Fasting is a personal choice, regardless of whether it is done in accordance with religious laws or even on the advice of a doctor.

Here is a selection of helpful tips that every person preparing to undergo a fast should follow:

Consider Your Reasons

Why do you want/need to undertake the fast? Write down your reasons or create a vision board. That way you will have something tangible to refer to if doubt creeps in. This will help give you the strength to remain disciplined and see it through.

Gather the Necessities

Smart and Practical Fasting TipsRegardless of the type of fast you’re planning on, be sure you have everything you need first. Example: If you’re following a juice fast, you need all the ingredients and recipes—not to mention the juicer!—ahead of time.

Remember You Need 8 Glasses of Water Each Day

Unless you’re planning on a strict Dry Fast (no food or liquid)—which you shouldn’t undertake for more than a day in any case, and be careful even then—you need to drink eight glasses of water every day, to help keep you hydrated and flush out the toxins in your body.

Don’t Overdo It

Walking is helpful, but full-on muscle training and cardio is not advisable during fasting. First, you will not be getting enough protein for that kind of exertion. Second, your body needs rest. That’s one of the most important aspects of fasting: allowing your body a chance to slow down from its usual hard-core routine of eliminating wastes and working out.

Get Lots of Sleep

Again, rest is a key component of fasting. Go to bed early. Sleep in when you can. Play gentle music and take a walk for fresh air and sunshine. Keep a journal, paint, draw, express yourself. Fasting is a kind of therapy. While your body detoxes, you can purge your soul and mind of negative thoughts and feelings and emerge full of renewed purpose and energy.

Seek Medical Counsel

It is important to speak to a doctor before fasting for any prolonged period. You need to understand how this might affect your prescriptions or even medical conditions. Children under the age of 15, pregnant and nursing mothers should not fast under any circumstances.

Understand How Your Body Reacts

You may experience headaches, fatigue, or even difficulty concentrating. These symptoms should all pass within a short period of time, and usually occur in reaction to the detoxification process. However, if you experience weakness, shortness of breath, etc., seek medical attention.

Take Care How You End the Fast

Your stomach will need to be reacquainted with heavy meals again gently, so don’t eat high protein and starchy meals like steak or fast food such as cheeseburgers and French fries. Dairy is also not a good idea, if you want to avoid major digestive issues and pain. Vegetables on the first day of your fast, along with fruits and green smoothies, are a smart, healthy way to reunite your body with regular meals.