Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Learn more about the different forms

Find the right method for your fasting holiday

Are you looking for the right fasting method that suits you and your everyday life? Or do you simply want to find out about the different types of intermittent fasting?

Then you are in the right place! Here we will introduce the different interval fasting methods to you. You will also learn what you should pay attention to and what an average fasting day could look like. And finally, we will tell you what awaits you in our fasting hotels and where you can spend your fasting holiday in the best possible way.

Our top 4 offers for intermittent fasting

What is intermittent fasting?

Also sometimes referred to as interval fasting, alternate day fasting or IF, interval fasting is a form of fasting in which food is abstained from for a certain number of hours or days. This has a health-promoting effect on the metabolism and the goal is usually a long-term weight loss. The fasting periods are quite short and can be adapted flexibly and with little effort to the daily routine. Thus the threshold of inhibition before the beginning of the fasting can be lowered considerably.

There are different forms of intermittent fasting, which differ in the duration and frequency of the fasting phases. We will introduce these to you in more detail below. In contrast to most other forms of fasting, many types of interval fasting aim to be able to be treated over a longer period of time or even permanently. Also, in contrast to other diets, no knowledge about food is necessary. You can buy and eat what you want - but of course as healthy as possible! All you need is a watch and/or a calendar. Our fasting programmes are designed to help you get to know these methods so that you can continue on your own later.

An important term for intermittent fasting is autophagy, the self-cleaning process of the body. During the fasting phase, the body cleanses its cells, breaks down damaged cell components and breaks them down into building blocks that can be used again to build new substances.

Intermittent fasting benefits and indications

Studies on the question of whether intermittent fasting is healthy, come to different results. It is generally agreed that continuous eating ("grazing") constantly releases insulin and thus promotes the development of insulin resistance. For example, interval fasting could prevent type 2 diabetes. It can also have a positive effect on your metabolism, blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels and blood lipid values. Furthermore, fewer inflammation markers in the blood can be measured. Weight loss with intermittent fasting is also possible. However, it very much depends on how the eating intervals are arranged. If you only eat fast food and sweets and don’t not integrate exercise into your routine, you will not be able to achieve your desired weight loss results.

For example, a study by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, USA, shows that eating for a limited period of time melts the kilos best and fastest instead of eating several small meals a day. The test persons received the same amount of calories. The group that ate within a period of 8 hours was able to burn more fat than the participants who ate at any time of the 24-hour period.

After about 12 hours of fasting, the body begins to break down the fat reserves in order to gain energy. Frank Madeo, a biochemist at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz, is investigating the long-term effects of fasting and asserts that the breakdown of the fat reserves could possibly be accompanied by a mood-lifting effect.




Consultation with a doctor
Intermittent Fasting

Side effects and contraindications

As with other types of fasting, intermittent fasting can also have side effects, including fatigue or headaches. Although this fasting method is generally considered safe, it is still important to consult with your trusted physician before starting the fasting programme, particularly if any of the following apply to you:

  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Low blood pressure
  • Metabolic conditions
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cancer
  • Advanced age
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Underweight or malnutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Migraine
  • Amenorrhoea (missing menstruation)

For intermittent fasting it is also important that you eat a healthy and balanced diet during the eating phases, particularly if you consume fewer calories than usual, it is especially important that the food provides you with all the important nutrients.

Intermittent fasting types

As we mentioned at the beginning, there are different types of interval fasting, which differ in the duration and frequency of the fasting phases.

Intermittent fasting 5/2

Perhaps the most well-known is the 5/2 intermittent fasting method. It was developed at the University Hospital in South Manchester, UK, by nutrition expert Michelle Harvie and her colleague Tony Howell. This concept means that you eat normally five days a week and only consume up to 500 (women) and 600 (men) calories on the remaining two days. You are free to choose the fasting days, but they should not be consecutive. Suitable foods for the fasting days are vegetables, fruit or soup. You should avoid quickly digestible carbohydrates such as wheat bread, pasta, potatoes and sugar. In this way the body can learn to live on its reserves. You should also drink plenty of calorie-free liquids, preferably water and tea. On normal days you can eat whatever you feel like. This method is considered easier than alternate day fasting (eat 1 day, fast 1 day).





