Chris Pratt is basically the superhero of dieting. After famously shedding 60 pounds in six months for his role in “Jurassic World” back in 2014, the 39-year-old star has shamelessly (and hilariously) shared every last detail regarding his weight loss strategies, which have included staving off beer, only eating super healthy snacks — such as sashimi, cucumber egg wraps and a cacao, baobab, banana and chia seed shake — and even partaking in the trendy intermittent fasting trend.
So it only makes sense that the actor would kick off 2019 by embarking on a new dietary adventure. This time around Pratt is going with something a little more extreme, unusual, and even has a spiritual and religious element to it. It’s called the Daniel Fast, and it basically involves fasting like people in the Old Testament.
"OK. Hi. Chris Pratt here," a sweaty Pratt began in his Instagram Story announcing his dietary conquest. "Day 3 of the Daniel Fast. Check it out. It's 21 days of prayer and fasting and it's going to coincide also coincidentally with the “Lego Movie 2” junket. So, by the time you see me, I'll probably be hallucinating."
So what exactly is the Daniel Fast? The bible-inspired diet is based on the fasting experiences of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel. Pratt, a devout Christian, likely isn’t doing the fast just to lose weight. According to one website promoting the diet, “hundreds of thousands of followers of Jesus Christ will enter into an extended period of prayer and fasting” on January 6th or January 13th as part of the “The New Year Fast.” So his timing totally makes sense.
As far as fasts go, it's pretty intense. While only a partial fast (meaning some foods are eaten) it is seriously restrictive. The list of foods to avoid include all meat and all animal products, leavened bread, dairy, processed foods, iodized salt, sweeteners, oils and most beverages (other than water, vegetable juice and homemade nut milk), so there aren’t many options when it comes to eating.
The intention of the fast isn’t to lose weight. It is actually meant to bring an individual closer to God, hence Chris' declaration that he is going to be doing a lot of praying. However, weight loss is an inevitable side effect, according to nutritionist Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN.
Gans maintains that the “overly restrictive diet” will definitely help shave off pounds, but believes the costs may outweigh the benefits. “It is basically a very strict vegan diet that also promotes mostly organic foods, no alcohol, no caffeine, and besides water, limited beverages that are home-made only, such as almond milk and coconut kefir,” she explains to LIVESTRONG.
Gans also points out that technically, since nothing processed is allowed, tofu and tempeh (common vegan sources for protein) are also eliminated, and could translate to deficiencies in protein as well as other vitamins and minerals.
“I highly suspect that it is unsustainable if you want to meet your daily nutritional needs, especially in protein and may cause nutritional deficiencies in the long run,” she adds. Furthermore, she believes it would be difficult to follow and maintain if you had any type of social life.
Bottom line? Before starting any restrictive diet — even if it is inspired by Jesus or endorsed by a celebrity — you should always consult with your physician first to determine whether it is a good fit.