Lessons from the Fathers
The strictness of the Quadragesima [the Forty Days] mortifies the passions, extinguishes anger and rage, cools and calms every agitation springing up from gluttony. And just as, in the summer, when the burning heat of the sun spreads over the earth, the northern wind renders a benefaction to those who are scorched by dispersing the sultriness with a tender coolness, so fasting also provides the same, by driving out of bodies the burning which is the result of overeating. Saint Asterius of Amasia.
Fasts do not shorten a man's life, on the contrary. Venerable Symeon the Stylite lived for 103 years, Saint Cyril the Anchorite lived 108 years, Saint Alypius the Stylite 118, Venerable John the Silent 104 years, Anthony and Theodosius the Great for 105 years, Venerable Paul of Thebes 113, Paul of Komel 112, Venerable Macarius of Alexandria 100, Venerable Sergius of Radonezh 78, Venerable Cyril Belozersky 90, Macarius Zheltovodsky 95.