Top 5 Factors to Consider When Starting a Fast

Written by Veronica Yoo

Fasting, the voluntary abstinence from consuming food for specific periods, has been practiced across various cultures for centuries. Whether for religious, health, or personal reasons, fasting can be a powerful means of connecting with the self, promoting well-being, or fulfilling spiritual obligations. However, determining the right time to start fasting can be a complex task and requires careful consideration. Below are the top five considerations for finding the best time to embark on a fasting journey.

1. Understanding Your Purpose and Goals

a. Religious Fasting

If fasting for religious purposes, the time and duration might be predetermined by religious authorities, calendars, or traditions. For example, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan. Ensuring you align your fast with religious requirements will enable a deeper connection to the spiritual practice.

b. Health and Wellness Fasting

Fasting for health purposes might involve intermittent fasting, periodic fasting, or prolonged fasting. Each method has different timing and duration to meet specific health goals, such as weight loss, detoxification, or improving metabolic health. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help you choose the right method and timing.

2. Assessing Your Health Condition

Before starting a fast, it’s essential to evaluate your overall health. If you suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease, fasting might require careful planning and medical supervision. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also approach fasting with caution. Consulting with healthcare professionals will ensure that your fasting regimen is safe and suitable for your unique condition.

3. Consideration of Lifestyle and Daily Routine

Your daily routine and lifestyle may significantly impact your ability to fast. Do you have a physically demanding job? Are you in a high-stress environment? Answering these questions will help you choose the best time and type of fasting that suits your daily life. The more in sync your fasting regimen is with your daily routine, the more successful and sustainable it will be.

4. Seasonal and Environmental Factors

Climate and environment play a role in determining the right time to fast. In hot weather, for example, fasting might be more challenging due to increased dehydration risks. Seasonal changes in daylight can affect the fasting duration for those observing religious fasting tied to sunrise and sunset. Being aware of environmental factors will help you prepare better and make fasting a more comfortable experience.

5. Emotional and Mental Preparedness

Fasting is not only a physical endeavor but also a mental and emotional one. Are you mentally prepared to abstain from food and possibly face hunger pangs? Do you have the emotional support you need from friends and family? Taking time to reflect on these questions and prepare mentally can make your fasting experience more fulfilling and manageable.


Determining the right time to start fasting is a multifaceted decision that requires careful consideration of your purpose, health condition, lifestyle, environmental factors, and emotional readiness. Whether you’re fasting for spiritual, health, or personal growth reasons, these considerations will help guide you towards a safe and fulfilling fasting experience.

Fasting is an ancient practice that has modern applications and benefits. By considering these top five aspects, you can embark on a fasting journey that aligns with your beliefs, health needs, and daily life, making the experience all the more rewarding and beneficial. As with any significant lifestyle change, consulting with professionals in healthcare or spiritual guidance is often the best first step to take, ensuring that your unique needs and conditions are met.

Veronica Yoo

Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.

Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.