21 Days of
Start Where You Are
We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. So most importantly, whether you’ve fasted before or this is your first time, start where you are. Your personal fast should present a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options and, most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.
Find Your Fasting Zone
When most people start fasting, there is typically some level of discomfort. However, it is possible to get used to the fasting routine pretty quickly. Quite simply, you must learn to fast in a way that works for you.
While any true fast does involve abstinence from food or at least certain types of food, typically, different fasting combinations work better for different people. The goal to having a successful fast is all about finding what we like to call your Fasting Zone, and that is different for everybody and can change depending on the season you are in.
The best way to describe your Fasting Zone is that it’s the place where you feel light and spiritually in tune. Your mind is easily focused on God and spiritual things. You have an increased spiritual energy – you can feel the fast working. Just like runners know what their target heart rate is to see the benefits of their physical training, the Fasting Zone is similar in a spiritual sense.
Finding your Fasting Zone helps you choose both the type and length of fast. Let’s say you choose to go on a Daniel fast (only fruits and vegetables). Should you eat beans? If you can eat beans and stay in your Fasting Zone, go ahead. But for some people eating beans takes them out of the zone. Should you eat peanut butter? Probably not. Peanut butter is more of an indulgence, and not many people can stay in a Fasting Zone while enjoying indulgences.
Should you completely cut out caffeine? It depends. The great thing is, when you fast, your body automatically craves less caffeine. If you can stay in your Fasting Zone with a little caffeine, great. If you are going on a longer fast and want to cut it out of your diet completely, that’s great too. But ease yourself off and make it your goal to be completely caffeine free about two-‐thirds of the way into your fast.
If you drink coffee regularly, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to fast for one to three days and cut caffeine out abruptly and completely. Please don’t do that or you will spend this time grumpy and in withdrawal instead of enjoying God’s presence.
Mixing things up a bit during a twenty-one‐day fast is what typically works best for people. For example, do a fruits and vegetables fast for a week. Then do all liquids for a while. Maybe even mix in a few days of only water if you think you are ready for that. Then go back to fruits and vegetables for a few days.
“There isn’t one approach that works the same for everyone. Follow the Holy Spirit, mix it up, find what works for you, and stay in your Fasting Zone!"
Some people can’t stay in a Fasting Zone eating any type of solid food, so they prefer all liquids. With today’s protein drinks and juicing machines, it is so easy to get a healthy dose of all your nutritional needs even while taking in only liquids. Certain people can’t do anything other than drink only water. If they eat a salad or drink a glass of juice, they get out of their zone. Or if they allow themselves to eat rockmelon, they will end up eating twenty rockmelons a day!
Choose Your Type of Fast
While preparing for your fast, it is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or what combination, you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to finish strong.
There are lots of different types of fasts that you can do, go to "Types of Fast" page. . As you read over the information, please consider how it may or may not apply to your personal circumstances and convictions.
You may choose to fast all twenty-one days. Or you may choose to fast several days out of the twenty‐one days, such as three or four days a week throughout the twenty‐one‐day period. Maybe you will do that and do three to seven consecutive days at the end. This is your personal decision and should be prayerfully considered as it applies to your circumstances.
Begin and Break the Fast Well
Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on a fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake.
The same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back in very gradually. Please don’t break your fast with a greasy cheeseburger! Because your body is so cleansed and detoxified, you will most likely get sick if you do that.
There are also several supplements you can take that will help support the detox process during your fast. Your health-food store can give you recommendations.
If you do a Juice Fast, Water Fast or Total Fast for more than 2-3 days, then your digestive system will either slow right down, or perhaps stop altogether. Restarting your digestive system should be done slowly. One of the best approaches to ending one of these fasts is to heat a can of tomatoes, and eat with salt and pepper. The next meal might be some lightly cooked vegetables. Don’t introduce meat or dairy products too soon, as you may become constipated, or even worse, in the ER department at RNS.
Final Fasting Tips
Here are some other ideas that can help make your fasting experience more pleasant and helpful:
As you select your type of fast, make a fasting calendar that fits your plan. Determine what each day and week will look like.
Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with the items you need. Being unprepared to fast sets you up to give into temptation. Choose well when selecting products, stick to raw food as much as you can, and limit artificial ingredients.
Make it a priority to attend church during your twenty-one‐day fast. Being around other believers will encourage you to keep on going when fasting gets difficult.
If you mess up, don’t get discouraged. Just get right back on track and keep going. God’s mercies “are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23). He wants you to finish, and He will give you the grace and strength to do it.
God be with you as you begin your fasting adventure!