Fasting is a practice done by several religions. Deprivation of food, drink and other necessities, is often thought of as enriching to the soul. Fasting usually means not consuming any food or water for a given amount of time. Historically and scripturally, people who have fasted include several notable individuals. For example, Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and nights in the desert, and was then tempted by the Devil, which He overcame. Mahatma Gandhi also used fasting as a way of bringing about peaceful change.
Fasting brings about spiritual enlightenment because you deprive yourself of physical necessities. This can come about in various forms. Some religions only fast for certain times of the day. In some religions, fasting still involves eating meals-but reducing intake.
Decide on the kind of fasting you will do. This will depend on your spiritual beliefs. As earlier mentioned, some religions will suggest that you only take in one full meal during the day, and reduce intake of the other meals (or don't take them at all). For example, you can just take in plain bread and water. This way, you can still sustain your body physically without indulging in the pleasures of more delicious food.
Decide on the length. Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. This number has significance in scriptures, not only in the Christian setting, but also in Jewish and Muslim beliefs. In modern times, fasting is usually done one day at a time. For example, during the Lenten season, Catholics and Christians fast on Ash Wednesday, Fridays of Lent, and during Holy Week.
Consult with your doctor. Before doing fasting of any kind, it's usually best to ask your doctor for advice. Most people can last without a meal or without a day's meals, but will need water to keep their bodies hydrated. If you're diabetic, you might want to reconsider, because fasting will essentially cause your blood sugar to be erratic. Before fasting, make sure you're physically fit!
Do it gradually. Most people fail with their fast because they abruptly reduce food intake. Instead of doing this, try to gradually reduce your eating. Adjust your eating habits one or two weeks before you start fasting. This way, your body will not be shocked by the loss of food.
Eat light. Before your fast, try to eat light. Avoid meats and heavy meals. Take in only fruits, vegetables and bread. Drink only water.
Pray. Since your focus is spiritual enlightenment, take the opportunity to pray. Do this not only while you're actively fasting, but even throughout your preparation, and after. Enlightenment does not only come from within a certain time period, but it can be brought about by entire experiences.
When you finish your fast, introduce foods gradually. Don't shock your body into accepting food by binge eating. Try taking in liquids like juices and water first, and then soups. Then, you can gradually start eating solid foods again. Remember, fasting involves discipline and self-awareness, which is important in achieving spiritual enlightenment.