Modified fasting

Fasting for the modern lifestyle

Modified fasting for healthy lifestyles

Fasting is a remedy that has seen growing popularity in recent years as a form of therapy to reverse countless medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Many people are looking into trying a fast in the hopes of regaining control over their eating habits, but often feel daunted by the idea of fully abstaining from food and calorie intake. Modified fasting is often a great first step into the world of fasting, or simply as a way for experienced fasters to adjust their diets without completely altering their day-to-day routines.

On this page you’ll learn about some traditional fasting methods as well as alternative modified fasting methods that stem from these more conventional approaches.

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Modified fasting avocado banana smoothie

Traditional fasting methods

Understanding the roots of modified fasting

The sheer variety of available fasting methods can be overwhelming when choosing to start a fast. Although there is a wide variety of methods, these are the most popular and most widely practiced:

Water fasting

This is probably the method that pops into mind as soon as you think of fasting: no food, only water. Although many see this as the only true form of fasting, more and more medical experts consider it to be unhealthy, as you are not only denying yourself of calories, but also vital nutrients. Professionals agree that this is an extreme form of fasting and should, under no circumstances, be practiced without close medical supervision. Find out more about water fasting

Buchinger therapeutic fasting

The Buchinger fasting method is quickly growing in popularity and is a long-proven technique that has been widely practiced in Germany for over a century. In this method you abstain from eating all food, however, in order to ensure that your body receives essential nutrients and your vital organs receive the bare minimum of calories they need to function, doctors allow for certain vegetable broths as well as herbal teas, max. of 340kcal. per day, to prevent shock to the vital organs. Learn more about the Buchinger fasting method.

Juice fast

Similar to the Buchinger fasting method, juice fasts allow you to drink juices or smoothies while abstaining from food. The body more readily absorbs the nutrients from pureed fruits and vegetables, allowing you to gain some necessary calories and essential vitamins and minerals. However, by not eating, your digestive system is given a break and is able to regenerate. Check out our dedicated juice cleanse page! 

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting concentrates on restricting the times in which you eat. With the conveniences of modern living, we have access to food all day: we simply need to walk to the fridge or the snack cupboard, or worse, pick up a phone and order in. And with the dawn of TV and streaming services, we’re also inclined to reach for some food and mindlessly snack away. However, constantly eating undermines the natural processes in our body. This fasting method aims to help you regain control of your eating habits by restricting the times in which you eat, either by fasting on alternate days, or limiting your eating time to a certain number of hours per days. Discover more about intermittent fasting.



Modified fasting avocado banana smoothie

Types of modified fast diets

Despite the variety of fasting methods, some people may still find abstaining from food intimidating or they may not be permitted to fast due to a medical disorder or the condition of their health. Modified fasting allows people to benefit from many of the advantages of fasting, without fully abiding to the traditional methods. 

Modified fasting food

Buchinger modified fasting

A modified Buchinger fast includes a limited amount of calories per day through food. The food that would be included is typically vegan and very easy to digest. This could include soups, plenty of fruit, smoothies, wraps, salad and more. Through the inclusion of foods that are easy to digest and as well as the high amount of fiber, the digestive system is still cleansed.

Modified alternate day fasting

Modified intermittent fasting, or modified alternate day fasting, still relies greatly on restricting the days on which you eat. However, instead of fully abstaining from food on your fasting days, you would instead restrict calories, for example to a maximum of 800kcal. Per day or 25% of your daily requirement. A popular intermittent fasting method is the 5/2 method, meaning you eat normally for 5 days and fast for 2. On the two fasting days, where you would normally completely abstain from food altogether, you would now drastically limit your caloric intake. You could also combine this with juice fasting and only consume juices and smoothies on these days, which would still allow your digestive system to take a little breather.

Fasting mimicking diet

The fasting mimicking diet was developed by Dr. Valter Longo. The aim of mimicking a fast is to gain many of the benefits of fasting without sacrificing nutrients or calories. It is essentially a version of intermittent fasting in which meals are based on high (healthy) fat and low carb meal kits. The dieting days are low-calorie, allowing your body to deplete glycogen reserves. This mimicking fast diet is designed to usually last 5 days.

Protein sparing modified fast (PSMF)

Contrary to the fasting mimicking diet, the PSMF diet revolves around low calorie meals that focus on high protein as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. In removing as many fats and carbs as possible while maintaining high protein content, the diet aims to minimize “muscle-wasting”, where you lose muscle as your body  turns to calorie reserves to compensate for daily caloric needs. As the body is supplied with sufficient protein, it will begin to deplete fat reserves. PSMF diets can often last for months.

Modified water fast

Modified water fasting allows for some nutrient-dense meals throughout the fasting days that add up to a maximum of 800 kcal. Where most experts consider pure water fasting to be unsafe, modified water fasting helps eliminate some of the risk as you are consuming some calories in the nutrient-packed meals.



Modified fasting food
Modified fasting holiday

Modified fasting holiday

Our fasting holiday retreats encompass expert supervision through doctors and nutritionists. Although the fasting programs are usually designed around completely fasting, experts are aware that not everyone is able or willing to fully abstain from food. These programs are easily tailored to incorporate modified fasting, where some form of food or higher calorie intake would be possible.

What else is included?

You can still take part in all of the other great additions to the programs, such as yoga courses, Kneipp therapy, hiking, aqua gym, lectures and more! Some fasting programs, such as the Buchinger fasting method, include colonics and bowel cleanses. Please note that these sorts of treatments are no longer included in the programs, as they are only recommended therapies when completely abstaining from solid food.

Modified fasting holiday

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FAQ – Modified Fasting

What is modified fasting?

Modified fasting is a type of fasting that usually significantly restricts the number of calories consumed per day, typically to a third of a person’s required caloric intake. In drastically limiting calories, the body experiences many of the same processes and benefits of fasting, without starving the body for nutrients or a person feeling exceptionally hungry.

What is the fasting mimicking diet?

The fasting mimicking diet, is a high-fat, low-calorie diet that restricts a person’s daily caloric intake. These restrictions mimic the effects of fasting without a person having to completely give up food.

What is protein sparing modified fasting (PSMF)?

Protein sparing modified fasting is a low-calorie diet with a high protein ratio in order to reduce muscle waste. By allowing the body to consume relatively large portions of protein, this signals the body to instead start depleting fat reserves in order to make up for the missing calories. PSMF diets often go over longer periods of time.

What is therapeutic fasting?

Therapeutic fasting is when a person abstains from eating solid foods for medical purposes, to help alleviate certain medical conditions or symptoms. By undertaking a therapeutic fast, a person is sometimes able to reduce medication or even reverse a medical condition. A therapeutic fast is different from a water fast in that a bare minimum of calories (typically up to 340kcal. per day) are consumed in order to support vital organ functions as well provide the body with essential nutrients and minerals. These types of fasts are conducted under strict medical supervision.

Is fasting good for weight loss?

Although one can lose weight with fasting, this is usually a temporary side effect. Fasting is best used as a way to regain control and adjust eating habits to help maintain long-term diets and lifestyle changes. It is a great supportive tool on the road to permanent weight loss.

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