What to Expect When Fasting - Day 1
Welcome to Day 1 of the 21-Day fast! This is our favorite time of the year as we gather literally millions from all over the world and fast together for 21 days. Each day we will look at a different topic that people have asked about or talked about in past 21-day fasts. Today we will discuss a question that we all have at the beginning of each fast, especially for those who are fasting with us for the first time.
Before we go one step further, please remember, you should consult a medical professional before fasting if you have any concerns or health conditions.
What can I expect to experience physically when I fast?
The start of anything meaningful, be it a home project, new marriage, or commitment to Christ, comes with some initial challenges. These are not insurmountable, but may cause you to wonder if you made the right decision. Joining the 21-Day Fast will be no different. Knowing what to expect will help you prepare mentally, and allow you to prayerfully put these concerns before the Lord. God will give you strength as noted in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (NKJV). Lean into God during this 21-Day period.
When you fast, your body detoxifies which eliminates toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort, especially the first three days, resulting in such things as severe headaches and irritability as your body withdrawals from caffeine and sugars. In addition, you will naturally have hunger pains. This is a normal reaction and something you can expect to experience. Each day will lessen these effects as you move into the fasting period.
As your body adjusts to the lack of food, your energy levels may diminish a bit the first few days of the fast. Use caution doing physical labor and exercise. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water! Next, take time to get proper rest. This is a key ingredient during the duration of the fast. Allow your body to get ample restoration time. God created the sleeping hours to benefit you in mind, body and spirit. This is paramount during the fast as your body compensates for your loss of food.
Remember, water will be your best friend during while fasting. You should keep some with you at all times. Water serves to remove the toxins released in your body as you fast. The flushing of your body’s toxins will aid in the reduction of your headaches as well. You may want to try drinking water at room temperature, as this does not shock the body due to temperature variations. Drink as much water as possible!
Despite how you feel physically, your body is rejoicing as it releases toxins and takes a rest from such a daily grind, especially after coming through the Holiday season. While you are fasting for spiritual reasons, the physical benefits are numerous. Many people express feeling more energy, less lethargic, and more focused during the fast once they push through the first few days. But you know your body—so at any time you have doubt or questions, consult your medical professional.
To benefit from the fast spiritually, keep a spiritual focus. Spend time listening to praise and worship, engage in prayer as often as you can throughout the day, reflect on God and look for Him at work around you during this time. Enjoy His Word while allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to you. If you can, get away from the normal distractions, as much as possible, and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s direction for the New Year. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast.
The most important thing to remember in any fast is the reason you are fasting. If you aren’t careful, you can make this just a physical challenge … minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour as you strive to endure the physical challenge. View your fast as a spiritual journey rather than a physical challenge and dive in expectantly! Replace your physical cravings with a spiritual hunger and allow Jesus to be your Bread of Life (Matthew 6:16-18) (John 6:35).
What are YOU expecting out of this fast?
Why are you fasting? Be sure to sign in to answer this question in the comments below and join the conversation! We want to hear from you, too! Just click on the person icon in the top right corner of this page to sign in or sign up. We’ll send you an email confirmation and then you can log in to comment, ask, and answer questions on our blog each day!
Our team will be moderating and replying to your comments each day! It’s the best way to experience the encouragement, prayers, and support so critical to this corporate fast. Even if you’re fasting alone, you’ve got this community! The next 21 days will be an adventure—that is certain! Let’s do it together!