Do you want to fast but don't know where to start? You're not alone. Consider intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is not a fad; it aligns with how God designed us for seasons of feast and seasons of famine using fat as fuel during famine.
Intermittent fasting provides a much-needed break from food, and it’s a great way for the beginner to begin fasting. For example, if your last meal is early evening, then you wouldn’t eat again until lunch the following day. This gives the digestive tract close to 16 hours of rest and may change insulin levels enough to affect health in a positive way. Remember, increased insulin and good health don’t necessarily go together. Think of all the oxidative stress that you’ll be avoiding with intermittent fasting when you miss breakfast consisting of unhealthy bacon and eggs or other harmful foods.
By fasting for at least 16 hours, stored sugar is burned, and the body may begin to use fat for fuel depending on how many carbohydrates have been stored. Most of your muscle is spared because the body switches to protein sparing during this time. Unless you have been limiting carbohydrates for a few days prior to the fast, ketosis (fat used as fuel) usually doesn’t begin until at least 16. I fast this way, especially on weekends before preaching. I also try to fast for at least a week every 4 or 5 months. Don’t focus on length just yet. Simply step out in faith. Begin with a meal or two, educate yourself, and seek medical advice if needed. You may want to tell your physician what you’re doing and ask if he or she can review blood work and monitor vitals if you decide to go over 3 days of water only. It can be motivating to see the benefits of fasting in a before-and-after blood panel.
Pray and ask God for direction and encouragement. If you truly start feeling sick and can tell something is off (as opposed to feeling tired, grumpy, lightheaded, dizzy, or hungry), that may be a good indication to drink some juice or eat a light meal. Then get back on track. While fasting, there are boosts of energy followed by big letdowns, although becoming sick can be something different. Many have fought through these feelings, but it’s an area where wisdom is needed.
The key is to fall forward. On all of my fasts over the years, I never did it perfectly each time. If you blow it and eat a meal, just get back on track. God doesn’t measure success by perfection, but by faithfulness.
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Reported by: The Christian Post (Shane Idleman CP Guest Contributor)