Intermittent fasting 16/8

The 16/8 method is very popular. In each interval of 24 hours you may eat here within 8 hours, in the remaining 16 hours you fast. So you have to distribute the meals differently throughout the day than you might be used to. Instead of having dinner at 8pm and breakfast again at 7am, as usual, you extend the meal break to 16 hours. Using the 16/8 method, you then have breakfast at 10am and have your last meal of the day at 6pm. Or the first one at 1pm and the last one at 9pm, as it fits best into your daily routine. This is especially positive for your digestion, as it is relieved in the evening and the body's elimination activities (toxin elimination) are not interrupted early in the morning. This gives the body time for cleansing and regeneration processes, which can counteract obesity, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases and even autoimmune diseases.

Even though you can basically eat what you want during intermittent fasting and you do not have to forbid yourself anything, it is of course recommended to eat three healthy, balanced meals in the 8 hours. Consuming only food rich in fat and sugar is not beneficial. Very disciplined people can also try not to snack between meals, so that there are small fasting intervals.

Intermittent fasting 20/4

Also known as the "Warrior Diet", 20/4 intermittent fasting is a more stringent form of the 16/8 method. This method involves fasting for 20 hours a day, which means that you may only drink water, tea and possibly black coffee. Within a time window of 4 hours you may eat, of course preferably healthy and balanced meals. Many people eat their meals towards the evening. However, this method is not suitable for beginners and not for long-term treatment. Especially athletes and people who have to deal with mental and physical stress in everyday life and at work should prefer another method.




Alternate day fasting – the 1 0 in 2 method

The method invented by the Austrian cabaret artist and psychologist Bernhard Ludwig is also known as "alternate fasting". You eat and fast alternately. The method "one zero in two" is spoken, i.e. eating one day and fasting one day within two days. Bernhard Ludwig himself lost more than 20 kilos according to his motto "to become and stay slim with pleasure". On the days of eating, the ideal way is to eat within 12 hours, followed by a fasting phase of 36 hours. In this way, the body only has to get along without nutrients for a short period. Anything that is delicious is allowed.

Dinner Cancelling

As the name already suggests, the so-called dinner cancelling means that dinner is skipped a few days a week. This method can also be called the precursor of intermittent fasting. The effect can be increased if there is as much time as possible between the last meal of a day and the first of the following day, at best 14 hours. During the fasting phase, you may consume calorie-free drinks, for example water and unsweetened tea. You should avoid coffee in the evening, as coffee consumption can have a negative effect on sleep patterns. At breakfast, you should also make sure that you do not put the calories you saved in the evening back on top. According to current studies, it is recommended not to eat after 4pm. This is due to the fact that day and night determine the metabolism; for example, the same food causes your blood sugar level to rise less in the morning than it would in the evening.



Comparing different intermittent fasting methods

Intermittent Fasting Methods

Offers for intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting schedule

As you have now learned, the different types of interval fasting can all be very individually designed. To give you a little inspiration, we would like to show you an example of a fasting plan for 16:8 fasting below. The interval in which you can eat is between 11am and 7pm here.

In the morning

  • 7am - 8am: Drink 1-2 glasses of water after getting up. To further support the fat burning process, you can also include a short work out here.
  • 10am: Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)
  • 11am: Time for the first meal. Have a muesli or quark with fruit or even a smoothie. You can also prepare this meal the evening before and then eat it at work.


  • 1.30pm/2pm: A light lunch, for example a soup or salad with colorful vegetables. Supplemented by foods containing protein and fibre (chicken, tofu or legumes), this meal will keep you full for a long time.

In the afternoon

  • You should have the last cup of coffee of the day about 8 hours before going to bed, as caffeine remains in the body for a long time and could otherwise have a negative effect on your sleep.
  • To counteract the afternoon low, you can treat yourself to a snack in between. Nuts, fruit or dried fruit are particularly suitable for this, but a piece of (dark) chocolate or cake is also allowed from time to time.
  • Sport really gets the fat burning process going. The best time for a sports session is after work and preferably before 8pm. Exercise is not only good for you and helps to build up muscle mass, but also provides a great balance to today's often sedentary activities.

