What is fasting and what types of fasting are there?

Was ist Fasten ?
The Fast is an ancient tradition, a basic element of all major religions and as old as human history itself. Fasting means giving up. Voluntarily and consciously give up food and Luxury foods avoid it in order to relieve the body. For a few hours or even for a day, depending on the method. During this time, the body lives from its energy reserves and taps into stored fat stores.  

For many people, it's just another weight loss trend. But far from it! Anyone who takes a closer look at the topic will quickly notice:  Fasting is about much more than just  weight loss.

From an evolutionary perspective, fasting is just as important as eating. A sensible principle, because food deprivation triggers healing processes in the body.

According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE)  There are some beneficial effects for the following diseases:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Chronic inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and pain conditions
  • Atopic diseases
  • Psychosomatic illnesses 1
But what exactly happens in the body when fasting? If food intake stops, the body resorts to stored carbohydrates for energy. This includes glycogen in the liver and muscles, which is a fuel Sugar (glucose)  is dismantled. Then the fat deposits are tapped. Fatty acids are broken down into so-called ketonic acids. This means that the entire body switches from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism and covers its energy needs without any external supply.
According to studies, fasting is said to have a regenerating effect, normalize metabolic disorders, improve blood lipid levels and blood pressure, inhibit inflammation and the body's own self-cleaning process (“autophagy”)  stimulate.

Fasting is defined as the voluntary abstinence from solid food and stimulants for a limited period of time. Fasting does not mean starving , advocates emphasize. Quite the opposite: the body should recover. Those who fast properly perform well without feeling hungry.

Different fasting methods

There are different Fasting methods that differ in duration and implementation. Here are some of them to get an overview.

Therapeutic fasting

Herbal tea for therapeutic fasting
Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger:  The traditional method according to Buchinger bans all solid foods from the diet and is based on consistent fluid intake. It is the most widespread Fasting method. It is a tried and tested and popular fasting method, which is also used in the I·DO Body & Mind fasting treatment based.

Alkaline fasting

Vegetable stand, fruit stand
© ja-ma--unsplash

During alkaline fasting, only alkaline (high PH value, i.e. low acidity) substances are supplied to the body. This primarily includes natural products such as vegetables, salad, fruit and legumes. There is no actual abstinence from solid food here. Alkaline fasting people should drink at least three liters of water a day. The fasting person can lose over three kilos in a week.

Schroth cure

Delicious salad bowl
© anna-pelzer-unsplash

This fasting diet allows up to 700 calories per day to be consumed through fat-free, low-salt foods. The multi-week diet is best known for its water fluctuation. A dry day with little water (at most  1 liter) is followed by a water-rich drinking day (3  Liter). The Schroth treatment is not recommended for people who dry out quickly.

Intermittent fasting (intermittent fasting)

Alarm clock
© insung-yoon-unsplash

During intermittent fasting, a period of normal food intake alternates with a period of fasting. The exact rhythm can vary depending on the concept. However, people often fast every other day or one day a week.

Whey fasting

© istockphoto, muzzyco

Avoiding other food sources, whey fasters only consume whey and other liquids such as mineral water and fruit juices.

Juice fasting

Juice in a mason jar

The Juice fasting denotes a special form of the so-called therapeutic fasting . Only up to 1.5 liters of freshly pressed wine are used over a limited period of time Fruit-  and Vegetable juices , too Water  and tea  drank. This is intended to stimulate metabolism and bring the body into a natural acid-base balance. Many people also do juice fasting as a starting point for changing their diet.