Are you thinking about fasting? Then find out here what forms of fasting there are and what you should pay attention to when doing without.
Lent has its origins in religion. It didn’t have much to do with losing weight. Whether in Christianity, Islam, or among Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus – fasting cleanses your body and gives you new strength and lightness through renunciation.
In the Christian world, Lent begins on the night of Shrove Tuesday on Ash Wednesday and ends after 40 days at Easter Vigil. For Muslims, Lent begins during Ramadan and lasts 29 to 30 days.
40 days lasted the fasting Jesus in the desert. Most likely with only water. This hard form of water or juice fasting, also called therapeutic fasting, is controversial among experts.
Buchinger: He relieved his rheumatic pains through therapeutic fasting
Otto Buchinger was a German physician (1878 to 1966). In a self-experiment, he relieved himself of his rheumatic pains in 1919 with a fasting cure.
Buchinger subsequently studied the subject in depth, opened his own fasting clinic in 1920, and published his book “Das Heilfasten und seine Hilfsmethoden” in 1935.
Since then, Buchinger has been considered the founder of therapeutic fasting. The approach was to cleanse the body of toxins and stimulate its self-healing powers.
In this context, Buchinger introduced the term “purification”. However, this term has not been scientifically proven to this day.
According to medical experts, there is no deposition of metabolic products in a healthy human organism.
If a person is healthy, the liver and kidneys regularly eliminate waste products and toxins.
Therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger is therefore often criticized by doctors.
3 phases of fasting: the most important facts
The following summary consumption and drinking recommendations are not professional fasting instructions.
If you would like to fast according to Buchinger, you should therefore seek the advice of an experienced doctor or alternative practitioner beforehand.
- This is how you prepare for fasting: On the one to three days of relief before the actual fasting period, you should eat only light foods and no protein. Fruit, steamed vegetables, and rice or potatoes are recommended. Already now one should drink much (about three liters per day) – only tea, water, juices, and vegetable broth. Alcohol and cigarettes are prohibited. Per day should be taken in this way about 500 calories.
- What do I eat and drink during the fast? On the fasting days themselves, there is tea in the morning (preferably herbal tea), sweetened with a little honey if necessary. At noon follows a vegetable broth or vegetable juice; in the evening fruit juice, vegetable juice, vegetable broth, or tea. All liquids should be spooned and “chewed” slowly. On every other fasting day (starting with the 1st), there is an emptying of the bowels, which is supported, for example, with Glauber’s salt or enemas.
- Eat correctly after fasting: One build-up day is calculated for every three fasting days. On the first day, the so-called “breaking of the fast” should be started with an apple (in the evening of the last fasting day) and a vegetable soup (with contents/for lunch on the first build-up day). Slow eating and conscious nutrition should be maintained as long as possible beyond that.
Tip 1: Ideally, therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger is supported with moderate exercise and plenty of relaxation. For example, light yoga exercises and walks are recommended.
Tip 2: In any case, fasting makes it necessary to reforest the intestinal flora with probiotics. Probiotic lactic acid bacteria are contained, for example, in sauerkraut or bread drinks.
In contrast to probiotic yogurt or drinks, sauerkraut, and bread drinks naturally contain highly effective probiotics. “They build up the Darmflora and make the body defense-strongly, stresses Sven David Mueller, which recommends the daily consumption of two glasses of bread drunkenness as an Immune Booster.
This applies all the more, if to the bread drunkenness still Vitamin C over sea buckthorn juice and natural “antibiotics” over cold-spun bee honey are added.
6 types of fasting at a glance
- Juice fasting: This type of abstention belongs to the methods of therapeutic fasting and is a milder form of strict water-tea fasting and easier to integrate into everyday life. One drink thereby five to seven times daily glass of freshly pressed fruit or vegetable juice, altogether approx. one to one and a half liter.
- Intermittent fasting: The crucial thing here is to change your eating rhythm. Whether it is a fasting week or a fasting day, it does not matter: You fast, for example, according to the 5:2 method – take only 500 calories on day two, but eat normally the rest of the week. Or you spread the meal breaks over the day, as in the 16:8 interval fasting: On eight hours you eat your meals completely regularly, but the rest of the day you live abstinent.
- Alkaline fasting: the term is misleading because it does not involve abstaining from food intake. Alkaline fasting is about establishing an optimal acid-base balance in the body. Fasting refers to completely abstaining from foods that have an acidic effect on the body during the cure.
