Weight loss is not the most important goal of therapeutic fasting – but a wonderful side effect. Why not improve your health and wellness as well as the success of your figure? More than 60 years ago, fasting pioneer Dr. Eric von Wakebecker presented his four-pillar concept for the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic lifestyle diseases. Since then, the Maltese clinic has served patients with cardiovascular risk factors, gastrointestinal disorders and liver problems, chronic pain conditions, rheumatic limitations, but also with psycho-vegetative stress, named after its founder in Bad Bruckenau.
“Voluntary abstinence from solid food – so-called therapeutic fasting – represents an astonishingly effective therapeutic agent,” said lead physician Dr. Rainer Matejka (64). “In our clinic, we now mostly fast for ten days in the classic way. In addition, we offer the popular intermittent fasting, the “16 to 8″ method. Healthy foods are eaten within an 8-hour time period, This is followed by a 16-hour fast. Although rarely a patient comes to the clinic just to lose weight, many fasting people are happy with the positive side effect of losing a few extra pounds during their stay at the clinic.” If you continue as before after treatment, you have to expect that you will gain weight again quickly,” says Dr. Matejka. “Like all short-term diets, if you’re in the ‘old water’ quickly.” Going back, when you suddenly brake on a meal, there’s also the risk of the yo-yo effect.”
On the other hand, clinic stay in general and therapeutic fasting in particular, represent a special opportunity to reconsider previous diet and lifestyle, change lifestyle and thus lose weight overall in the long term . The conversion of metabolism, the “metabolic switch”, not only leads to the melting of extra pounds, but also has a significant positive health effect. Three questions for experts.
Dear Dr. Matejka, How can medical fasting bring me closer to my desired weight?
Proper therapeutic fasting is much more than simply abstaining from solid food. Of course, therapeutic fasting gives relief to the body – strenuous digestive work, for example.
Therapeutic fasting also relieves the soul. On the one hand by breaking the everyday life associated with the consumption of food. On the other hand, through fasting-related changes in messenger metabolism in the brain. Fasting has an anxiolytic, calming and pain-relieving effect. Many patients in our clinic report a “fasting high”, which sometimes begins after the fifth day and clears up to the “own things and problems”.
So fasting is ideally suited as a permanent turning point in the lifestyle that has made you fat before and as a strong incentive to change eating and exercise habits.
What is the connection between therapeutic fasting and improved nutrition?
Yes, in the Malteser clinic we see time and again that going without food for a long time has the effect of a “taste reset”: after a period of fasting, switching to a diet that is as natural as possible and based on Ho Mediterranean model is experienced as rich and enjoyable.
It also makes sense clinically for our doctors: healthy nutrition not only benefits the figure, but it also has anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressive effects – helping patients get back to exercise and Thus the all-important factor in stabilizing the success of fasting. long term. Therefore, weight loss during therapeutic fasting is not an end in itself, but also has specific goals, for example relieving stress on the spine and joints.
Does losing weight also have any direct health effects?
Yes, we call this the “metabolic switch” that occurs for each of us roughly between the 13th and 16th hour of fasting. The body then primarily burns fatty acids instead of carbohydrates and draws out its stored reserves.
In addition, as part of the combustion of fatty acids, a kind of self-cleaning process begins at the cellular level – autophagy. Metabolic residues that are no longer needed are discharged and cell renewal is stimulated.
For a long time, adipose tissue was thought to be just a boring, biological energy store. Today we know that fat is a highly active tissue that produces dozens of messenger substances.
If you carry a lot of fat with you, you are at risk of “metabolic syndrome.” So do hypertension, vascular calcification, diabetes and gout. Largely unknown: Fat also nourishes malignant cells with its messenger substances. Overweight and diabetic patients are 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop breast and colon cancer.
Dear Doctor Matejka, Thank you very much for the interview!