No matter what kind of fasting you do, it won’t be easy. If you want to fast successfully, you need to prepare your mind and body. Without preparation, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you want to fast, but don’t know how to prepare yourself for it, keep reading. We are going to go through everything you need to know about fasting preparation right here.
How To Prepare For Fasting
There are three things you need to prepare before you can begin a fast. These things are the mind, body, and lifestyle. Skip even one of these, and you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Preparing Your Mind For Fasting
Without the needed mental preparation, your fast won’t last very long. It’s as much about the mind as it is about the body. However, the most important thing to remember is that you always need to be kind to yourself.
Below are some ways that you can mentally prepare yourself for fasting:
- Make sure you set an intention – this can be to simply give your digestive system a needed break or to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Maybe you want to prove that you can lose weight. Write down your intention somewhere that you will be able to see every day.
- Set a goal for your fasting length – decide how long you are going to fast. This can be as long as you like, depending on your health and overall needs. You may want to fast for 24, 36 hours, or any other length of time. It’s always recommended to test it out to make sure your body can handle it first. This can be done by fasting just a meal or two initially, then moving on to longer goals.
- Let your friends and family know – doing anything by yourself is never easy. If you’re comfortable doing so, talk to your family or friends, or even join your own fasting community to help keep yourself in check. During the fasting time, you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions, and it will help if someone is there to help you through it.
Preparing Your Body For Fasting
If you are fasting for the first time, your body will need to do a lot of adjusting. Even if you fast a lot, preparing your body is incredibly important.
You can help prepare your body for fasting by:
- Do meal planning before starting a fast – although there is no right diet to have leading up to a fast, you should try and do some planning. Some people like to have special meals before starting a fast, others continue with their regular meals. Ideally, you should try to have low-carb meals for the days leading up to the fast so that your body can enter ketosis faster. You should also try to have lots of healthy fats and water before fasting starts to help you through.
- Do meal planning for when your fast is over – although you will be craving a carb-heavy meal, this isn’t recommended. Your body has rested during the fasting and needs to be eased back into regular functioning. Do not overindulge, as your body may just reject the food. Instead, have something simple and small like broth, an egg, or a form of lean protein, and see how you feel. As you fast more, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Do exercise planning for your fast – in the days leading up to the fast, continue with your regular exercise schedule. Once the fasting starts, you should tailor it so that it fits you and your current state. If that means running fewer miles or doing fewer reps, that is fine. You may need to slow down your routine or rest more, but there is no point in pushing yourself and potentially harming yourself during fasting.
Making Other Adjustments
Other adjustments you will make will depend on the type of fasting you’re doing. For example, someone who is only reducing their food intake will need to alter different things compared to someone who is dry fasting.
However, there are some things you may want to consider if you are going to start fasting:
- Hydration is key – it’s often recommended to drink double the amount of water as you typically would if you are fasting. You should also have plenty of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to ensure your body can keep up with everything.
- Stick to low-calorie or zero-calorie drinks – you can choose to follow “clean” or “dirty” fasting, depending on what you prefer. The former means that you will not consume any calories, even in drinks, when fasting. The latter means that you can consume small amounts of calories (typically 50kcal or less).
- Consider activities that don’t include eating – you’d be surprised by how many activities include eating. Don’t let this impact you. Instead, find activities that don’t include food, like going for walks, meditating, or something else that is productive. Being around food too much will just make you miserable and more hungry than you need to be.
- Keep track of your fasting – while not essential, tracking what you are doing and how you are doing it can go a long way to helping you. Track your successes and failures to improve on next time.
- Monitor your health – this is also not essential unless you know you have health concerns. Monitor your blood pressure and other health indicators to make sure you aren’t pushing yourself too far.
Preparing yourself for fasting takes a lot of work, but the work is necessary. You must aim for success and have goals in mind to keep you on track. If you go into fasting now having a goal in mind, there is nothing to keep you moving in the right direction.
Prepare yourself mentally with goals and ambitions, and prepare yourself physically in the way you feel is best. It might take a few fasting tries to find what works for you, but use our points in the above sections to help you get started.