Types of Fasts – Which One Is Best?

Types of Fasts – Which One Is Best?

woman drinking orange juiceI practice fasting almost every week.  I say almost every week, because sometimes I do not fast.  However, I make it a practice to fast once a week for a 24 hour period.

The type of fast that I stick with is a water fast for the 24 hour period.  This type of fast is also known as intermittent fasting.

There are times when I fast longer, but only after I have prepared myself, mentally, physically and spiritually.  Fasting takes focus, willpower and determination.

Are you thinking about fasting, but do not know which type of fast is best for you?  Ultimately you should do the type of fast that is best for you and one that will give you the best results for your situation.

*Consult your healthcare provider, especially if you are planning on faster longer than 3 days and if you have any health issues.

There are certain people who should not fast.  Do not fast:

  • While pregnant or nursing
  • When extremely debilitated and malnourished
  • Before or after surgery
  • If you suffer from cardiac arrhythmia or congestive heart failure
  • If you are struggling with mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar, or major depression, or severe anxiety.
  • If you suffer from severe liver and kidney disease.
  • If you are a Type I Diabetic.
  • If you are taking anit-infammatory medications, aspirin, antidepressants, narcotics, chemotherapy, or diuretics
  • If you are taking prednisone.

Source:  Fasting Made Easy by Dr. Don Colbert

Types of Fasts

Total Fast or Absolute Fast

A total fast is a type of fast when you do not consume and food or water for a certain time.

Dr. Colbert does not recommend this type of fast, because going without food or drink for long periods of time is extremely dangerous.  The body needs 2 quarts of water to sustain a healthy life.

Author’s note:  I would not recommend anyone do this type of fast, because the body needs water.  If your church encourages this type of fast, do not do it without drinking water.

Water Fast

A water fast is a fast where you do not consume any food or other liquids.  The only liquid that you consume is water.

If you choose a water fast, make sure you do so under supervision, especially if you go longer than 3 days.

I did a water fast for 5 days and it was an experience.  However, I had better success doing a 3-day water fast.

If you go this route, then you must make sure you get plenty of rest, take time from your job, and have no other activities planned.

Partial Fast

A partial fast is one in which consume food, but you avoid other foods.  The Daniel Fast is a partial fast.  I participated in the Daniel Fast for 21 days and felt great after doing it.

The Daniel Fast is one in which you abstain from animal products, sugar, caffeinated beverages and other junk foods.

I would recommend this fast to anyone, especially if you cannot do other types of fasts.  I once had a strong craving for sweets, but after doing this fast, I no longer have this problem.

Juice Fasting

A juice fast is a fast in which you consume no food, only juice, preferably freshly made juice.  Juice fasting is very popular and some have great success with this type of fast.

There is a young woman on YouTube who has completed a 10 day juice fast.  She had some very good results.

Dr. Colbert recommends juice fasting because it is a safer, more effective complete detoxification method of fasting.

Author’s Note:  I plan to juice fast and I will keep you posted.

Conclusion

There are many types of fasts.  Do not ever follow what others are doing, you must always do what you feel is best for you.  Everyone’s situation is different.

I highly recommend that you make fasting a practice, even if you can only fast for a short time, because it has so many benefits.  Fasting is not only beneficial for the body, but for the mind, spirit and soul. *Shorter fasts may actually be better.

Have you ever fasted?  What was your experience?  If you have never fasted, do you think fasting is something that you will consider?  Please share your thoughts!

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

21 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Wes says:

    I’m a type 1 diabetic and I’m about to start the Daniel Fast. I’ve read several articles and some are saying I shouldn’t do this fast. I’m planning to do the fast for spiritual reasons but I don’t want to have problems with my diabetes because of it. Do you have any suggestions how I should proceed?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can give.

    • Hey Wes,

      Why did the articles advise against the Daniel Fast?

