False Fasting: This Is How Fasting Without Starvation Works

Anyone who would like to rely on the positive effects of fasting, but cannot imagine doing without food altogether, should try false fasting. Because you can do it without being hungry. We explain how to do it.

Mock fasting has been very popular for some time. After all, it should have all the advantages of therapeutic fasting or intermittent fasting, but without having to go hungry. The scientist Dr. Valter Longo.

After studying biochemistry in the USA, Longo began his research work on the topics of aging, the immune system, and diet. He published the results of his work in the book Eat You, Young. In it, he describes two diets – the Longevità diet, which is suitable for everyday use, and mock fasting.

What is mock fasting?

Mock fasting is a five-day diet program. The calories are reduced in two steps. You eat 1,100 calories on the first day, and only 750 to 800 calories over the next four days.

This should have two positive effects: On the one hand, the body is put into a fasting state, which boosts the metabolism. On the other hand, you don’t have to give up eating completely, which is why your body still gets enough nutrients. Thus, cravings can be avoided. Eating food also prevents muscle breakdown.

On the day after the sham fasting, a so-called transition day is inserted, on which the body is supposed to get used to regular food intake again with light food. Here you should primarily consume complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grain products, fruit, and vegetables). Alcohol, coffee, or sweets should also be taboo on the transition day.

Food packets as a fixed component of therapeutic fasting

Part of the fake fasting cure are ready-made food boxes, so-called Prolon diet boxes, which can be obtained directly from the manufacturer. It contains food such as packet soups, olives, crackers, or chocolate bars as well as multivitamin tablets. Proponents of this method state that it’s a very easy way to go about the diet without much planning or meal prep.

Critics, on the other hand, point to the contradiction between the price of the diet boxes, which is not quite cheap, and the rather sparse contents of the packages. Alternatively, you can put together your own meal plan:

Benefits of mock fasting

False fasting is interesting for many because they want to lose weight as quickly as possible. This is possible due to the significantly reduced amount of calories – up to 2.5 kilograms of weight loss should be possible in a five-day diet cycle.

In addition to weight loss, therapeutic fasting is said to have a number of other advantages: in addition to blood pressure and cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels as well as inflammation and blood fat levels also decrease. In addition, the risk of developing diabetes is said to be reduced by sham fasting. Another advantage: the proportion of the so-called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1 for short) in the blood decreases. IGF-1 is a hormone that plays a role in the aging process and in the development of cancer.

The physician Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen, author of the book “Healing with nutrition”, explains that the “effectiveness on rheumatism, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and numerous chronic pain syndromes and irritable bowel syndromes” of sham fasting has been scientifically proven.

Side effects of sham fasting

According to Michalsen, possible side effects of the diet include initial back pain or headaches. After the first few days, sham fasting can also lead to increased sensitivity to cold or slight weakness – here the doctor recommends hot tea or light physical exercise.

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