Preparing for ANYTHING, is almost always going to increase your success rate in any given field and fasting is no different. You really want to think about what is going on in your life before you prepare for a fast, especially if you have never fasted before.
Just as you should research when you are planning on taking up a specific diet or training exercise regime, you should also consider the timing of such a change in to your lifestyle, even it is for a short time.
Please view my medical disclaimer before reading on.
Timing Is Important
In my experience, it is best to avoid social events, work or other commitments if it is possible and this is particularly important with extended water or juice fasts.
As you become more experienced with fasting, you will be able to handle the physical side effects a lot better and may find that you can go about your usual activities with no issue.
Generally, it is best to avoid any situation that may obstruct your fasting goals unless you feel that you are mentally strong enough to put yourself in that situation.
Try to avoid being around people eating and drinking whether it be at home or at work, as the smells associated with food will make you hungry.
Sometimes work situations can become stressful and you may decide to head for the trusty “comfort” foods. Being around food can be torturous, if you are not ready.
Take a look at your calendar and schedule and put a lot of thought into the timing of when you are to begin your fast. Don’t fast when you know you have a party coming up and certainly don’t plan a fast during October! You don’t want to be drinking water at Oktoberfest celebrations, but that’s totally up to you…
Part of fasting is about giving your digestive system a break, so give it every chance you can to succeed. Plan around it.
Think About How You Will Fast
In order to know how to prepare for your fast, you need to think about the type of fast you will undertake, as it will help with your scheduling and the amount of trips you may need to take out. Make sure you have the things you need IE. a juicer, bottled or filtered water, tea & coffee, water infusion ingredients.
Having these items on hand may help to avoid you going to the shops and smelling the delicious roast meat from the food court… (drools….)
Short or intermittent fasts may be easier to work around your day without a problem if your job is not very physical but water fasting when you are employed in a labour-intensive job will likely find you getting exhausted fairly quickly.
Set Your Fasting Goal
What I am mainly referring to is to plan for the duration of your fast and stick to it. If you plan for 7 days, then stick to it. If you have something to aim for, then you are more likely to achieve it.
There will sometimes be moments during your fast when you will be feeling a bit run down and may feel like giving up. Just be aware of the symptoms that are expected from fasting and ketosis and just realize that they will pass. Stick to your goal and you will feel great in the long run.
For me, I have usually aimed for around 7-10 days, depending on my schedule, keeping in mind that you will need to ease into eating food again when you have decided to break your fast, which you should to do over a few days.
Your digestive system will not love you too much if you go straight back into eating the wrong things and if you have gone through and extended fast, it is likely that you won’t want to go back to eating crappy food. You will feel cleansed and fresh and you will want to keep that feeling alive whilst you can.
Who Will Feed Your Children?
If you have children, fasting around them can be tricky, especially if you are a family that always make the effort sit together at dinner time.
First of all, if you are responsible for their meals, then it is a real challenge to try to cook them a nice meal and not do some taste testing.
I have generally been able to avoid this situation, as my partner was quite happy to cook the meals whilst I was fasting, but during my most recent fast, she was working a lot so I had to take on this duty and I can say it took some strength not to eat!
The second thing is, that we spend most of our time trying get our kids to eat! And so what sort of message does it send them to go completely against that!
As a rule, children should not be fasting unless they are directed to by their doctor, so trying to serve the kids a meal and not let them see can be the tricky part.
Thankfully, this is where TV’s and IPads play their part well…. my kids jump at the opportunity to “watch and eat” that they have no idea that I have not eaten a meal, so questions don’t get asked.
Failure Leads To Success
If for some reason you fail in achieving your fasting goals, don’t be too disheartened. It is likely that this will help you to recognize a weakness or a mistake that you have made along the way. Have a think about where you went wrong, plan how you will overcome it and try again at a later date.
I have made mistakes in my planning in the past and certain events have popped up, where I have decided to break my fast. I probably could still have gone to the event whilst fasting, but it’s generally more relaxing socializing with family and friends when you can enjoy eating and drinking. You need to enjoy life too.
Finding the right balance in life is something we all strive for but I would try to prepare for a fast and plan around your social life to avoid any temptation.
Please leave any questions or comments about your fasting experiences below or message me directly here.
8 Replies to “How To Prepare For a Fast – The Key To Success”
Thanks for this great post!
I’ve been considering fasting but haven’t taken the leap yet. Right. Now I’m just doing the low carb thing. That said, I never gave preparing to fast a thought until now. I think it will help me to actually take the plunge and do it!
That’s great Scott.
If you have been on low carb diet for a bit, you may be in ketosis already, so going into a fast may not be so tough on you.
Ketogenic diet and fasting go hand in hand because you should generally stay in ketosis the whole time.