      The Daniel Fast is a strict vegan diet with no processed foods included. I don’t understand how you can go wrong eating whole foods that are not processed. I guess some probably advise against it, because of the high carbohydrates, but you will not be eating processed carbohydrates, only whole foods (beans, fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts, etc) that are natural. You will also get a lot of fiber which should help keep blood sugar levels regulated.

      If I were in your shoes, I would eat the low sugar fruits like: berries, citrus, pomegranates, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. I would stay away from fruit that has high sugar content like: bananas, some melons, persimmons, mangoes, etc. I would eat a lot of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables.

      I’m not an expert by a long shot, but you should do what you know is best for you. You may need to consult your doctor too, just to get his/her opinion about this fast as it relates to Type I Diabetes.

      The Daniel Fast is an awesome fast for the spirit.

      Best wishes,

      Evelyn

  2. Jennbischof says:

    After reading this I wonder if I am putting my body through too much! I exercise around 5 1/2 to 6 hours a week..I just started intermittent fasting last sunday, only water and tea today is thursday and I am fasting again. I don’t need to loose weight…just wanted to add something to my life..an enhancement. I haven’t had a hard time adapting..but wonder with the excercise and fasting twice a week if I’m doing my body good??

    • Hi Jennbischof,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      If your body isn’t giving you a sign to slow up on what you’re doing, then you’re probably okay. But always pay attention to how you feel and what’s going on with your body. You never want to over do it. Sounds like you’re doing fine, but again, listen to your body.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  3. Joshua says:

    In my opinion, a fast with no food or fats intake and just juices and plenty of fruits would be best, because in such case- you’ll neither be starving yourself, nor you’ll be adding to your calories.

    • Hey Joshua,

      Thanks for chiming in! 😉

      Yes and you would would be getting the nutrients pretty fast.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

      • Joshua says:

        Yes indeed! You will be getting healthy nutrients and not the undesirable ones that do more harm than good.

        Thanks for your reply!

        Regards

  4. dlysen says:

    I experience fasting, not because I want to, it’s because I’m really short of budget.

  5. Farnoosh says:

    You fast nearly every week? One day a week? That’s brilliant and incredible willpower. I exercise too much and would go starving if I did. I did a 5-day juice fast once and just loved it. Maybe some day again I try it. Summer is here and it is the ideal time for fasting. Feeling inspired! Thank you Evelyn!!!! 🙂
    ps: I wonder if I can still have my Oolong tea during the fast… that might be deal breaker ;)!

    • Hi Farnoosh,

      Good to see you!

      I try to fast one day out of the week. Sometimes I don’t always stick with it, but I try.

      I don’t see how you could fast with the exercising. The juice fast sounds great. I have not done a juice fast, only the Master Cleanse.

      I find it easier to fast in the summers too. I’m glad you’re feeling inspired. 🙂

      I don’t see why can’t have your tea (plain with nothing added). 😉

      Keep me posted!

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Evelyn

  6. Christian Hollingsworth says:

    When I’m not ill I fast once a month, and it’s a great experience. Both health wise and spiritually. I recommend all try the experience – and see how they feel. Of course, ask your doctor first.

  7. Health Blog says:

    You live a commendable life Evelyn. I, sometime think to fast, but can not do it.
    Thanks for motivating post.

  8. Olivia says:

    I have tested juice fasting and i have success with this method. Its really effective and better than water fasting.

  9. Henway says:

    I’ve done juice fasting before, and it has always made me feel much more energetic afterwards. I’ve also done a few cleanses (such as the Lemonade one). I think everyone should fast once in awhile.. our bodies weren’t meant to keep digesting food every single day

    • Hey Henway,

      That’s great! I’ve done the Lemonade cleanse too.

      You are so right about our bodies. Resting the digestive system really helps the body.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Evelyn

  10. Sus says:

    Wow, I admire people who fast. I wish I have enough endurance and willpower to do it. And I guess juice fast is really the way to go…

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