Holiday Fasting Precautions

CelebrationJoy Staff Nov 20, 2018
One of the common Christian practices is fasting. We give you some practical advice on how to go about it and the precautions to be taken by people belonging to different age groups.
People abstain from food especially before the holidays of Easter and Christmas. This would be useful for those who want both: to do their Christian duty, and to preserve their good health. Fasts have been kept by people ever since ancient times, in many cultures.
The basic idea is not to do it out of spiritual vanity, or to impress others, but in order to achieve a deeper understanding of what God wants us to be like.
As a fragment from the Bible says, God appreciates goodness of heart, one's love towards other people and towards the entire creation, good deeds, and a compassionate, humble heart more than any fasting and sacrifice humans can do.
Even if fasting is considered to be a great method for purifying our body and spirit, if we are not careful of what we eat in this period, our organs may have to suffer. There is certain advice that should be taken into account before deciding to fast for Christmas, without any fear of health problems or any other kind of deficiencies.
First, we must know that not everybody is allowed to fast. It involves medical problems that may prevent some of us from doing so. Doctors advise certain people to simply avoid any kind of fasting.
These include
  • breastfeeding mothers
  • children
  • people suffering from the nephritic syndrome
  • people with chronic diseases
  • people suffering from immune system depression
  • people suffering from malnutrition
  • people in convalescence phase

For Children

If the parents insist that their kids fast, they should bear in mind that the duration should not exceed four days. During this time, children are deprived from animal proteins and, if this happens over a longer time span, it can develop into a disorder of the growing hormones.
Teenagers too should not observe any strict fasts, and in their case, the duration should not exceed six days. Teenage is the time when the neurohormonal changes take place.

For Adults

If the person who fasts has a rather fragile constitution, but still wants to go through this bodily and spiritual purification period, it is advisable for that person to observe a less strict kind of fast.
Thus, such a person is recommended to eat at least 150 grams of meat every four days and, if possible, not to give up milk and milk products which can supplement for the lack of meat proteins.
At the same time, after the fasting period is over, it is very important to follow a well-balanced diet, without any sudden meat abuse, because the digestive system and the entire metabolism cannot readjust too easily, and certain digestive problems may appear.
In addition to that, it is advisable to drink a lot of mineral water. The salts contained by the mineral water can accelerate the process of restoring amino acids, and increase the efficiency of their absorption into foods.

For Older People

For people who are older than 54, the fast should not exceed five days. The eating habits, post a fast, are crucial for restoring the level of amino acids. It is advisable for such persons to drink sour milk after the fasting, at least 200 ml/day, as the sour taste is likely to stimulate fast absorption of essential amino acids.
For lunch, these people may have meat soups with plenty of sour milk. On the psychological level, fasting can make some people irritable, fussy, and moody. This is generally caused by our limited, human perspective.
But, when we do realize that fasting was not initially our own idea, but God's, and that it can only be done relying on God's power and grace, and only to serve His purposes, not to feed our vain egos, the really desired effects of this spiritual practice can finally appear.
Our spirits are refreshed and more powerful. We become more loving, compassionate, and understanding towards one another, and come closer to God.
Disclaimer: This is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts. Before deciding to fast, it is necessary to consult your physician.