If you fast, you mainly train your discipline. So that you can keep doing without and not harm your body, you should pay attention to a few things.
Catholics fast from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, Muslims during Ramadan while the sun is shining, and Jews on Yom Kippur Day. They all have one thing in common: They don’t eat anything more – or less – and mainly drink water or tea.
How Healthy Is Fasting?
Fasting these days is not just religious: fasting has become a real trend. It is said to help you lose weight and be good for the body. When used deliberately by doctors, fasting can alleviate illness. The diabetic’s blood sugar level, which is entirely out of joint and cannot be tamed in any other way, can often be brought back under control using a temporary, special fasting diet made from proteins and minerals. Skin inflammations such as neurodermatitis and eczema also react positively to starvation: “With the general breakdown of protein during fasting, the proteins that trigger inflammation in the body in the first place are also destroyed,”.
An overworked immune system – often the reason for allergies – loses its momentum during fasting. However, these effects “only last as long as you are fasting,” “A cure for inflammation and allergies through fasting is not possible,” says the expert.
What Types Of Fasting Are There?
Before you start fasting – of any kind – you should empty your stomach with the help of laxative salts because this reduces hunger.
And: Every fasting cure has 3 phases:
- Relief (1 to 3 days): Slowly reduce food intake. There is nothing sweet and nothing greasy.
- Fasting: Fasting is carried out according to the type of fasting. You should drink 2 to 3 litres a day.
- Structure (covers at least a third of the entire Lent): Start eating carefully; soups are ideal here.
Here you only drink water and tea. The human body can take a lot. However, this cure is not healthy. This type of fasting is not recommended because other than losing weight in an unhealthy way. It has no effect.
They are named after the doctor Otto Buchinger. You avoid solid food. Fruit and vegetable juices, tea and honey, provide the necessary nutrients. It would help if you pursued them for a maximum of a week. You lose up to 5 kilos in a short time – this can be a motivational boost for overweight people and an excellent introduction to changing their eating habits.
Similar to total fasting, but supplemented with buttermilk or whey. It would help if you didn’t do it for more than a week. It is also suitable for very overweight people, but the weight loss is slightly less than the Buchinger fast.
There are 3 meals a day made up of spelled products, fruits and vegetables. You also drink at least 2 litres. It can be followed for up to 10 days, provided that you feel comfortable with it. It is not necessarily suitable for those who want to lose weight, as the weight loss is relatively small.
Meat, other protein-containing products and sugar form a lot of acid in the body. In the case of alkaline fasting, however, all acid-forming foods are avoided. This fast, which is suitable for everyone, can be followed for up to 6 weeks. Deacidification is supposed to create a feeling of well-being; allegedly, your body is freed from toxins and viruses.
ALSO READ- LOSE WEIGHT: HOW TO STOP CRAVINGS
What Do I Have To Do Without An Alkaline Fast?
With alkaline fasting, you can eat – and yet you are doing your body good, and you are also losing weight. The menu consists exclusively of alkaline-forming foods, primarily fruit and vegetables, and something filling like potatoes, nuts and bananas. However, you should avoid acid-forming foods such as meat, sausage, cheese, sweets, coffee and soft drinks during the fasting phase. Acid formers remove minerals from the body and should, if you eat more acid than the base, in the long run, promote chronic diseases such as bone loss (osteoporosis), allergies and gastrointestinal problems.
- Breakfast: Fruit or muesli, for example, made from fruit, ground almonds, tiger nut flakes, almond slivers, sunflower seeds or ground flaxseed, seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom, for example.
- Lunch: salad, vegetable soup or a cooked vegetable dish.
- Snack: until 2 p.m. raw vegetables, then, for example, vegetable broth, fruit shake, nuts, olives.
- Dinner: for example, jacket potatoes with avocado mousse. After 6 p.m., only drink.
Drink 2.5 to 3 litres of water or highly diluted herbal teas daily and do sports. Tip: Eat more vegetables than fruit. They fill you up longer.
