8 Tips to Having a Healthy Yom Kippur Fast
Kick bad habits
Many people when focused with the oncoming fast may try to get their lasts in – that last cup of coffee, soda or chocolate. Don’t do it, it will only make your fast harder. Avoid caffeine, sugars and overly salty foods prior to fasting.
Get enough sleep
Make sure you get plenty of sleep prior to the fast. Sleep helps your body maintain balance and regulates your adrenaline response throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep can actually make your want to eat more.
Stay hydrated prior to fasting
Keeping your body properly hydrated will help to maintain a good balance as your body copes with fasting. Most of the discomfort associated with fasting comes form lack of water, not lack of food. To help reduce these effects stay well hydrated prior to fasting.
Don’t ignore a headache
Headaches are one of the more common complaints during fasting, mainly due to dehydration. Try resting and slow, deep breathing. Adequate oxygenation of the blood stream will help to reduce the headache. Most headaches will go away once the fast is over.
Eat a normal sized meal before the fast
Eating a large meal prior to fasting can lead to more discomfort. The additional fluids your body will need to digest a large meal can also lead to dehydration.
Eat complex carbs prior to fasting
Complex carbohydrates like whole grains take longer to process and provide much needed fiber and muscle energy. These long lasting sources of energy will help keep you full longer and provide more energy throughout your fast.
Do prepare for after the fast with food that has water, sugar and salt
The best way to break the fast is with the food your body has been really been missing — water, sugar and salt. There are many ways to get these ingredients into your body, but avoid juices as the added sugar can cause an insulin spike. Try eating a piece of whole fruit or some whole grain bread.