Today the term “intermittent fasting” is on everyone’s lips, which means not to eat for 16, 18 or even 20 hours a day.
This article will not treat this type of fasting, but fasting for several days, although in both types of fasting we give our bodies an important respite, especially our digestive system.
The definition of fasting according to the medical association for fasting and nutrition (ÄGHE) is the voluntary renunciation of solid foods for a certain time. The word voluntary is important, it distinguishes fasting from starvation, which can occur due to external circumstances. Fasting is based on our own decision.
The first time that I have dealt with fasting was 16 years ago on the St. James Way. A group of pilgrims walked the way for a week without eating. They drank only a lot of water and a glass of juice every day. At that time, I was not aware of the topic of fasting at all and I thought, “They certainly belong to a sect.”
A few years later I heard about fasting and fasting and hiking retreats in Germany. I was curious and decided to give it a try. I thought, if you want to judge, you have to try it yourself first. In addition, I am always open to new experiences.
I thought that would be very difficult for 7 days without eating anything. But it was not so.
In the first two days, when the body changes the program (from external to internal nutrition), it can be a bit uncomfortable, but from the third day on, people usually feel great and full of energy. What astonished me most was that I was not hungry these days. Fasting for several days is much easier than dieting. It sounds like a paradox, but that’s the way it is.
In the diet, we feed our body less nutrients than it needs and it suffers. During fasting, the body (and with more experience in fasting, the mind) switches to the inner diet. He knows he has no food available and begins to obtain the energy from the inner resources.
This changeover normally takes place on the second day of fasting.
It’s exactly what animals experience in the winter season, when they have no food, or what our ancestors did in a time when they did not have full refrigerators.
Our body is genetically engineered to absorb lack of food rather than overeating. And if we think about it, that’s logical. Full supermarkets have only been around recently when we look at the entire history of humanity. With the cycles of nature and the natural availability of food (without supermarkets), there have always been times when we had no food.
In the next blog entries, I will explain in more detail this process and the benefits that fasting can bring to the health of mind, body and soul.
(Photos by Teddy Kelley and Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash)