Fasting has been used across cultures for centuries. Prolonged fasting can prove both physically and mentally taxing. The fasting mimicking diet is a calorically restricted, low protein diet lasting 3-5 days a month repeated for 3 months and then once monthly. The rest of the time you maintain your (hopefully) balanced whole foods diet. It’s a great opportunity to jumpstart weight loss and energy levels without the rigors of a water fast or the potential safety concerns of attempting such a fast without medical supervision.
In animal studies FMD have shown to
- Reverse diabetes
- Promote neurogenesis to improve motor learning and memory
- Heal autoimmune disease
- Decrease cancer risk.
In human studies typically patients received a 34-54% of their usual calorie intake with a macro distribution 9-11 % protein, 43-47 % carbs and 44-46 % fat. Findings in human subjects showed:
- Decreased body weight
- Decreased total fat
- Smaller waist circumference
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol.
Many of these benefits persisted at least 3 months after the last fasting cycle.
FMD diets are a great option for patients who are healthy and trying to optimize longevity, patients with diabetes, who are overweight, or who have autoimmune disease. Fasting is a stressor on the body. If the body is already under significant stress, either emotional or physical then fasting should be avoided. Patient’s who are teens or children, women who are pregnant, who have thyroid disease or have adrenal imbalance aren’t good candidates for fasting.
Prolon is a company which was founded by researcher Dr. Longo which provides prepackaged meals for the FMD. Their link is found on the resources page.
What does a FMD diet look like:
Day 1. 1100 calories.
Days 2-5 700-800 calories.
There are homemade versions of this diet online, but none have been studied. The data on the FMD was done on the proprietary Prolon meals.
I’ve scanned the internet and have found this “homemade” FMD meal plan from Dominick Hussey, a naturopath practicing in Ottawa , Canada. I like the fact that it uses whole foods and the recipes he has created look appealing. Check out the resources page for the link.