1) The intermittent fasting method
Intermittent fasting is a form of nutrition based on human nature. Our ancestors did not have set meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We are genetically programmed to go without food for long periods of time. And not just that: Our bodies and health benefit greatly from this break from eating.
With intermittent fasting, you do without food several times a week for a limited period of time and give your body some time out. This break stimulates processes in your body that help you lose weight, strengthen your health and increase your well-being.
Basically every adult can fast. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are excluded, as their bodies have special needs during these times.
The following groups of people should check with their doctor whether intermittent fasting is an option for them:
- Chronically ill people (including type 1 and 2 diabetes; liver, kidney or heart diseases, gout, etc.)
- People dependent on regular medication
- People with an existing or past eating disorder as well as underweight people
There are many different types of fasting, the most well known of which are
- 16-8: You fast 16 hours and eat during a period of 8 hours
- 5-2: You fast two non-consecutive days per week
- 10in2 or alternating fasting: You fast one day, eat normally for one day, fast one day, etc.
- OMAD (One Meal A Day): You eat only one meal a day
BodyFast helps you to find the most effective type of fasting for you and also offers a lot of variety in everyday fasting.
Intermittent fasting improves your health.
- Fasting has a positive effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
- The risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is reduced!
Fasting helps reduce your weight.
- Fat burning is stimulated.
- Meals are saved.
Your performance and well-being increase.
- The brain’s memory performance improves.
- Fasting also slows down the aging process by recycling old and broken cells.
Read more about it here.
During the fasting period, you occasionally skip meals that you do not make up for during your eating periods.
You automatically run into a calorie deficit and also burn fat through the processes initiated by intermittent fasting.
Unlike conventional diets, intermittent fasting has no rules about what you should and should not eat. Intermittent fasting adapts to your life, not the other way around!
In this way, you gradually create new habits, in a healthy and sustainable way.
Read here why intermittent fasting is so much more than a diet.
In conventional diets, the metabolism adapts to the reduced calorie intake over time and the hormonal system is negatively affected. You use less energy and feel hungrier.
In contrast, intermittent fasting stimulates the metabolism and the hormones remain in balance. This avoids the yo-yo effect!
Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle. You can do it for as long as you want, even when you have reached your desired weight.
With intermittent fasting, you do something good for your health in a permanent way.
With intermittent fasting, the only thing that counts is the time when you eat.
It can therefore easily be combined with other diets such as vegetarian, vegan or ketogenic diet.
2) Your first fasting week
With week-based plans, reminders and your statistics, you get the structure and variety you need and can track your progress.
The app motivates you and is your companion on the way to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
If you are a beginner, we advise you to start the recommended Coach Journey or start with an easy plan like 14-10 or 16-8.
In that way you get your body used to fasting and lay the foundation for your success.
After 2-3 weeks you can vary your plan or let the Coach choose the best plan for you.
There are no fixed rules. Many find it easier to get by without breakfast.
But everyone is different. Schedule fasting periods to suit your lifestyle.
It is especially important at the beginning that you don’t make it difficult for yourself and that you can stick to your plan. You can set yourself new challenges later.
Of course, a healthy diet helps you achieve your goals. But with intermittent fasting, only the time counts.
The conscious break from eating is in itself a big change that sets a lot in motion and creates new, healthy habits.
Take one step at a time and always listen to your body.
- Follow the recommended Coach Journey or choose a gentle start yourself, e.g. with 14-10 or 16-8.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods and drink enough (min. 2.5 liters (85 fl. oz.) per day).
- Take your body measurements in addition to weight.
- Keep your stress level low, ensure balance and relaxation.
- Be patient and don’t compare yourself with others. Each body is different.
Not necessarily! At first, fasting is an unfamiliar stress for the body. If you want too much too fast, your body can block it.
Gradually increase in order to benefit permanently from the many positive effects of intermittent fasting.
It makes sense to change fasting periods from time to time to keep your metabolism in trim.
Your health and figure will also benefit from this. You can also test other fasting methods for yourself.
This is exactly what the BodyFast Coach does for you and guides you effectively towards your goal.
That can vary greatly from person to person. Body weight is influenced by many factors, most notably the water content of the body.
Be patient and give your body the time it needs to make the changes. A healthy and sustainable weight loss is around 0.5-1 kg (1-2 lbs) per week.
