Pre-Fasting Tips for Tisha B’av

Hello! I hope you’re having a meaningful nine days.

We’re coming up to the very end, and need to prepare ourselves spiritually, and also physically, for Tisha B’av.

JERUSALEM - MAR 19 2015:Second Temple Model of the ancient in Jerusalem, Israel

I had a special request from one of our readers, Chaya, to outline some tips so that your fast goes as well as it can.

So here goes!

It takes about 3 days to fully prepare our bodies for fasting, so that means that you’ll want to get started…NOW. Here are your tips:

1. Go easy on the caffeine. Gradually decrease the amount you drink each day. Don’t go cold turkey — that’s the #1 cause of headaches during and post fast. Slowly wean yourself off of it.

2. Start increasing your water intake. On average, we need about 1/2 ounce of water per lb of body weight. Now that it’s summer and we’re either sweating when outside (or even inside), or sitting inside our air conditioned homes and cars which dry us out, so we need even more than that. And now that we’re about to fast during a hot summer day, we will need even more reserves. So get drinking! Spread out your drinking over the course of the day. If you need to, set an alarm to remind you to swig.

Eating juicy fruits and vegetables also help, and since you’ll be drinking more than usual you’ll want to eat a bit (just a bit!) of extra salt.

3. Eat small meals, and eat them frequently, to keep your energy levels high. Try your best to make healthy, nourishing choices. Since the fast starts on Shabbos, plan your Shabbos menu to include foods that will leave you feeling good.

4. Get enough sleep. Your metabolism will work better and use your energy better.

5. When the fast is over, you should stick to the same types of foods you ate before the fast — water, foods low in salt / sugar, and small meals. Slowly, slowly increase the amounts you eat. You’ll be surprised that you’ll be satisfied with way less than you thought you would have wanted.

Have a meaningful fast. And if Moshiach comes first, at least you’ll be well fed for the journey to Yerushalayim!


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

July 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Thank you for these tips. I followed them last year and had the best fast in years.

July 23, 2015 at 7:31 am
– In reply to: Chaya

You’re so welcome! Glad it worked out for you, and I hope that this year will go just as smoothly.

July 23, 2015 at 9:17 am

Great tips! I always start hydrating three days before a fast and it makes all the difference. I hadn’t thought about salt. Thanks for the tip. What are some examples of a reasonable increase in salt?

July 23, 2015 at 11:05 am
– In reply to: Liba

Awesome! Keep up the good work. It’s hard to give amounts because it really depends how much salt you usually eat over the course of the day. I start by putting a couple of granules of salt on my tongue and take it from there. Try that and see if it works for you. 🙂

August 10, 2016 at 3:58 pm

What do you recommend to eat before the fast?

August 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm
– In reply to: Helen

Hi Helen! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I recommend eating foods that feel good in YOUR body. What feels right in mine won’t feel right in yours, and vice versa. There’s no one answer.

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