In the Coptic Orthodox Church we fast and abstain from food for a period of time in order to experience hunger. The Lord Himself experienced hunger in Matt. 4:2. The apostles also experienced hunger as they fasted in Acts 10:1.
However, fasting is not merely abstention from food, drink, or delicacies. It is an expression of our love to God. If the Lord Jesus delivered Himself for my sake then in turn I wish to die all day for His sake (Rom. 8:38). Thus fasting and abstention from food is closely connected with abstention from all that is evil or has a semblance of evil. It is is a means for continual spiritual growth and to rid ones self from ones ego by accompanying fasting and prayer together. Fasting is therefore seen as a sacrifice of suffering that is holy in the eyes of God.
For more in depth information on the huge benefits of fasting, both spiritually and physically, below is a link to a book by HH Pope Shenouda on fasting. Click on the image of the book to open the PDF.;
Fasting by HH Pope Shenouda