Fluctuations are also completely normal and part of your journey.
I have been fasting for 1-2 weeks and have not lost anything, I think I have even put some weight on!
Some people lose weight initially, some gain a little. These are mostly changes in the water balance, not the increase or decrease in fat.
Be patient, don’t compare yourself to others and stay with it. Success will come!
Weigh yourself max. 1x per week at the same time of day and under the same conditions, preferably in the morning and on an empty stomach.
Short-term fluctuations in body weight are due to the water balance. It is important that the trend is downwards.
Also take your body measurements 1-2 times a month, so you can keep a closer watch on your progress.
Read more about how to best measure your fasting success here.
Intermittent fasting is not a temporary diet! With intermittent fasting you give your body a break and do it good.
We invite you to work with your body, not against it. Don’t stress yourself unnecessarily.
It usually takes your body 2-3 weeks to adjust and get used to fasting.
It also depends on how you define success. Don’t just think about numbers! Also, pay attention to the small changes that you experience physically, mentally, and emotionally.
3) During the fasting period
During your fasting period you don’t eat anything, but you drink enough fluids.
Water (still or carbonated), tea (non-flavored herbal teas) and coffee (black) without any additives are allowed.
Yes, that’s possible. But be careful not to squeeze or eat the fruit. This is how you stay in fasting mode.
Every change is initially unfamiliar. Try different types of coffee or a little water in the coffee.
Or simply enjoy your white coffee in your eating period, whether with milk or plant-based alternatives.
We recommend staying without calorie intake even during longer fasting periods.
Your body will manage it! If this does not work at the beginning, however, there should be an interval of at least 14-16h between the small meals.
No, they all interrupt the fast.
One objective of intermittent fasting is to give the body a complete break from constant food intake.
No, sweeteners can cause cravings, affect your insulin levels and break your fast even without calories.
It doesn’t matter whether they are natural (e.g. stevia) or artificially produced (e.g. aspartame).
Only in the eating period as it contains fructose.
Anyway, you will benefit most from apple cider vinegar if you consume it with food.
If they are prescribed by a doctor, they should always be taken as directed.
Otherwise, we recommend its intake in the eating period so as not to break the fast.
Shakes should only be drunk in the eating period.
Ideally, you should do a workout at the end of the fasting period and then drink your shake.
No, even sugar-free chewing gum can trigger an insulin reaction and break the fast.
Apart from that, chewing gum starts digestive processes such as the production of stomach acid and increases hunger or cravings.
Even the smallest amounts of food can break your fast.
There is a lack of studies for the often cited 30-50 calories that should supposedly be consumed during the fasting period.
If you want to be sure, do without it.
This is understood to mean a small amount of food (e.g. milk in coffee) during the fasting period.
In general the following applies: Dirty fasting is not a fast. If you really want to fast and benefit from the positive effects, do not make any exceptions.
Intermittent fasting does not impose on you what you can and can not eat. Rather, ask yourself what healthy things you can add to your meals.
Here are a few general recommendations:
- Eat fresh, unprocessed foods.
- Eat high fiber foods like vegetables and whole grains.
- Eat little sugar and sweeteners.
- Eat protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy or soy products, nuts, and legumes.
The weight loss effect is mainly due to the switch to fat burning during the fasting period.
One thing is certain, however: You can optimize your progress if you largely avoid sugary and highly processed foods.
With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to count calories to lose weight.
Studies show that the error rate when calculating calories is up to 25%. An exact determination of the calorie requirement and consumption is not possible with books and apps either.
Eat moderate portion sizes and cut down on unhealthy foods and fast foods that are high in sugar.
With intermittent fasting, you deliberately skip meals, and automatically run into a calorie deficit and lose weight.
Find more interesting infos here.
At mealtimes, there are no rules. You are free to choose when to eat. Pay attention to your natural hunger and your body.
You decide how many meals you eat. We recommend that you maintain your natural rhythm.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a science. Here is a guide for appropriate portion sizes and more intuitive eating habits:
- Eat a palm-sized serving of protein-rich foods (meat, eggs, dairy products, legumes, etc.) and a fist-sized serving of vegetables at each meal.
- Add a thumb-sized serving of fatty foods (like butter, oil, and nuts).
