January 16, 2010

Fasting for Health

Every January, our Church has a 7-day prayer and fasting activity. Participants are urged to pray for specific faith goals for the year. We are given the option to fast completely (just water for all meals), go on liquids only or eat a meal a day. In our case we take light liquids during the day (juices or sport drinks) then take in soup, bread and fruits at night. It actually doesn't really matter how you do it the important thing is you refrain from indulging yourself with food and continue to lift up your prayer needs. Instead of scouring a diet supplements review to look for the latest "magic" pill, fasting regularly is a good practice for managing your weight. It allows your body to purge excess fat and toxins as it draws on reserves to meet metabolic needs. Fasting also has a sobering effect to your temperament as you realize your physical weakness during this time, not to mention you a heightening of your sensitivity to the heart of Jesus. Here are some tips to those who want to try it:

1. ) Start with a 2 meal fast (i.e. skip breakfast and lunch then eat at dinner)
2. ) Make sure you don't take in caffeinated food(e.g. coffee, tea, chocolate) and drinks 2 days before and during the fast. You will get severe headaches on the 2nd day
3.) If you have ulcers don't skip a meal entirely, try a liquid diet or take bread and water
4.) Don't fast if you're pregnant or if you're a child.
5.) When fasting beyond a day, you will feel hunger pangs on the 2nd day. This is the normal adjustment mechanism of your body to manage your appetite. After this they disappear until around the 40th day. When the 2nd experience of pangs comes it means the body is entering starvation and that the fast must be broken.
6.) Do not eat like a horse when you break your fast. Eat light food like soups, noodles or congee.
7.) Do not go into an extended fast (40days) unless God tells you to and your body has been trained to do shorter fasts.
8.) Pray...Pray...Pray...Historically, fasting has always been associated with a person's walk with God. Take this time to reflect on His goodness and thank Him for all the things He has done for you.