What Is Fasting and How to Do It Safely?

Fasting is usually associated with various religious practices, but did you know that it can also be beneficial to your health? But, in order to do it safely and avoid serious health consequences, here are some valuable tips and information that will help you learn and if you ever decide to fast, you’ll be prepared and know how to do it safely.

three gray metal forks casting shadow on green surface

What is fasting?

Fasting has been a common practice for thousands of years, mostly due to religious reasons, even though some prefer to do it for health benefits as well. As you’ve probably heard before, fasting is all about voluntarily abstaining from food for a certain period. According to some research, fasting can improve one’s concentration, alertness, and of course, help with weight loss. Now, if you want to try a fasting diet, you need to be prepared in order to avoid health risks.

What fasting patterns are there?

empty white plate near wine glasses and anniversary clock displaying 1:50

This is especially important for those who are just starting out. Before you start fasting, you should know that there are various types of fasts, and they’re not all equally fitting to everyone, therefore it’s important to prep yourself before you finally decide to fast. The most common types of fasting patterns are:

  • The 16:8 pattern that is about consuming food in an 8 hours window and fasting for 16 hours. This fast is repeated for every day of the week.
  • The 5:2 pattern is about restricting your calorie consumption to two days a week. Women should consume 500 calories a day, while men should consume 600 calories.
  • The 6:1 pattern is similar to the previous one, except instead of two days of reduced calories consumption, there’s only one day.
  • Eat-stop-eat pattern is a complete 14-hour fast once or twice a week.

Most of these fasts require shorter fasting periods lasting 8-24 hours, but there are people who prefer much longer fasts that last longer. If you’ve heard of Intermittent Fasting, it is similar to the types listed above but in various time periods, depending on how often and how prepared you are. Preparation is always important because sometimes longer fasting periods can lead to mood swings, hunger, lack of energy, dehydration, and fainting.

So, how to do it safely?

The best way to keep yourself safe is to eat small amounts of food on your fast days. Some fasting patterns allow for reduced calorie intake, which is a much safer option than a full fast. Eating small portions will help you eliminate the common risks associated with fasting such as fainting and dehydration. Also, it’s a great way to get used to fasting as you won’t be feeling that hungry. Similarly, if you feel you need to take consume something, some fasts allow for consuming tea, water, and coffee, and if you really feel like you need some help to restrict your hunger, you can always use homeopathic diet drops that will help you feel energised and full until you’re allowed to eat again.

Keep yourself hydrated

woman holding filled of glass water

Since your food consumption is reduced, keeping yourself hydrated is a must. When it comes to water consumption, some say that you should drink about 2 liters of fluid each day, but the truth is, your liquid intake should be based on your physique and other personal preferences that all vary from person to person. Even if you don’t prefer to drink water throughout the day, keep in mind that, people get about 20% of water through food, so if you’re fasting, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated in order to avoid dehydration and dizziness.

If you don’t feel good, stop fasting

Fasting can often make you feel irritable or tired, but it should never make you feel unwell or sick. Your health should always be your priority, so there’s no point risking ending up in the hospital, just to complete the fast. Feeling a bit tired during the fast is normal, but in case you feel too weak that you can’t do your normal daily tasks, then it’s better to stop fasting and try again when you’re feeling better. Also, in case your symptoms don’t go away after you’ve stopped fasting, make sure to visit your doctor and get the right treatment.


Fasting can be a great way to feel better and lose weight, but in order to do it properly, you need to be prepared and be ready for some minor discomforts the first time you try it. Additionally, don’t forget to consume enough plant-based proteins and keep yourself hydrated so you’ll be able to have a safe and fulfilling fast.


Photos: Unsplash



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