Therapeutic fasting: how it works properly

What is therapeutic fasting?

Therapeutic fasting, which goes back to the doctor Otto Buchinger, is a fasting method that aims to cleanse body, mind and soul at the same time. Fasting is almost completely without food. A maximum of 250 to 500 calories can be consumed per day. Only liquid food is on the menu, such as vegetable broth and fruit and vegetable juices. It is important to carry out therapeutic fasting under medical supervision.

How did therapeutic fasting come about?

Buchinger assumed that his method of fasting not only has medical, but also psychological and spiritual effects. All three effects together result in a unit, which the doctor also called "diet of the soul". In addition to the strict rules on nutrition, the fasting should avoid stress and relax instead. Music, books or meditation can help.

What are the benefits of therapeutic fasting?

There are now many scientific studies showing that fasting can have various positive effects on health. Fasting can have a positive effect on the following symptoms:

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Chronic pain
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Psychosomatic diseases
  • high blood pressure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Allergies
  • Skin diseases
  • Obesity

Those who suffer from severe overweight often get that Recommendation to use therapeutic fasting as the start of a change in diet. In addition, the fasting cure can have a positive effect on the mood. For fasting to be successful, it is important that the patient himself wishes to fast and believes in the positive effects.

What can I eat during therapeutic fasting?

Solid food is not used in therapeutic fasting. The given calories are primarily absorbed through liquids. The following foods are allowed per day during fasting:

  • A small glass of fruit or vegetable juice, as freshly pressed as possible
  • A small bowl of vegetable broth
  • A maximum of 30 grams of honey
  • At least 2.5 liters of water or herbal tea

Anyone who fasts over a long period of time with medical permission can also drink some buttermilk every day.

Preparation is everything

It is important to properly prepare for the fasting period. First of all, you should look for a period of time during which you can really relax. If possible, there should be no important dates – also no private such as birthday parties. In the beginning, many people suffer from various ailments, such as headaches or mild circulatory problems, when fasting. Therefore, it is best if you can spend most of Lent at home in a relaxed manner.

It can also help to have everything you need at home before the fasting days so that you don't have to go shopping. For example, if you're struggling with hunger, you're tempted to put a few snacks in your shopping cart. It is best to write a shopping list before fasting and get everything.

This is how therapeutic fasting works

Before you start the actual fasting cure, you should prepare a day for it. On this so-called relief day, you only consume 1000 calories and at the latest from now on no luxury foods such as cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine. A little light movement also helps to shake off the stress and to adjust to the relaxation phase when fasting.

On the first day of fasting, you start with a colon cleanse. To do this, mix one liter of water with 30 to 40 grams of Glauber's salt and drink this mixture within 20 minutes. If you want, you can add a little lemon juice for the taste. Then wait half an hour before drinking another half to one liter of water or tea. The permitted foods can be consumed during the fasting at random throughout the day, it is only important that you do not get over 250 to 500 calories a day.

How long should I fast?

Buchinger considered a fasting period of two to four weeks to be optimal, but it depends a lot on the individual options for how long you should fast. The Fasting and Nutrition Medical Association recommends a course of between seven and ten days, plus a preparation day and three subsequent days in which you slowly adjust to normal eating behavior.

In the end there is breaking the fast

As a rule, the fasting cure ends with the so-called breaking of the fast. To do this, slowly eat a raw or cooked apple, which should be well ripened. In the evening, a potato soup is on the menu. Then it goes to the so-called construction days: Here it is important not to go back to very fatty foods or general finished products, but gradually take several small servings and get the body used to solid food again.

This should be as light as possible, it is suitable for example rice, cooked vegetables and fruit. So you slowly get the body back to normal eating, boost your metabolism and do not immediately overwhelm the intestine.

Can therapeutic fasting have disadvantages?

During fasting therapy, various mild complaints up to correct illnesses can occur. How strong these are and whether they occur at all varies individually. The following symptoms can occur during the fasting days:

  • Headaches to migraines
  • Slight circulatory problems
  • Back pain
  • Temporary visual disturbances
  • sleep disorders
  • Muscle cramps
  • Accumulation of fluid in the body

In some cases, even cardiac arrhythmias are possible. This is also the reason why therapeutic fasting should only be carried out under medical supervision: The doctor should regularly check all relevant patient values, so that you can react in time to serious problems. In the worst case, fasting must be stopped.

Reading tips: You can find out everything about the detoxification cure and juice fasting here. We also explain intermittent fasting and reveal the best intermittent fasting recipes.

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