How to Fast

Please feel free to design your own fast.  There are no rules here; this is not about doing it ‘right,’ but rather about offering something in support and solidarity, a small denial of ease and comfort.  Decide how long you want to fast.  Will it be from your last meal on Thursday until your first on Saturday?  Or will it be from sunrise to sunset on Friday?  Do you want to drink only water, or will you drink juice or teas?  We want you to make this possible to do each week, so feel into what will work for you, what will allow you to keep the commitment you have made.

We welcome your comments, and hope for the benefit of your experience as well.  Please post any wisdom you have to share on this topic.

We are not experienced fasters ourselves, but have rounded up a bit of generic information on fasting to share.

Figure out what time your last meal (dinner) should be.

Dinner may be your last meal before the one day fast, because you want to take advantage of the time you spend sleeping as part of the fast.

Sleep as long as you can during the night. If this means going to bed early, then all the better if you can shift the dinner in the previous step earlier.The longer you sleep, the less time you have to be hungry before the 24 hours is up. If you sleep at 11pm with a dinner at 6pm and wake up at 11am, you only have seven hours of fasting to worry about. If you get up very early, you will have more waking hours with possible hunger.

When you wake up, keep busy. Take a long shower. Shave carefully. Drive slowly to work. Keep busy at work so your mind is not on hunger.

At noon, you should be at around 18 hours. This is already a very long fast but it was also easy to this point.  Drink water and or other beverages to hang on.

It was easy until noon to do 18 hours. But the last six hours can be very difficult to finish the one day fast. Drinking zero calorie liquids such as water and herbal teas can help a lot to get to the finish line. It is very important to stay busy at work or at home. Keep up your physical activity but not to the level of exercise, otherwise you will feel the pangs of hunger come very quickly.

Eat CAREFULLY after you’ve finished the one day fast. It is highly recommended that you stay away from foods with sugar as much as you can. Don’t eat bread, rice, pasta, fruit, dessert, etc. Eat low carb veggies in moderation. The lack of sugar from the last 24 hours will make it very easy for new blood sugar to make you feel like overeating. If you eat just protein and fat, like from meat and eggs, you will still have a satisfying meal without the urge to overeat due to a sugar high.

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4 Responses to How to Fast

  1. Hi All–

    I am wondering how everyone’s fast went. I found it incredibly easy, for the most part, and plan not to eat until Saturday morning. The awareness of the luxurious and privileged manner in which I fast that arose almost instantaniously each time I found myself facing temptation or habit made it pretty simple. My goodness–it is just one day! And probably a great boon to my health instead an imminent threat to my life.

    I savored my decaf this morning–both because it was not to be followed by any food, and because it seemed so indulgent in comparison to water and salt–and I drank herb tea and water for the remainder of the day. It was amazingly manageable and not at all difficult on this first day. Next week it may be different.

    Do tell us how it went for you, what you decided to do and what the experience was like.

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

    • Domenica says:

      I am so grateful that we began the first day of fasting this Friday. It felt incredibly simple and right on so many levels. What a privilege to undertake a fast for reasons that are completely beyond one’s personal health or well-being. Temptation never came into play, but it was fascinating to notice moments when the automatic body/mind drifted toward the idea of food or even toward the kitchen itself. I found there was an immediate visceral response of remembrance of the hunger strikers, of what fasting would feel like a month in, two months in, 75 days in. It stopped me cold, dropping me into the deepest gratitude for my freedom to undertake this simple fast, and simultaneously the deepest sorrow for the lengths to which these extraordinary souls must go to attempt to make their mere presence known, their voices heard.

      On an entirely mundane level, hunger was never an issue. I drank warm water, sometimes
      with a bit of lime and mint, which felt like an absolute extravagance. I appreciated the ease
      of not having to give my energy to food, energy that I could then direct to the hearts of the hunger strikers instead.

  2. susan boswell says:

    i am going to fast on fridays it is not that hard for one day especially when you think of what the Hungerstrikers are experiencing.

  3. Welcome Susan, and thanks so much to you for joining us. I feel just as you do that it is such a small thing when we put it in the larger perspective. Yet it takes heart to give up a day’s dining,and it opens hearts when you do. If you send us your email at fastingonfridays@gmail.com I will keep you posted.

    Much love and gratitude,
    Elizabeth

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