The Benefits of Fasting, and Why You Should Do It This Year
If you haven’t started the annual West Angeles January Consecration, it’s not too late. But if you believe that fasting and consecration is not for you, or that you can’t get through the month without your favorite foods, then we’re here to help. Read our post below to find out more about the benefits and importance of fasting.
We may know fasting as one of the latest diet trends to sweep the nation. But for millions of Christians throughout the world, fasting is not a fad, but a lifestyle; it’s how we worship. Many begin the New Year with a period of extended prayer and fasting, also known as consecration. We do so to bring ourselves closer to God; to cleanse our bodies, to develop discipline, and to prepare ourselves for use for God’s purpose.
Consecration requires us to limit not only certain foods and beverages, but also practices and habits. It can reduce inflammation and other harmful conditions in our bodies and minds, and help to lead us to the physical conditions God wanted for us when He created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:29). The practice of consecration helps us to manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24), and it develops within us optimum spiritual, mental, and physical functionality (Daniel 1:18-20).
Do you have a tough time starting a fast, or maintaining the eating principles required? Do you want to fast, but you don’t know where to start? If so, then know that you’re not alone.
7 TIPS FOR CONSECRATION SUCCESS
Here are 7 tips to help make your time of fasting and consecration a successful one:
- Think…It’s for God: and we don’t want to let Him down, do we (Matthew 6:33)? Fasting gives us a clearer reception to hear God’s voice and enables Him to work in our lives. Fast to create a deeper relationship with God in your relationships, your home, your marriage, your church, and your life.
- Do remember…It’s good for you. Fasting cleanses our bodies from the inside out, and helps us to develop temperance, discipline, and moderation (Daniel 1:8). As a result, we can develop a healthier lifestyle, better memory retention, and a better body condition for the healing of both physical and mental afflictions. During your fast, you may also turn off secular media, to clean, de-clutter and organize your home, and to increase prayer and meditation time. Consider everything which enters the body – including intercourse, which you may limit for a time mutually agreed-upon with your spouse (1 Corinthians 7:5).
- Do your homework. When we fast, we limit the quantities and types of foods we eat. Fasting returns us to a moderate, plant-based diet which consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and spices. We also eliminate artificial and processed foods and drinks; dairy, alcohol, fast foods, sugar, and extra salt. There are many advances in vegan food preparation these days, so fasting doesn’t restrict us to only carrot sticks and water!
- Be creative! Start by making a list of the healthy foods you like, and begin your fast by limiting your fasting menu and recipes to those items. Use these foods as the foundation to create new recipes, or to alter existing recipes into a healthier version. It is also a great time to try new vegetarian or vegan options. Remember: the use of spices is okay too.
- Have only healthy snacks around the house and at work. Replace the chips, sodas, dairy, candy, sweeteners and other sugary items with healthy snacks like nuts, sliced fruits, unsweetened applesauce, figs, and dates.
- Juice! Juicing is a great element to add to our diets at any time of the year. A day of juicing can be a healthy, nutrient-filled addition to your year-round eating routine, a good way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, and a great meal-replacement option. Remember that pureed vegetable soups are “juices” too! Include pureed vegetable soups on days where a fast calls for liquids only, as a warm “green meal”, or an alternative to a salad. Just be sure to check the ingredients of commercially-made soups though, or make your own.
- Drink lots of water. Our bodies are made up of mostly water. When we drink lots of water, it flushes out impurities and helps to re-balance us. It also helps to fill us up and to keep the cravings at bay. Try starting each day of your fast by consuming more water than you usually do; start your morning with at least glass of water. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily; work up to consuming 1 half-gallon of water by noon.
A FINAL IMPORTANT TIP TO REMEMBER
Often, we don’t want to start a fast because we believe we can’t give up our favorite foods, or we’re afraid that we don’t have the strength or willpower. Sacrificing for God, however, is an important discipline which fasting teaches, and it brings us unparalleled clarity and connection to God. One thing that’s very important to remember when you’re enduring the rigors of a fast though: you will eat again. But resuming “normal” eating habits after a fast doesn’t mean going back to consuming unhealthy foods, drinks, and habits. Start by increasing your intake of foods like applesauce, nuts and pureed juices in your diet, instead of foods loaded with sugar.
When you’ve experienced the difference in your body and mind after clearing out the extra sugar, salt, and even pounds – who knows? It may inspire you to make a permanent change. And if principles such as heightened awareness, mental transformation, peace, and self-control are important for you to develop in your life, then a consecration is a great place to start.
FOR FURTHER READING: Genesis 1:29, Exodus 34:28, Leviticus 20:7, Esther 4:16, Joel 2:12-13, Daniel 1:8-14, 10:3; Matthew 6:16-18, 33; Luke 4:2-4. 18:12; Acts 13:2, 14:23; 1 Corinthians 7:5, Galatians 5:16-25.
TIPS – To increase your daily water intake, drink one glass of water every hour between the time you rise or arrive at work and lunchtime. For example, if you drink a 16-ounce glass or a standard single-serve bottle of water each hour, you could easily drink a half-gallon of water between 9 AM and 12 noon. Nutrition experts suggest that we drink water before, during, or after our meals instead of juice or sodas. Drinking water before a meal can help curb your appetite too.
REMINDER – Always check the ingredients in commercially prepared foods and juices. Many products which claim to be healthy still add sugar, salt, and other additives.
DISCLAIMER – The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or for treatment of specific medical conditions. Please consult your doctor or physician before starting any eating plan.