Yom Kippur: Tips and tricks for an easy and safe fast

How do you prepare the body hours before a fast? What should you break the fast with? What foods make you more thirsty?

 Minyan hosts Friday night meals for 10 people at a time, combining Jewish learning with homemade food and contemporary culture  (photo credit: NOA EIZENMAN)
Minyan hosts Friday night meals for 10 people at a time, combining Jewish learning with homemade food and contemporary culture
(photo credit: NOA EIZENMAN)

The human body needs food and fluids to survive. So what happens when you have to fast on Yom Kippur?

It may only be 24 hours, but when the body is deprived of its reserves during the fast, it goes through processes that can cause headaches, dizziness and weakness, especially for those who are not used to it.

Don't worry, though; we will not abandon you in your hour of need! If you follow a few simple rules before the start of the fast, during it and at the end, we guarantee that you will be able to get through the Yom Kippur fast easily and without harm.

What should you do before fasting?

Drink a lot of water

 Water  (credit: INGIMAGE) Water (credit: INGIMAGE)

It is not wise to drink a liter and a half bottle of water a minute before starting the fast. Prepare yourself a bottle of water that is only yours ahead of time and make sure to drink from it consistently throughout the day before the fast.

Pineapple cubes, lemon slices or mint stems can be added to the bottle to make it taste good and encourage you to drink more.

Drop the coffee cup

On the day before Yom Kippur, avoid drinking caffeine - that includes Coca Cola!

A little less spice

We enjoy both our lives and our foods with salty, spicy and sweet tastes, but note that spices and sugar can cause thirst, so it is recommended to avoid them in the hours before the fast.

Nourish the body with sugars and complex carbohydrates

It is recommended during the day before the fast to eat grapes, dates and raisins that will help fill the available sugar stores in the body. It is also recommended to eat complex carbohydrates such as bread, crackers, rice, and pasta in small portions throughout the day until fasting.

Pre-fast meal

Don't overdo it

It is recommended not to overdo the pre-fast meal. At that moment it may feel wise to aggregate more food in the body, but in practice it only burdens the body.

The digestive process "wastes" fluids that we would prefer to keep for the rest of the fast.

All of the nutrients!

To prolong the feeling of satiety in the body, it is necessary to combine different food ingredients - vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. The combination will make it possible to extend the stay of the food in the digestive system.

Easy-to-digest proteins

According to Yaniv Fahima, owner of the Butchers' Cut chain, "it is recommended during the day and during the pre-fast meal to nourish the body with lean proteins such as chicken, turkey and fish."

"It is better to avoid beef, which digests more slowly and causes heaviness and irritation that translates into hunger. You can also combine lean cuts of beef... which contribute to the feeling of satiety."

Yaniv Fahima

He also said that during the pre-fast meal, "it is better to avoid beef, which digests more slowly and causes heaviness and irritation that translates into hunger. You can also combine lean cuts of beef... which contribute to the feeling of satiety."

During the fast

It's time to rest

True, the empty roads and streets make you want to start walking, but if you are fasting this is not the time. Avoid exertion as much as possible. It is better to be in the shade and allow the body to relax.

Relaxing smells

To suppress hunger, it is recommended to smell cinnamon, cloves, cardamom or tobacco during the fast.

At the end of the fast

Don't push

Don't worry, there is enough food for everyone, and to start the fast the healthy way we must be gentle.

Fluids first

We must first return fluids to our bodies in a controlled manner before anything else.

You can drink water and a slightly sweetened drink such as an herbal tea or sweet homemade lemonade.

Which foods to go for

During that long and exhausting fast, you must have surely dreamt of a slowly-rotating shawarma wheel, or a triple burger with a massive pile of french fries, but sadly that's not the best way to break the fast.

Instead, start breaking the fast with light foods such as cookies or a sweetbread.

A light meal

After about an hour, you can eat a light meal that won't weigh down on you such as a soup.

Most importantly: May you have an easy fast!