- A cupped handful of carbohydrates (pasta, rice, fruit) are ideal as a supplement.
These figures apply to women, for men it is double the amount.
Of course, you can adapt the composition to your diet (e.g. Low Carb) and needs.
Find an illustration and more information here.
We recommend a light, low-sugar meal, especially after longer fasting periods (> 24h).
Fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fish, shakes, broth, soup, etc. get most people well. Try different things to find what’s right for you.
In the literature, 30-40 ml of fluid per kilogram (0.5-1 fl. oz per lb) of body weight is recommended. With physical activity and high temperatures etc. it can be more.
To determine your ideal amount of water, use the water tracker in the app. You can find it in the statistics.
Here you will find infos and tips on drinking sufficient water.
Intermittent fasting works even without special recipes and nutrition plans.
For ideas and suggestions you can exchange ideas with other BodyFasters in our Facebook group.
Yes! The special thing about intermittent fasting is that you can combine it with any diet.
5) Problems while fasting
Especially at the beginning of your fasting journey, you may feel hungry. This is completely normal because our body is used to getting food all the time these days.
With intermittent fasting you learn to feel natural hunger. Give your body time to adjust. Soon the feeling of hunger will no longer be unpleasant.
When that happens, drink a large glass of water and do anything to distract you such as reading a book, going for a walk or watching a movie.
Most of the time it is not about real, physical hunger, but rather it is our mind that is playing tricks on us.
Drink a large glass of water straight away. Distract yourself. Read something, go for a walk or watch an exciting movie.
Hunger comes in waves, and after a short time it subsides again. Perseverance is the motto!
Make sure to eat healthy foods during meal times and limit your sugar intake. This also prevents food cravings.
Pay close attention to your body. Of course, initially you are not used to fasting.
If it’s just the changeover, try to hold out for the week and then evaluate it accordingly. If other physical reasons play a role, take a break and, if necessary, speak to a doctor.
Start again when you feel like it.
It can happen that you don’t stick to the fasting period. No problem! Start again and just do better next time.
Make sure you drink enough. A pinch of salt, dissolved in water, often helps. In that way you give body important electrolytes.
Have a cup of tea (e.g. chamomile).
For some people, to prevent heartburn it helps to dissolve one teaspoon (3.5 g) of baking soda in 250 ml (8.5 fl. oz.) of water and drink it during the fasting period.
Make sure you drink enough. Drinking a glass of water with a pinch and salt can often help. In that way you give body important electrolytes.
If it doesn’t get better, then eat something and continue as usual from the next day on.
Cut down on caffeinated drinks and drink e.g. your last coffee by 15:00 at the latest.
Maintain good sleep hygiene such as a cool temperature in the bedroom and switch off all devices (smartphone, PC, TV) at least an hour before going to bed.
If hunger is preventing you from sleeping, make sure you eat a high protein diet for your last meal. That keeps you feeling full longer.
Drinking plenty of fluids promotes the excretion of toxins in the urine and at the same time moisturizes the oral cavity.
Herbal teas (e.g. fennel, aniseed or sage) help you to have pleasant breath. A throat spray can also help.
- Drink a large glass of water on an empty stomach.
- Flax seeds or psyllium husks (2-3 teaspoons each) with plenty of water are often a quick remedy.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber.
- Exercise regularly.
Short-term weight fluctuations are related to the body’s water balance.
This is influenced, for example, by salt and caffeine consumption, carbohydrate intake, exercise, stress, the time of day and the female cycle.
Also take your body measurements and save them in the app! This way you can keep a closer watch on your progress.
Find some tips what to do if the scale drives you crazy here.
Even if your weight stays the same, it doesn’t mean your body won’t change. Therefore, take your body measurements regularly.
If you have been fasting with one plan for a long time, try another one to establish new stimuli.
It is essential to make sure that you drink enough! Be patient and exercise regularly.
Understand why you started fasting. Think about your goals. This will help you stay on track.
- If you are bored, do activities that distract you, such as reading a book or going for a walk.
- Are you a frustration eater? Do not give your negative thoughts space and do things that you like and that positively charge you.
You will quickly notice: Intermittent fasting helps you withstand eating impulses by breaking away from unconscious behavior.
If your calorie deficit is too great, your metabolism can adapt and you burn less energy. In this case, less is not more!
