Preparing Your Body for a Fast: Here’s Everything You Need to Do
It’s very common for individuals to engage in fasting, whether this is down to health or religion. Despite this, it’s not healthy to simply start fasting. Your body needs to be prepared for such, and the required preparations will depend on the type of fasting you’re carrying out. For instance, Muslims who are fasting for Ramadan will fast differently than those who are fasting for health reasons. This is because they have to make changes that don’t necessarily apply to their food intake, such as financial preparations. Muslims may choose to give Zakat during Ramadan, meaning they must factor this outgoing into their plans.
Detailed below are just some of the ways someone might prepare their body for a fast.
Consult Your Doctor
First things first, you should always check with your doctor to see if you’re physically able to fast. This won’t be a possibility for everyone, and for some people, fasting can put them in serious danger. If your doctor advises you that you shouldn’t partake in a fast, this should never be ignored. Everyone’s bodies are different, meaning they can’t all take the same amount of strain. Fasting is both physically and mentally tough, and if it’s going to make you unwell, it shouldn’t be done under any circumstances.
Before you’re set to start your fast, you should ensure you’ve got all the right foods in the house to do so successfully. When you’re fasting, it can be tempting to grab something that’s quick, easy, and packed with sugar and salt to satisfy cravings and hunger pangs. Despite this, this is the worst thing you can do. These treats will quickly satisfy your hunger; however, the hunger pangs will creep around just as fast. The best way to fast healthily and successfully is to meal prep in advance so that you have something nutritional to eat after your time spent fasting.
If you’re planning to fast over a set number of days, you might start by practising fasting on the odd day. This will train your body to go without food for a certain number of hours, meaning you won’t fall victim to cravings as easily when the time to fast rolls around. Regardless of whether you’re practising or you’re doing “the real thing”, if at any point you feel unwell when fasting, you must stop and replenish yourself. Whether it’s a health kick or religious obligation, you can’t make yourself unwell.
On the build-up to your fast, you should refrain from snacking between meals. When you have three substantial meals a day, snacks won’t be required to keep you replenished. You may feel slight hunger pangs; however, you’ll never be in a situation where you’re falling ill. It’s possible to train yourself to reduce your appetite, and refraining from snacking will help you in achieving this. It may take some time, but soon, you’ll find yourself feeling comfortable without snacking. A lot of times when our bodies think we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated, so make sure you keep your water intake up.
Reduce Food Consumption
Last but not least, you should reduce your food consumption during the build-up to your fast. Not only does this mean limiting the amount you eat, but it also includes making smart choices about what you eat. You should get into the habit of eating balanced meals that sustain you for a considerable amount of time. This will help you avoid hunger pangs and cravings when the time comes for you to fast.