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,
Thanks for all the tips! Excellent post!
Hey, those are great tips. Thanks, Tonni.
Something I have to remember is, don’t eat so much when you break the fast (looking forward to then!), because after fasting for so long, your stomach has gotten used to the empty feeling. Start with a small amount of food – eating the “regular” amount of food that you’d eat on any other day could result in a whopper of a tummy ache!
Hope everyone’s having an easy fast.
Awesome article, by the way. :)
Thanks for the tips!
Just another point:
Losing yourself in a novel is great – yet what novel? Keeping yourself busy is great- just make sure you don’t forget the reason why you are fasting. For Tisha B’av, make sure to read books appropiate for the day, I recommended: The Harp, To Vanquish The Dragon, Lieutenant Birinbaum, Daughter of Two Mothers, Behind the Walls, Seder in Herlin, Sisters in the storm or any other book from the Holocaust diaries or related to the holocaust.
I ate before the fast 2 bananas, 1 egg and drank 10 cups of water.
Reading is not the only way to keep yourself occupied, many communities have shiurim going on on Tisha B’av and the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation usually puts out a video that is a must see (this years topic was on giving people the benefit of the doubt).
love your article, by the way i eat crushed ice instead of water. will that do?
thanx tonni! i’m actually posting this right before yom kippur so it helps anyway. my science teacher just gave me alot of fasting tips. one is to eat honey because it retains water. so drink.