Proper fasting – that’s how it works!

Proper fasting – that’s how it works!

Fasting has long been more than a religious ritual – today, for example, many fast for the sake of their health. More and more people are resorting to a detoxifying fasting cure to permanently cleanse the body of toxins. Fasting is supposed to give the body back lost energy and make it healthy. You can   also lose weight and lose a few annoying pounds through therapeutic fasting . Read here how to fast properly and what you should consider for a healthy fasting cure.

Why fasting is healing

When fasting, solid food is either avoided or consumption is limited. The fasting person drinks more than usual and nourishes their body  through  liquids such as  juices  or broths. On the one hand, these are easier for the body to utilize. Liquid substances can also help flush toxins out of the body.

As soon as the food supply is interrupted during therapeutic fasting, the body begins to change its  metabolism  and dehydrate. From around the fourth day of fasting, stored carbohydrates, fat reserves and reserves of protein are broken down from the connective tissue.

elimination of toxins in the body

The body no longer has to focus its energy on digestion, but can concentrate on breaking down accumulated toxins. In this way, the pollutants of the organism are to be rounded up, channeled and flushed out during fasting.

The hydration during fasting should help the body to get rid of waste products and toxins. At the same time, no new substances are added that can stick, coagulate or get stuck. The activity of the liver and kidneys, which are responsible for detoxifying the body, should also be stimulated by fasting.

fasting for the body

Fasting often brings about a noticeable improvement in health. Common consequences of fasting are:

  • falling blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Weight loss through a change in metabolism
  • more stable bowel function
  • Alleviation of inflammatory diseases
  • lowering of blood lipid levels
  • Relief of intervertebral discs and joints

However, the long-term positive effects of fasting cures in particular have not yet been sufficiently scientifically investigated.

fasting for the soul

In addition to the physical factor, there is also a psychological factor. After a short overcoming phase, people who are fasting feel fresher and more relaxed.

The weight loss, improved blood circulation and general well-being have a relaxing and restorative effect. This often also brings about mental liberation, so many fasting people report that the cure helps them to achieve emotional balance and inner peace.

In addition, the body releases more of the happiness  hormone serotonin  and the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Serotonin also stays in the blood longer when you fast. After about three days, the so-called fasting high often sets in.

Before fasting to the doctor

Before beginning the fast, there are a few important precautions to take. Expert guidance is extremely important, especially if you have not had any experience with fasting or are not completely healthy. But even those who are experienced in fasting should at least undergo a check-up with a doctor beforehand.

There are now many doctors who have acquired knowledge about the healing aspects of fasting. However, such so-called fasting doctors should not only have theoretical expertise, but also practical experience in order to be able to provide the fasting person with valuable information during a medical consultation. A visit to a fasting doctor is definitely advisable as part of 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 instructed step by step.

Individual fasting plan

In the run-up to a fasting period, a detailed, individually adapted fasting plan should be drawn up that specifies how long and intensively the fast should be.

The  duration of the fast  depends on the respective fasting method, but is also subject to individual requirements. Beginners should not plan more than five days of pure fasting at the beginning. The intensity can then be increased with increasing experience.

A fasting cure usually lasts one to four weeks. Fasting should never be carried out for more than a week without expert support.

Correct fasting in three phases

A typical fast is divided into three phases:

  1. conversion phase or relief phase
  2. purification phase
  3. Build-up phase or fast-breaking

In the following, we present what needs to be considered in these phases.

Relief phase: gradual conversion

In the first phase, the conversion or relief phase, the diet should be changed gradually. Intoxicants such as alcohol or nicotine are just  as taboo as coffee containing caffeine  and sweets containing sugar. In addition, care should be taken to avoid stressful situations as much as possible.

Consuming enough liquid  is essential for the success of the first phase  . The body needs at least three liters a day, which can be supplied through water, juice,  tea  or broth.

The first stage is considered to be the most difficult to get through. The body suffers  several side effects  from the changed lifestyle. These include feelings of weakness, mood swings, increased sensitivity to cold and headaches. Body or  bad breath  is also possible, since acetoacetic acid is produced during fat burning. This is excreted from the body through breathing air and  sweat  and causes the unpleasant smell. However, these symptoms usually disappear again after the conversion phase.

Detox phase: complete abstinence from solid food

After the changeover phase, the detoxification phase begins. With conventional fasting, eating through solid foods is now a thing of the past. The daily requirement of nutrients is only covered by liquids. In addition, the gastrointestinal tract is emptied in the first day with the help of Glauber’s salt or enemas.

Thanks to the high liquid intake during “proper fasting”, fat deposits (also called slag) in the muscles are loosened and driven out of the body. Likewise  , the toxins are released from the body  and excreted. As the side effects of the first phase subside, the body strengthens and gradually begins to feel better.

However, not every drink is suitable, because it is important to supply the body with sufficient nutrients. These are suitable mineral-containing liquids:

  • water
  • fruit juices
  • vegetable juices
  • broths
  • fruit teas

Breaking the fast: back to normal

When you break the fast, the third phase, the body should finally be brought back to normal nutritional operation. In principle,  laxatives  are counterproductive during this build-up period and must therefore be discontinued at the beginning of the phase.

During the fasting period, the organism stopped producing digestive juices. However, these are essential to normalize food intake after fasting. For this reason, the body should be provided with  light, low-fat meals  , otherwise stomach cramps and  circulatory problems  can result.

Change your body slowly

Most recipes for breaking the fast are based on vegetables and fruits. A raw apple, a  carrot  and a vegetable broth together make a great transitional meal. Sugar, fat, alcohol and caffeine should continue to be avoided, as the body has to put in too much effort to utilize these substances and is often overwhelmed with the metabolism.

When eating itself, care must be taken that the body works more slowly. Accordingly,  the chewing rhythm and duration of the meal must be  extended. The build-up phase ends when the body has resumed its normal activity.

A balanced diet and sufficient exercise help to ensure that the body remains healthy even after the fast has ended and that harmful substances do not accumulate again so quickly.

Who Should Not Fast?

There are some clinical pictures and situations in which unaccompanied fasting must be discouraged, as it would represent an unnecessary and sometimes risky weakening of the body. These include, among others:

  • depression  or mental disorders
  • Overweight (beware of the  yo-yo effect )
  • old age and minority
  • Diabetes , hepatitis and recent serious illnesses
  • Stress

Fasting is strongly discouraged in the following cases:

The different fasting methods

There are various fasting methods that differ in duration and implementation.

  • Therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger:  The traditional method according to Buchinger banishes all solid foods from the nutrition plan and is based on consistent fluid intake. It is the most common fasting method.
  • Alkaline fasting:  During alkaline fasting, the body is only supplied with alkaline substances. This includes natural products such as vegetables, salad, fruit and legumes. There is no actual renunciation of solid food here. Alkaline fasters should drink three liters of water a day. The fasting person can lose over three kilos in one week.
  • Schroth cure:  This fasting cure allows up to 700 calories a day to be consumed through fat-free, low-salt food. The multi-week diet is best known for its water turnover. A water-poor dry day (maximum 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  (intermittent fasting):  Intermittent fasting alternates a period of normal food intake with a period of fasting. The exact rhythm can vary depending on the concept, but fasting is often done every other day.
  • Whey Fasting:  Abstaining from other food sources, whey fasters consume only whey and other liquids.

Origins of Fasting

Originally, fasting is a time of abstinence that has its roots in religion. The Christian Lent takes place in the 40 days before Easter and is the Roman Catholic penitential period between Ash Wednesday and the Mass for the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday.

Fasting is also practiced in other religions and cultures. In Islam, for example, Ramadan has a comparable counterpart to Christian Lent.

In the meantime, however, fasting has detached itself from the exclusively religious context and has established itself in alternative medicine as a healing and cleansing method.


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