Abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.
Being the third of the Five Pillars of Islam, ‘fasting’ is a very important element of the religion. Practiced by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, ‘fasting’ is obligatory from dawn until the sun has set.
Fasting is also promoted by some diet plans as being an aid to losing weight; however, is ‘fasting’ to hasten weight loss just a fad or an effective element of a weight loss programme? That is open to debate, however, it is certainly true that if you don’t eat you will lose weight. It is also a way of making yourself weak and ill if you eat far less than the recommended daily calorie intake of around 10500kJ for men and 8,400kJ for women. In theory, if those amounts are not exceeded in a balanced healthy diet an individual should not gain weight. Unfortunately it is not that simple because human beings are all different and the ideal calorie intake varies between individuals, being influenced by the age of a person, his or her metabolism, and the amount of physical activity regularly undertaken.
to eat no food or very little food for a period of time, often for religious reasons