Fasting has long been more than a religious ritual - today, for example, many are fasting for the sake of their health. More and more people resort to a detoxifying fasting cure to permanently cleanse the body of pollutants. Fasting is supposed to give the body back lost energies and make it healthy. By the way, you can also lose weight through fasting and lose some annoying pounds. Read here how to fast properly and what you should consider for a healthy fasting cure.
Why fasting is wholesome
Fasting either abstains from solid foods or limits their consumption. The fasting person drinks more than usual and supplies nutrients to his body through liquids such as juices or broths. On the one hand, these are easier to use by the body, on the other hand, liquid substances can help to flush toxins out of the body.
As soon as the food supply is interrupted during fasting, the body plunders its existing nutrient depots. Thus, stored carbohydrates, fat reserves and supplies of protein from the connective tissue are broken down and the body is drained.
Degradation of toxins in the body
The body no longer has to focus its energy on digestion, but can concentrate on reducing accumulated toxins. As a result, the pollutants of the organism are driven together, channeled and flushed out during fasting.
The body goes to great lengths every day to rid itself of toxins and toxins. The hydration during fasting helps him. At the same time, no new substances are added that can stick together, coagulate or get stuck.
Fasting for the body
Fasting often causes a noticeable improvement in health. Common consequences of fasting are:
- firmer skin
- Strengthening the immune system
- weight loss
- more stable bowel function
- Relief of chronic complaints
- Sensitization of taste and smell
- Lowering blood lipid levels
- Relief of intervertebral discs and joints
Fasting for the soul
The physical factor is also joined by a psychological factor. After a short period of overcoming, fasting people feel fresher and more relaxed.
Weight loss, improved circulation and general well-being are relaxing and restful. This often leads to a spiritual liberation, so that many fasting people report that the cure helps them to an emotional balance and inner peace.
In addition, the body increasingly releases the happiness hormone serotonin and reduces the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol. After about three days, therefore, often sets the so-called fasting.
Before fasting to the doctor
There are some important precautions to take before starting to fast. Especially if you have not gained experience with fasting or are not completely healthy, an expert guidance is extremely important. But even those who are experienced in fasting, should at least undergo a check-up before the doctor.
There are now many doctors who have acquired knowledge of the healing aspects of fasting. However, such so-called fasting doctors should not only have a theoretical expertise, but also have practical experience in order to be able to provide valuable hints to the fasting person during a medical consultation. A visit to a fasting physician is absolutely advisable during the preparation.
Alternatively, the fasting cure can also be carried out completely in a fasting clinic. Here the spa guests are looked after by experienced specialists and guided step by step.
Individual fasting plan
In the run-up to a Lent, a detailed, customized fasting plan should be set up that dictates how long and intensely fasted should be.
The duration of fasting depends on the particular fasting method, but is also subject to individual requirements. Beginners should not schedule more than five days of pure fasting at the beginning. The intensity can then be increased with increasing experience.
Usually, a fasting lasts one to four weeks. However, without expert guidance, fasting should never be continued for more than a week.
Properly fasting in three phases
A typical fasting cure is divided into three phases:
- Conversion phase or discharge phase
- detoxification phase
- Build-up phase or fast breakage
In the following we introduce you to what is to be considered in these phases.
Relief phase: gradual changeover
In the first phase, the changeover or relief phase, the diet should be gradually changed. Here are intoxicants such as alcohol or nicotine as well as the caffeinated coffee and sugary sweets as a taboo. In addition, care should be taken to avoid stress situations as much as possible.
Essential for the success of the first phase is the intake of sufficient liquid. The body needs at least three to four liters a day, which can be supplied by water, juice, tea or broth.
The first phase is considered to be the hardest time to survive. The body carries several side effects from the altered lifestyle of it. These include feelings of weakness, mood swings, increased sensitivity to cold and headaches. Or body odor or bad breath is possible due to the excreted waste products. However, these complaints usually disappear again after the changeover phase.
Purification phase: complete abstinence from solid food
Following the conversion phase, the purification phase is initiated. Now with traditional fasting food intake via solid foods is a thing of the past. The daily requirement of nutrients is only covered by liquids. In addition, the gastrointestinal tract is emptied into the first day using Glauber's salt or enemas.
Thanks to the high level of fluid intake during "proper fasting", fat deposits (also called slag) in the muscles are released and driven out of the body. Likewise, the toxins dissolve away from the body and are excreted. As the side effects of the first phase subside, the body regains strength and gradually feels better.
However, not every drink is suitable because it is important to supply the body with sufficient nutrients. These are suitable mineral-containing liquids:
- fruit juices
- vegetable juices
- fruit teas
Fast break: back to normal
When breaking fast, the third phase, the body is finally brought back to a normal nutritional operation. Basically, laxatives are counterproductive in this build-up time and must therefore be discontinued at the beginning of the phase.
The organism stopped production of digestive juices during Lent. However, these are essential to normalize food intake following fasting. For this reason, the body should be supplied with light, low-fat foods, otherwise stomach cramps and circulatory problems may be the result.
Slowly change the body again
Most fasting recipes are based on vegetables and fruits. A raw apple, a carrot and a vegetable broth together make an optimal meal for the transition. Sugar, fat, alcohol and caffeine should continue to be avoided, as the body has to take too much effort for the recovery of these substances and is often overwhelmed with the metabolism.
When eating, it must be ensured that the body works slower. Accordingly, the cow's rhythm and duration of the meal must be prolonged. The build-up phase ends when the body resumes normal activity.
A well-balanced diet and sufficient exercise help keep the body healthy even after fasting and prevent the accumulation of harmful substances.
Who should not fast?
There are some clinical pictures and situations in which the professional unaccompanied fasting must be discouraged, since it would represent an unnecessary and sometimes risky weakening of the body. These include:
- Depression or mental disorders
- Overweight (beware of the yo-yo effect)
- old age and minority
- Diabetes, hepatitis and recent major illnesses
In the following cases, fasting is completely discouraged:
- serious conditions such as cancer, tuberculosis, atherosclerosis and heart disease
- pregnancy and breast feeding period
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia or underweight
- Children should not fast
The different fasting methods
There are different fasting methods, which differ in duration and performance.
- Therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger: The traditional method according to Buchinger bans any hard food from the nutritional plan and is based on the consistent hydration. It is the most widely used fasting method.
- Base fasting: During base fasting, only basic substances are added to the body. These include natural products such as vegetables, lettuce, fruits and legumes. A real renunciation of solid food is not given here. Base fasting people should drink three liters of water per day. The fasting person can lose over three kilos in one week.
- Schroth Cure: This fasting cure allows up to 700 calories per day to be absorbed by lean, low-salt food. The multi-week diet is especially known for its water fluctuation. A low-water dry day (at most 1 liter) is followed by a water-rich drinking day (3 liters). The Schroth cure is not recommended for people who dehydrate quickly.
- Intermittent fasting: In intermittent fasting, a period of normal food intake alternates with a period in which fasting takes place. The exact rhythm can vary depending on the concept, but often every other day fasted.
- Whey Fasting: By forgoing other food sources, whey fastners only consume whey and other liquids.
Origins of fasting
Initially, fasting is a time of austerity that has its roots in religion. The Christian Lent takes place in the 40 days before Easter and is the Roman Catholic penance between Ash Wednesday and the Mass for the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday.
Other religions and cultures also know fasting. In Islam, for example, there is a comparable counterpart to Christian Lent with Ramadan.
In the meantime, however, fasting has broken away from the exclusively religious context and has become established as a method of healing and cleansing in alternative medicine.