Instructions For Maintaining A Fast
- Keep calm, avoid stress: To avoid stress and to make it easier to persevere, the best time for an initial attempt is, of course, a vacation. In any case, your body will be happy to get used to it. In the last three days before the start of the fast, you should therefore limit foods high in sugar and high in fat, as well as caffeine and alcohol.
- Shedding vice: Almost all of your endearing habits are radically and consistently eliminated with the start of Lent. In addition to any form of food, this naturally also includes nicotine. You should only take medication if your doctor thinks it is essential. Diuretics and appetite suppressants have nothing to do with sensible fasting.
- Sufficient fluids … is essential during fasting. However, only water and sugar-free teas are allowed. Drink more than you are thirsty. This is the best way to avoid possible circulatory problems. In addition, a high fluid intake helps to overcome the onset of intestinal sluggishness. The colour of your urine shows whether your fluid level is correct: light yellow is optimal, dark yellow means that you are drinking too little.
- Empty your bowels regularly: You should empty your bowels regularly before and during fasting. However, this could be more difficult than usual due to a lack of food. Drink a lot of water, “Glauber” can also be helpful: Dissolve 40 grams of Glauber’s salt from the pharmacy in three-quarters of a litre of water, drink – this will bring relief immediately. Those who suffer from low blood pressure or do not have time for many toilet visits should, however, stick to regular drinking. Sweaty sauna visits during fasting are also only recommended if your circulation is stable.
- Set priorities: everyday life remains everyday life, and yet everything is different now. The appointment calendar and the phone are slipping to the back of the rankings. Only you are essential. Practical constraints do not count; decide on your gut. Just do what is good for your body – except eat, of course!
- Light sport: Quit energy-guzzling activities such as weight training or mountain biking while you are fasting. On the other hand, light jogging, yoga or easy gymnastics exercises are ideal.
- Get enough sleep: If you feel exhausted, then you should sleep in. An afternoon nap is also allowed to recharge the batteries for the rest of the day. It also helps to suppress burgeoning thoughts about food.
- Heat supply: The fasting metabolism reduces the average body temperature by up to one degree. Hot tea, the right clothes, whatever the weather and a warm bath or shower still ensure a sense of well-being. A body lotion is recommended for the care of the most somewhat drier skin.
- Look away: Look away when other people are eating. Especially when your absolute favourite food is being served, staying through your fasting period can otherwise become torture. For inevitable business lunches, let everyone know that you are fasting and order just one tea. Your discipline will then indeed be envied.
- Be moderate: resist the temptation to celebrate the successful end of your fasting period with a large salami and double cheese pizza. The sudden gluttony won’t please your circulation or your stomach. Fruits and vegetables are better.
What happens to my body when I fast?
Day 1: The body first gains energy from the carbohydrate stores (glycogen) in the liver and muscles. You perceive the low blood sugar level as hunger or as a headache. Your blood pressure can drop sharply – take in plenty of fluids for support.
Day 2: Your carbohydrate stores in muscles and liver are sufficient for a maximum of 24 hours. This is why the production of energy-rich sugars from the body’s proteins (proteins) that work in enzymes, muscles and other cells is set in motion. Light endurance training can slow the breakdown of your muscles. You think about food more often now and possibly also about breaking off the fast.
Day 3: The energy production from protein continues to increase. Your body now loses at least 50 grams of protein per day. Therefore, metabolism expert and Professor Hans Hauner recommend taking protein supplements during fasting to prevent the body’s protein balance from falling. On the third day, many fasting people have lost their nagging feeling of hunger. Nevertheless: The body is under great stress, increasing blood concentrations of the hormones adrenaline and serotonin are the result. Humans perceive this as an energy boost and mood improvement, but they often sleep poorly.
Day 4: The energy production from the body’s proteins has reached its peak. The burning of your fat reserves increases steadily but cannot yet wholly replace energy generation from proteins. You either feel energetic and full of zest for action or aggressive and moody – both are consequences of the hormone kick. It would help if you accepted your feelings in order not to increase the stress level even further.
Day 5: As you burn more fat, the depletion of your body proteins decreases. But a good 60 percent of your energy still comes from protein. This is probably the first time you notice an unpleasant body odour.
