Days after the Internet was fawning over the apparent return of Avengers’ star Chris Pratt’s “dad bod,” the 39-year-old has announced via Instagram that he’s ready for a change.
“Hi, Chris Pratt here. Day three of the Daniel Fast,” he said in an Instagram story Thursday, wearing a black hat and sweating. “Check it out, it’s 21 days of prayer and fasting. And it’s going to coincide…with the Lego Movie 2 junkets, so by the time you see me, I’ll probably be hallucinating. Stay tuned.”
Pratt, who was recently spotted in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with girlfriend Katherine Schwarzenegger, has long been open about his commitment to Christianity. Even his Twitter — which has yet to feature his diet — contains a Bible verse in the bio (“I’m doing something right before your eyes that you won’t believe, though it’s staring you in the face.” 1 Acts 13:41″).
Still, even for a devout Christian, 21 days of fasting and prayer seems like a big step. So what is the Daniel Fast, and will it actually cause him to hallucinate?
According to an explainer on Livestrong.org, the Daniel Fast is focused on avoiding “pleasant” foods such as sugar, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods, per the passages in Daniel 1:12. “The Daniel Fast is based on the diet eaten by Daniel, an Old Testament prophet taken captive from his home and placed in King Nebuchadnezzar’s household,” the explainer reads. “The Daniel Fast lasts for 21 days, in most cases. The purpose of The Daniel Fast is not to lose weight, but to become closer to God. Talk with your doctor before starting The Daniel Fast, particularly if you have any health issues.”
DrAxe.com lays out specific guidelines for what can and cannot be consumed. The only beverages that can be consumed are water, homemade almond milk, coconut water, or vegetable juice. A moderate amount of grains (brown rice, millet), as well as vegetables and one to three servings of fruit are the main tenets of the diet. Meat, dairy, breads, cookies, coffee, and candy all must be avoided.
The diet — which is growing in popularity among some congregations — was spotlighted by popular author and pastor Rick Warren in his 2013 book The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life. In a summary on the book’s Amazon page, Warren touts the diet as a completely unique approach.
“Unlike the thousands of other books on the market, this book is not about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts,” Warren writes. “The Daniel Plan shows you how the powerful combination of faith, fitness, food, focus, and friends will change your health forever, transforming you in the most head-turning way imaginable ― from the inside out.”
While no diet should be undertaken without a doctor’s advice, there is some evidence that the Daniel Fast can have positive benefits — including a 2010 study published by UK nonprofit BMC. In it, researchers concluded that the diet was “well tolerated” by both men and women and that it “improve[d] several risk factor for metabolic and cardiovascular disease.”
That said, the researchers noted that more studies need to be performed to deem it effective. But Pratt, it seems, already has faith.
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