By Dr Mark Hyman

Explain one or two of your primary health and/or lifestyle challenges prior to the Daniel Plan?

Prior to The Daniel Plan, I suffered from fatigue, heartburn, and sleeplessness. I felt physically tired from the moment I woke up until bedtime. Therefore, I always took a mid-day nap to help get me through the day. At night, I averaged 4 to 5 hours of interrupted sleep. Exercise was something I wanted to do, but always put off. I didn’t exercise at all and I lived a life of avoiding social situations because I just felt so bad about how I looked.

Why did you start The Daniel Plan? How did you hear about it?

I started The Daniel Plan because I desperately wanted to lose weight and develop healthy habits I could continue throughout my life.  I have been on several diets plans in my life, (including Jenny Craig in which I lost 77 pounds), only to gain the weight back and more.  On other plans I felt like I was running on willpower alone and these plans were never something I could continue once the weight was off.  More importantly, none of my health challenges improved – they only worsened.

I heard about The Daniel Plan from my friend who is a member of Saddleback in Lake Forest.  We attended the Kick Off Seminar in January as well as the seminar in March, 2011.

What have been the most significant changes and things you have learned since getting on The Daniel Plan?

I’ve learned that The Daniel Plan involves much more than weight loss. This is a journey towards living a healthier life.
I realize that the poor food choices I made in the past have negatively affected many parts of my life – my weight, health, my thinking, how I feel, and my interactions with others.

Because of The Daniel Plan, I’ve learned healthy habits to replace the unhealthy ones.  I go to a gym for the first time in my life. I don’t skip meals. I avoid white sugar/high fructose corn syrup products. I’ve replaced white pastas and rice with brown rice and whole wheat pasta. I eat foods high in protein in the morning, and I drink a lot more water than did before.

What results have you experienced?

I feel great! I’ve lost over 70 pounds and I sleep soundly for seven to eight hours a night.  I have had no heartburn whatsoever since January and I have so much energy, I don’t need to take naps during the day anymore.

Most importantly, I am beginning to feel good about myself. I don’t run away from social situations anymore and I feel that I am closer to living a life where I don’t feel distracted with my weight and health issues, but rather, where I can devote my energy towards how God wants to use me.

What advice would you give to others to get started or continue?

My advice to others is to just get started or jump right back into things if you’ve taken a break from The Daniel Plan. Don’t spend time beating yourself up for being in your situation, or wondering if this plan is for you. It works! Watch The Daniel Plan Kick Off, and the videos where Dr. and Mrs. Amen go through a kitchen to show us bad food choices and the video in which Dr. Hyman and Tana Amen demonstrate how to make healthy choice when grocery shopping.  Then clean out your kitchen to rid your house of all the bad foods.  Most of all, join or start a small group and getting moving physically.