“It acts as a true miracle pill!” One speaks of fasting with Dr. Petra Bracht over the Interval, then it comes very quickly to these superlative.

The a physician Nutrition specialist and author from Bad Homburg in Germany is certainly one of the pioneers of the diet method “eating Pause,” and she practiced the method since the end of the 1980s, out of Conviction.

fasting is the Trend, according to a Forsa-survey on behalf of the DAK 63 percent of Germans are in favour of for themselves to reduce, at least temporarily, the diet, or change, or by 20 percent more than almost ten years ago.

Particular interval of fasting, even intermittent fasting is becoming more and more popular. Because in addition to the weight loss of this method can be attributed to many health effects.

However, Only little of it is scientifically proven as yet, clearly. Although there are a number of animal experiments in rats and monkeys, the fasting, an effect of Interval around the cell’s health and life expectancy show – yet so simple to humans, such results can not be transferred.

As healthy interval fasting

A study from Graz, with 100 participants may bring with it the discussion now, because it shows that, Already after four weeks of positive effects in humans on the health evidence.

And even after six months were no negative (side) effects detected. The researchers from the Institute for Molecular Biosciences to a rather rare variant of the interval fasting: 36:12. This is about the perfect fast formula?

a Brief explanation: When intermittent fasting, you eat during a fixed period of time, as usual, ends, without changing the amount and type of food followed by a Phase in which no or only very reduced calories, are allowed in the amounts as follows.

The best known is the Schema 16:8 is: Of the 24 hours of each day is an eight – hour period for eating is reserved, followed by 16 hours in which the body gets no food.

Who eats Breakfast so, for example, 9 o’clock, may eat as usual for lunch and must have finished his evening meal till 17 o’clock – then just calories, are allowed free drinks, more water, tea, coffee in moderation is said necessarily recommended.

The 5:2 principle, the Plan runs not hours, but days of operation: five days you can eat as usual, two days are almost time.

At this, the calorie intake is limited to around 500 calories for women and 700 for men. This is no more than a small meal. The Graz researchers chose for their study a middle ground, the “Alternate Day Fasting” or 36:12.

Visible results after four weeks of

Of the 100 subjects, half was allowed to eat for six months, so only every second day. Together with the night before and after the day of fasting that results in a rhythm of 12 to 36 hours.

The other 50 participants ate, as always, however, the researchers selected the biochemist Frank Madeo after some time, 25 from this group at random, the four weeks to the 36:12-almost rhythm changed. So they wanted to explore the short-term effects.

Countless data from body fat to blood pressure, bone density to the insulin value, the Grazer documented. And were amazed: after only four weeks of fasting, the participants had reduced their weight by 4.5 percent, and effective belly fat lost.

This visceral fat around the internal organs is considered to be particularly harmful. The cholesterol level decreased, also the amount of proteins in the body that make the researchers of ageing processes responsible.

More muscles despite the absence of

And that’s just a few of the results of the investigation. You confirm what has been observed by Dr. Petra Bracht also in their work with patients virtually: “I have been practicing interval fasting for more than 30 years. I haven’t started, there was the concept yet.

From the American natural healing scene is the Knowledge that it is much better not to eat so often came, and to process, especially that it gives the body time for the food alone. This seemed to me to be very logical, and I have tried it myself – to a time when there were six to eight small meals are recommended the day.”

One of the most exciting effects that you get when you fast found and also the Graz study confirmed the Autophagy: “in the past, it was thought that fasting would consume proteins and thus the breakdown of muscle to carry. But that is not true.

In the Autophagy-mode, the body is already consumed proteins, splits it into individual amino acids and gives the body back. Therefore, we observe that people who are fasting, and this move can build muscle mass. Our body uses old protein, new muscles and also to make antibodies,” explains the expert.

feelings of happiness during the interval fasting

“In women, the time of the Autophagy begins after 13 to 14 hours of fasting, men and a good hour later,” adds Dr. Bracht.

that’s Why men in particular of a longer fast would benefit interval. “I recommend to men to be fasting, therefore, more like 18 hours,” the Doctor says, the eating itself usually only in a time window of two to four hours of the day.

Still another effect is seen in practice as well as in the experiment: During the interval fasting of the body between the carbohydrate processing in the food phases and fat burning, known as ketosis goes, in the fast breaks.

“Both alternates, what the cells need. Anything else would be harmful,” says Dr. Bracht.

The ketone bodies in the fasting phase by means of an increase the production of the appropriate hormones for the mood of the people is stimulated. And this feeling makes us the hunger the hours easier to bear.

the Graz study showed this mood. Also, the hormone boost also acts as an anti-inflammatory – with a variety of positive effects on health.

Even small steps will help

the question of the ideal almost Remains the interval. “I’m a Fan of 16:8. All other methods do not have this waiver in-character, which is why many people keep on that,” says Dr done.

And warns of excessive goals: “It’s not about all or nothing. Basically, every day I intervallfaste is a Plus for the health.”


  • DAK health (2020): fast 2020: more and more men are practicing renunciation, retrieved on 27.03.2020: https://www.dak.de/dak/bundesthemen/fasten-2020-2241316.html
  • Stekovic, S. et al. (2020: Alternate day fasting improves physiological and molecular markers of aging in healthy, non-obese humans, retrieved on 27.03.2020: https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(19)30429-2

Peter Schmidt-Feneberg

*The post “Healthy and effective: weight loss with intermittent fasting: All is a question of timing,” published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.