Common Denominators of Great Diets

Mark Virkler's picture

There are so many conflicting diets on the market which often do help people that it can get very confusing trying to determine what you should and should not eat. Are there some common denominators that run through the best ones, things that I should be sure to focus on? The answer is “yes.”


I was just asked to compare the McDougal diet with THE SCHWARZBEIN PRINCIPLE II.

The McDougall program is vegetarian and consists of no more than 5% fat, 7-15% protein (none from meat) and 75-90% carbohydrates. In the Schwarzbein Principle, the author recommends eating a balance of the four food groups in every meal. Then there’s the Ketogenic diet which has a target of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates.

The amazing thing is that people’s health improves on each of these diets! How can that be? Well, below is my suggestion which has been reviewed and perfected by Marcia Upson, a close friend, and creator of the program "Eat Like A Slim" which has helped vast multitudes lose weight and improve their health.

7 common health promoting denominators great diets agree on

  1. Drop sugar, replacing it with stevia and monk fruit.
  2. Drop processed foods, replacing them with organic whole foods.
  3. Supplement with food-based vitamins, as food no longer contains sufficient nutrition.
  4. Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water a day.
  5. Get 8 hours of sound sleep each night.
  6. Replace calorie counting with eating slowly, taking at least 20 minutes to eat a meal and stop when comfortably full.
  7. Replace stress/inflammation with prayer and meditation.

In addition, I have chosen to also honor the following health promoting principles

  1. I don’t feel I need to be committed to four food groups, as the U.S. government sure isn’t, nor is God. America didn’t always have four food groups. There have been twelve food groups, then seven, then four, and currently there are five. God initially promoted a vegetarian diet (Gen. 1:29, 2:9) and after the Flood He added meat (Gen. 9:1-4). (Note that in the Law, He limited animal consumption to only “clean” animals.) Butter, cheese and goat milk also appear to have been eaten (Deut. 32:14).
  2. Avoid risky behaviors (adultery and fornication) and replace with faithfulness to your marriage partner (Proverbs 20:14).
  3. Avoid smoking, alcohol and other unhealthy drinks and replace with healthy teas and green drinks with lots of vegetables as well as fruit. 
  4. Smile and laugh – a merry heart does good like medicine (Prov. 17:22).
  5. Fasting (anything from one meal to 3 days, 5 days, 10 days, 21 days or up to 40 days). Fast and your health will spring forth speedily (Isa. 58:8). One form of fasting is eating in an eight hour window each day. This is excellent for health. Marcia Upson says, “This is excellent for health and can greatly reduce metabolic syndrome.”
  6. Celebrate relationships, love and companionship (Eph. 4:3)
  7. Listen to your body – eat only when you are hungry. For most people this will be two meals a day (Marcia Upson). Stop eating when you are no longer hungry. Drink two glasses of water when you get up. This could probably replace breakfast.
  8. My body needs to consume healthy fats, which include more monounsaturated fats than polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats in moderation. Avoid man-made and modified fats such as hydrogenated oils. Cook with saturated fats and monounsaturated fats as they are more resistant to heat damage. Do not use fat free as the fat is usually replaced with sugars.
  9. Pray and believe for miracles and gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:28).

Marcia Upson (MS, APRN, Family Nurse Practitioner-Certified)

Marcia has devoted her life to holistic health care and she adds the following valuable insights.

I like to say that your body knows how to be a body. We just haven’t listened to it in years! Is it saying I am full, but you still have to loosen your belt to eat more? Are you drinking sugared soda or foods and then your body feels sluggish afterwards? Do you fall asleep in seconds at night because you haven’t been resting properly?

God designed our bodies to heal themselves but we have to tune into them.

Mark has made listening to your body very easy by giving you the guidelines above. A healthier lifestyle takes time and diligence. You will fail, eat something you wish you hadn’t and eat way too much of it. Just wait until you get hungry again to eat your next meal and practice the principles Mark has given you. Ask God to reveal to you what areas you need to work on and then go for it. It takes planning and it takes practice; it won’t just happen. So plan your meals, get the junk food out of your home and ask your family or a buddy to work the guidelines above with you. Set a date, like your next birthday, and decide what changes you want to have made. You are worth it!


Cardiac Event Series

  1. How Could I Have Been So Wrong?
  2.  Biblical Truths Related to Heart Disease
  3. Causes of Heart Disease: Inflammation, Oxidation, Sugar and Stress 
  4. Drugs, Nutrition and the Lord 
  5. Is Stress The Number One Cause Of Heart Attacks?
  6. Ever So SLOWLY Learning About Blood Pressure
  7. Common Denominators of Great Diets
  8. God Says I’m Healed Yet Symptoms Persist
  9. Symptoms Go into Remission as I Speak to My Body
  10. Does Heart Surgery Cause the Heart to Pick Up A Spirit of Fear  
  11. Must I Work Hard To Be Successful?
  12. Which of The 10 Commandments Can You Break And No One Raises An Eyebrow?
  13. Experience Rest By Learning How To Delegate 
  14. Living In Rest Requires Living At Peace With Myself and Others 
  15. For Heaven’s Sake, Celebrate!

Related Blogs: 

Gifts of Healings   Vibrant Health   
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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?


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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice (hard cover)

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

40% off the suggested retail price!

For the first time EVER! Hardcover copies of 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. This is a magnificent, beautiful gift to give for any occasion. Retailing at $24.95, you can purchase it through our website at only $15.00! Bless people with the gift of spiritual intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ. Get a souvenir copy for yourself. Only 600 copies produced, so order while supplies last!

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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of CDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?

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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of DVDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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Dialogue with God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 296 Pages

This top seller for 30 years from Bridge Logos provides a narrative, right-brain presentation of the principles of how to hear God's voice. Especially enjoyable for personal use, it makes a great gift for introducing a loved one to the voice of God. This book teaches the four keys to hearing God's voice in readable style, and also devotes two entire chapters to moving samples of people's journaling (i.e. their two-way dialogue with God).

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Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

9 Books, 10 CDs, 10 DVDs now at a $30+ savings

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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by Mark and Patti Virkler | 317 Pages

We recommend that you order the newest revision of this book titled 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. It includes 95% of the content of How to Hear God's Voice but is reorganized so it fits perfectly with the 10 DVDs on this subject by Mark Virkler. In addition, it gets you started using the four keys earlier in the book and gives you more journaling samples and exercises. Since we have removed the large margins, it is a smaller and less expensive book.

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LEARN 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Notebook

LEARN 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler

This 49-page Life Enrichment And Review Notebook (previously called a "Seminar Guide") is designed to go along with the CD/ DVD series and/or PowerPoint presentation. If receiving training in a group, we highly recommend that EVERY member of the group have their own copy. It offers you the following four benefits:

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Prayers That Heal the Heart

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by Mark and Patti Virkler | 320 Pages

Prayer counseling that breaks every yoke! Everything you need to experience deep healing of your soul and spirit.

Did you know that you don’t need to be continually plagued by negative thoughts, feelings, pictures or memories?

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Counseled by God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 146 Pages

Act Now: 

Have you ever been defeated by negative emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, inferiority, condemnation or depression? Have you tried to fight them off unsuccessfully? Is there an answer that is deeper than simply trying to mentally reason yourself out of these emotions? Is there a way that Jesus can speak a word of life into the depths of your emotional despair and bring healing on a deep level? Is there a form of Christian counseling that begins and ends with the movement of Christ within your heart, rather than simply with the words of man?

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