willing abstinence from some, or reduced consumption of, food, drink or both, for a period of time

Fasting is a kind of abstinence. It is when someone does not eat or drink for some specified period of time. It is only the case if the person does so of his or her own will. It may also be that the person only eats and drinks certain kinds of food. Most often, fasting is done for religious reasons. Depending on the tradition, fasting practices may forbid sexual intercourse, (or any sexual desire), masturbation, as well as refraining from eating certain types or groups of food (e.g. meat).

A famous statue showing Buddha after a long fast, his body was starved but he got great spiritual knowledge

Fasting for religious and spiritual reasons has been a part of human custom since pre-history. It is mentioned in the Qur'an, in the Mahabharata, in the Upanishads, and in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament. In Buddhism it is also taught as a way to getting Nirvana.

In almost all cases, there are exceptions for observing the fasting. These are made for the following groups of people

Politics Edit

Fasting as a form of protest is called a hunger strike.

Intermittent fasting Edit

Timed fasting is known as Intermittent fasting. It is sometimes used for weight loss.

There are different ways to time your fast. You can:

  • Not eat for 16 hours
  • Not eat for 20 hours
  • Not eat for one day and feast on the next day and repeat
  • Eat one meal a day