In the evening

  • 6.30pm, dinner. Again, you should make sure to eat healthy and balanced food. Your last meal of the day should consist of good fats, protein, fibre and whole grain products. If you like a glass of wine or a beer, you can now treat yourself to one. After 7pm you should only drink water or unsweetened herbal tea.
  • Make sure that you do not go to bed too late and that your body gets at least 8 hours of sleep.

Intermittent fasting rules

In principle, there are no guidelines for intermittent fasting as to which foods and drinks are permitted. However, the German Society for Nutrition, DGE, criticises that often only very vague recommendations are given on suitable foods. If you simply continue to eat what you want, no nourishing conversion does take place by this form of chamfered. Thus you may lose weight, but not in healthy way. Therefore you should also eat a balanced diet during interval fasting, preferably spread over two to three large meals per day.

Ideally, foods that contain satiating proteins, healthy fats, energy-supplying carbohydrates and vital substances are recommended. For example, your breakfast could consist of a muesli with fruit or an omelette with vegetables. For lunch and dinner, vegetables and proteins (vegetable such as legumes, soya or pseudo-cereals and meat) and animal such as fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products are recommended. Green vegetables in particular have few calories, but are rich in vitamins, minerals and secondary plant compounds. Fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas or apples can and should also be consumed. However, you should avoid sweets, red meat, trans-fats and alcohol.

The good news for all coffee drinkers: coffee is allowed during intermittent fasting, but of course without milk and sugar! Coffee can even have an appetite suppressant effect and also activate the metabolism. So you can also drink your cup of coffee in the morning, but in black.





Intermittent fasting mistakes

The biggest mistake most people make, are not concentrating on a healthy diet. As you are restricting the time in which you eat, you have to make sure they’re packed with nutrients. If you are new to interval fasting, it is best to get a nutritionist or physician to guide you and help you set up an intermittent fasting meal plan.

It’s not a mistake to allow yourself a cheat day from time to time, however, they should not be all too frequent. It is best to stick to nutrient-rich or low-calorie versions of your cheat day favorites. Why not try some healthy and deceptively easy Ayurveda fast food!

Intermittent fasting holiday

Fasting hotels in beautiful regions in Germany

In our fasting hotels in Germany, for example, intermittent fasting is offered according to the 16/8 method. The meals are often vegetarian, alkaline and wholefood or are individually determined. In some hotels there are fixed times for the meals. You will be looked after by doctors or qualified fasting coaches, so that you receive the best support during your fasting program. Often further examinations are also carried out, such as BIA measurements (sometimes for a fee). Nutritional advice and/or tips for at home are also part of the programme. It is a great way to introduce intermittent fasting to beginners.

Your fasting programme is rounded off by exercise and activity programmes, massages and other treatments such as Kneipp therapy or lectures. As a SpaDreams guest you can also use the wellness areas of the hotels.

Good news! Vegetarian and vegan intermittent fasting is also possible! Don’t forget to let your SpaDreams travel expert know during the booking process, so that they can inform the hotel ahead of time.

The Rhön

The Rhön awaits you with endless forests, picturesque villages and more than 2500 kilometres of hiking and cycling paths. In the traditional health facilities in Bad Brückenau and Bad Salzschlirf you can experience your interval fasting therapy with high comfort and in the most beautiful nature.

Bad Worishofen

In the traditional spa town of Bad Worishofen you will spend your stay surrounded by the green Alpine foothills landscape, which you can explore on guided walks or by bike and Nordic walking.

Lüneburger Heath

The Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany is beautiful at any time of the year, especially of course during the heather's flowering season in August and September. With an area of more than 200 km², the region is ideal for hiking, cycling and Nordic walking.

How long is intermittent fasting?

You may wonder how long to fast. Well, the 16/8 method or even Dinner Cancelling can be treated as long as you like. These are not classic diets, but another form of nutrition that you can do for a few weeks, a few months or even a lifetime. After a while, the body gets used to not eating for 16 hours or more, and then it doesn't have to struggle. However, you should feel comfortable with this method and the body should get what it needs.

