False fasting: this is behind the method of fasting

With mock fasting, you can continue to eat while enjoying the many benefits of classic fasting. You can find out exactly how it works in this article.

Buckle would benefit our health in different ways. It is supposed to promote the regeneration of our cells and stop aging processes. However, going completely without food during classic therapeutic fasting and living exclusively on tea, broth and juice is a major challenge for many people.

The fictitious fast is intended to reduce this obstacle: with this method of fasting, you can continue to eat food. However, you cut your calorie intake by about half and put your body into fasting mode.

Where did the idea of ​​false fasting come from?

The founder of fake fasting is scientist and age researcher Professor Valter Longo from the University of Southern California in the United States. He tells MDR that he has had experience with conventional therapeutic fasting before and found the strict fasting method very difficult. Then, about ten years ago, he began to develop an alternative.

The idea for mock fasting came to him when he designed a fasting plan specifically for cancer patients. Because the body is already severely weakened by cancer, giving up food completely is hardly conceivable.

Nevertheless, according to Longo, fasting can also have a positive effect on the body during chemotherapy. As a middle way, he founded the concept of false fasting. He researched how many calories we could eat while putting the body into fasting mode. His results show that we should cut our calories for a false fast by about half.

This is how false fasting works

Fresh smoothies, soups, salads, but also vegetable curries are on the menu for false fasts.
Fresh smoothies, soups, salads, but also vegetable curries are on the menu for false fasts.
(Photo: CC0/Pixabay/Silviarita)

On the first day, called the backup day, Longo recommends 1,100 calories. This is how you prepare your body for fasting. Over the next four days, 800 calories are on the program. After five days, you can slowly start increasing calories again.

When you fast, you should only eat plant-based foods. Because foods of animal origin would give our body the signal “growth”. When fasting, however, cells must take a break from the constant building processes. Sugar, white flour and white rice are also taboo. Instead, Longo recommends vegetables, nuts and legumes.

According to Longo, after two to three days, the body would go into fasting mode. According to GEO-Magazine, the body begins to regenerate cells. It thus “recycles” the old and defective cells. This process is also called “autophagy”. Because our body registers a lack of nutrients, the cells fall back on existing resources. They break down both dead cell material and structurally defective proteins and whole cell organelles such as mitochondria.

Our body also automatically eliminates potential pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Autophagy is therefore an effective means against infections and also helps to reduce stress. The process was discovered by molecular biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery in 2016.

According to Longo, it’s best to false fast for about five days every three months. For people with diabetes, he even recommends the concept of fasting once a month. The big advantage over therapeutic fasting is that you don’t lose any muscle mass during mock fasting.

False Fast: You Can Eat This

With fictitious fasting, you can organize your meals yourself. For example, GEO magazine recommends a vegetable smoothie for breakfast and vegetable curries, soups or salads for lunch and dinner. It is only important that you do not exceed a calorie intake of around 800 kilocalories. To make sure, you can track your calories using apps or programs, or use recipes specifically designed for false fasting. Alternatively, you can also order a ready-made Fastenbox. This includes, for example, healthy packet soups, bars and vegetable crackers. You will then receive a fixed ration for each day. However, such offers come with a lot of packaging waste.

You can also find here recipes suitable for a week of false fasting, for example:

To note: Pregnant women, nursing women and people with eating disorders, serious heart and kidney disease, cancer or other previous illnesses should not fast or fast only under strict medical supervision.

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