Fasting

Hi all. I know fasting is a great form of prayer because it shows we are willing to sacrifice something from ourselves and i know it helps us with self control, but every time it try fasting I fail. I know it is important and I want to be able to do it and I even pray for Gods strength and help. But it seems the more I try to fast, the more all I think about is food and no matter how much I try, I always give in. Any advice?

Well I can try giving you a few tips for sticking it out:

  1. Drink plenty. I advise filling up on water and, if you normally drink it, some coffee. Caffeine can help suppress your appetite for some amount of time. Also, sometimes you will get hungry when you are actually just thirsty, so stay hydrated.

  2. Get out of the house. If you can, try attending daily mass, or some other church event, or just heading out somewhere to pray and meditate. Pray the rosary or just meditate quietly.

  3. This one is most important. If you really can’t make it through the day, talk to a doctor. It could be a sign that you shouldn’t make it through the day. Please do not jeopardize your health.

  4. If there is nothing wrong with your health, then just work up to it. Try doing more minor fasts throughout the year - like, eat a hearty breakfast and dinner, but skip lunch, or eat 3/4 of your normal meals all day, so that your body can adjust to the idea of fasting and you will be better prepared when the Lenten season comes around.

  5. I forgot to mention. Avoid eating sugar and simple carbs. These will raise your blood sugar and make you much hungrier. Make sure that during the fast, what you do eat is made up of proteins and fats, because they will keep your blood sugar down and help you stay full for longer amounts of time on smaller amounts of food.

Fasting doesn’t have to be completely without food or water, especially if you’re a working person, mother or student.

You can make it a simple fast of a slice of toast and tea or coffee for breakfast. A slice of bread and piece of fruit for lunch, then a small meal for dinner.

This helps avoid getting headaches and helps your concentration, which an all out fast will cause, especially if you have an active day.

Jim

I find it easier to give up something I truly love to eat, and donate the money I save to the poor box on Sunday.

Here’s what I do when I’m fasting. When I think about food I immediately say a prayer like an Our Father or Hail Mary and offer up that hunger to God. I’m trying to make it an automatic response where “food == prayer.” That way, thinking about food while fasting will lead to more conscious prayer.

On a practical level, tea always does a good job of relieving hunger. It has flavor and hydrates. Also, sometimes I make my fast a “no treats” fast but will have something like a piece of toast or some veggies to get me through the day.

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