Can I lose weight with intermittent fasting?

Intermittierendes Fasten

Fasting in the run-up to Easter continues to be popular. But there’s a gentler alternative to fasting in the traditional sense of giving up food altogether: intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting can be a flexible and effective method of losing weight and boosting health and, as such, has gained substantial popularity in recent years. As a dietary approach that alternates between periods of fasting and normal eating, intermittent fasting is particularly well-suited to beginners as it’s less restrictive than conventional diets and still offers significant health benefits.

With the right tips and simple instructions, intermittent fasting can be an effective strategy for losing weight the healthy way and improving overall well-being.

Intermittent fasting methods

There are various approaches to intermittent fasting, which differ mainly in terms of personal goals and lifestyle. The methods span a range between fixed fasting periods and specific fasting days and are popular because they’re simple and effective. To achieve optimal results, the choice of method can also be based on abdominal type.

The 16:8 pattern

The16:8 pattern is practised daily and entails fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. This method is particularly popular as it can be easily integrated into everyday life and helps you lose weight without feeling like you’re giving up too much.

The 5:2 pattern

The 5:2 pattern is based on eating normally on 5 days of the week and fasting on 2 non-consecutive days. On the fasting days, calorie intake drops dramatically, which can lead to weight loss and health benefits. On these two days, you consume just 25% of your normal number of calories.

The 14:10 pattern

The 14:10 intermittent fasting pattern involves a daily fasting window of 14 hours and an eating period of 10 hours. This method is a milder version of the 16:8 pattern and is suited to people who haven’t yet had much experience with fasting.

Alternate day fasting

Alternate day fasting means that you alternate between days of normal eating and days of fasting. This approach is flexible and can be customised to achieve different health goals.

Intermittent fasting according to abdominal type

Intermittent fasting according to abdominal type means that the fasting window is adjusted to your particular abdominal type.

  • Apple types with a lot of visceral fat should fast for at least 14 hours.
  • Pear types with more fat in the lower abdominal area should fast for 12 to 14 hours.
  • Healthy people with little abdominal fat can also achieve results with 8 to 12 hours of fasting.

Good to know: intermittent fasting by abdominal type is particularly effective for people with a lot of internal abdominal fat (visceral fat), as it stimulates fat burning in the abdominal cavity.

Duration of intermittent fasting

The question of how long intermittent fasting should last varies from person to person and should be set according to the individual. Many people practise it for many weeks or months in order to experience the full health benefits. What’s important is to adhere to the fasting rules and heed your body's reactions. The reason for intermittent fasting is not just to lose weight, but also to maintain a steady weight and benefit from the positive effects it has on the body’s processes. Many people use intermittent fasting as a permanent form of eating plan.

Factors that impact intermittent fasting

Factors such as caffeine consumption, alcohol, medication and sweeteners play an important role in intermittent fasting. Coffee can be consumed in moderate quantities, but sugary drinks should be avoided. Avoiding alcohol is also advised. It’s also important to observe the effects of medication during the fasting phases and seek medical advice if necessary.

Different results between men and women

Intermittent fasting can lead to varying results and experiences between women and men. This is mainly due to their different physical requirements and needs.

Boosts women’s metabolism

Women need to take various factors into account when practising intermittent fasting, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when it’s usually not recommended. Women over 50 benefit from the fact that it naturally boosts metabolism and supports hormonal changes. The important thing is that women pay attention to their own particular needs and health conditions.

Promotes hormonal changes in men

In men, intermittent fasting often has positive effects on weight loss and muscle building. Men particularly benefit from the hormonal changes that are promoted by fasting. However, it’s important for men too to adapt the method to their individual lifestyle and state of health.

Intermittent fasting: pros and cons

Intermittent fasting presents a range of potential benefits alongside certain disadvantages. Understanding both the positive effects and potential risks is important for making an informed decision before using the method.

To achieve your desired outcomes, it’s essential to take your overall lifestyle into account and make adjustments as needed.


  • Often results in weight loss.
  • Fasting improves blood sugar levels and helps lower blood pressure.
  • Many people report increased energy levels and a better general sense of well-being.
  • Can enhance physical and mental performance and lead to long-term health benefits.


For some people, intermittent fasting can lead to side effects such as headaches, stomach problems or migraines. It’s not suitable for everyone, especially not for people with certain pre-existing conditions. In some cases, no weight loss is achieved. This may be due to various individual factors, such as an unhealthy eating plan, lack of physical activity, genetic predispositions or hormonal imbalances.

What science says about intermittent fasting

The scientific community is divided on the extent of the positive effects, especially as only a limited number of clinical studies with humans have been conducted. Nevertheless, various studies indicate that intermittent fasting is a valid, though not healthier, alternative to traditional calorie-restrictive diets.

Who is intermittent fasting not suitable for?

Intermittent fasting is not suitable for people with diabetes, low blood pressure or eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children should also avoid intermittent fasting due to their need for a constant flow of nutrients. People who are taking medication that has to be coordinated with food intake or who suffer from chronic illnesses should consult their doctor before starting intermittent fasting. It’s essential to prioritise your own physical and health needs and to seek medical advice if you have any doubts or concerns.

Recipes for intermittent fasting

For people who practise intermittent fasting, we’ve put together a selection of recipes and menus that are both nutritious and delicious. The recipes are designed to provide a balanced diet during the eating window and supply the body with essential nutrients.

  • High protein breakfast smoothie: a smoothie made with Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and a spoonful of flaxseed for an energy-packed start to the day.
  • Light salad for lunch: a fresh salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber and grilled chicken or tofu, with a light olive oil dressing.
  • Vegetable stir-fry for dinner: quick stir-fried vegetables with tofu or prawns, flavoured with ginger and soy sauce, served with a portion of wholegrain rice.
  • Healthy snacks: raw vegetables with hummus, a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit, ideal for satisfying hunger pangs in between meals.
  • Hydrating drinks: plenty of water, unsweetened tea or water infused with cucumber or lemon, to maintain hydration levels.

Frequently asked ques­tions on intermittent fasting

Not losing weight on the 16:8 fast may be due to too high a calorie intake in the eating windows or insufficient physical activity. Try reviewing your diet and exercise routines.

This depends on individual factors such as metabolic rate and physical activity. Short-term fasting usually leads to little weight loss.

Yes, you should drink plenty during fasting, preferably water, unsweetened tea or black coffee.

Yes, black coffee without sugar and milk is permitted during intermittent fasting.

Your intermittent fasting type depends on your lifestyle, daily routine and personal preferences. Experiment with different methods to find the right one for you.

That depends on your goals, preferences and lifestyle. Try out different methods to find the best one for you.

The effectiveness depends on people’s individual goals and preferences. 16:8 and 5:2 are popular and often effective methods.

Intermittent fasting involves alternating between periods of fasting and periods of eating. The exact method varies depending on the type of intermittent fasting chosen.

Fasting for 16 hours allows the body to enter a fat-burning state, which can contribute to weight loss.

The rate of weight loss varies depending on the individual's metabolism and adherence to the fasting rules. Results can be seen after a few weeks.

You don't have to give up sport during intermittent fasting. However, we recommend gentle sports such as yoga, Pilates or easy cycling. Strenuous workouts are better avoided.


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