Is therapeutic fasting also suitable for losing weight?

Therapeutic fasting, base fasting, interval fasting: Unsuitable as a diet
Those who fast voluntarily forego food in whole or in part. As part of a fasting cure, fasters often deal with their body, their health and their diet. Therefore, it can prepare you to start a health-promoting diet. Fasting is not suitable as a diet and does not lead to long-term weight loss for a limited period. Unless the fasting man changes his lifestyle at the same time. Depending on the type of fasting, a balanced supply of nutrients may even be at risk, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE). Seniors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, adolescents or children should avoid fasting altogether. The same applies to people with certain diseases such as eating disorders or liver and kidney diseases. Therapeutic, base and interval fasting are widespread in this country.

Therapeutic fasting has a millennia-old tradition and aims to cleanse body, mind and soul. It is used for both health prevention and therapy for certain diseases. Medical fasting should be done under medical supervision. A fasting cure usually lasts 7-10 days. In addition, a preparation day with approx. 1,000 kcal / day, including caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, and three days after fasting should be planned to normalize eating behavior. During the fasting days, the body receives only a very small amount of energy of max. 500 kcal / day in the form of liquid food.

Advantageous effects of therapeutic fasting have been scientifically proven for certain diseases, for example for the metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation or psychosomatic diseases. Healthy people can use this type of fasting as an introduction to weight loss; it is unsuitable for permanent weight loss.

By Base fasting the body should be deacidified - a method that is often used in alternative medicine. Base fasters may only consume foods that are considered basic, such as vegetables, fruit and some nuts and high-quality linseed, olive or rapeseed oil. Spring water and diluted herbal teas are available as drinks. However, scientific evidence for the effect of this fasting method is missing: Neither the existence of slag in the body has been proven, nor the assumption that acid-forming foods interfere with the body's acid-base balance.

Because vital nutrients could be supplied in too small quantities in the long term, the DGE advises against long-term base fasting.

Intermittent fasting means to forego food on a daily or hourly basis. There are different concepts with two consecutive days of fasting or two fixed days of fasting per week or alternating fasting. The fasting person usually searches in vain for recommendations as to which foods should be selected on the remaining days. Intermittent fasting should be used as a permanent diet and the fasting person usually wants to reduce weight in the long term. Intermittent fasting is attributed to various health-promoting effects on the metabolism.

There are no scientific studies on the long-term consequences of interval fasting. Previous data indicate a positive effect on health and weight loss. The DGE does not consider interval fasting to be sensible in order to regulate its weight in the long term, since there are no concrete recommendations for food selection. As a rule, this does not result in a change in diet towards a nutritionally favorable choice of food. (sb, pm)

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