Lenten season: 6 tips to help you stay healthy while fasting

Opt for fruits as your go-to treat during this period. Picture: Pexels/Anastasia Belousova

Opt for fruits as your go-to treat during this period. Picture: Pexels/Anastasia Belousova

Published Feb 20, 2024


While the rules for fasting during Lent are not entirely laid out in the Bible, this biblical practice dates back to the Old Testament as a spiritual discipline to deepen our relationship with God.

Today, fasting is still practised by many Christian denominations and is observed annually during the time of Lent in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Fasting is the practice of self-discipline with a penitential focus. In the context of Lent, it refers to reducing food consumption and limiting how many meals people eat daily.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, fasting rules allow people to eat one full meal and two smaller meals which, combined, would not equal a single normal meal.

Additionally, Catholics may not eat meat on these two days – or on any Friday during Lent.

Here are some tips for Christians who are fasting during this period.

Drink water first. Picture: Pexels

Drink water first

Most times while fasting, you begin to experience headaches and dizziness, especially during a dry fast.

According to health experts, this is because your blood sugar is falling because of your“ hunger strike” and you are feeling dehydrated because of lack of water.

It is therefore advisable to drink at least a glass of water before eating.

Focus on moderation and nutrition for meals

You already know that a regular fasting programme allows less than two full meals a day throughout the fasting period.

Being able to eat some food is a tremendous blessing, but you should make sure you are eating in a way that will help you instead of making your fast more difficult.

  • Eat nutritious food:
  • Eat with moderation:
Opt for fruits as your go-to treat during this period. Picture: Pexels/Anastasia Belousova

Opt for fruits for dessert

Treating your sweet tooth is not recommended during Lent as it is seen as an unnecessary indulgence. Many choose to refrain from all desserts and sugary snacks such as cake, ice cream, and cookies as much as possible during this period.

You could opt for fruits as your go-to treat during this period.

Go for protein and veggies over carbs

Eat one or more hard-boiled eggs or finish up with some greens. Eggs are one of the easiest ways to restock your body with protein as one egg supplies six grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids.

Vegetable soups, while also easily digestible, provide the body with Vitamins A through E as well as many essential minerals.

According to foodies, examples of soups for breaking your fast include pepper soup, mushroom soup, chestnut and meatball soup, dumpling soup, mustard soup and tapioca and coconut soup.

Avoid alcohol. Picture: Pexels/Markus Spiske

Avoid alcohol

In the sacred time of Lent, many people choose to avoid drinking alcohol of any kind. Alcoholic drinks contribute additional calories that are necessary during fasting and avoiding it also plays into the choice of self-control and abstinence of the season.

In the morning, drink a blend of frozen berries and water

Add some chia seeds to the morning drink, salads, and breads during the day. The seeds absorb water and help to make the body less hungry.

The seeds absorb the water and make a jelly substance that will slowly release the water back into your body as you need fluids.

The chia seeds also are a great source of fibre.