Fasting is really beneficial for the brain

Fasting - time out for body and mind

Traditionally, Lent for Christians lasts seven weeks - it begins Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter. While some “only” do without sweets, alcohol or meat during these 40 days, others leave out solid food entirely and only consume liquids. The fasting month of Ramadan for Muslims also corresponds to intermittent fasting with a break from eating and drinking from dawn to sundown.

Millions of people worldwide renounce food for religious or health reasons. But fasting cures are also enjoying increasing popularity outside of the fasting months. Losing weight is not necessarily the main focus for most of them. The main thing you want to do is calm down or bring body and mind into harmony.

No matter what the reasons are: The fast always means a change for the body, because it has to get used to the reduced number of calories. And not everyone can cope with that equally well. It is therefore advisable to ask a doctor for advice beforehand and to talk to him about possible health risks.

If you want to fast in order to lose weight, you will not be successful in the long term: Most of the time, the scales quickly show the pounds lost after the fasting cure and the dreaded yo-yo effect occurs. Sustained weight loss success can only be achieved with a targeted change in diet and sufficient exercise in everyday life. For the German Nutrition Society (DGE), fasting can still have a positive effect: "Those who fast are concerned with their health and reflect on what they eat and drink in everyday life. A fasting cure can thus be a first step towards a healthy diet" , writes the specialist society on its website (February 2020).

Fasting is not suitable for everyone: Those who take medication regularly or suffer from a chronic illness should not fast at all or only fast under medical supervision. The same applies to allergy sufferers, diabetics, people with depression and anorexics. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, people with heart disease and those who are underweight should refrain from fasting altogether.