How to Fast Safely: 11 Tips

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
How to Fast Safely: 11 Tips
While there are many ways to fast, here are 11 tips to make sure you do it safely

Intermittent fasting has become more and more popular in recent years. Fasting has been linked to several health benefits, including weight management and reduced risk of disease.

While there are many ways to fast, here are 11 tips to make sure you do it safely.

11 tips for fasting safely

1. Keep your fasting windows short

Short fasting intervals can reduce the risk of developing health problems.

Fasting over an extended period can result in several health issues, including stomach discomfort, dehydration, mood fluctuations, and low energy levels.

Keep nutrition in mind while reducing your calorie consumption since fasting allows you just a limited amount of food.

If you are new to fasting, only do it for short periods of time to get your body accustomed to it.

2. Eat small quantities of food

Instead of eating large meals and then letting hunger pangs ruin your day, practice eating small amounts of food at regular intervals.

Instead of starting with a full-blown fast, start by eating a little even on your fasting days so that you aren’t starving.

3. Stay hydrated

Do not allow dehydration, fatigue, or headaches to creep in because of fasting

Stay hydrated with extra water, juice, milk, or other liquids.

Avoiding dehydration can also help you keep hunger pangs at bay when you are fasting.

4. Plan your workouts

If you are new to fasting, keep your workouts low-intensity and engage in mild exercises like yoga or stretching.

Talk to a gym trainer for tips on practicing mindful exercising on fasting days.

5. Listen to your body

Monitor your body to see how you respond to fasting.

Side effects of fasting include fatigue, headaches, and mood swings.

Start slow and adjust as your body gets used to fasting. 

If you feel unwell, stop fasting immediately.

6. Include protein in your diet

Consuming fewer calories can result in muscle loss, making you weak.

When fasting, make sure to eat enough protein to prevent muscle loss as well as help with hunger pangs.

7. Take supplements if needed

If you fast on a regular basis, there is a chance that you are not getting enough essential nutrients. 

After consulting with a nutritionist, you may consider taking dietary supplements to compensate for the loss.

That being said, however, it is always preferable to get nutrients from foods.

8. Take short walks or meditate

If fasting becomes difficult because you get bored or hungry, try to find ways to keep busy.

Keeping active with short walks or engaging in meditation can help you avoid breaking your fast. 

You can also try relaxing by taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to a podcast to keep your mind engaged.

9. Eat healthy during non-fasting periods

Maintain a healthy diet on non-fasting days.

Eat a balance of whole foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.

Whole food diets have been linked to several health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

10. Break your fast wisely

When you restrict your food intake, it can be tempting to binge during your meals.

However, breaking your fast with too much food can cause blood sugar spikes, bloating, fatigue, and other health problems.

Ease back into eating by eating reasonable portions.

11. Start slowly

Start with one day of intermittent fasting and work your way up gradually.

The easiest strategy to include fasting into your routine is to eat healthy meals 5-6 days a week and intermittent fast 1-2 days a week.

This will help you stay consistent with your chosen diet while not depriving you of nutrients essential for overall health.

What are the potential benefits of fasting?

  • Detoxification: According to studies, fasting can help the body detoxify itself more efficiently, which can help with removing waste from the body.
  • Weight loss: Fasting can help you lose weight due to calorie restriction.
  • Repairs digestive system: Fasting can be beneficial to the digestive system, allowing your gut time to rest and heal.
  • Maintains blood pressure: Fasting mindfully over a period of time can help lower blood pressure. However, keep in mind that this is try only if you include healthy, low-sodium, and whole foods in your diet.
  • Lowers cholesterol: Fasting can help lower the risk of developing high cholesterol.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels: Some studies have shown that fasting can be especially helpful for people who have problems with blood sugar. However, those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels or on antidiabetic medications should fast only after consulting a doctor.
  • Boosts immunity: Fasting may boost your capacity to clean cells, which boosts the immune system and strengthens its ability to fight disease.
  • Helps with addiction: Fasting has been shown to help people who have serious addictions. Fasting can make changes in brain neurochemistry, which may lessen the urge to consume something again and again.
  • Improves mood: Fasting may help improve concentration and alleviate mental issues such as anxiety and stress.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

What are the potential risks of fasting?

  • May cause overeating: Because meal quantity and frequency are not regulated on eating days, some people may overeat to compensate for their prior fasting days.
  • May reduce physical activity: Fatigue or hunger can cause some people to avoid exercise
  • May cause irritability: Fasting may cause you to feel tired and irritable. Not eating enough can lead to stress and fatigue.
  • Risk of developing eating disorders: Fasting is a type of restricted eating pattern.  If you have previously struggled with an eating disorder, fasting may cause you to relapse or develop a new eating disorder.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
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