How do you fast? In need of fasting advice and tips


Any people that fast on here or have experience with voluntary fasting? (outside of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, of course.)

I’ve been interested in finding out more about it. I believe it would be a good thing for me to consider. But I just wanted to find out more about it, what your experiences are, what you do to fast, or even what days of the week you fast. Any advice or resources would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance! :rose:


Taking one plain and meatless meal, Wednesday and Friday, is an old tradition.


Sometimes I’ll just tell myself, for example, that I’m not going to eat today until after 2pm, and then offer up my fasting and prayer to God as penance for the Church and other intentions.

Fast healthy. Good you’re asking questions and being smart about it.


I fast one day a week most weeks lately. Water and coffee only. Usually Monday. For penance and for health reasons. I would like to eventually get out of the three meals a day habit as well. I agree with Aquinas, intermittent fasting is a good thing as well.

My advice? Don’t freak out if you feel hungry. The feeling will pass.


@Aquinas11 I think the question the OP is asking has more to do with fasting for the purposes of penance, rather than fasting for the purposes of health.

That said, I do highly recommend intermittent fasting as something to look into for the reasons you stated. However, part of the idea of intermittent fasting is that you get into the routine, and then it is no longer a suffering… which sort’ve misses the point of fasting for penance, which is what the OP is asking about.


I recommend eating just a little now & then to keep body & soul together
Better to be found among the HUNGRY rather than the FULL


Yes good points. When she said “voluntary fasting” and “outside Good Friday” I thought non penance fasting but think she meant it now reading your post. You’re right fasting is much easier once you’re into it. It’s good point you made because for me I should probably do 24 hour fast for penance since that’s about same as fasting one meal when I’m not doing intermittent fasting. Thanks!


No worries, honestly I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts, I welcome hearing both health related and penance related benefits of it.


Fasting is very hard on my body, I get all jittery when the blood sugar goes down. So if I fast outside the required days, I give up treats, sugar, or other non-essentials. Even T.V. or internet.


This is a good point, there are different kinds of fasting.


My thought is that if you’re planning to do more than what the Church recommends where fasting is one regular meal plus as much additional food as required not to exceed another meal, you should do it with the advice of your spiritual director. It’s always good to make sure you’re doing a penance in the right spirit and not, for example, out of misguided pride.


I find fasting from the internet is true penance. I have problems working and fasting from food but otherwise it doesn’t bother me that much. (I get too sleepy to drive well.)


My boss said he fasted - twice in one week - but to lose weight -
Believers do it for God.
We have to show our flesh who’s boss !

People seem a touch victimized by gluttony -
always eatting, snacking, nibbling, restaurant going, food shows.

I’ve always been more enlightened by fasting. Always.

As a side note, I heard some religious lady survived on the Eucharist for 36 years !


Not so much if you’re diabetic.

And possibly, your doctor!

^^^This. It’s interesting, and perhaps relevant to point out that a monk would never do something like this without the permission of his abbot.


Usually I fast on Mondays.
Bread and water from the midnight before. If I say a Rosary for the Poor Souls then I can eat after 6 pm.

If I do a second fasting day it’s usually Thursday. I can do another bread day or else an egg and grapefruit day where you eat 2 plain eggs for breakfast and a grapefruit for lunch and then say a rosary and eat dinner after 6 pm.

Sometimes I move the 2 fasting days to other days because I have to do intensive work stuff or drive a long distance on the regular day, and it’s not a good idea for me to fast while having to work long hours or drive, because I fall asleep. Like this week I moved the Monday to Wednesday, because I spent Monday in a 12 hour mandatory class for work and I would have fallen asleep if I ate bread and water.

Also I never do 2 fast days in a row because it starts making me ill. I have to be careful as well to make sure I don’t pass out if I happen to go to a Mass in the late afternoon or evening before I can eat dinner. I have had a lifelong problem with sometimes getting faint at Mass if I haven’t eaten enough, especially if I kneel a long time.

Fridays are meatless.


Flagged the Jason Fung post, we are not supposed to be giving medical advice on these forums.

If anybody is diabetic or hypoglycemic or anemic or any possible medical condition, see your doctor. Don’t read garbage on the Internet about how fasting will help you. You could die. I’m not kidding. Ask your doctor about fasting and what he or she recommends that you do.


It’s a lousy way to lose weight. All it does is run your metabolism down, and when you eat again, the weight will come right back, and your body will hold onto that weight harder for the next fast.


That’s true. He’s 62 years old. Stands 6 foot 8. A huge guy but a gentle giant type. Other coworkers take advantage of him. Well, him and I - due to circumstances, had to work some late hours 9pm to 8 am shifts - and he went to Wendy’s one night. “ I cheated a little bit…” - shrugged - etc -


If I do fast, I don’t think I’m going to be doing anything extreme at this point. I may just start with the standard current rule of thumb (one regular meal plus anything else not adding up to a second meal.) And probably just try it one day a week and see how that goes, but ask a priest about it as well. I don’t want to, well, bite off more than I can chew. Ha.

I’m also interested in finding out if there’s any writing or documentation on it, articles or anything the saints have written about it from a spiritual point of view.


There are good reasons to take up intermittent fasting, insulin resistance being one of them, and kickstarting gluconeogenesis (the conversion of fat tissue into glucose for energy due to low blood insulin levels and depletion of glycogen stores) being another. Your point about bacteria and viruses, however, is scientifically dubious. Microbiological virulence doesn’t wane just because you’re hungry so the idea that your body preferentially eats “bad bacteria” when starved is silly.

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