Types Of Fasting

There are many types of fasting. Many experts say that some types of fasting, when done properly, can actually offer health benefits. Below are some of the types of fasting that people participate in.


More and more people are becoming fond of the idea of participating in a cleansing fast. This typically involves abstaining from all food and most drinks for a period of up to a week. During the fast, the user will drink a lot of water and will usually be instructed to take some sort of supplement that is supposed to help cleanse your body of impurities.


Some people must fast for a day or two in order to prepare for an upcoming medical procedure, such as surgery or a diagnostic test.

If you forget to keep a medical fast, it is very important to let your health care provider know that. He may need to reschedule the test and, if surgery is involved, there could be dangerous consequences to proceeding when you have not kept to the prescribed fast.


This is probably the most well-known among types of fasting. Many religions, including Christianity and Judaism, have some sort of fasting that is of religious significance.

Religious fasts can last from one day to several days. Some people have been known to go on fasts that lat for 40 days in order to mimic the fast of Jesus described in the Bible.

To Lose Weight

One of the types of fasting that can be very dangerous is fasting to lose weight. First of all, fasting is not an effective weight loss method if you want to keep the weight off.  Taken to the extreme, this would be called anorexia, which is a disease that has taken the lives of many young girls and women.

If you want to lose weight, fasting is not the way to go about it. Instead, develop a healthy eating plan that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Add some cardio at least five times a week and you’ll lose weight at a healthy rate, and will be able to keep it off.

Above are some of the types of fasting based on the reasons for the fast. Below are some types of fasting when it comes to how people choose to carry out their fast.

Total Fast

A total fast means that the person will not eat or drink anything for the set period of time. This is the most extreme fast, and is not recommended. Some people consider themselves to be on a total fast when they drink only water.

Solid Food Fast

Another form of fasting is when the participant will only drink, but will not eat any solid food. Some may drink only water, while others will include some juice in their fast.

Some feel that this is not a true fast as many nutrients can be provided in juices. Also, some juices have the ability to make one feel full, thus eliminating any discomfort that would come with fasting. To those on a religious fast, that would defeat the purpose.

Extended Fast

Some people go on an extended fast, lasting more than a week. Often, people who do this will choose to eat some type of broth once or twice a day in order to get nutrients required to stay healthy without bringing any of the pleasure of eating into the fast.

Extended fasts are most typically done for religious reasons.

No matter what types of fasting you are considering, you should get the advice of your doctor before starting. Fasting properly can benefit you, but doing it incorrectly can be quite dangerous. Ask your doctor for his advice before starting on a fast of any kind.