Fasting, or abstaining from solid food, is an ancient means of ridding the body of excess baggage. Fasting is practised in many different cultures. Many Christians traditionally fast in the period before Easter. They often abstain from stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes or sweets. In Islamic culture, people do not eat or drink anything during Ramadan from dawn to sunset and abstain from stimulants. However, more and more people are fasting outside the traditional fasting periods, mostly for health or spiritual reasons. When fasting, however, losing weight is or should be in the background.
There are different fasting methods. But no matter which fasting method you choose, everyone who starts fasting should first ask their doctor of trust if they are able to fast. In the end, everyone decides for themselves.
The strictest form of fasting is the complete abstention from food, only liquids such as water and tea are taken in during this form of fasting. This form of fasting should only be carried out under control, especially if it is to be used for a longer period of time. In a weakened method of fasting, the fasting person may consume broth or shakes in addition to water and teas. The best-known type of fasting is therapeutic fasting according to Dr Otto Buchinger, which begins with relief days. During this fasting cure, water (still water), teas as well as vegetable broth, fruit and vegetable juices are allowed. Intermittent fasting is currently in all the media, whereby the fasting person abstains from food for 16 hours of the day, during the remaining 8 hours one may eat as usual. This regular abstention from food is supposed to reduce weight, among other things.
But no matter which fasting method you choose, it is important to drink a lot. About 2.5 litres per day is recommended in most cases. In some fasting methods, a thorough cleansing of the intestines marks the beginning of the fast. This involves taking Epsom salts dissolved in water. Stay near a toilet, as bowel emptying occurs immediately afterwards and sometimes several times. Epsom salts are a laxative, so be sure to follow the instructions or consult your doctor or pharmacist when preparing the mixture. Furthermore, it is advisable not to demand extreme performance from the body during the fasting period. Rest and relaxation with moderate exercise and fresh air, preferably in nature, are advisable.
During fasting, accompanying symptoms can occur. I myself felt cold and had headaches, which fortunately disappeared after increasing plenty of fluids in the form of still water. Other accompanying symptoms can be fatigue, dizziness, stomach problems or even cravings. I did not experience the fasting high so often described, which is supposed to put you in a euphoric mood. Maybe 7 days of Buchinger fasting (with an introduction day / breaking the fast) was not enough. But it is advised everywhere to do longer fasts only under supervision. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves which fasting method is best for them. Because the goals are also different. Ask your doctor before you start, because even if fasting sounds easy, the complete renunciation of food leaves traces in the body and mind.