Rather, pay attention to the healthy composition of your meals and the quality of the food in order to supply your body with the best things. Give your body the nutrients it needs.
You also support it with exercise and sport.
Some friends have asked me to go for dinner, but that’s during my fasting period. What should I do?
For example, you can postpone or shorten your fasting period in the Plan Editor.
Then continue with your weekly schedule as usual.
Don’t worry about convincing others of your journey. Surround yourself with people who follow a similar path and/or support you.
Join our Facebook group and exchange ideas with other BodyFasters.
Postpone your fasting periods to suit you. You can also choose from many different plans.
BodyFast is suitable for every adult in principle, with the exception of pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Chronically or acutely ill people should consult their doctor before starting the fast.
Please always take your medication and supplements as prescribed by your doctor. That has absolute priority!
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a doctor!
Mother and baby have special needs during this time.
Intermittent fasting starts many processes in the body:
- After about 8-12 hours of fasting, your body begins to draw energy mainly from your body fat. In addition, your blood sugar level drops and with it the production of insulin.
- When blood sugar levels are low, the body can burn your body fat much better. Other hormones that are responsible for burning fat also run at full speed during the fasting period.
- After about 12-16 hours of fasting, autophagy begins. This is a kind of cellular garbage disposal in the body. The body creates new cells and breaks down sick and broken cells. The functionless cells are then converted into energy.
The term “autophagy” is made up of the Greek words for “self” (auto) and “eat” (phagein) and means the renewal of old cells.
As part of autophagy, the body uses old, damaged and no longer usable cells to build new, healthy cells from them. Autophagy is a type of garbage collection and recycling facility of the body.
In 2016, Japanese Yoshinori Ohsumi received a Nobel Prize for his research on autophagy.
Yes! After the body has used up the glucose from food and the glycogen stores of the liver, it uses the fat deposits as the primary source of energy.
Intermittent fasting initially means stress that is not familiar for the body. Sometimes it responds correspondingly: For example, headaches, nausea, circulatory and sleep problems can occur.
Such symptoms usually go away after a short time. It is important to drink a lot! Sometimes it also helps to dissolve ¼ teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of water and drink it.
If the symptoms do not improve noticeably, please consult your doctor.
Chronically ill people should consult a doctor before starting fasting to determine whether and to what extent intermittent fasting is an option for them.
Otherwise the following applies: If you have caught a cold, flu, or something similar, stop fasting or follow an easy schedule if you feel like it.
Afterwards, only start gently with the return when you are back at full strength.
More and more studies confirm: Intermittent fasting maintains and improves health, can prevent illnesses or have a positive effect on chronic illnesses.
- Regular fasting reduces body fat and inflammation processes and improves values such as blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels.
- The aging process is slowed down. Intermittent fasting therefore lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases or chronic diseases.
- After consulting a doctor, it can be used to support the treatment of allergies, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and much more.
More info and links here.
In contrast to therapeutic fasting, the maximum duration of a fasting period for intermittent fasting is 72 hours. Intermittent fasting is not a cure, but rather should become part of your everyday life.
Very long fasting periods should only be informed and completed after consultation with a doctor. Additional aspects such as the amount consumed, electrolyte intake, intestinal flora and much more must be taken into account.
Intermittent fasting often has a different effect on women due to hormonal factors.
Longer fasting periods (> 1 day) in particular can lead to a hormone imbalance, as more stress hormones are formed. This is especially true if the body is not yet used to fasting.
If you, as a woman, notice symptoms such as hair loss, mood swings, sleep problems or irregularities in your cycle, reduce the intensity of the fasting and consult your gynecologist.
Yes, long-term scientific studies on people confirm that!
- Your cells become more resistant to stress and pathogens.
- Intermittent fasting stimulates the formation of immune cells and acts like a restart for your immune system.
- Autophagy combats sick and disease-causing cells, cleanses and detoxifies the body and thus supports regeneration.
Read more here.
Scientific studies suggest that intermittent fasting slows down the aging process.
Fasting reduces cell damage and promotes their regeneration. Better health and disease prevention contribute to better quality of life and longer life expectancy.
Intermittent fasting not only affects your body, but also your mental well-being. More energy, mental clarity and increased body awareness are often described as positive effects.
