Some Practical Advice

Fasting normally affects the physical body in various ways. One may experience weakness, tiredness, headaches, nausea, light-headedness, stomach cramps, and so on. If one has a habit of drinking coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages, some of these symptoms can be attributed to withdrawal from caffeine. In such cases, it is wise for those individuals to eliminate those beverages from their diets several days before their fast begins. If a person fasts on a regular or semi-regular basis, he will discover that his fasts become progressively easier, although he will usually experience some weakness for at least the first week or two.

One should make sure he drinks plenty of pure water during his fast so as not to become dehydrated.

Fasts should be broken carefully and slowly, and the longer the fast, the more cautious one should be as he breaks his fast. If a person’s stomach has digested no solid foods for three days, it would be unwise for him to break his fast by eating foods that are difficult to digest. He should start with foods that are easy to digest and fruit juices. Longer fasts require more time for the digestive system to adjust to eating again, but missing one or two meals needs no special breaking-in period.

Some are convinced that careful and moderate fasting is actually a means of promoting health within our bodies, and I am one of them, having heard a number of testimonies of sick people who were healed while fasting. It is thought that fasting is a means of resting and cleansing the body. This may be the reason that one’s first fast is the usually the most difficult fast he will experience. Those who have never fasted are most likely to need the most internal physical cleansing.

One’s physical hunger during a fast will usually cease anywhere from two to four days into his fast. When hunger does return (usually after some weeks), that is a sign to carefully end your fast, as that is the beginning of starvation, when the body has utilized its stored fat and is now utilizing essential cells. Scripture tells us that Jesus became hungry after forty days of fasting, and that is when He ended His fast (see Matt. 4:2).