Miss a meal every Day or 24 hours without Food
Some people choose to just miss one meal, if they’ve never fasted before and feel uncertain or have decided to fast for more than a day – for example: missing lunch for a week
Dawn till Dusk
The traditional Muslim fast, from Dawn till dusk is a great challenge and gives your digestives system a break without causing it strain. This is a fast from food and water so it needs to be done with great care, making sure you are hydrated before and break your fast with a drink of water.
3-day Foodbank Challenge
A 3 day foodbox provides a nutritionally balanced cereal based breakfast, a main meal and a snack meal for each day. Trussell Trust ask people to donate good quality brands to avoid high concentrations of salt, sugar and additives. Why not see if you can feed yourself and your family properly for £2.50 each a day for 3 days?
Donate what you save
Could you donate what you save by fasting to help stop families in crisis from facing hunger?
By donating the money you save from your fast to foodbanks or a local food project you can help provide emergency food and support to men, women and children in crisis. The Trussell Trust run more 400 foodbanks nationwide, to find your nearest Foodbank visit www.trusselltrust.org/map or to donate to the charity visit www.trusselltrust.org/donate
This advice below is taken from the NHS website but you will have your particular considerations to allow for. Please consult your doctor if you’re unclear or not sure whether you should fast.
Fasting usually reduces the amount of stomach acid, which digests food and kills bacteria. However, thoughts of food, or the smell of it, make the brain tell the stomach to produce more acid, which can lead to heartburn.
People who regularly take medicine for indigestion – such as antacids, antihistamines or proton pump inhibitors – are advised to continue taking them.
The control of heartburn or belching can be aided by eating in moderation and avoiding oily, deep-fried or very spicy food. Reducing your caffeine intake and stopping smoking can also be of benefit.
Preparations such as peppermint oil may help reduce belching or abdominal discomfort.
Poor control of diabetes
People who regularly inject insulin are advised not to fast, as the potential risk to health – both in the short and long term – of not taking insulin is too great. People who have their diabetes under control using tablets should seek careful advice from their GP before starting a fast.
Regular self-monitoring of your blood glucose is strongly advised.
Headaches during a fast could be due to dehydration or hunger, poor rest, or the absence of addictive substances such as caffeine or nicotine. Headaches can also be prevented by not exposing yourself to direct sunlight, wearing a hat when out, using sunglasses to reduce the effect of glare from the sun and relieving any tense muscles with a short, gentle massage.
Dehydration is common during a fast. The body continues to lose water and salts through breathing, perspiring and urinating. Drink water regularly, more than you normally would. If you are doing a “dry fast” drink a lot of water before and after the fast and avoid diuretics in the run-up to it.
When you are fasting, being active, drinking regularly and eating healthily will help to keep your bowel motions regular. Before the fast include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet and increase the fibre content of your food using bran. If the problem persists, a short course of laxatives may help.
Lack of food and water, changes of routine and shorter periods of sleep can cause stress. It’s important to deal with any potential sources of stress to stop any harmful effects. This can be helped by not taking on more than you can handle, not playing sports in the hot sun, controlling your anger and not smoking.
Remember: If in doubt consult your GP.
Dieting: Fasting is not dieting and should not be done in order to lose weight for which a healthy diet with regular exercise is usually recommended.