Types of fasting

When it comes to ones motivation for fasting, whether it be spiritual or religious, or for physical health reasons, there are many ways in which this can be done. Of course the concept is pretty self explanatory in the sense that fasting is going without out food for a certain length of time. However, there are certain benefits of fasting in different ways.

Here are a handful of fasting practices.

Alternate day fasting

You fast one whole day, then eat normally the next day.

24 Hour fast

This type of fasting is a full 24-hour fast.

This means that for 24-hours you only consume water if you want to stay in a truly fasted state. Some for deeper spiritual or religious reasons would also remove water.

The 5:2

The 5:2 diet is fasting for 24 hours at a time – twice a week.

It looks like this:

  • You eat normally for five days every week
  • You fast completely for two days per week
  • You choose when you fast; i.e., dive into one 48-hour fast or fast for two 24-hour periods with days apart

Fasting within a daily window

This technique is giving oneself a window whereby they eat within that time and fast for the remainder of the day. This can be done by fasting for 16 hours and having an 8 hour eating window. This is the least time one would should do this. Ideally the window could be decreased for instance; 18 hours fasting with a 6 hour eating window, 20 hours fasting with a 4 hour window or simply having one large meal a day. (Taking in the necessary calories and nutrients is essential if this technique is to be done habitually as a life style choice).

Honourable mentions with amazing benefits

  • Water fasting: Involves drinking only water for a set amount of time.
  • Juice fasting: Entails only drinking vegetable or fruit juices for a certain period.
  • Partial fasting: Certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period.
  • Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few days every week.

Solely Religious or Spiritual fasting

Many Religious and Spiritual sects fast in accordance to guidance given from their sacred texts or spiritual leaders. This applies to almost every world religion and dozens of spiritual practices spanning right across the globe. One may contact or inquire with whatever denomination they choose in order to find specific fasting techniques associated with that practice or belief.

Below are a few suggestions to implement to increase our personal and spiritual growth whilst in a fasting state.

From a spiritual perspective, below are some tips to follow whilst in a fasting state.

  • Allow plenty of rest and relaxation
  • Include reading, meditating, and increased sleep time into ones practice
  • Dedicate some time to explore ones spirituality
  • Seek out moments of peace and solitude
  • Spend time immersed in nature
  • Write-down or journal ones goals, thoughts, and feelings

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