Many have tortured their bodies with ascesis. However, they were away from God, because they have failed to obtain the virtue of discernment of thoughts, passions and virtues.
If you are fasting, do not brag about it, but rather eat meat. Because is it better to eat meat rather than to be proud and arrogant.
Abba Isidore the Elder
Abba Joseph asked Abba Poemen how we should fast. And Abba Poemen replied: “I want you to eat every day so little that you will not be replete.”
Then Abba Joseph said: “When you were younger, Father, have not you been fasting three times a week?”
And Abba Poemen replied: “Of course, three and four days a week.” And the Holy Fathers have tried all these things, because they were strong. But they thought it would be better to eat every day. In that way they shows us the easy high road that we should be taking.
One must also be careful not to interrupt fasting. Ff there is no great need, one should not to ask for delicious foods and not to fill oneself up with large amounts of food and drink. There are two kinds of gluttony.
Thus, one opponent is the tastiness, that is someone does not constantly ask to eat a lot, but will do anything for the tasty food. That happens when ones eats something that one likes so much and surrenders to pleasure. The pleasure is so intense that one keeps the food in his mouth chewing it for a long time, without being able to swallow it due to the intense pleasure. This is what we call gluttony.
You must not restrict the benefits of fasting only by abstaining from food. Since true fasting presupposes good acts. “Loose the bond of injustice” (Isa. 58.6). Forgive your fellow human being for the harm he has done to you and forget what one owes you. “Your fasting shall be free of judgments and antagonisms” (Isa. 63.4). You do not eat meat, but you pray on the flesh of your brother. You abstain from drinking wine, but you are drunk with injustice. You are looking forward to eat in the evening, but you spend the whole day suing other people. “Woe betide those who do not die of wine (but of unrighteousness)” (Isa. 28.1).
I think that no advice can touch the soul of somebody who is gluttonous and change one’s mindset rather than a mere encounter with the abstinent. I think that it means eating and drinking in such a way that it is a honor for God, so that even on the table a good work is shining that glorifies our heavenly Father.
Saint Basil the Great
The one who is saddened in one’s mind and rests one’s body, is the same as the one who harms one’s body and tunes out.
Saint Markos the Ascetic
When you abstain from wine, do not fill yourself up with water, because if you do so, you provide the same material and feed your tendency to lust.
Saint Thalassius the Libyan
Some people take good care of food input, while remaining indifferent on their verbal output. They have not been taught how to get rid of the wrath of their hearts (Eccles. 11,10) and the desire of their flesh, according to Ecclesiastes; however, you can possess pure heart through the Spirit that freshens up.