What does it mean to do fasting?
Fasting 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 abstain from food and stimulants in order to relieve the body. For a few hours or even by the day, depending on the method. During this time, the body lives on its energy reserves and taps into the stored fat stores.
For many people, it’s just another weight loss trend. But far from it! If you take a closer look at the topic, you will quickly notice: fasting is about much more than just weight loss.
From an evolutionary biological point of view, fasting is just as much a part of it as eating. A sensible principle, because the deprivation of food triggers healing processes in the body.
According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), there are partially beneficial effects for the following diseases:
Chronic inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and pain conditions
But what exactly happens in the body during fasting? If the food supply is suspended, the body uses the stored carbohydrates for energy supply. This includes the glycogen in the liver and muscles, which is broken down into the fuel sugar (glucose). Then the fat deposits are tapped. Fatty acids are broken down to so-called ketonic acids. This means that the whole body changes from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism and meets its energy needs without 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 stimulate the body’s self-purification process (“autophagy”).
When fasting, you completely or partially abstain from certain foods, drinks and stimulants for a certain time. The idea is obvious to want to lose weight with a fasting cure. For this, however, it is important to choose the right form of fasting – namely a short-term fasting.
Fasting activates cell cleansing
One advantage of fasting: it trains the metabolism. If the body does not have to digest, important cell cleansing processes (autophagy) can take place better. Fasting promotes, so to speak, the body’s own garbage collection. This process is also part of the immune defense (xenoautophagy).
In case of pre-existing conditions, consult a doctor
Despite the many good effects, fasting is not recommended for everyone. People with serious heart and kidney diseases, cancer, gout or biliary problems may not fast, as well as pregnant and lactating women. All people with metabolic diseases or chronic diseases should consult a doctor before any type of fasting. The same applies to low blood pressure, underweight and old age.
What is fasting and how does it work?
What do you eat when fasting?
How many hours is fasting?