If you want to use the other fasting methods over a longer period of time, please consult your doctor before. Most people try 2 weeks to 1 month of intermittent fasting to start.

FAQ - Intermittent fasting

Does intermittent fasting help with the coronavirus?

Many people wonder whether interval fasting also helps with corona. Like other forms of fasting, it can strengthen the immune system. The German nutrition expert Dr. Petra Bracht recommends above all the 16/8 method to strengthen the immune system, also in corona times. It does not help however explicitly against the virus and should not be used in any case with already existing illness.

Is intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting healthy?

Yes, if you eat a healthy diet during intermittent fasting, you can not only lose and maintain body weight, but also achieve further positive health results. During the fasting phase the body has time to detoxify and purify. The liver is also relieved. Studies have also shown that intermittent fasting can also have a preventive effect on diabetes (type 2) due to the better processing of the body's own insulin. Intermittent fasting also has a positive influence on the sugar and fat metabolism, which also improves blood pressure and cholesterol values. In addition, no muscle mass is broken down by normal food intake, so that the body as a whole becomes firmer.

It is possible that these fasting methods can even have a positive effect on conditions such as rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, dementia and even cancer, or prevent them. However, this has yet to be scientifically proven.

For whom is intermittent fasting suitable?

Intermittent fasting, especially 16/8, is well suited for people who would like to moderately lose or maintain their weight without too many restrictions. This method is also well suited for people who are active in sports, as the sports units can be well integrated into the rhythm. However, this method is not so recommended for severely overweight people, as weight is only lost slowly.

Intermittent fasting and night shifts can also be easily combined.

Who should not do intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not suitable for pregnant women, nursing mothers or children who are still growing. Also, people who suffer from eating disorders and diabetics should not do intermittent fasting. If you need to take medication regularly, you should only do intermittent fasting under the supervision of your doctor, as the dosage may need to be adjusted.

Does the yo-yo effect occur when I stop fasting?

If you eat a healthy diet during the intermittent fasting, body fat can be permanently reduced. With intermittent fasting, there is no reduction in energy requirements, as with other diets. On average, you eat fewer calories than before, but the metabolic hormones still react differently than with other diets due to the different distribution of meals. So, if you eat a healthy diet and do not consume excessive calories after the fasting, there is no yo-yo effect after intermittent fasting.

Which mistakes should be avoided with intermittent fasting?

Es gibt ein paar typische Fehler beim Intervallfasten, die Sie vermeiden sollten:

  • You set your goals too high

In order not to fail to get used to them, you should not completely change your diet from one day to the next. This overtaxes the body. Instead, slowly increase your weight, for example, start with a fasting interval of 12 hours and extend the fasting phase according to your personal well-being.

  • The interval does not suit your lifestyle

Think carefully about which variant of intermittent fasting you choose. If you don't like breakfast anyway, the 16/8 method is suitable for you. For those who are awake for a long time and do not want to give up their midnight snack, this method is then less suitable. The 5/2 or the 10/2 method, where you do without food for whole days, is not suitable for everyone. For example, if you have a lot of stress at work, you might need regular meals to have enough energy.

  • You eat too much or too little

You should also pay attention to the energy balance during intermittent fasting and neither eat too much - then you gain weight - nor too little. If you eat too little, your metabolism slows down and muscle mass is lost, which you need to lose weight. The more muscles, the higher the calorie consumption.

  • You choose unhealthy fast food

Even though it is often said that you can eat what you want during intermittent fasting, this should not mean that you only eat fast food, sweets and high-calorie foods. Snacks and minor sins you may of course indulge in from time to time, but this should not become a habit. Losing weight with intermittent fasting only works with a healthy, balanced diet.

  • You drink too little

As with all other methods of weight loss, the same applies to intermittent fasting: drink, drink, drink. The DGE recommends two to three

Discover our fasting offers

Interval fasting is not the right thing for you? On our fasting therapy page we inform you about alternatives, for example therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger, fasting according to F.X. Mayr, the Schroth method or also alkaline fasting.