Many people fast for religious reasons or as part of a cleanse, and the practice has been around since ancient times. Today, people also use it to improve their health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels, as well as helping them lose weight and feel more energized.
When you hear the word “fasting,” you might think of abstaining from all food or even eating just mustard packets for a week, but there are actually several different types of fasting. Time-restricted feeding, for example, involves only eating during a small window of the day, while alternate-day fasting has you eating every other day and skipping dinner the rest of the time.
Regardless of which type of fast you choose, it is essential to start off slowly and gradually build up to the long periods of time that can be involved. This will help ensure your body adjusts and prevent any uncomfortable side effects such as headache, fatigue or dehydration.
When breaking a fast, it's important to ease back into eating and avoid foods that can be hard on your digestive system, such as dense meats and fried or greasy foods. Instead, eat something like nourishing soup or cooked vegetables that are easier to digest and absorb. Using a slow, controlled pace and taking digestive support supplements such as digestive bitters1 or apple cider vinegar with your meal can help ease the transition and reduce any potential discomfort or bloating.