It’s the nine days now, which means that Tisha B’Av is this Sunday. Quite frankly, I’m not too excited about fasting for 25 hours (or anything about that terrible day, for that matter). But while we’re at it, why not make it a little easier? Here are a few tips to make your fast go by faster and easier.
The Week Before the Fast:
Less is more. In the days preceding the fast, eat a bit less so your body will have an easier time easing into a zero-calorie diet (that’s a fast in a nutshell, right?). You should also gradually decrease your intake of meat (the Nine Days takes care of that), caffeine, sugar or anything else that you might eat habitually.
Switch it up a bit. If you eat your meals at set times, try changing it a bit during the week before the fast. That way, at 6:00 on Tisha B’Av, your body won’t be expecting a meal. So you’ll be hungry for a while but not as intensely.
Stock Up. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink. Oh, did I tell you to drink? Try drinking two cups of water every hour. You’ll come to the fast hydrated so you’ll be less thirsty.
The Meal Before:
Invest wisely. Some people eat a ton before a fast to ‘stock up’ on food. Result: Your body will be expecting more food on the fast day. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap! Eat smartly. Eat lots of protein and complex carbs; foods that will stay with you for a while. A normal-sized meal is the way to go! I mentioned it before, but it wouldn’t hurt to say it again: Drink – a lot.
Naptime! Take a nap. It will help a ton. Try it!
Mum’s the word. Don’t discuss or think of food, the hardships of fasting or anything in that category. When you think of food, it just increases your hunger. So don’t!
Forget about it. Lose yourself in that 600-page novel you never had time to read. Before you know it, the fast will be over.
After the Fast:
Break it right. With a drink of water.
Stay on the right track. Yay! You made it! Instead of going back to bad habits, you can begin your after-the-fast diet on the right track. The fasting will have destroyed all cravings so start new and improved! People fast for the health benefits. You need to fast anyway, so take advantage! That’s spinach for you. (Kidding.)
Good luck everyone!
Have an easy fast,