Fasting 101 – Dos and Don’ts – The Week Before The Fast

Yom Kippur Ahead

Well, after the marathon of eating from Rosh HaShanah and Shabbos, one would think that a fast would be welcomed, but we never seem to be fully prepared are we? For me, the killer is not the lack of food, but the lack of liquid, as it is with most people. The human body can go for quite some time without food, but withhold liquid, and we’re outta here! In preparation for Yom Kippur and this mammoth fast (c’mon people, it’s only 25 hours!) I thought I’d provide some tips on what to do and what NOT to do when fasting:

I should point out that everybody’s body is different, and everybody reacts differently to fasting. These tips may or may not work for you. Above all else, you should listen to your own body and do those things that tend to make you less hungry while avoiding things that tend to make you more hungry.

A Week Before Yom Kippur

You can ease your fast by preparing your body about a week before the fast.

  • Taper off on coffee or other caffeinated beverages about a week before the fast. Sudden deprivation on the day of Yom Kippur may produce caffeine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches. Cutting back on coffee, or drinking decaf, may ease potential withdrawal. It is also advisable to cut back on cigarettes, refined sugars, or anything else that you eat habitually or compulsively, that you long for when you can’t have it.
  • In the preceding days, try to vary your meal schedule. If you normally eat at the same time every day, your body clock will automatically prepare to digest as lunch time approaches . . . By varying your meal schedule, you may find that it eases the hunger you might normally experience at mealtimes.

Tomorrow: Tips to do the day before the fast!

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