A Regular Fast
Traditionally, a regular fast means refraining from eating all food. Most
people still drink water or juice during a regular fast. When Jesus fasted in the desert, the
Bible says, "After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." This verse does not
mention Jesus being thirsty.
A Partial Fast
This type of fast generally refers to omitting a specific meal from your diet
or refraining from certain types of foods. Daniel 10:2-3 says, "At that time I, Daniel, mourned
for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no
lotions at all until the three weeks were over." In Daniel 1:12, they restricted their diet to
vegetables and water: "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but
vegetables to eat and water to drink."
A Full Fast
These fasts are complete - no food and no drink. Acts 9:9 describes when
Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to
Damascus: "For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything." Esther also
called for this type of fast in Esther 4:15-16: "Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 'Go,
gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three
days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the
king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'" It is recommended that this
type of fast be done with extreme caution and not for extended periods of time.
A Sexual Fast
1 Corinthians 7:3-6 says, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his
wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but
also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but
also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that
you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not
tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
A Daniel Fast
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:2, 3
The Daniel Fast is a plant-based partial fast. It is based on the Prophet Daniel when he was under the rule of Babylonian kings for their personal service. Daniel recorded three occasions of fasting, though he likely fasted many more times since he was a man of God.
Daniel 10:2, 3 is where we find the model for the 21-day Daniel Fast. From this passage, a guidelines have developed over the years, primarily by Christians who use this as a form of fasting.
No Pleasant Food: This would include breads, sugars and sweet foods.
No Meat: All animal products are restricted on the Daniel Fast. That includes meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese, butter, etc.)
No Wine: This restriction, coupled with previous fasts where Daniel drank only water (which is typical for biblical fasting), is where today’s Daniel Fast finds its roots for water only. Fruit and vegetable juices are acceptable.
Spiritual Fasting: The Daniel Fast is a restriction of food for spiritual purposes. So the fast addresses not only the body, but also ones spirit and soul