Why Do Some People Fast, What Does “Fasting” Mean, and Where Did the Word “Fast” Come From?

The original meaning of fast was “hold firmly,” as in “she held fast to her principles.”

As a practice of not eating, fasting is all about maintaining firm self-control.

Today fasting can take many forms and is practiced by the religious and non-religious.

As a protest, prisoners use it to demonstrate that their captors don’t control their will or bodies.

As a religious exercise, it is a demonstration of a person’s steadfast allegiance to God.

Some people fast simply to purge their bodies of its toxins.

The word fast began in Old English as “faest”, meaning “firmly steadfast” or “mentally strong,” and has the same application to swiftness or running a long-distance race.