With intermittent fasting you get to know yourself and your needs better. In addition, you have more rest and time for yourself!
Yes, you can even use it to support your fasting!
You will get the maximum effect if you do your training session at the end of your fasting period. This is when growth hormone secretion is at its highest level. This is ideal for building and maintaining muscle as well as burning fat.
Listen to your body and adjust the training intensity to your energy level if necessary.
It is quite normal in longer endurance sessions to suffer from performance degradation. One of the reasons for this is that the body first has to learn to provide the energy through body fat.
Short, intensive strength units are usually not a problem and can be performed as normal.
In any case, listen to your body and make sure you drink enough!
7) App features
The app accompanies you on your way to your personal goals, more health and well-being.
With week-based plans, reminders and your statistics, you get structure and variety and can track your progress.
In this way you can create new, healthy habits naturally – without dieting and prohibitions.
In the free version of the app, you have more than 10 fasting plans, a fasting timer with reminders and an area for your statistics including a water tracker.
You can subscribe to the Coach for personal plans, challenges and daily motivation.
On the 8th and last day of your fasting plan, you end the week and plan and start the new one. This way there are no gaps.
In principle, you can adjust the fasting times. First and foremost, the length is important, not the time of day.
Nevertheless, we recommend that you stick to the plan as closely as possible. Continuity is an important factor in your success.
Of course, this is possible if there are important reasons for it.
But remember: Perseverance is usually worthwhile and leads you to your goal.
The 25 Weeks Challenge is an additional incentive for you. Try not to let the intervals between your fasting weeks get too long so as not to lose your progress.
For every successfully completed week of fasting, you will receive a heart, i.e. a bonus planning day. For every day that you are without an ongoing fasting plan, you lose a heart. Try to collect as many hearts as possible.
If you use the Coach, you can reset it in the app settings.
Otherwise, you can delete old weeks and weight entries in your statistics by tapping them.
Feel free to write us an email to email@example.com or use the “Contact us” function in the app settings.
We look forward to hearing from you.
8) The Coach
Your Coach is your personal companion for your weight loss and health goals.
Based on your details, the Coach algorithm calculates your personal fasting plan every week.
By means of the variation, your body is constantly exposed to new stimuli. This will maintain the effectiveness of the fasting and keep your motivation high.
In addition, you will receive daily coaching and weekly tasks regarding nutrition, exercise and awareness for even more motivation and success.
You can subscribe to the Coach on a monthly basis, you can choose from different lengths of time.
You can see the exact prices in the Coach tab of the App. The longer your subscription is, the cheaper the Coach is.
The Coach Journey is your very personal journey to better health and your wellness weight. It is optimized towards your goal and leads you there as quickly and sustainably as possible.
In your Coach Journey you can expect an effective variation of different types of fasting, tailored to your needs. There are also special Coach Journeys with a focus on 16-8, 5-2 and the like, with which you can constantly set new stimuli without changing your usual daily routine.
This will prevent the effects of habit forming and standstill.
Challenges are small tasks in the areas of nutrition, exercise and awareness. They help you develop healthy habits and lead you to your goal effectively and with even more fun and motivation.
The Coach suggests challenges that match your progress. Before the start of your new fasting week, you can add, replace or delete it as you wish.
With the Coach you can have a Joker day and take a break once a week if necessary.
All outstanding fasting periods will then be pushed back by one day.
The Coach varies fasting lengths and times each week to keep your metabolism in trim. That is how fasting remains effective!
To create a plan, the Coach learns from your progress and weekly evaluations. This way, your plan becomes more individual every week.
The Coach algorithm gets to know you better through your progress and evaluations and adapts your fasting plan better and better to your needs.
At the end of the week, evaluate your plan as precisely as possible and record your weight regularly. Remember that “a lot does a lot” does not apply to intermittent fasting.
The continuity and variation of the plans is more important in order to achieve your goals. The Coach will help you to achieve that.
Your Coach will design your plan so that you can achieve your goal in the best possible way.
If the fasting periods do not suit you, you can adjust your fasting plan with the plan editor or insert a Joker day.
Still, try to stick to the original plan as closely as possible.
It is especially important for beginners to allow the body to get used to fasting gently. Even if you change the Coach Journey, fast-free days make the change easier.
Even for experienced BodyFasters, a short break can have a positive effect on the metabolism!