Fasting was originally intended to purify the body and soul for religious purposes. In the last few years these religious reasons have played a less important role. Fasting is generally seen today as either a method of weight reduction or "detoxification".
Fasting: Different forms
There are different types of fasting:
Total Fasting (Not eating anything at all)
Total fasting is the strictest method of fasting. 2 to 3 litres of calorie-free drinks with vital vitamins and mineral supplements are to be consumed each day. Total fasting should only be done with the assistance of a GP.
Modified Fasting (Fasting with protein)
The intake of a protein supplement is essential in order to compensate for the loss of protein in the body during fasting as well as to supply the brain with a minimum amount of glucose. Protein can be taken in the form of a protein supplement (protein, c.a. 100g carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral nutrients) or in the form of a whey protein supplement (whey fasting) 1 litre whey protein-rich supplements.
Dr. Otto Buchinger developed the classical fasting cure which aimed to prevent and treat certain illnesses such as rheumatism, skin diseases etc.
According to Buchinger, the Fasting Cure (also known as Juice Fasting) starts with the "relief period" which involves eating fruit, rice and raw vegetables. A thorough intestinal cleansing is carried out on the first day. In addition you either have to drink a sodium sulphate solution (Glauber's Salt) or repeatedly have enemas done to clear the digestive tract. The enema should be repeated regularly during the fasting period. After this you are only allowed to drink fruit and vegetable juices as well as vegetable stock and herbal teas with honey. Drinking these juices provides the body with a small amount of vitamins and minerals as well as essential carbohydrates. The amount of calories per day is ca. 250 kcal. The fasting is completed by eating vegetables.
Who shouldn't fast?
Fasting should only be done by healthy adults under the supervision of a doctor.
Those who are not allowed to fast are:
- cardiac patients
- elderly people
- children and adolescents
- pregnant and breastfeeding mothers (in order not to interfere with the supply of vital nutrients which the child needs)
- cancer patients
- people with metabolic diseases
Evaluation of Fasting:
"Be careful! Even healthy people should only fast under the supervision of a doctor.
- No more than two kilograms can be lost within a week even if you eat nothing at all (total fasting).
- In addition, the body "throttles" its basic metabolism as a result of the shock it gets from the reduced energy: Fewer calories are used up which causes the famous yo-yo effect to take place.
- Such diets facilitate the decomposition of muscles. "
( Stiftung Warentest " - a German Consumer Foundation - Comparison of 80 diets)
- Fasting is supposed to be a method of "detoxification". From a scientific perspective, it is not possible to "detoxify" the body as the normal digestive and metabolic processes already cause the body to excrete all unnecessary substances.
- The fact that fasting is supposed to prevent and cure illnesses has not been scientifically proven.
Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets, Cherie Calbom MS, John Calbom MA
Fasting and Eating for Health : A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease
Juice Fasting and Detoxification: Use the Healing Power of Fresh Juice to Feel Young and Look Great : The Fastest Way to Restore Your Health
Hungry for Change: Ditch the Diets, Conquer the Cravings, and Eat Your Way to Lifelong Health, James Colquhoun, Laurentine ten Bosch, Mark Hyman