Diet: Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Intermittent fasting should not be exaggerated

One of the latest food trends is intermittent fasting. With this interval fasting, the calorie intake is restricted either by the day or by the hour. Not only can this help you lose weight, it can also reduce inflammation in the body. But don't overdo it. A health professional reports what to look out for during intermittent fasting.

Dr. Donald Hensrud is the director of the Healthy Living Program at the renowned Mayo Clinic in the USA. The health care professional reports on the potential benefits of intermittent fasting as well as possible dangers associated with the nutritional trend.

Two common approaches to intermittent fasting

There are two common approaches to performing interval fasting. One is to eat only a few calories on certain days. The rest of the time is eaten as usual. With the other approach, you can only eat within a certain time window. Outside the specified time, only water or unsweetened herbal tea should be drunk.

Fasting reduces inflammation

Dr. Hensrud points to recent research that suggests that intermittent fasting has health benefits - at least in the short term, and when done correctly. "Unlike a mere reduction in total calories, there are certain processes in the body that can relieve inflammation if we fast for a while," the expert explains.

Long-term effects unknown

Dr. Hensrud also emphasizes that there is currently a lack of studies showing how this dietary method affects people in the long term. If you want to carry out intermittent fasting for a longer period of time, you should contact your general practitioner. Because if fasting is carried out incorrectly, there is a risk of negative consequences.

Malnutrition from incorrect fasting

"I have actually seen malnutrition in people who have pushed calorie restriction too far," says the expert. Malnutrition is counterproductive when it comes to establishing a healthy diet that tries to live longer.

Is interval fasting suitable for quick weight loss?

Intermittent fasting is generally suitable for weight loss. How much weight you actually lose depends largely on what you eat in the time window in which eating is allowed. Weight loss should be avoided anyway. Weight loss between one and four kilograms per month is realistic and harmless to health - of course, only as long as there is no underweight. (vb)

Author and source information

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

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Mayo Clinic: Is intermittent fasting a quick fix? (published: March 2nd, 2020),
  • German Nutrition Society: Intermittent Fasting (as of February 2018),

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