Have no luck with those other diets? Maybe it’s time you tried the diet that asks the question, what would Jesus not eat?
Faith-based diets take the principles of Christianity and apply them to our overwhelming craving for chocolate, chips and cheese.
Advocates say dieters learn to fill the spiritual hole inside themselves with something more powerful than saturated fats.
The basic principle common to the U.S. programmes Christian Weigh Down and Thin Within (‘Helps you grow in faith while shrinking your waistline’), and the British equivalent Fit For Life Forever, is that dieters need to identify the deeper reasons why they over-eat, before they can hope to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
And if you really want to experience the passion of the Christ, the most famous and popular “faith-based diets” is The Weigh Down Diet created by Doctor Gwen Shamblin
She’s not really a doctor. She’s actually a Christian fundamentalist.
Her unique method of cheerleading support, underpinned with the threat of God’s displeasure, has encouraged hundreds of thousands of Americans to throw off their excess flab and praise the Lord.
There are more than 30,000 Weigh Down groups in America, and the concept has just crossed to Britain.
Shamblin is a perma tanned, frosted-blonde size 6, given to homey pronouncements such as: ‘God created the wonderful flavours of blue cheese dressing, pepperoni pizza and chocolate brownies. He wants us to enjoy them – within His boundaries!’
She describes any desire to eat, apart from physical need, as ‘head hunger’, which, she insists, can be solved by an open heart rather than an open fridge.
And you know it’s got to work because it’s like designed similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous, which has a whopping five percent long-term efficacy rating, according to their own records. That’s much better than the quitting on your own. Oh, wait. It’s not. And like AA, Shamblin’s (which you can’t spell without the “sham”) diet requires the dieters put their faith in a higher power and confess to a room full of strangers as a means of confronting their demons:
‘Both offer a sense of spirituality, and recognise that someone greater than yourself is in charge – it’s not all down to you,’ explains Church of England Reverend Jan Harney, from Preston, Lancashire.
‘These groups offer a useful support network, driven by the belief that God wants the best for you, and helps to identify what’s holding you back.’
There are some weird foods mentioned like “brownies and blue cheese dip” but I’m pretty sure the diet requires one to eat nuts of one kind or another because after all, you are what you eat.