Motivated by both faith and fitness, today many protestant Christians around the country are, like Daniel, occasionally limiting themselves to fruits and vegetables for 21-day increments. Several such believers told The Atlantic that while their intention for the initial fast was simply to enter a period of Lent-like self-denial in deference to their Lord, they have since found that the fast broke a life-long pattern of unhealthy eating and seems to have set them on a course toward better nutrition even after the 21 days ended. Now, a longer-term version of the Daniel fast is being promoted by the California-based Saddleback Church, the seventh-largest church in the U.S.
One expert quoted in the article finds the Almighty is a powerful motivator:
Leslie Bonci, a registered dietician and director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that many of her clients tend to be more successful in dieting when their reason for eating right is more meaningful than their weight or pants size.
“Everybody needs their dangling carrot,” she said. “We don't always do ‘I just want to eat better.’ There has to be some other motivation. If that motivation is a higher power, fine.”