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The Food Fast: A Lost Practice for Growth

Video resources and links below

We tend to think of a complete food fast as an extreme practice today. Food fasting is an ancient discipline. More recently, however, we have tended to abandon the practice by giving up other things. After all, the body needs food, right?

A food fast involves abstaining from eating altogether within a set window of time. You might hear it called “intermittent fasting.” When done as a regular (even daily) practice, fasting trains the body by curbing the frequency of insulin spikes. The net effect is to minimize the body’s cycle of craving.

So why is food fasting so good for you? It takes great will power to fast initially. By not eating for an extended time, fasting reduces the amount of bodily resistance to the will, allowing you to achieve greater freedom over your appetites. We call this freedom, temperance.

Second, when the body does not continuously digest food, it has time and energy to regenerate itself. In the long run, this leads to less hankering for the next bite and ultimately to a more satiated and energized body.

Intermittent fasting is a great daily practice for growth in self-control. This Lent, take a week and set a daily eating window.  Keep all your eating within that time. A good place to begin is to only eat two robust meals within a ten-hour window, like 8am-6:00pm. No snacking in between!

We don’t need to eat constantly. Jesus went 40 days without food. You may feel like you are going to die if you don’t eat every few hours, but you won’t. God didn’t design us that way. Lent is simply a good time to remember that and recalibrate.

– Dr. Michel Therrien

Intermittent Fasting Basics

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