15. May 2023
Fasting cure: detoxify the body and promote health
Fasting is an ancient practice used to cleanse the body, improve general health and promote well-being. Depending on the method, fasting involves abstaining from food or certain foods for a limited period of time. This holistic therapy for body and mind can improve vital signs, promote inner peace and contribute to a healthy body image.
Depending on the type of fasting cure and the initial health situation, fasting can also be suitable for alleviating medical problems or an existing underlying illness; in this case, it is referred to as therapeutic fasting. A fasting cure is often also used to change your lifestyle and, for example, to give up alcohol or nicotine permanently, eat more healthily or do more sport. In the guide, you can read about the benefits of a fasting cure and what you need to bear in mind.
Fasting cure - the most important facts in brief
A fasting cure can improve various vital signs. These include blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.
Fasting can have a positive effect on mental health: The practice assists in reducing feelings of stress, improves the ability to concentrate and often serves as a starting point for a healthier and mindful lifestyle.
There are different types of fasting that can be individually tailored to your own body and state of health. These include intermittent fasting cures and therapeutic fasting. Therapeutic fasting is the strictest form of fasting and should always be carried out under medical supervision.
What fasting methods are there?
A fasting cure can be carried out in various ways and always depends on your individual goals and general state of health:
Therapeutic fasting involves abstaining from solid food for up to 4 weeks. The method is therefore a great challenge for the body, but offers many health benefits as part of therapeutic or preventive health care. Therapeutic fasting should only be carried out under medical supervision. There is a fixed procedure for this fasting method, but it can be adapted to suit individual wishes and requirements:
The day before the fast begins, energy intake is reduced to 1000 kcal. Alcohol, nicotine and coffee should also be completely avoided. It is recommended that you also prepare yourself mentally for the fast by reducing stress, doing light sports exercises or meditating.
Therapeutic fasting begins with a thorough bowel cleansing. To do this, 1 liter of water is mixed with Glauber’s salt and drunk; after 30 minutes, the body is given up to 1 liter of water or tea.
The fasting cure then begins, which can last two to four weeks depending on the initial situation. How long the fasting cure is carried out can be determined individually in advance. Good results are achieved after a fasting period of seven to ten days. This short fasting cure is particularly suitable for people who are not fasting primarily for therapeutic reasons.
Therapeutic fasting involves completely abstaining from solid food. Instead, the body is supplied with up to 2.5 liters of water or tea per day. In addition, 0.25 liters of vegetable broth, the same amount of fruit and vegetable juices and 30 grams of honey are administered (max. 500 kcal per day in total).
The therapeutic fast ends with the so-called breaking of the fast. This usually takes up to three days, during which the calorie intake is gradually increased from 800 kcal to 1600 kcal and the body is slowly re-accustomed to solid food. During this time, you should continue to drink plenty of fluids.
For most people, intermittent fasting is an effective way to reap the benefits of a fasting diet without putting too much strain on the body. Intermittent fasting involves eating only in a set time window and fasting in between. There are various methods for this:
16:8 method: with this intermittent fasting diet, there are 16 hours of fasting between the last meal of the day and breakfast the next day. Two meals may be eaten in the following 8 hours.
5:2 method: Here you can eat normally on 5 days of the week; on 2 days of the week you fast or eat very little.
1:1 method: In so-called alternating fasting, you are only allowed to eat 25 percent of the usual number of calories every other day.
What happens in the body ...?
… during an intermittent fasting cure? During intermittent fasting, blood sugar and insulin levels fall in the first few hours as the body begins to burn stored glucose for energy. After a few more hours of fasting, so-called ketosis begins: stored fat is burned for energy. This state can last for several days with prolonged fasting. Intermittent fasting is therefore a popular fasting cure for losing weight.
… after 3 days of fasting? The third day of a fasting cure is particularly important and effective. Here the body enters a deeper state of ketosis and not only burns stored fat, but also stimulates the cell cleansing processes: this process is known as autophagy. It can improve immune function, heal inflammation in the body and contribute to a longer life expectancy.
… after 5 days of fasting? At this point, an increased production of growth hormones is observed. In combination with regular but light physical exercise, the loss of muscle mass during fasting can be counteracted.
… after 7 days of fasting? After just one week of therapeutic fasting, the body increases the production of stem cells. These can support the regeneration of damaged tissue. People with chronic illnesses such as arthritis or autoimmune diseases therefore benefit from fasting for at least 7 days.
… after 10 days of fasting? After 10 days, the body reaches a state of deep detoxification, purification and deacidification.
Where can you fast?
A fasting cure is not tied to a specific location and can also be carried out at home. Where you fast usually depends on your individual preferences and needs. Many people benefit from leaving their everyday life behind and going on a fasting cure on vacation, for example, especially in the case of longer therapeutic fasts.
Fasting cure in a health clinic
A therapeutic fasting cure in a clinic is ideal and recommended for people who want to fast holistically and receive intensive support from medical professionals. Doctors certified for this type of fasting therapy ensure that therapeutic fasting in particular achieves the desired effects and is medically backed up by accompanying diagnostics.
