Recommendations for long-term fasting?


I want to start a long-term fast for an increase in spritual strength and to help me with my weight loss. Does anyone have experience with fasting like this or know of any resources that could assist me? Thanks.


Don’t unless you are under the strict watchful eye of a doctor.

Long term fasting can lead to serious medical problems unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Long term fasting for religious purposes also requires a doctor and a wise spiritual director.

Just be careful.

I have nothing to contribute with, but I post so I can read replies from others as I too think of starting a long lasting fast.
I’ve been thinking of 14 days…

Yours in Jesus and Mary

  • MarianCatholic

Speak to your doctor first and then your priest BEFORE starting such a fast.

Hi Rich,

I agree with what Helen Rose says in her post.

I personally think that any long-term fasting should be done under the guidance of both a doctor and a spiritual director, so that your health and nutrition does not become compromised in any way.

I have done short-term one day fasts of just bread/or toast and water, and would do those fasts either during Lent or just during/throughout the year, picking a specific day during the week to do it.

I was very careful with how I would do it, and would eat bread at each “meal” (as if I were having breakfast, lunch and dinner, except I would just eat bread) and would drink enough water throughout the day, too.

Pax Christi.

Please read and heed what the others say regarding supervision by a doctor and a spiritual director/confessor.

That said, is a very good source for anyone interested in fasting.

Also, you might check out the fasting group on the link below.

If you really mean to fast seriously, please stay in contact with us.

God bless.

Pax Christi.

Also, I’ve heard that God’s Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis is a good source, although I haven’t read it myself.

God bless.

How long is long? I would also point out if you are doing it to lose weight that’s a diet not a fast. There is all the difference in the world.

This thread does pop up at an opportune moment, as I’ve also been contemplating a long-term fast. But to me, I was thinking a week maximum would be my “long-term” because I don’t want to harm myself.

But yes, a fast for the intentions of discernment is what I’ve been considering. I haven’t decided if that’s going to happen or not. I am a little intimidated, but also very stubborn. :shrug:

Well a week or two isn’t really that long. I would still recommend you talk to a priest but the advice I would give is three things. First, to always remember why you fast. Never forget, God doesn’t need you to fast. It is for your spiritual growth. Second, moderation is a key. Better to take on a less stringent fast that you can keep rather than going pedal to the metal at the beginning then failing at the end. If it is causing you to be grouchy or irritated or anything like that you are probably doing too much.

“Fasting in the body, O brethren, let us also fast from sin.” - Lenten Triodion

Third, fasting without increased prayer and good works really isn’t a fast at all. During the fast you have to focus more on doing the works of God.

Also please remember this is just my personal opinion. I don’t know you and even if I did I’m not qualified to advise anyone. These are things I’ve learned from my priest over the years that I thought might be helpful.

You can choose what traditionally monks have done, fasted from eating meat and eating only small, minimal meals. It would be wise to make sure you can tolerate such a drastic change in your eating habits to avoid becoming ill, though.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will definitely consult with my doctor and priest before taking something like this on. As far as the length I was only thinking a week at a time. I would fast for a week, and then switch to a regular, but healthy diet the next, and then back to another week-long fast. I really want to challenge myself to sacrifice and to grow spiritually.

Speaking of spirituality, what is it about fasting that helps us grow in this way? Any feedback?

I imagine most traditional Catholics would emphasize the penance aspect but I would emphasize the purification and strengthening aspects. Being a little physically hungry reminds you constantly to be hungry for God, to put aside earthly things and focus on spiritual things. Also there is a very practical aspect. If you can resist the temptation to eat the food you want it helps prepare you for those times you are tempted to sin.

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