You’ve heard countless of benefits from fasting but still don’t know if you can do it. Reflecting on your future fast is your first step to success. Because, in our modern society, fasting is not something you improvise but something you choose to enhance your health and wellness. It demands reflection, planning and dedication.
Here I want to share with you few tips to organize the fasting that suits your own lifestyle.
Create your Circle of Support
The easiest way for fasting, particularly for a first fast, is to
- Share with like-minded people – A successful and enjoyable fast is made from a mix of sharing with a group and self-exploration. A safe place to withdraw when you need downtime for yourself is important, but it is paramount to get the motivation, accountability and support you need to live the adventure of fasting. Because in a group, the experience heightens, relationships between members of the group deepen, and mutual encouragement blossom.
- Be supported by a fasting expert – this is a great assistance to answer all your questions, lift your doubts and get your motivation running. With an expert you can share your experience and feel confident and safe. If you are not healthy or if you suffer from a chronic condition, you need to reach for medical advice before fasting as you may require a form of therapeutic fasting that is not the purpose of this article.
You can also consider to fast in tandem, with your partner, like a group in miniature: the experience, the practice, the reflections, the mutual support may reinforce the relationship. As in a group though, everyone must be able to withdraw, to be by himself when needed. Keep in mind that fasting is about introspection and surrender to your own body’s rhythms, not about acting as you intended or as your partner expect you would act.
If you contemplate the idea of fasting alone, keep in mind that it is a lot more difficult as it demands more willpower and courage. You need to know how to give up on habits and to manage by yourself. This is often not the best option for a first fast as you don’t have the reassurance you may need during your body’s metabolic changes.
Keep in mind that sharing with like-minded people is definitely the best option when fasting.
Choose your environment
Few scenario are possible when you decide to enter a fast as long as you feel comfortable and safe. It could be at home, at a friend’s place, on a sailing boat, in a castle or a shag. Anywhere as long as you feel at ease, can walk, move and rest whenever you need it. Definitely a place where you feel peaceful and calm, without deadlines or stress.
- At home: be conscious that all your eating habits are there. We all are tightened to our usual environment by invisible threads. One of the main struggle are the neighbors or loved ones that may have different opinions or ideas about what may be best for you, trying to pull you away from your goal while you are desperate to draw back. In a word, fasting at home has its downside, but is often the place you feel at ease and safe, and the easiest way to organize your fast.
- On holidays: this means you have planned at least an entire week free from work and social obligations. On holidays your nervous system calms down and this is key for your success. However, it may be difficult to dedicate one week off by yourself. For your first fast, this is definitely the easiest and most appropriate setting.
Keep in mind that a person who fasts need to withdraw often.
Organize your agenda
- While working: Fasting while working is feasible with planning and few adaptations. This is my favorite way of fasting as it keeps me distracted. However, temptations are always around and you may receive not-so-supportive feedback from your colleagues (this is where the support of a group is important). It is also good to be aware that at certain stage during the fasting you metabolism slows down so everything takes more time, your sensitivity intensifies so you are more prone to overact to your environment, and your reactions and concentration diminish so it is wise not driving during these times. However, for a first fast, it may be overwhelming as you are learning about yourself and are still not familiar with your limits.
- On holidays – Fasting during holidays is definitely the best option for a first fast but is sometimes too difficult to organize as family or friends are not following you. This is a good option if you got quiet time at home while being supported by an expert and/or a group, or if you have the opportunity to join a fasting retreat.
Keep in mind that fasting requires freedom from engagements and impositions.
Remember that there is no “should” in fasting. Wait for the best scenario & timing for you, the one that fits best into your life.
Disclaimer : these considerations apply only to people who are healthy and consider fasting. It does not replace any medical advice. It is your entire responsibility to check you have no contraindications for fasting and to get medical advice prior to starting if you are under any sort of medication or chronic illness.