Should You Try This Dieting Approach
I really like the benefits of occasional fasting, so Ill probably attempt a do-it-yourself version at some point.
This is just an introduction,
If you want to attempt a do-it-yourself version, .
If you want to do it in a precise way, check out the ProLon website.
Almost every ProLon review I have seen online has been a positive one.
If I like the results and dont turn into a zombie for 5 days, Ill use FMD once every 6 months.
On paper, it makes a lot of sense.
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Prepare The Beans In Advance
To make this DIY fasting-mimicking diet meal plan easy, prepare the beans in advance and freeze them. When you stew the beans, you can use them directly from the freezer if packed in individual portions. If you want to make something like hummus, take them out in advance, or you can even warm them in the oven before blending.
Stewing the beans is easy. Start with a bit of extra virgin olive oil or whatever approved oil you like , measuring the oil, depending on how many servings you make. I cooked for two, so I used one tablespoon for two servings, which means 119 calories.
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Sauté the onion until fragrant and translucent, add some garlic and the beans, and eventually a little water so they dont stick or dry out. I usually add beans straight from the freezer, so I cook until the beans are all thawed and soft. If you use other greens, like kale add them just for a few minutes in the end. Fresh herbs can be added: parsley and cilantro are perfect for beans.
Planning meals is not something that comes naturally to me Im more of a spontaneous cook and eater. But I learned a few tricks that helped make my life easier.
Promising Results In Mouse Models Of Alzheimers
Alongside healthy mice, the team investigated two mouse models of Alzheimers, E4FAD and 3xTg. During the study, mice were fed the fasting-mimicking diet for 4 or 5 days twice per month and were allowed to eat normally between FMD cycles.
In a long-term experiment to see the effects in aged mice, 3xTg mice were placed on the diet for 30 cycles in 15 months. Shorter-term experiments in both 3xTg and E4FAD mice ranged from a single FMD cycle to 12 cycles in 6 months.
In both models, mice who underwent FMD cycles showed promising reductions in amyloid beta which form the sticky, disruptive plaques in the brain and tau pathology compared to mice eating a standard diet.
The FMD mice also showed lower levels of brain inflammation, including a reduction in the number of active microglia, the immune cells that seek and destroy pathogens and damaged cells in the brain.
In addition, mice on the diet demonstrated a lower level of oxidative stress, which plays a role in Alzheimers pathology by damaging neurons and contributing to the accumulation of amyloid in the brain.
The study specifically pointed to the free radical superoxide as a central culprit in the damage occurring in these Alzheimers mouse models, Longo explained.
The Alzheimers mice given the FMD significantly outperformed the Alzheimers mice given standard diets and in some instances performed similarly to the non-Alzheimers-prone control mice, indicating that cognitive decline had been significantly slowed.
Also Check: What Do You Eat While Intermittent Fasting
The Fasting Mimicking Diet Is Meant To Evoke The Physiological Effects Of Intermittent Fasting But Unlike If It Calls For Following A Specific Meal Plan
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC is a registered dietitian, health coach, and author with a passion for helping people simplify their wellness routine and build healthy habits. Through her writing, consulting, public speaking, and counseling, she works with individuals, corporations, and the media to help make drama-free healthy living approachable and enjoyable.
She is a part of the mindbodygreen Collective and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety and the upcoming The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver’s Guide To Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep . A big believer in the mental and physical benefits of exercise, she is also a certified Pilates instructor. You can find her work in numerous print and digital publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert. She has created video courses for CARAVAN Wellness and guided meditations for Simple Habit.
Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in recent years. As a dietitian and health coach, it’s one of the topics I get asked about the most. Is it good or bad? Will it help me lose weight? My doctor said I should try IF does this count? etc.
How To Follow A Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan
One of the main principles of an FMD plan is to eat low protein and high unsaturated fat, and then reduce calories during the fasting period. The average FMD plan will include around 1,100 calories the first day, and just 800 or less the next few days.
Protein restriction combined with the fasting-mimicking protocol is what gives the diet plan its beneficial effects. So, no, you cant just eat high-protein for your allotted calories during the fast. Healthy fats are also important for the diets benefits.
How to start? Read Dr. Longos book The Longevity Diet for the official full plan and everything you need to start. Dr. Longo says that the FMD can be done anywhere from a few times a year to once a month, depending on your current state of health and age.
Example Meal Plan
If you want to do a DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet, its wise to consult a nutrition professional for a personalized plan. The following meal plan should only be used to give you an idea of what you might expect to eat on a five-day FMD plan:
Wellness Mama Fast Latte Recipe
If you do follow a Fasting Mimicking Diet, make sure that you follow proper refeeding techniques at the end. Breaking a fast by rushing headlong into eating high-calorie, high-carb, and high-fat meals will make you feel sick and can be dangerous.
