Diet: Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight without starving yourself

Diet: Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight without starving yourself

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Health improves through interval fasting

Intermittent fasting or interval fasting can actually help you lose weight. Studies also show that life expectancy can be increased with this special diet.

A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that intermittent fasting can improve overall health and also increase life expectancy. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

Protection against diabetes through fasting

About 85 percent of people who have these symptoms also suffer from type 2 diabetes. Anyone who suffers from both diseases has a far greater risk of developing a heart disease or a stroke. Intermittent fasting could reduce the risk of diabetes. Fasting can also increase stress resistance and suppress inflammation.

Does fasting protect brain health?

Preliminary studies also indicate that intermittent fasting could also benefit brain health, the researchers report. A study by the University of Toronto on 220 healthy, non-obese adults found that cognitive tests showed signs of improved memory through a two-year, reduced-calorie diet.

How does interval fasting work?

Intermittent fasting or intermittent fasting works like this: you basically eat normally, except that fasting takes place in a certain period of time. The most common models are 5: 2 interval fasting and 16: 8 interval fasting.

Schedule fasting

For example, with 5: 2 interval fasting, you eat normally five days a week and then fast for two days. The most intensive effect is when the two days follow each other. However, this method is also much more difficult to maintain and requires some getting used to. You can also fast for two days individually.

In the 16: 8 method, the fasting phase extends to a certain section of the day. You do not eat food for 16 hours, the rest of the time you eat normally. Theoretically, the sleep phase can also be counted for the 16-hour fast. So if you sleep about eight hours, you would only have to fast for a total of eight hours.

Do you eat little in the morning and a lot in the evening? Then attach Lent to the sleep phase. Contrary to popular belief, eating in the evening does not make you fat. The only important thing is the duration of the fat burning phase. However, if you are a "breakfast type", do not eat anything eight hours before bedtime.

Drink water, tea and unsweetened coffee on the fasting and fasting days. Some sources even say that meals can be eaten on fasting days as long as they do not exceed 500 to 600 calories. It is also best to eat a healthy and balanced diet outside of the fasting phase. However, a change in diet is not absolutely necessary.

What does interval fasting bring?

The goal of interval fasting is to stimulate the metabolism, promote fat burning and to get the body used to smaller portions of food over the long term. The stomach shrinks after a certain period of fasting and you then no longer need such large meals to get full. This leads to reduced calorie intake and weight loss.
The following positive effects on health are also attributed to phase fasting:

  1. beneficial influence on an existing diabetes mellitus,
  2. beneficial influence on cardiovascular diseases,
  3. better cholesterol levels.
  4. beneficial influence on inflammatory processes.

Meaningful or not?

Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, it has been proven. However, not everyone can positively influence their weight in the long term. The prerequisite for successful facial removal with this technique is that you do not consume the calories saved in the fasting phases afterwards.

You have to consume fewer calories than you consume - this is the only way to keep the calorie balance in the end negative. Anyone who only practices this type of diet for a few weeks and then falls back into old eating habits risks a yo-yo effect.

For obese people, the option of eating very little food every other day is probably not better for losing weight than a "normal" diet. Although the blood values ​​of all participants improved, compared to the normal diet, which takes care of a lower calorie intake every day, interval fasting was more difficult for many of the test subjects, so that it was stopped more often.

tip: If you want to try interval fasting to lose weight, at best you should also consider how you can eat healthier and more balanced afterwards.

Who should avoid interval fasting?

The following groups of people should avoid interval fasting:

  • Pregnant and lactating women,
  • Type 1 diabetic,
  • Children.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Rafael de Cabo, Mark P. Mattson: Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease, in: New England Journal of Medicine; Volume 381, pages 2541-2551, December 2019, New England Journal of Medicine
  • German Nutrition Society (DGE): "Lightning diets have no lasting success" (accessed: January 4, 2020), DGE
  • Roger Collier: Intermittent fasting: the science of going without; in: CMAJ, Volume 185 (9), June 11, 2013, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Video: Doctor Mike On Diets: Intermittent Fasting. Diet Review (October 2022).