Ms. Becker, you live in Florida but travel frequently between the US and Germany. What differences do you see between the two countries in terms of food and nutrition?
In Germany it is much easier to get organic products or purely vegetable food. In supermarkets you shine fresh food, there is a large selection. In the US, except for big cities, there are almost only fast food chains around the corner and only packaged goods in supermarkets. People’s financial situation also has a much bigger impact on what they eat.
Does this mean that many cannot afford a healthy diet?
That’s a big problem in America, where you really have to be able to afford a healthy diet. I don’t think that’s the case in Germany. In the US, on the other hand, a full refrigerator means wealth and luxury. Everything is kept double and triple, everything that is too much ends up in the garbage. We have to get away from that. My wish is that we develop a normal and healthy relationship with nutrition and know: what does my body need and how much?
Being more concerned with a healthy lifestyle also gives you a good feeling. This psychological factor should not be underestimated.
Absolutely! You get out of the role of victim and learn to take care of yourself. This is also part of the great benefit of fake fasting, which is what my new book is all about.
What is simulated fasting anyway and why is it so fascinating to you?
The concept was developed by the American cell biologist Valter Longo and we modified it for my “Five Days Only” program. Fake fasting means you trick your body into thinking you’re not eating enough, even if you do eat something, for only five days with “Only five days.” For this deceptive maneuver to be successful, certain criteria must be met. The food should be low in calories, low in protein and low in carbohydrates. The cell does not recognize this special composition as food and the body goes into fasting mode.
So can I eat something?
That’s the beauty of this show: we work with real food and lots of recipes, not just soups or teas. It still has the positive effects, for example, that blood sugar and blood pressure are regulated. It’s not so much about losing weight as it is about finding a new, healthier relationship with food. A starting point for a balanced diet.
For many, food is associated with very different feelings, often unpleasant.
Yes, for example with shame because you can’t lose weight. Or we say that we “sinned” when we give ourselves to something. Some have a true love-hate relationship with food. Others are judged: But she can go, he can’t control himself. People are quickly pigeonholed. We are all in the same boat and want the same thing: a healthy and unfettered relationship with food and nutrition.
What feedback do you get from your readers?
It’s not hard to pick up those who have already jumped on the bandwagon, who have been doing my exercise programs for years. They are happy that now I also take care of nutrition. But there are many newcomers, including men, from whom I receive positive messages. They say: I dare for five days, I can do it.
Have you ever done a classic fast yourself?
Never. I know this from my mother, who used to fast over and over again, strict water fast, for example. There are people who are good at it and maybe they also need this strict structure. I’ve never done it, and I never thought I could. I think many feel that way. And I wrote the book for these people. People who want to do something for their metabolism, but don’t want to do a classic fasting cure.
And without the challenges of fasting like bad moods and feelings of hunger?
Even with fake fasting, it’s not always easy! The third day is not pleasant, at least not for me (laughs). And of course it’s a challenge when office colleagues bite into candy. You have to put a switch in my head: I take care of myself and what I eat. I can do it. The goal is a normal relationship with food, a feeling of satiety.
What’s important to me: It’s not a diet, I didn’t want to write a diet book, I don’t believe in diets. I know from friends how quickly the pounds and despair come back. For me, it’s about re-developing a healthy relationship with our bodies and our food.
He has written many fitness guides, has published Pilates and Yoga DVDs. Where does your fascination with health come from?
I’ve always been a person who moves, whether it’s dancing, skipping, skipping, Pilates or yoga, I can quickly find my center through movement. For that I need movement: not to lose my nerve. When I started doing yoga more than 30 years ago, many thought that I was changing my religion (laughs). At that time the motto “Sport is murder” still applied. Luckily a lot has changed since then, today we know that we have to do something for our mental and physical health. And how important exercise is for that.
Why is it so important for you to pass this on to others?
I believe that everyone can find their own: the healthy food they like, the exercise they enjoy. Not everyone needs to do yoga or Pilates, there are so many forms of exercise that there is something for everyone. That’s my mission: I’m always learning, whether it’s through Pilates or fasting drills, I pass it on and learn again through feedback from my community. I want us to preserve our health, so that we are not reduced to watching when we grow old, but that we can participate and participate.