Day 6: The fat burning for energy production continues to increase. Your body is now one hundred percent prepared for hunger metabolism. A lack of carbohydrate intake (sugar, starch) produces large keto acids when burning fat. Although these substitute carbohydrates are sufficient to supply the body with energy, they leave you smelling unpleasantly fruity-sour like acetone (nail polish remover). The only thing that helps is frequent showering and intensive brushing of your teeth.
Day 7: On this day, the energy production from fat reserves exceeds that from protein. The protein loss continues to decrease but never drops to zero. The output of keto acids reaches its peak – but so does body odour. Caution: A high level of keto acids increases the level of uric acid in the blood and can trigger gout attacks.
Day 8: The fat burning is in full swing – like a marathon runner. Fit athletes usually have no odour problems because the higher the endurance, the fewer keto acids are formed.
Day 9: Your body gets its energy almost exclusively from fat reserves. The falling adrenaline level can cause a feeling of weakness. A falling serotonin level can trigger a bad mood or even depression.
Day 10: Only 24 hours left. You are still not allowed to eat, but you can go shopping: apples, salads, prunes, carrots or low-fat cream cheese. Everything will taste better than before.
Expert Opinions: What Does Fasting Do?
Training For Self-Discipline
No matter which motive plays the leading role and how long the personal starvation diet lasts: “If you fast, you primarily train your self-discipline,” says Leffler. Anyone who feels exhausted by their job, partnership and everyday anger can regain control of their fate through successful fasting. “The controlled refusal to eat food works like therapy,”.
In addition to the general mental well-being, there is often a physical “high”. Dr Liffer: “Even at the beginning of Lent, people feel freer, more vital and more resilient than before.” This becomes noticeable later in everyday life: “Fasting followers are often exceptionally assertive and motivated personalities,” says Dr Liffler.
Does The Body Detoxify?
In addition to the positive effects on the psyche, which conventional medical practitioners also recognize, fasting cures are also often said to have the ability to purify and detoxify the organism. “That sounds like there are lots of toxic waste dumps and puddles of dirty water in the body,” says Dr Helmut Oberritter, former managing director of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) in Frankfurt. “But there is no such thing because the liver, kidneys, intestines and sweat glands function like the body’s own garbage disposal.”
But for many people, the fairy tale of slags and poisons sounds so plausible because fasting books are bestsellers, and entire clinics have specialized in controlled starvation. However, scientists like Professor Hauner answer the question of whether fasting is good for health with a clear no: “From a medical point of view, fasting has hardly any advantages,” says Professor Hauner. Cause depression or gout attacks. “
Do Muscles Become Energy?
Since no energy is supplied through food during fasting, the body breaks down tissues for fuel supply. This means that from the first day of fasting, the proteins that your body needs for enzymes and muscles are lost. Although the liver still provides energy in stored carbohydrates (glycogen) in the first 24 hours of fasting, headaches can occur afterwards.
“The brain is one of the body’s greatest consumers of energy,” says Professor Hauner, “which is why it may react particularly sensitively when there is only a sparse supply of supplies.” To avoid starvation, the body gains energy from the second day of fasting from amino acids for which it has previously broken down muscle proteins. “Around 50 grams of protein are converted in this way every day,” says Hauner and warns: “A visible part of all muscles is lost during prolonged fasting. However, this can cause dangerous arrhythmias in the heart muscle.” For these reasons, not only fasting athletes and bodybuilders should temporarily take a protein supplement. “Commercially available preparations from the pharmacy or yoghurt and whey are suitable,” says Hauner.
Is Fasting Suitable For Weight Loss?
No, fasting is not suitable for losing weight. After three days of fasting, the body begins to tap into fat reserves as an energy source. However, the fat-burning takes about three weeks to run at full speed, and the muscle loss is significantly reduced. In addition, with high-speed fat burning and, at the same time, a lack of carbohydrate supplies, the organism is flooded with so-called keto acids. These substitute carbohydrates cause an unpleasant acetone-like body odour. “Nature set up the fat-burning mechanism to delay starvation,” explains Dr Upper Knight the odour problem when fasting, “and not to combat obesity.”