This week I am going to fast for a day.

I am from Indonesia and it is common back home to fast for spiritual reasons. During Ramadan, every Muslim fasts for a month to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate. My mom fasts twice a week when she has a particular prayer request, like selling a house. And these days fasting is becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate means of managing weight and preventing disease.

I used to fast regularly to detox my body. It gave me a good feeling and I became more mindful of what kind of food and drinks that I consumed afterward. However, life happens and I have been abandoning it for a while.

Now I am going to start again. If you want to join me to fast, here are some ways you can start too.

Ease into it

Some people might able to start fasting for 24 hours straight. However, if we are not used to it, we might want to take it easy in the beginning. Fasting should not equal suffering. Start with 12 hours on, 12 hours off, and go from there.

Eat right before you fast

While fasting works with any diet, but I find it much easier with a high fat low carb diet. The more fat we intake, the less our body needs carbs and insulins for energy. We will be less hungry, we can go longer without eating, and our body will make the transition to burning stored fat much easier.

Have a bit more salt

Keeping up with our electrolytes when fasting is so important, and sodium is the first to go. When sodium levels remain normal, so do magnesium and potassium. Keep our sodium intake up, and we’ll be fine.

And last but not least,

Talk to your doctor before you start

Especially if you have any medical condition or if you’re on any medication. Don’t push it if you feel sick.

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