You may have heard about intermittent fasting, where you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. This approach to dieting has become popular in recent years, primarily as a vehicle for weight loss and maintenance. These diets focus less on what you eat and more on when you eat. There are a variety of methods to accomplish this, some that require you to fast for only a short period of time, say eight hours, some that require you to fast for 12-16 hours, and some that require you to fast for a full day.
Another type of intermittent fasting isn’t really fasting in the traditional sense, though. This is where you still eat during the day, but restrict your calorie intake significantly. We call this the Fasting Mimicking Diet. Created by Italian biologist Dr. Valter Longo and sold under the name ProLon, the fasting mimicking diet seeks to provide all the benefits of a fasting diet, but with food. (Full disclosure: Shakthi is an authorized reseller of ProLon products.)
Let’s take a closer look at how this diet works and its benefits. Keep in mind that it’s always a wise idea to discuss a new diet with a medical professional before embarking on it.
How the Fasting Mimicking Diet Works
This diet mimics a 5:2 fasting diet, where fasters eat about 25 percent of their regular caloric intake for two days and then eat normally for five days. This typically means the dieter eats about 500-600 calories on the fasting days, which are not necessarily back to back.
The Fasting Mimicking Diet works similarly, except that the diet calls for reducing calorie intake for five days and normal calorie intake on the other two days. The Fasting Mimicking Diet never calls for completely fasting. The idea is to supply the body with just enough calories to feel satiated, but not full, while also allowing the body to enter gluconeogenesis, the process by which the body converts fat and other non-carbohydrates to glucose (i.e. body and mind fuel).
In fact, the Fast Mimicking Diet only requires the dieter to follow the program for five days out of the month, with the rest of the month relying on regular, but healthy, meals.
How the Fasting Mimicking Diet Delivers Essential Nutrients
One major challenge of standard fasting diets is that they do not focus on what a person eats. So, even if the person avoids eating during the fasting period, they can still consume a lot of foods with low nutritional value during non-fasting periods. It’s all too easy to turn to foods that are high in unhealthy fats and sugar are quite attractive, as they make us feel full and can be very satisfying. However, in both the short and long-term, these foods lack important nutrients to help the body repair, and can even throw the dieter’s metabolism entirely out of whack as the dieter yo-yos between fasting and binging.?
Instead, the Fasting Mimicking Diet provides dieters with both a set eating schedule and food that contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to repair and maintain itself.
What Kind of Foods Are Included?
The Fasting Mimicking Diet includes a variety of foods, all plant-based and designed to satisfy the taste buds. Each day’s meals include foods like nutrition bars, kale crackers, soups, and more. All foods are scientifically developed combination of micro and macronutrients designed to keep the body nourished while going through the rejuvenating process of the fasting state. Lastly, for each fasting period, the dieter has all their food pre-packaged, making it easy to stick to and easy to manage.