Read Also: What Fasting Is Best For Weight Loss
May Support Cancer Treatment
Theres also some promising research highlighting the potential use of the FMD in helping to manage certain types of cancer.
One study suggests that the FMD can be as effective as water-only fasting in sensitizing breast cancer tumors to the effects of chemotherapy. Animal studies have also shown a reduced cancer incidence in mice, as well as improved cognitive performance resulting from FMD cycles.
Again, more research is needed in this area.
What To Eat And Avoid On A Fasting Mimicking Diet
The FMD program is a 5-day meal program. On the first day, you consume 1100 to 1150 calories. On the remaining four days, you are not allowed to consume more than 750 to 800 calories per day. The basic idea is to get 60% of your daily calories from healthy fats, 10% from plant-based protein, and 30% from slow digestible carbs on day 1. On the remaining days, the ratio of macros changes slightly to 9% from protein, 44% from fat, and 47% from carbs.
Fasting mimicking diet does not allow the intake of animal protein, processed sugar, lactose, and gluten. Nuts are an essential part of the meal program. Thus, you should take care if you are allergic to nuts. Nut allergy can cause life-threatening reactions in some people.
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They Thought It Was Crazy Science
Valter Longo was born to study aging.
Italian by birth, he spent summers in his familys ancestral home, a town called Molochio in southern Italy thats home to an unusually high percentage of centenarians. His father is 91. Exactly why the villagers live so long is a question thats always simmered in the back of Longos head.
Now 49, Longo originally came to the U.S. to be a rock star. He enrolled at the University of North Texas, which has an acclaimed jazz guitar program. But he soured on the program when he was forced to run a marching band and turned instead to biochemistry as a way to study aging.
Prep And Planning: Helpful Steps Before Starting Fmd
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin
FMD is a complex diet, since its components are interconnected and have a small margin of error:
- Day 1: 10-16 calories per kg of body weight
- Days 2-5: 7-11 calories per kg of body weight
- Day 1: 10% | 56% | 34%
- Day 2-5: 9% | 44% | 47%
- If you want to know what is actually going on and if the diet is effective you need to measure.
- The more the better. Weight, body composition , blood glucose levels, ketone levels, etc.
- Your energy levels are changing due to an adaptation in metabolism
All of the above need prep and planning.
Read Also: 30 Day Fasting Diet Plan
May Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Its estimated that 415 million people across the world are currently living with diabetes, a figure thats set to rise to 642 million by 2040.
Early research suggests that the FMD could potentially play a positive role where diabetes is concerned. Those who began with high blood sugar levels in the ProLon study saw their numbers drop into the normal range.
There have also been positive results regarding the regeneration of -cells – a type of cell found in the pancreas responsible for synthesizing insulin. Cycles of FMD have been shown to reverse -cell failure and rescue mice from Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. The same study also observed -cell regeneration in human Type 1 diabetic pancreatic cells.
Whats The Biggest Mistake You See People Make In Terms Of Eating
demonize a certain food component such as fats or carbs, not understanding that the devil is in the details. Its not about choosing one or the other, but which kind and how much of it. also think that to be healthier you need to eat less, when in fact you need to eat more, but mostly vegetables and legumes.
Read Also: What Is Normal Fasting Blood Glucose
My Diy Fasting Mimicking Diet Meal Plan
The first time I did a DIY fasting mimicking diet, I ate simple foods like avocado, a green drink, broccoli, squash, and olives. The second time, I followed some recipes from the FMD Reddit board. Now, I am preparing to do a combination of both. I enjoyed the recipes they were delicious and satisfying. Still, I also enjoy the simplicity of eating an avocado and a green superfood drink .
Heres what my 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet will look like:
- lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
What Can We Learn From Nr
In the above list, the bulk of the ingredients are vitamins , which are all essential to regular cellular processes. Then there are two amino acids methionine & cysteine.
, which are the building blocks for the human body)
Its interesting to note the ratio of methionine to cysteine, which is approx: 1:4. Apparently its possible to reduce the bodys need for methionine, by adding more cysteineMinimum methionine requirement and cysteine sparing of methionine in healthy school-age children Humayun MA , thus Id hypothesize that is the strategy here provide a minimum level of methionine, through the addition of cysteine. It could be that too much methionine triggers cellular functions that detract from the fasting process, but adding cysteine does not cause the same trigger. The benefit of this could be to help keep IGF-1 activation low.
