How to fast effectively.
I’ve nearly completed Progressio’s ZimFast – in the thick of it you might say… losing my mind even?! I love my grub & eat plenty, so it’s no surprise that I’m struggling. I’m not there yet but here are five tips that have helped me work through the week so far.
1. Don’t do it alone.
Buddying up is the best thing many of us can do to achieve many things in life. It’s the social support you receive & the fact you have someone on the same page alongside you. Find someone who fancies the challenge – it gives you a chance to share personal experiences too (from sharing travel memories to preparing & cooking enough chilli to feed an army!) It also helps with fund/awareness-raising.
2. Use it as an opportunity to try a new workout / compliment a current one
If you’re over weight, see it as a chance to shed some pounds. Alternatively, if you know you eat loads of bad fats Google the effect these have on your heart & arteries… It’ll help you stay focussed through your bouts of hunger. Additionally, I felt I’ve had more dedicated work outs because I’m aware my diet compliments my cardio regime more – if you don’t normally, go for a light jog. You’ll feel great for it!
3. See it as a test to monitor your usual diet’s effect on your body
I drink coffee. A lot. On my second day I was asleep by 10pm (unusual for me). By the third night I was out cold by 9pm. I’ve struggled without caffeine in the mornings but my body’s adjusted now. I don’t think we realise just how much of an impact what we digest has on our system – until it’s removed. (Sugar & alcohol are other prime examples!) Track your sleeping habits; you may be surprised.
4. Remember the international community
If you’ve lived in a developing country & seen how charities working at a grassroots level benefit the local people, remind yourself: Go through old photos, share video clips with loved ones & read the old blog or diary entries. These memories reinforce / increase your empathy for the very people you are fundraising / raising awareness for. It’s hard to explain without sounding cheesy but you really do feel connected.
5. Distract yourself
There’s a point mid-morning, there’s a point mid-afternoon & there’s a point from about 60 minutes after having your evening portion where you question whether you’ve even eaten anything?! Line up jobs to do; in this one week we’ve blitzed the bedroom, cleaned the car, slept for England (yep, that counts too) & now I’m writing this. If I hadn’t, I’d be rocking back & forth in front of the fridge right about now.
Whatever the reason for your fast, good luck – I hope this helps. (I have 24 hours to go – and it can’t come quick enough!)
For more info on Progressio’s work, on Zimfast or to donate to them directly visit their website.
If you’re aged 18-25 and want to volunteer abroad on a 12 week placement, or are aged over 23 & want to inspire teams of young people abroad, apply through the International Citizen Service website.