What is the Jerusalem Diet?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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The Jerusalem diet is a diet found in a book by the same name, which was written by Ted Haggard. The diet emphasizes gradual weight loss and checking the dieter’s weight each day. The foods consumed from one day to the next depend on how the dieter weighs in on any given day. By following this diet plan, dieters may lose about one pound (453.59 grams) each week.

While on the Jerusalem diet, a person is supposed to weigh himself at the same time each day; morning is preferable. He is also supposed to set a weight-loss goal of shedding one pound (453.59 grams) per week. What he eats depends on whether he has met and maintained his goal weight. If he weighs himself and is above the goal weight for that week, he restricts his diet to nuts, seeds, and vegetables, drinking only water for that day. The dieter exercises for an hour as well on these so-called fat days.

Normal days are those on which the dieter weighs in at or below his weight target. On those days, he can eat as he wishes, as long as he consumes a healthy diet. Portion sizes are not set for these days, so a person could possibly overeat on normal days. The idea, however, is that the dieter won’t want to overeat on normal days, as he won’t want to have a fat day the next day.


Some people may find the gradual progress of the Jerusalem diet easier to maintain than crash diets that require them to lose several pounds very quickly. Many also find that having a small, easily attainable goal keeps them more motivated than working toward losing a large amount of weight over several weeks or months. Additionally, some people find that the accountability of having fat days helps them to stick to a healthy diet.

Fasting isn’t really part of the Jerusalem diet, but the author does state that fasting every few months for one to three days at a time can be beneficial for both the mind and the body. He also encourages the consumption of organic foods, though they’re not required for the diet. Additionally, he discusses juicing fruits at home to make healthy, but tasty, beverages.

Interestingly, the Jerusalem diet is not really connected to the city of Jerusalem. It is named after the city, however, because the author was there when he came up with the idea for his diet. The author determined that he was overweight while in Jerusalem and started his diet by eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts one day, determining that he felt better and thinner after doing so.



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