Methionine is generally found in plentiful quantities in animal products, thus given ProLon is formulated of vegan ingredients, this may be a reason to supplement some additional methionine. Note, they also add vitamin B12 which is a common deficit in vegan diets.
One thing they add is MSM, for which I dont have any hypotheses for its inclusion but I would note that the amount is very low. Most off the shelf supplements are in the range of 100mg+ whereas NR-3 contains 6mg per capsule.
Read Also: Do’s And Don Ts Of Intermittent Fasting
About Sourcing And Cooking Methods
To keep it nutritious, think of sourcing, as much as possible, locally and organic, in season, and include both raw and cooked vegetables. Its not that you have to make it perfect, but do the best you can with whats available to you. I would not go out of my way to source ingredients that grow in the tropics while Im in Romania, and its autumn.
If you need a printable shopping list and an overview of the plant paradox food list, please see my article The Plant Paradox Shopping List .
First Some Basics About Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is, essentially, an eating pattern where you designate hours or days with no intake of food, while still making sure to meet your essential nutrient needs. As mentioned, there are a variety of regimens, but some of the most commonly studied ones are alternate-day fasting, 5:2 intermittent fasting , and daily time-restricted feeding .
Most of the research done on IF is in animals, but a growing body of research in humans has delved further into the potential benefits of IF and interventions that mimic fasting. Some of the conditions intermittent fasting has been shown to improve are diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers and neurological disorders, according to the National Institute on Aging. While animal studies have shown mixed results in regard to longevity, human trials have mostly involved short-term interventions, so it’s unclear yet whether intermittent fasting has long-term effects on health or lifespan in humans.
Read Also: How To Do Fasting To Lose Weight
Fasting Mimicking Diet Results
Over the last few months, I have been using various fasting mimicking diet meal plans to decrease inflammation and lose weight I did not regain. I lost more weight than that in total but gained some back. I lost my belly fat and have found more food freedom. Read more about my experience in I Went On My DIY Version of the Fasting Mimicking Diet and Heres What Happened. Fasting does get easier with practice! However, you will not need to do the fasting mimicking diet more than 2 or 3 times if you practice intermittent fasting. I use the fasting mimicking diet to spread the healing process and become metabolically flexible before starting intermittent fasting.
Cell Protection With Autophagy
Autophagy is the bodys internal protective mechanism for getting rid of cells that are broken or damaged. Cells replicate at different rates, depending on where they are in the body. Skin cells are replaced every 2 weeks, while red blood cells are replaced every 2.5 to 4 months. The epithelial cells that line the intestinal walls are replaced every 5 days.
Cells are always replicating. In that process, they transfer DNA. Sometimes information gets lost or cells are damaged. If the body is allowed to continue with broken or damaged cells, or ones missing crucial information, the body would rapidly deteriorate! Autophagy is the bodys built-in system for cleaning house of broken, damaged, or old cells with bad information.
A study by Dr. Longo and colleagues from 2015 showed that the FMD plan helped to optimize the process of autophagy. As a result, it has a protective effect on cells and may even help to slow cellular degeneration and aging. Autophagy is also shown to ramp up in nerve cells in response to short-term fasting.
Also Check: What Can You Eat While On Intermittent Fasting
How Does The Fasting Mimicking Diet Work
During prolonged fasting, the bodys metabolism switches from using readily available blood glucose from food to ketones produced from fat reserves through the process of ketosis. The fasting mimicking diet, as the name suggests, triggers this metabolic shift by simulating the fasting state. It is based on Dr Longos research into cellular nutrient sensors how our cells know when there is enough food available , and when they need to use stored glucose and fat for energy .
ProLon meals use a combination of macronutrient and micronutrients that avoid triggering the bodys nutrient sensing pathways, inhibiting the same metabolic pathways as fasting. This starts ketosis, as the body metabolises fat reserves to produce ketones which feed the brain and result in weight loss. Fasting and the fasting mimicking diet also simulate stress resistance in cells, triggering autophagy the process by which cells reuse their old or damaged cell components to rejuvenate .
These processes occur over the five days of the diet:
How To Prepare The Sweet Potato
The sweet potato has to be cooked, cooled, and reheated for a better nutritional profile . I like to cook my sweet potato in the oven, in the skin, with no oil or water. Just in a tray, at 350F, until they are soft to touch. Time will depend on the size of your potatoes.
Then I let them cool, eventually overnight or for a few hours in the fridge, and when Im ready to eat, I reheat them or eat them cold. I douse them in extra virgin olive oil regularly, but Im careful during this cleanse, considering one tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories.
Also Check: Keto Or Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss