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Losing weight with therapeutic fasting or interval fasting: How healthy can fasting be for us?


Therapeutic fasting, base fasting, interval fasting: unsuitable as a diet but good for your health
If you suffer from high blood pressure or suffer from diabetes, you can alleviate or even cure your disease. However, a fasting cure is hardly suitable for losing weight, because after the fasting cure the original weight is usually quickly on again. Experts from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) explain how therapeutic fasting works and what to look out for.

Those who fast voluntarily forego food in whole or in part. As part of a fasting cure, fasters often deal with their body, their health and their diet. Therefore, it can prepare you to start a health-promoting diet.

Fasting is not suitable as a diet and does not lead to long-term weight loss for a limited period. Unless the fasting man changes his lifestyle at the same time. Depending on the type of fasting, a balanced supply of nutrients may even be at risk, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE). Seniors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, adolescents or children should avoid fasting altogether. The same applies to people with certain diseases such as eating disorders or liver and kidney diseases. Therapeutic, base and interval fasting are widespread in this country.

Therapeutic fasting

Therapeutic fasting has a tradition going back thousands of years and aims to cleanse the body, mind and soul. It is used for both health prevention and therapy for certain diseases. Medical fasting should be done under medical supervision. A fasting cure usually lasts 7-10 days. In addition, a preparation day with approx. 1,000 kcal / day, including caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, and three days after fasting to normalize eating behavior should be planned. During the fasting days, the body receives only a very small amount of energy of max. 500 kcal / day in the form of liquid food.

Advantageous effects of therapeutic fasting have been scientifically proven for certain diseases, for example for the metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation or psychosomatic diseases. Healthy people can use this type of fasting as an introduction to weight loss; it is unsuitable for permanent weight loss.

Base fasting

By Base fasting the body should be deacidified - a method that is often used in alternative medicine. Base fasters are only allowed to eat foods that are considered basic, such as vegetables, fruit and some nuts and high-quality linseed, olive or rapeseed oil. Spring water and diluted herbal teas are available as drinks. However, scientific evidence for the effect of this fasting method is missing: Neither the existence of slag in the body has been proven, nor the assumption that acid-forming foods interfere with the body's acid-base balance.

Because vital nutrients could be supplied in too small amounts in the long term, the DGE advises against long-term base fasting.

Intermittent fasting

means to forego food on a daily or hourly basis. There are different concepts with two consecutive fasting days or two fixed fasting days per week or alternating fasting. The fasting person usually searches in vain for recommendations as to which foods should be selected on the remaining days. Intermittent fasting should be used as a permanent diet and the fasting person usually wants to reduce weight in the long term. Intermittent fasting is attributed to various health-promoting effects on the metabolism.

There are no scientific studies on the long-term consequences of interval fasting. Previous data indicate a positive effect on health and weight loss. The DGE does not consider interval fasting to be sensible in order to regulate its weight in the long term, since there are no concrete recommendations for food selection. As a rule, this does not result in a change in diet towards a nutritionally favorable choice of food.

Buchinger therapeutic fasting

A study of the effects of Buchinger therapeutic fasting showed that the method is safe and therapeutically effective. It also promotes emotional and physical wellbeing. In the course of the research work it was shown that the adipose tissue of the human body was mobilized. The metabolism switched from glucose to fat and ketone consumption, which resulted in numerous positive effects. The metabolism change was documented in the study by the permanent presence of ketone bodies in the urine. Fasting led to significant weight loss, reduced abdominal circumference and reduced cholesterol and blood fat levels.

Fasting also normalized fasting blood pressure and improved diabetes parameters such as blood sugar and HbA1c, thus improving many factors that contribute to cardiovascular health.

Furthermore, fasting improved in 84% of the cases serious health complaints, such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure and exhaustion.
93% of the subjects did not feel hungry during fasting, which contributed to their emotional and physical well-being. (sb)

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