Monday, 29 July 2013

The Foodie's Guide to Fasting

Hi, my name is Ibukun and I like food.
No, really, I like food. So when my Pastor said we would do a Daniel Fast in January for 21 days I initially thought I was going to die but later I figured I could handle it. I mean, it wasn't like I was giving up food completely.
Fast forward to Day 15 and I thought I was going to die if I did not have chicken. And I almost died. I kid you not. And yours truly did not fast for the full 21 days.
Fast forward to the week I turned 20 and I was reading Jentezen Franklin’s book on Fasting and he repeatedly mentioned Matthew 6 where Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer and fasting: “When you give…when you pray…when you fast.” Jesus wasn't saying “If you give, if you pray, if you fast”, He was teaching His disciples how to live as His followers. Another part of Scripture that Jentezen found to buttress this point is in Luke 5 where some people asked Jesus why His disciples did not fast and He said to them, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Emphasis, mine)
I also strongly believe, in line with Jentezen Franklin’s theology, that if fasting wasn't that much of a big deal, Jesus wouldn't have fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before He began His ministry. Jesus came to show us how to live. He left nothing to chance. He knew that His works and ministry would be studied even thousands and thousands of years after He had died, resurrected and ascended into heaven. In a nutshell, He gave us the blue print. So fasting is not even an option in the life of a believer.
That stated, there are about a handful of fasts that you can do. There is the Daniel Fast, the dry fast and  the fast (as I like to call it). With the Daniel Fast, you can eat only vegetables, fruits and drink water. With the dry fast, you can’t eat or drink anything and with the fast, you can drink water throughout the day and break your fast with a light meal at 6pm. Some people do not drink water at all on the last fast I just described. It depends on you, really. There is no one-size-fits-all formula. Here are important guidelines to follow when you've finally made up your mind to take this fasting thing seriously: 
  •  It is important to consult with your doctor before beginning a fast and especially if you have a health condition (PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING A FAST)
  •  After consulting with your doctor, pick a type of fast that you can handle and please start small. Don’t go biting off more than you can chew e.g. doing a forty-day dry fast when you have never fasted before. I personally suggest that you start with a Daniel Fast for a week then pick up from there and fast for longer if you so desire. Or if you feel braver, you can do a complete dry fast for three days or you can do the last type of fast for a week. Like I said before, it depends on you so weigh your options, start small and pick up slowly.
  •  It is important to have a list of specific prayer requests that you need answers to while you fast. Because it is a time you’re expected to draw closer to God and triple the time you spend in prayer and reading the Word, you really want to have a list of requests that you pray about regularly. It could be for the salvation of a friend, your finances, your marriage, your purpose, anything.
  •  Set specific times during the day when you stop whatever it is you’re doing to pray. I did this while I fasted recently. I set a reminder on my phone for 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm to pray for about 30 minutes or less depending on where I was and what I was doing. That way, even if you’re at work or school you can have specific times when you lift your requests to God in prayer. It’s easy for me to get distracted so I needed the reminder/prompt.
  •   Don’t tell everyone that asks why you’re not eating that you’re fasting. There’s nothing wrong with simply saying, “Nah, I'm good.” Or “I’ll eat later”. If they insist that you eat, don’t bother lying just tell them the reason you cannot eat at that time and pray they respect it. DON’T EVEN BOTHER GOING TO THE FAST FOOD JOINT WITH THEM. You really want to stay out of temptation’s way at this point.
  •  Don’t ditch the perfume bottle while you fast and please, please, pretty please take a bath and brush your teeth. “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and dishevelled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18 NLT. See that part that says, “No one will notice that you are fasting”? Yeah, that’s key.

Now this is a warning but it is just as important as all the pointers listed above: YOU WILL CRAVE EVERYTHING EDIBLE IN SIGHT. At some points, like me you will think you are about to die if do not have a healthy plate of rice at White House but you won’t die…at least not at that point. You WILL have headaches if you’re used to having a coke, cup of coffee or some other caffeinated drink during your day. You may have problems falling asleep or like me, you will wake up around 2am every day and you may have bad breath depending on the fast you’re doing (true story).

Do you have any other helpful guidelines on fasting that I may have missed in this post? Do share it in the comment box and if you found this helpful, share it with others. See I made it super easy. Just click the “Share” button below. 


  1. One thing i know i don't always like telling anyone i', fasting when i do.

    i was fasting for like 3days a while ago and my aunt was on my neck to eat and all, i didn't tell her at the end of the day, she got my mum to call me and all that. My own is can't people just mind their business?

    Is it not my body? i don't even get it sef..

  2. P.S: I LOVE FASTING... I can fast every other week in the month.

  3. IbukunAkinnawo15 May 2014 at 12:44

    haha! I think it's cos they care. In my case, people around me can always tell that something is "wrong" when I turn down an invitation to lunch. I mean, eating is one of my favorite things to do. I'm trying to get a hang of fasting now though. Contrary to what I used to think, it is not impossible.