4 pre-fasting tips to make Yom Kippur easier

November 3, 2015

Fasting for Yom Kippur is an integral part of the holiday, but giving up food and drinks for more than 24 hours can be a real challenge. These tips will help curb some of the challenging effects.

4 pre-fasting tips to make Yom Kippur easier

4 Pre-fasting tips to make your Yom Kippur fast easier

  • If you want to make the fast easier by taking some steps beforehand, there are some simple things you can do in the days leading up to Yom Kippur to make the fast more healthy, comfortable, and successful.

1. Taper off addictive substances

Many things we enjoy on a daily basis can be addictive, such as caffeine, alcohol, or sugar.

  • In the two weeks leading up to Yom Kippur, slowly reduce the amount of these that you consume to make the day of the fast less painful.
  • If you don't taper off addictive substances before the holiday, you may experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like headaches and shakiness while you fast.
  • Withdrawal from sugar or caffeine can even cause mental fogginess and extreme irritability -- not something you want to be dealing with on the holiest of holidays in the Jewish faith.

2. Drink more water

Get in the habit of keeping your body hydrated during the week before the Yom Kippur fast, and try eliminating all regular beverages except water.

  • Increasing your water intake to at least 1.5 litres per day will make your thirst much more bearable during the fast since your body will be so well-hydrated to start with.

3. Avoid refined carbohydrates

Many people think that eating refined carbohydrates like white breads and pastas before they start their fast will give them an energy boost, but eating refined carbs actually spikes your blood sugar.

  • Your blood sugar will crash later, leaving you feeling far hungrier and weaker than before.
  • The day before the fast, opt for complex carbohydrates and proteins to keep your hunger bearable.

4. Take extended release medications

If you tend to experience regular headaches, ask your doctor about taking an extended release headache medication.

  • These drugs usually last about 24 hours, and if you take them with water before the fast, you can provide yourself some relief should you start suffering from a headache in the middle of the day.
  • While extended release medications won't cure your headache entirely, they are a good way to stave off severe pain and make the day more bearable throughout.
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