Therapeutic fasting means that you eat juice and broth instead of solid food. Find out here whether this type of fasting is worthwhile and what you should bear in mind.
For many, “therapeutic fasting” means hitting the reset button for once, relieving the bowels, and gathering new energy.
Here you can find out what really lies behind the phenomenon of therapeutic fasting, how you should prepare for it, and what the pros and cons are.
Therapeutic fasting: What does it mean anyway?
Therapeutic fasting is, according to the dictionary, a form of non-religiously motivated renunciation of conventional food.
There are different forms of therapeutic fasting:
- Buchinger therapeutic fasting: vegetable broth, juices, honey for energy, vitamins, and minerals – done.
- Fasting according to F.X. Mayr: Bread rolls and milk are the basis.
- Juice fasting: Only fruit and vegetable juices.
- Fruit fasting: Only fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts.
- Whey fasting: 1 liter of whey, 0.5 liter of fruit juice and 3 liters of non-carbonated water, and a glass of sauerkraut or prune juice every morning.
- Panchakarma: Ayurvedic therapeutic fasting
- Alkaline fasting: Fasting with fruits and vegetables. The aim is to counteract the hyperacidity of the body and lose weight.
- Fasting cure variants: with protein substitution, with healing earth, with curd cheese – depending on the provider.
Buchinger therapeutic fasting: The best-known form of fasting
This is certainly the best-known form of therapeutic fasting and goes back to the German physician Otto Buchinger (1878 to 1966).
In a self-experiment, he freed himself from his rheumatism suffering with a fasting cure, then intensively studied the subject and subsequently opened his own fasting clinic.
His approach was to cleanse the body of toxins and stimulate its self-healing powers.
3 phases: A guide to therapeutic fasting
If you want to fast according to Buchinger, you can do it alone at home, but: In the phases of fasting listed below, in all brevity, there are – depending on your personal conditions – a number of things to consider.
Therefore, we advise you to seek the care of an experienced physician or alternative practitioner.
- The start: On 1-3 relief days before the actual fasting period, you should eat lots of fruit, steamed vegetables, and rice or potatoes, but avoid protein – a total of around 500 calories per day. In addition: drink a lot (about 3 liters per day), namely tea, water, juices, and vegetable broth.
- The fasting period: in the morning (herbal) tea, if necessary with some honey. At noon, vegetable broth or juice; in the evening, fruit juice, vegetable juice, broth, or tea. Spoon all liquids slowly and “chew” them. On every second day of fasting, the intestines are emptied, supported by Glauber’s salt or enemas, for example.
- After fasting: The first day, the “breaking of the fast”, should be started with an apple (in the evening of the last day of fasting) and a vegetable soup (with contents/for lunch on the first build-up day). Subsequently, too, should be eaten slowly, moderately, and consciously.
Strict warnings: Not everyone should fast
Depending on whom you ask, there are true hymns of praise for therapeutic fasting from doctors, but also strict warnings. Many fasting brochures list contraindications, i.e. when fasting should NOT be used.
Ideally, you let certify from a physician or an experienced welfare practical man that welfare chamfering is not precarious for you. You should refrain from fasting if you suffer from
- Depression, burnout, psychoses
- Eating disorders, especially anorexia
- kidney and liver insufficiency
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
The Arztegesellschaft Heilfasten & Ernahrung e.V., an organization clearly in favor of therapeutic fasting, always points out that certain points are essential.
These include rest, relaxation, laxative measures, sufficient fluids, physical exercise, fasting support measures such as liver wraps, sauna or Kneipp applications, and – very important – mindful fasting.
According to AGE registered association welfare chamfering works littered on a broad spectrum of diseases.
From nourishing experts and physicians of different fields on the other hand often before the negative effects of welfare chamfering one warns:
It comes to muscle dismantling because the body must get amino acids from the muscles if it does not get protein supplied.
The welfare chamfering there thus maximally at the system, and dragonish laxative measures such as Glauber’s salt are on top of that for the sensitive intestine climate an unnecessary imposition.
The Abnehm effect is short term and the inevitably occurring Jo Jo effect is destroyed.
Before we let experts have their say: Perhaps you do not want to fast at all in this radical way.
For all those who would prefer a softer variant, we can recommend the so-called intermittent or interval fasting.
Here you alternate a short eating and a longer abstention phase within a day or, for example, two fasting and 5 eating days within a week.
According to experts: these are the advantages and disadvantages of therapeutic fasting
“Therapeutic fasting regenerates and strengthens the immune system” – this is the favorable opinion of Dr. Andreas Buchinger, chief physician of the Dr. Otto Buchinger Clinic in Bad Pyrmont, internist, and expert in naturopathic treatments.
Buchinger sees the following benefits in therapeutic fasting:
- After a few days, fats are the “main fuel” for energy production – accordingly, this indirectly leads to the fact that protein breakdown is stopped. It pleads for moderate movement during the chamfering phase: in such a way muscles remain more efficient and are not reduced too strongly anymore
- Protein degradation products from strong meat nutrition, deposits in the vessels, the substances originating from allergic reactions, uric acid, and environmental poisons – all this is excreted strengthened.
- Buchinger therapeutic fasting serves as an initial spark for beneficial lifestyle changes
- Positive effects: Weight reduction, normalization of blood pressure and blood lipids, regulation of digestion
Fasting critic Seven David Müller, medical journalist, diet expert, and non-fiction author (“Gesundheitsrisiko Heilfasten”) vehemently opposes the practice of fasting – “Fasting very strongly reduces muscle mass and the heart can suffer from it”.
In addition, he is of the following opinion:
- Although 300-400 calories per day are consumed during therapeutic fasting, it is nevertheless a “zero diet”. The body lacks essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Undesirable side effects: Muscle loss – which is additionally even intensified by intensive exercise. It is therefore not possible to build up muscles during the fasting phase.
- To build up the lost muscle mass again after two weeks of fasting, six months of hard training in the fitness center are required.
- Over-acidification of the body is promoted, instead of fighting with the welfare chamfering
- For overweight people with cardiovascular problems, fasting is downright dangerous, because the heart muscle is not spared from muscle loss.
The chamfering critic Mueller guesses against it to one chamfering day per week. For core-healthy humans, one chamfering day can be already very helpful, in order to switch its body to zero and to return afterward with healthy nutrition, more movement, and relaxation to normal life.