I don’t know what you think about fasting, but it always sounded a little scary to me, several days without eating is almost hard to believe. This practice, was somehow, usually associated with some religious beliefs. However, nowadays, there are several longterm studies that advise us to fast.

I interviewed Dr. Bianka Toebben, a specialist in integrative medicine and anti-aging, about fasting and the anti-aging process. “Anti-Aging means a lifestyle, and fasting is a part of anti-aging”. Also, Anti-Aging is not only a question of image, “Anti-Aging is a goal either to prevent diseases or to treat diseases”, she explained.

”Most people eat too much; we really don’t need that much food”, Dr.Bianka said. So, the doctor who has a PhD in traditional medicine and also studied natural medicine, advises us to” eat everything and anything but in a moderate way and not every day, so the body does not get used to it”. Off course, with some exceptions, people suffering from severe diseases or others restriction, but in general we should be able to eat everything, but not all of the time.

An interesting example can be found in the simple breakfast. What do you eat for breakfast? To be honest I wake up every morning and follow the same routine, sometimes I change the drink, but the food is always the same. Mistake! Dr. Bianka explains that we never should eat the same breakfast everyday because our body will get used to it. “You always should change after a few days”
The problem is that nowadays not everyone has lots of time to pay attention to what they eat, and they sometimes don’t even have time to chew properly. Although many people, including the youngest, are aware that their lifestyle is not the most appropriate, they maintain it because it’s easier. As a result we end up eating a lot of unhealthy food.

Now that we’ve talked a bit about healthy lifestyle, let’s try to understand what fasting is and what types of fasting exist. The first one is when you abstain from all kind of food or drink, usually related to religion issues. Then we have Zero fasting, when you don’t eat for 3/5 or 10 days but still drink, followed by intermittent fasting when people don’t eat during for e.g. 16 hours, but can eat during the other 8 hours, perhaps only having dinner, for example. Also, we have fasting in that we can drink juices, soups, every type of liquid low in carbs and fat and of course no alcohol. In conclusion, there are fasts for all tastes. If you want to try, then it is only a question of choosing what is best for you. I have never tried, but one day, maybe after the Easter season, I will try the one with juices and soups.

However, not everyone can do it. “People who are sick and thin shouldn’t do it, they are weak, so they need food”, to get stronger. Also, it’s not advisable for children – “Children shouldn’t do it, they should eat regularly, but less and more healthily”, said the doctor.

Furthermore, there is no impediment in continuing to work during the time of fasting, however, heavy physical activities are not recommended during this period.

Perhaps you are wondering, how can people control their hunger when they are fasting? Dr. Bianka answers: “The fear of not getting food or enough food makes people weak. Fasting makes the will stronger again.” Adding that: “When the stomach is asking for food, take some warm water or tea with or without lemon and it will calm down. In general more liquid is needed during fasting”.

Fasting can be a lifestyle, but sometimes it is during the most challenging moments that people opt for it. “We know through some studies that fasting can help healing some diseases, namely cancer, besides preventing. So, if people need it, they will do it”, said the doctor.

However, if you are not convinced, you can try to follow the advice that we started with. Eat everything, but less and not always the same – which can be also a type of fast. Change the routine, eat more consciously and don’t be afraid of trying something different and new. “There’s lots of fasting – some fasting that you only avoid foods that you are not able to digest well and more extreme fasting. People just need to find out what is best for each individual”, she concluded.