniel Fast.
    • All meats and animal products
    • All dairy products
    • All deep fried foods
    • All solid fats.
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    Carefully read food labels. Foods often contain hidden ingredients. Make sure the foods you buy are compliant with the Daniel Fast.

Part 3
The Daniel Fast, Part II

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    Move to stage two. In Daniel, Book 10, the Prophet went on a second, 3-week fast. To quote the Bible, Daniel "ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine." The second fast is basically the same as the first fast, but the text specifically names three things to avoid:
    • Wine
    • All sweeteners (including honey)
    • All leavened bread.
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    Assess how you feel after the two stages. If you feel more energetic and healthier, it is likely that you will want to keep up healthier eating habits. While reintroducing many of the items you've not had during the fast is inevitable, you may want to do so with greater consciousness for quality and portion size. And some things, like fried food and sugar are best kept to a new minimum.

Tips

  • Lots of prayer...we need God's strength and guidance.
  • Keep your diet simple. Avoid highly processed foods in favor of simply prepared or raw foods.
  • If for any reason you eat something you shouldn't have during the fast, it is better to ask for forgiveness and continue, than it is to stop the fast.
  • If you are experiencing weakness or headaches, drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Often, we do not understand just how much our body needs water, especially when fasting.
  • Set a goal for how long you will do the fast. Ultimately, you may want to continue the Daniel Fast longer than first intended.
  • Have a healthy stash of nuts at work to avoid those coworkers who always want to feed you.
  • You may want to supplement your diet with a multi-vitamin.
  • Be careful not to drink too much water, however. Too much liquid can be as bad as not enough.
  • We tend to focus when we are helping others, dedicate your fast (daily)to/ for a specific person (yet praying for others as well).
  • Don't feel pressured to fast. This is between you and God. Above all else, remember to read the Bible daily. If you do decide to fast, start with one meal, then work up from there.
  • Nothing to drink 30 min before eating and nothing 30 minutes after eating will greatly enhance the diet.

Warnings

  • During the time of fasting, you will face temptations, resist them in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • When you have finished fasting, eat light meals and slowly build back up to your normal diet.

Things You'll Need

Sources and Citations

  • Fasting For Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L. Towns, published in 1996 by Regal Books, Ventura, California.
  • Honoring God Through The Daniel Fast by Terrance Day, published in 2009, http://www.danielfast.net/
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