Fasting here, fasting there … Fasting has become “trendy”. But is it good for your health? The answers of sports doctor Franck Fontvielle and dietitian David Rebot: Everyone is fasting. Naturally. Between the evening meal and breakfast the next day. But what has become “trendy” is voluntarily fasting. The doctor Franck Fontvielle distinguishes 3 categories: playing sports on an empty stomach, intermittent fasting and fasting. Exercising on an empty stomach “When you do a physical activity, the muscles will draw their energy from sugar. The sugars reserve will run out quite quickly. The muscles, in order to function, will get their fuel from lipids, therefore fats. The advantage: we will burn fat reserves more quickly, explains Franck Fontvielle, sports doctor.It will also increase muscle metabolism, lead to a peak in testosterone, allow an increase in muscle volume, VO2 Max, and improve absorption of the meal after sport. In the half hour which follows the effort, it is necessary that the reserves in terms of proteins and carbohydrates are reconstituted. »How many workouts can we do? “On an empty stomach, one to two per week, this is more than enough, by varying the type of activities: either more resistance exercises such as HIIT or cross training, or disciplines where you will have a high heart rate. lower, such as cycling or running. I prefer that we focus on running over a bicycle, we are never safe from hypoglycemia and a fall, following a little discomfort. “Intermittent fasting” We will alternate periods of complete fasting (people continue to drink, it’s a water fast), with periods of food intake over 24 hours. The most suitable is 16/8 intermittent fasting: we will fast for 16 hours and we can eat for 8 hours. In general, people finish their last meal at 8 p.m. and resume eating the next day, around noon. I recommend doing it one day a week to try, and I recommend Friday instead, which helps to purge the week’s gaps and prepare well for the weekend. Then you can do it up to 4 times a week. But be careful, you should not eat just anything. “I always recommend a diet rich in cooked vegetables, fruits, lean white meat, fish or eggs, little dairy, no sugar, no pastry, and above all a significant hydration with rather mineralized water. ” Profits ? “Weight regulation and reduction in oxidative stress, which reduces a number of cardiovascular risks. It also decreases inflammation, which is why a lot of athletes use it: it helps reduce all toxins in the muscles; before a big sporting event, it may be interesting to do a period of intermittent fasting over a month, for example. “Fasting cures” It is fashionable at the moment and it is perhaps the hardest: fasting cures (if you consume fruit or vegetable juices, you are no longer in fasting as such). »What are the desired benefits? “There is the body part and the spirit part. At the level of the body, we do both detoxification and detoxification of the body, which helps to improve chronic pain such as osteoarthritis, but also sleep. And we have a real weight loss, due to the fasting period, obviously, but also to the fact that people are going to change their vision of food; it is often the time to review what can go wrong on a daily basis, by reducing all that is sugars and fats: all this will prevent cardiovascular and osteo-articular diseases, such as arthritis for example. During these cures, there is also a period of physical activity that is offered. As for the spirit, we must not fall into the sectarian system, of course; we are going to ask people to meditate, to look back on themselves, to take a step back from life. For people who are on the verge of burnout, this can be an opportunity to take a break. Anyone in good health, who has no particular problem, can afford to fast for up to 15 days without too much difficulty, and harmless. But this fast must be watched: it is not a question of doing it alone in your corner, at least talk to someone around you, in case there is any discomfort or a fall for example. »Contraindications: pregnant or breastfeeding women, children or people with a BMI (body mass index) less than 17. It is also a period of withdrawal (alcohol, tobacco, drugs), you should know. If you have cancer or diabetes, you have to seek medical advice. In this regard, a fasting cure is something to be done: “we are not going to do that overnight, it can be dangerous.” You have to go see your doctor, at least to check that there is no cardiovascular problem, no infection. In short, that the person is not sick. I recommend initially to limit yourself to one week, once or twice a year, during the big changes of season, that is to say either at the beginning of autumn or at the beginning of spring. “