EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from marjana on 09-13-2005:

When we fast, what does that actually mean?

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 09-14-2005:

The law of fasting is not very severe, but should result in some feeling of hunger. It means only one main meal and two lighter meals in a day, with no other snacks, etc.

Catholics are only required by canon law to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. However, additional days of fasting are appropriate expressions of Christian spirituality, especially on Fridays and during Lent. The fasting may also be more strict than the minimum required by canon law.

Fasting allows us to free ourselves from the things of this world, appreciate what we have, and have greater compassion for those who do without but not by choice. We can fast not just from food but from things that are a little too important to us, such as TV, the internet, or whatever distracts us from doing good.