Have a go at it when the time is right.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past couple of months. I eat only between 10am and 6pm. That’s been working out for me – my blood sugar number has come down a bit. I never thought about fasting more than that. I like the idea of doing a juicing fast. I think I could do that for 2 days to start and then work up to 3 days. Your 7-10 fast is a bit ambitious for me. lol! Maybe I can work up to it. 🙂 I like the idea of doing infused water while fasting. I appreciate the tip!
That’s great Suza!
It still takes a lot of self-control not to snack at night, so well done.
Working up to a fast is probably the wisest option.
I am a glutton for punishment! My first fast, back in 2007, was a 10 day juice fast, straight off the bat.
It was such a learning experience for me and I am glad that I went through it. I have probably done an extended fast once a year since then.
Bad happens can creep back in and I feel that fasting helps me regain focus and get back on track again.
Just take your time and do what feels right for you.
Hello, Stevie and, thanks for these tips on fasting.
The only time I can remember trying something like this was in High School when we did a 24 hour fast to raise money for charity and one other time I tried a juice fast for a weekend which I didn’t really enjoy. Although I’m not sure it’s something you are supposed to enjoy? There were a few times when I had to do a 12 hour or 24 hour fast before have some tests done.
The Bible has many stories about people who fasted and prayed for various reasons, (I don’t think weight loss was one of them).
As a Christian, I have often thought about fasting from time to time, being that it is Biblical and, therefore, if done correctly, shouldn’t be harmful.
For someone who hasn’t fasted before I’m wondering if working up to a longer fast might be an option. Something like trying for a day and then two or three before trying for a week or more? Would that be an option? I’d be curious to know how/why you started this routine. Did you do it for weight loss or was it for other reasons?
I’m also wondering if a juice fast might be better and adding a mineral and vitamin tablet? Is it OK to still take herbal supplements while doing this? At least you would still be getting some nutrition without all the calories.
We have no children in the house but I do like your suggestions about the other half taking on the responsibility for feeding the kids while the other is fasting.
In 2007 I was travelling around Australia and pretty much drinking alcohol everyday and putting on weight.
My initial research was to find the best way to detox. I found that fasting was the most effective way to do this.
Being a young “fearless” male back then, I decided that I would just go straight into a 10-day juice fast. For me it was the best thing I ever did. I learnt a lot about myself in the process.
Slowly working up to an extended fast certainly makes a lot of sense, because the idea of a longer fast can seem very scary, but after a few days, your body has adjusted and is actually quite easy. The first 2-3 days can be rocky, whilst your body is adjusting to ketosis.
Juice fasting would be your best option, even for a day or 2, but I would avoid taking any tablets or supplements of any sort, as it may upset your stomach whilst its empty. You will get plenty enough vitamins from the juices that you consume.
Good luck with your decision!
Hi, I’m almost 40 and Ive been fasting for about 5 years now and am always looking for more information on the subject I’ve read and seen a lot of literature and science based material currently I fast for 36hrs every 4th day and train for an iron man on my non fasting days,
I think I have tried every variation in regards to time limits on fasting. 16/8(hrs) 20/4(hrs) 24hour fast every second day, OMAD (one meal per day) up to 3days I mostly do water fasts and dry fasts and I can share my experiences, pros and cons for each variation for beginners can suggest starting with small fasts 12-14hrs and increase you’re duration over weeks (by a couple of hours per day)
I feel that when you’re body naturally detoxes it helps to do it incrementally sometimes you can feel a bit flat or not on you’re game if you do too much and I feel it’s also important to listen to you’re body on when it’s time to finish you’re fast if you don’t make you’re planned fast duration it’s no big deal take a day or 2 off replenish yourself then try again,
the benefits I find from fasting is weight maintenance, increases clarity in you’re mind, it puts you in a better mood (when you start eating again 😁) I feel it helps recover from injuries (I’ve read stem cell production may cause this) and it saves money in groceries I’d be happy to answer any questions also if anyone has any on shorter (less then 3days) fasting periods ,
Thanks for opening up the blog Stevie I can’t wait to see you’re progress
Thanks for your insight and perspective into intermittent fasting, Darren. Seems like you’ve had a go at everything.
For me, my first fast was a 10-day juice fast and I really enjoyed the results from it, so that sort of set the benchmark for my future fasts.
I’ve recently went through a 7 day water fast which I will be writing about soon. It was certainly a bit more intense physically and a different experience from juice fasting.
I’d need to do a bit more research into dry fasting before I attempted that, seems pretty full on.
I’m curious to know if there is a particular type of intermittent fast that you got the most from? Or that you would recommend to someone new to fasting? 20/4, 16/8, OMAD?
Also, on your non-fasting days when you were training, did you notice any energy loss or ill effects?
Cheers for the comment, you may be a good point of reference for me to learn a bit more about shorter fasts.