When it comes to diet and wellness, fasting is all the rage. We hear about cleanses ranging from juice system cleanse, master cleanses, and water cleanses, and although they may sound daunting, the benefits may outweigh the cons. The idea of fasting is to throw your cells into “survival mode” which allows them to adapt and survive even the most stringent conditions placed on your body, cancer treatment included. However, new research has found that a restricted intake of food, called the fasting mimicking diet or FMD, may have more advantages than the traditional ways of starving your body, and many people are jumping on board.
What is the fasting mimicking diet?
Developed by Valter Longo in the early 2000s, the FMD concept of fasting blends the conventional ways with a fresh take on the notion, by keeping your caloric intake low for five-day cycles a few times a year. This action still launches your bodily processes into “survival mode” without complete deprivation by consuming small amounts of low-calorie meals to regenerate your body at a cellular level. The same principles are followed to provide all the advantages of your typical fast such as reducing inflammation, a severe age progressor, and increasing your fat burn. After years of Longo’s research, he found that incorporating FMD into your lifestyle it significantly lowered the risk of age-related disease, extending human lifespans, and living a healthier life full of longevity. It’s even been shown to help cancer patients survive the detrimental effects of cancer treatment.
The program ProLon, developed by Longo, makes the FMD simple by providing you with all the necessary resources and preplanned meals. ProLon stands for “Pro-Longevity” and claims that after five days of taking part in their FMD program you will receive, “stem cell-based rejuvenation, optimized glucose and cholesterol levels, and quick abdominal fat loss, all while continuing to eat real food every day.” The eating schedule is as follows:
The first day incorporates 10% of your calories coming from protein, 56% from fat, and 34% from carbohydrates, totaling about 1090 calories to wean down your caloric intake. The following four days you will only consume 725 calories per day with 9% coming from protein, 44% from fat, and 47% from carbohydrates. The fat you consume comes from poly- and monounsaturated sources while the protein is strictly plant-based. Your carbohydrate consumption is retrieved from nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains.
What are the benefits of the fasting mimicking diet?
According to clinical research and trials, the fasting mimicking diet produces astounding benefits compared to the typical liquid only cleanse. Here are four benefits according to research in human and animal studies.
Weight Loss In The form of Fat
Although this diet boasts significant heart-healthy advantages, the goal of most is to lose weight, naturally. By eating nutrient-dense food in small amounts, you are forcing the body to strictly absorb healthy nutrients. This combined with a restricted caloric intake encourages weight loss and a decrease in total body fat when followed once a month for at least three months.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
According to research, following FMD can lower total and bad cholesterol along with blood pressure. Because the diet focuses on consuming healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and olives, it also has been shown to prevent coronary heart disease and improve circulation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to disease. However, chronic inflammation can lead to many destructive diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. In a recent study, those who followed FMD showed an improvement in their myelin sheath, which is the protective barrier surrounding the nerve fibers that lead to your spinal cord and brain. Because of the strict five-day diet and quality food you consume throughout the process, it has also been proven to help reverse diabetes by normalizing blood sugar levels. (4)
Improves Brain Health
In a study done on mice, when fed the FMD way, they showed a significant regeneration of neurons in their brain. Regenerated neurons improve cognitive function, promoting a more youthful performing brain. And as mentioned above, the healthy fats consumed during this diet support many healthy bodily processes, including brain function. (5)