- Fasting according to F. X. Mayr: There is herbal tea, vegetable broth, and twice a day a stale bread roll with a little milk. With chamfering after F.X. Mayr thus even carbohydrates are permitted. A core component of the chamfering cure is the careful cleaning of the intestine tract by means of enemas and rinses.
- Detox: That is no renouncement in the strict sense. Detox translated means detoxifying. By healthy nutrition with much fruit and vegetable juices, relaxation exercises, and baths pollutants and poisons in the body are to be bound and excreted.
- Daniel’s plan: This fasting cure is derived from the book of Daniel from the Old Testament. Here, it describes how Daniel and his friends subsist on only water, fruits, and vegetables. After resisting the temptations of meat and wine for ten days, they feel much healthier than those who lived in splendor at the royal buffet during that time.
What happens in your body during fasting?
During fasting, the body first utilizes sugar as an energy source. It comes from the liver and muscles, where it is present in its storage form glycogen.
These reserves are used up after 24 hours. However, because the internal organs and the brain require energy, the body obtains it from other supplies. Unfortunately, not only from unwelcome fat deposits.
Protein is broken down
“All organs lose some of their sizes during fasting,” explains Prof. Hans Hauner, Director of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Nutritional Medicine at the Technical University of Munich.
Who fasts long and extremely, risks even a dangerous dismantling of the heart muscle.
If the body switches with chamfered into the emergency enterprise, it uses less energy. Because digestion is paralyzed, the heart beats more slowly and the blood pressure sinks.
That’s why fasting people sometimes have circulatory problems. When the muscles shrink, the energy requirement also decreases.
Your brain does not starve during fasting
This can be explained by our evolutionary heritage. Starvation would make the mind sluggish when hunting in the wild, and the chances of finding prey would be slim.
But here, too, evolution has come up with a solution: if no sugar is supplied, our brain switches to another fuel, so-called ketone bodies, which are produced when fatty acids are broken down in the liver.
Incidentally, they also lead to the nasty bad breath that many fasting people experience.
Is fasting stressful for the body?
That’s why fasting people often feel unwell at first, are nervous, or even aggressive. But usually, these feelings disappear quickly – at least if you voluntarily give up eating.
Forced renunciation however leads to permanent stress. It sets off a hormonal chain reaction in which a lot of cortisol is produced.
The hormone keeps the stress level high because the hungry person should act before his strength dwindles.
However, those who fast voluntarily and in moderation often find themselves in a good mood.
Where this comes from, the Goettingen neurobiologist Professor Gerald Hüther found out in experiments with rats: When chamfered in the brain more of the mood lifter Serotonin is formed.
Attention! Not everyone should fast
“In principle, every healthy adult can fast,” says Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). Nevertheless, there are risk groups, which should be careful with chamfering.
Experts warn pregnant women, for example, against alkaline fasting. The toxins released from the fat tissue could pass on to the fetus. Also, humans, who suffer from depression, should better do without chamfering.
In general, the DGE warns all people with serious illnesses against a fasting cure, for example:
- in case of anorexia due to insufficient reserves
- in case of cerebral insufficiency or dementia due to a lack of ability to cooperate decompensated hyperthyroidism due to out-of-control thyroid activity
- in advanced liver or kidney insufficiency due to a lack of ability to detoxify and excrete congenital diabetes type 1
- during pregnancy and lactation
- Those taking medication must not fast alone because many medications must be adjusted during fasting with a sense of proportion by a specialist fasting physician – preferably on an outpatient basis or in a clinic.
In the case of pre-existing illness, the following generally applies: Before someone fasts, he/she should in any case discuss it with a doctor.
The period: This is how long you can fast
Should you try therapeutic Buchinger fasting (therapeutic fasting), then the fasting phase is between two to four weeks – however, taking into account the individual situation, physical condition, and the fasting process.
Above all with persons with low initial weight, rather a shorter chamfering phase would be of advantage.
According to the physician, company welfare chamfering and nutrition registered association a minimum duration of six to eight days plus a discharge day as well as three building-up days after chamfered is recommendable.
There is however also with chamfering a point, where you can break the chamfering phase prematurely: increasing weakness and indisposition.
Reasons can be for it too low blood pressure, mineral material deficit, or protein deficiency.
With juice fasting, three to five days plus a relief day and a build-up day are recommended.
The risks of fasting
There is growing evidence that the body responds to protein deprivation – and juice fasting has nothing but super-thin vegetable broth – with muscle breakdown.
Protein is an important supplier of amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
If these building blocks are withheld from it, it gets them where they are most quickly available: from the muscles.
If intensive sport is also practiced during the fasting cure – weight training, long-running sessions, HIIT training – the muscle breakdown increases by a further amount.
Muscle loss can only be prevented if the body is supplied with sufficient protein-rich food during the fast.
Here for example the 5:2-Fasten or the 24-Stunden-Diät, a program for successful removal is suitable.
Their inventor and ecotrophologist Achim Sam explains: “600 to 800 calories predominantly from protein, combined with an intensive interval training – so two kilos of fat disappear in 24 hours.”
The advantage of this is that the muscle mass is retained and the body gets the necessary energy from the fat cells as required – unlike many well-known juice cures.
Many achievement sportsmen use during the competition preparation preferably Alternate Day Fasting as an alternative to the classical chamfered.
They completely abstain from food for 36 hours and feed exclusively on water, unsweetened teas, and broth.
Nutritionists generally recommend one day of relief per week during fasting in order to always return to a balanced, healthy diet.
Today, many people associate fasting primarily with weight loss.
But whether through therapeutic fasting, dieting, giving up television, or withdrawing from our usual circle of friends – 40 days for ourselves is the best form of fasting, which has been practiced by people for thousands of years.
The benefits of fasting
Those who give themselves the illusion to have one week of iron discipline with the welfare fasting the figure problems for the remainder of the year of the neck are on the wrong track.
In the long term, one becomes slim after the total food renouncement only, if one adapts then also its lifestyle consistently.
We have also pointed out the possible dangers of fasting. Nevertheless, researchers look again and again for new effects, which can have temporary food renouncement:
Fasting makes you smart
Researchers from Utah have found in clinical studies that regular fasting can make the brain more robust.
The Americans noted that reduced caloric intake causes an improvement in the resistance of neurons in the brain.
This could delay or even prevent degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
The periodic therapeutic fasting, in which the intake of solid food is completely renounced, thus acts on the brain like a hardening training.
Chamfered keeps young
The researchers also found that fasting affects the activity of our genes.
During the period of artificially induced food deprivation, increased sirtuins are released in the body.
These messenger substances delay aging by stimulating a mechanism that keeps individual body cells young.
Important: These two positive effects only set in during therapeutic fasting, i.e. when completely abstaining from solid food. The popular “7-week fast”, in which only certain foods are avoided, is not sufficient for this.
Fasting protects the heart
A study by the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans shows that abstaining from food for a short time has a positive effect on heart risk factors such as blood sugar and obesity.
For their study, the team led by scientific director Benjamin D. Horne from the “Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute” had around 200 test subjects fast for a total of 24 hours.
The study participants were only allowed to drink water during this period.
The fasting day result: The value of the growth hormone HGH rose significantly, with the participating women around an enormous 1,300 percent, with the men even around nearly 2,000 percent.
According to the researchers, the hormone HGH (“Human Growth Hormone”) reduces the breakdown of muscle mass in the body and strengthens and stabilizes the metabolism. As a rule, most HGH is produced during sleep.
Fasting promotes the breakdown of fat cells
In addition, the scientists found that after the fasting day, the levels of blood lipids had increased as a result of the short fast – both the levels of good HDL cholesterol (“high-density lipoprotein”) and bad LDL (“low-density lipoprotein”).
“The body is allowed to use its fat for energy instead of blood sugar,” says scientist Horne.
Fasting would thus promote the breakdown of fat cells in the body, reducing obesity and its harmful effects on health. Accordingly, a fasting day now and then seems like a good thing.
Fasting: What is there to do without?
For many people, the motives for fasting are quite different from the strict renunciation of food.
It doesn’t matter whether people are giving up sweets, cigarettes, after-work beer, or Sunday coffee – one thing is certain: Chamfered is still in the trend.
This is also shown by a representative study of the DAK health for the year 2021. According to the survey, 65 percent of Germans consider conscious renunciation during the fasting period to be sensible from a health point of view.
A total of 1,005 people were questioned in the past survey.
“The ‘classics’ of fasting are often also the things that are most responsible for a bad conscience,” explains Franziska Kath, a qualified psychologist at DAK-Gesundheit.
According to the survey, this is what Germans most often want to do without in 2021:
- Alcohol (73 percent)
- Sweets (68 percent)
- Meat (54 percent)
- Smoking (45 percent)
- Television (39 percent)
- Cell phone/computer (24 percent)
- Car (24 percent)
According to DAK Expertin Kath, this renouncement does not have to run off always radically: ”Even if it does not work out times to hold out the chamfering completely, one should not despair, however. Alone the sharpened consciousness can already move much.”