Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research


Abstract: Although research has shown that proper nutrition is associated with improved physical health, eating healthfully is a challenge for many individuals because caloric restriction is not well-tolerated on a long-term basis. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the Daniel Fast—a biblically-based, ad libitum, vegan eating plan—on physical health as measured by weight and metabolism. 22 subjects (females; 18-22 years) completed a 28-day Daniel Fast following guidelines provided. Subjects reported to the lab following an overnight fast for pre-fast evaluations. After 21 days of fasting, they reported to the lab for post-fast evaluations during the final week of the fast. Resting heart rate, resting metabolism, and anthropometric variables were measured and a dietary survey was administered. Dietary records were kept for 3 days prior to the fast and during the final week of the fast. The following variables were significantly (p<0.05) lower following the fast: resting heart rate, weight, resting energy expenditure, protein, sodium, cholesterol, and diet score. Fiber intake increased (p=0.0085). No significant difference was noted for fat oxidation (p>0.05) and these changes varied among subjects. A 28-day period of dietary restriction in accordance with the Daniel Fast is well-tolerated by young women on a university campus, promotes moderate weight loss, and may impact changes in metabolism.