Prepare for the Fast
- Prepare your body and spirit. To prevent your body from the shock of not eating, you should change your eating habits at least 2 to 3 days prior to the start of the fast. At first, try to eat primarily fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to slow down the digestive system. Stay away from refined sugars and processed foods. You should also eat smaller meals to prepare the body for less food consumption. Spiritually, you should fast from media and other cultural influences that can pollute and tempt the spirit and spend time meditating and reading the Bible.
Decide on the Type of Fast
- There are various approaches to fasting that Christians take. Through prayer and godly counsel from spiritual leadership such as a pastor or church leader, you should decide on a type of fast. The most common is a when someone fasts from all food and beverages except for water. You can also fast from food but still have fruit and vegetable juice, teas and smoothies. You can also eat only raw fruits and vegetables while drinking water only. The last type of Christian fast has been termed a "Daniel Fast" because it follows the guidelines that Daniel followed while in captivity. It permits the individual to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds while drinking water.
Allowing the Body to Cleanse
- A Christian fast has spiritual implications, but also performs a master cleanse. Here are some guidelines to get the most out of the physical cleanse. If you plan to fast for more than three days, you should take an herbal laxative right before bed to allow the bowels to fully clean themselves out. Without the laxative unwanted waste can rest in the intestines, making you very tired and lethargic. In order to properly clean the kidneys you should double your daily water intake to 16 8-oz. glasses of water. If you're drinking teas, herbal teas will also help clean the kidneys. Your skin will be a part of the cleansing process and you may find excess sweat and unusual smells. You should take a hot bath and use a loofah to help the skin exfoliate during the fast.
Legnth of Fast
- Some people fast for one day, others fast for a few weeks. The most common fast is anywhere from three days to one week. Any fast longer than 14 days should be performed under a doctors supervision. It is not recommended to participate in a water-only fast for more than two weeks. Although Moses and Jesus fasted this way for 40 days, this should be done with extreme caution. When you fast, set more time aside for rest and sleep. The body will naturally want to regenerate itself by sleeping more. Aside from extra sleep and rest, go about your life as normal. Use caution when exercising if you choose to participate in any fast longer than seven days.