When making the decision to fast, it is important to decide which fasting method to embark on. However, it is always advisable to speak to your GP first. The next step is to decide if you are only going to give up solid food for a few days or to take the option to eat small portions throughout the day.
Traditionally, fasting has been associated with different religions as a form of asceticism. Fasting is meant to cleanse the body, strengthen our willpower, repent our sins and have direct contact with God.
Nowadays, fasting is more about restoring our health as it can have many benefits for the body. During fasting, the metabolism changes so that fat reserves are burned and there is less cholesterol and sugar in the blood. Some studies have shown that the pain from rheumatism and arthritis are lessened. However, fasting is not a treatment for diseases in general but it can work alongside traditional medicine. It is important to prepare well and to give yourself time for it to be beneficial.
Fasting in not a miracle cure for weight loss because the body switches into emergency mode and the metabolism slows down. After fasting, the body goes into overdrive, making up for the lack of food, creating a yo-yo effect. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat as well as vitamin and mineral deficiency. Fasting can also be dangerous for older people, in particular.
There are different forms of fasting. An extreme option is drastic fasting. This is a starvation diet, where only water or herbal tea is permitted. Less extreme is the fasting form named after Buchinger and F. X. Mayr. The Buchinger method involves drinking only herbal tea, vegetable stock and water for five days. The F. X. Mayr method, which lasts for three or four weeks, consists of eating milk soaked rolls as well as drinking herbal tea and water.
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