To this end, many health clinics offer a coordinated overall concept based on therapeutic fasting as a fasting cure for intestinal cleansing. As part of the Lanserhof Cure at one of our Lanserhof Resorts, you benefit from individual detoxification programmes to thoroughly regenerate your intestines and revitalize your vitality. We combine various therapy options and healing approaches to promote holistic health. The fasting cure is rounded off with other therapies such as cryotherapy or pain therapy as well as nutritional programs, which are put together individually. It can be useful to combine this with psychotherapeutic support and to supplement therapeutic fasting with healing approaches from traditional medicine. For this reason, a fasting cure in a clinic is particularly suitable for people who are fasting with a pre-existing illness or for therapeutic purposes.
Fasting cure at home
In principle, it is also possible to carry out a fasting cure at home. Some people even find it easier to fast in a familiar environment and without distractions. There are helpful non-fiction books or fasting cure instructions on the internet that make it easier to get started. However, for people who want close medical supervision during therapeutic fasting or where it is even indicated, a home cure is not an option.
Can you lose weight on a fasting cure?
In addition to many other health benefits, therapeutic fasting is also suitable for losing weight. After just 3 days of fasting, so-called ketosis sets in: This is when stored fat is burned for energy. This state can last for several days with longer fasts. Fasting for at least 7 days can therefore result in measurable weight loss. To ensure that muscle mass is not affected, light exercise should be part of the program during the fasting cure.
However, the body reduces the basal metabolic rate during therapeutic fasting. In terms of body weight, this means that if a fundamental change in diet is not made after fasting, the body quickly stores the excess energy again. Fasting therefore primarily serves to detoxify and improve general health, but a fasting cure is only suitable as a diet to a limited extent. However, it is helpful as an incentive for a fundamental change in diet.
Who is allowed to fast and who is not?
As fasting has a variety of effects on the body and can also be stressful, it is not recommended for everyone. Depending on health conditions, fasting may sometimes only be allowed under medical supervision and guidance.
May or should not fast:
As a general rule, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not fast.
Fasting is also not recommended for children and adolescents.
People who are underweight, suffer from eating disorders or have nutritional deficiencies should also not fast.
People suffering from hormonal exhaustion or serious infectious diseases should never fast.
Fasting is also not recommended for people with severe mental illnesses.
Fasting is not suitable for people with severe cardiovascular disease, renal insufficiency, gallbladder problems or tumors.
A fasting cure may be possible for people who regularly take medication or suffer from a pre-existing or chronic illness. You should clarify in advance with the doctor treating you whether fasting is generally suitable for you and which fasting method is the right one.
Intermittent fasting can be carried out by healthy people on their own. However, therapeutic fasting should also be carried out by healthy people with medical supervision.
How do I fast properly?
The correct approach to fasting depends primarily on the fasting method and your general state of health. You can find the procedure for therapeutic fasting above in our guide. For fasting cures at home, such as intermittent fasting, there are a few generally applicable rules:
Start slowly: Fasting should be started slowly so that the body can get used to the change. This is especially true for people who are fasting for the first time.
Listen to your body: You should always feel well when fasting. Dizziness, light-headedness or nausea are normal, provided they disappear again after a short time. Regular periods of exercise and relaxation are also important.
Avoid alcohol & co: For optimal fasting success, stimulating drinks such as coffee and black tea should be avoided. Alcohol and nicotine are also taboo; it is best to give them up before you start fasting.
Plan your meals: Depending on the fasting method, the meals and foods you eat should provide you with all the important nutrients, but should not be too rich or heavy.
Drink enough: Unsweetened teas, juices or water provide you with enough fluids during fasting. This should be at least 2.5 liters per day.
Break your fast gently: After the end of the fast, small, easily digestible meals are more digestible for the stomach and intestines. Fatty and heavy foods should be avoided. A change in diet to healthy whole foods is recommended to ensure the long-term success of the fasting cure.
Frequently asked questions about fasting cures
When does the feeling of hunger disappear during a fasting cure?
The feeling of hunger can be more pronounced at the beginning of a fast, but it usually disappears after the first few days of fasting. Drinking tea or water throughout the day can also reduce the feeling of hunger in the first few days.
Why does fasting lead to tongue coating?
Therapeutic fasting can contribute to a comprehensive detoxification of the body. In some people who fast, this effect is also reflected in a yellow, white or gray coating on the tongue. Occasionally this can also occur together with bad breath. In most cases, the coating is not a cause for concern, but indicates that the body is detoxifying. Cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper during fasting can help. As a rule, the coating disappears again after the end of the fasting cure.
Which illnesses can be favorably influenced by fasting?
Short fasting cures such as intermittent fasting can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, among other things. Intensive therapeutic fasting, on the other hand, is also recommended to alleviate or prevent various illnesses, including
- allergic asthma and other allergic diseases
- cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure
- Intestinal diseases and digestive disorders
- disorders of the fat metabolism
- rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus