The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) is a 5-day diet that fools the body into thinking it’s fasting. But in practice, how does the Fasting Mimicking Diet work?

In short, you eat a specific mix of plant-based foods that provide healthy nutrients while keeping calorie intake low. This sends signals to the body that it needs to start burning stored fat for energy.

The Fasting Mimicking Diet was developed by Dr. Valter Longo, a Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California. In animal studies, FMD has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to improve overall brain function and increase lifespan.

The FMD is a safe and effective way to mimic the benefits of fasting without having to go without food for extended periods of time. It incorporates some concepts from other dieting regimes, which we will explore below.

The FMD is effective due to the nutri-technology that Dr. Longo developed. By abstaining from animal-based amino acids and added sugars, alongside reduced calorie intake, the FMD temporarily inhibits pathways known to accelerate aging. 

In addition, stem cell-based regeneration occurs. The FMD induces a gentle ketosis for a brief period. The worldwide scientific community is rapidly expanding due to the profound advantages of the FMD.

Fast Mimicking Diet Vs Fasting

Both fasting and the Fast Mimicking Diet (FMD) have gained popularity in recent years as people look for ways to improve their health. But how does it compare to traditional (water only) fasting?

The Fast Mimicking Diet is a type of fasting that involves consuming only certain types of foods for a period of time. This diet is designed to mimic the health benefits of fasting, without requiring people to completely give up food and live on water only.

In general, people fast for a period of time, during which they do not eat or drink anything except water. Fasting is often used as a way to improve mental and physical health. The FMD reduces both the feelings of hunger and the associated health risks from a water-only fast.

How Does The Fasting Mimicking Diet Work?

Fast Mimicking Diet Vs Intermittent Fasting

Two of the most popular diets nowadays are the Fast Mimicking Diet (FMD) and Intermittent Fasting (IF). Both diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss, but there is some debate about which one is “better.” In fact, they are quite similar.

Intermittent fasting has several variations. The most common method is time-restricted eating, where the dieter only eats during their “food window.” One example is to fast for 16 hours and eat only during the remaining 8 hours. That would mean having breakfast around 10 am and then your last food of the day around 6 pm. This can be done every day or a few times per week. 

Some IF protocols call for a total (water-only) fast once or twice a month, with normal healthy meals the rest of the time.

The FMD protocol created by Dr. Longo is sold under the name ProLon. It seeks to provide all the benefits of a fasting diet, but with food. (Full disclosure: Eat Like an Italian is an authorized reseller of ProLon products.)

This diet mimics a 5:2 intermittent 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.

In fact, the Fast Mimicking Diet only requires the dieter to follow the program for five days out of the month (or once a quarter), with the rest of the month consuming normal, healthy meals. And yes, this means the Mediterranean Diet. 

So which diet is better for health? The answer is still unclear, but both diets have been shown to offer health benefits. If you’re considering trying either diet, talk to your doctor first to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Fast Mimicking Diet Vs Keto

A keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on foods that provide a lot of healthy fats, and a good amount of protein, but very few carbohydrates. The goal is to get more calories from fat than from carbs.

The diet works by depleting the body of its sugar reserves. As a result, you will start to break down fat for energy. This results in the production of molecules called ketones that the body uses for fuel. When the body burns fats, it can also lead to weight loss.

The goal of all ketogenic diets is to send the body into a state of ketosis. The term “keto diet” can include diets such as the Atkins diet, Dukan diet, and LCHF (low carb, high fat). While all quite similar, the ratios of fat, protein, carbs and other specific features of each diet can vary.

The ketogenic diet has been shown to be a good plan for weight loss and an effective treatment for epilepsy in children. 

The“fast mimicking diet” (FMD) is a newer diet that has some similarities to the ketogenic diet, but allows for a greater variety of foods, as described above. 

The ketogenic diet is an effective option, but is very restrictive and challenging to stick with due to its high fat and ultra-low carbohydrate content.

Can You Create Your Own Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan?

Yes, you can certainly “mimic” the Fasting Mimicking Diet at home (pun intended). The important thing to remember is “why” you are eating certain foods, and don’t get too caught up in the precise “what.” 

I have done the ProLon Diet as prescribed by Dr. Longo, and I have also created my own “Do It Yourself Fasting Mimicking Diet.” 

Both can work, but if it’s your first time with this protocol, I would suggest using the official diet plan because all of the work has been done for you and you can be sure that you’re getting the most health benefits out of your efforts. Learn more about ProLon here:

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5 Things You Need To Know About The Fasting Mimicking Diet

What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet?

The fasting mimicking diet is based on the premise that by mimicking the effects of fasting, you can reap the benefits of fasting without actually having to fast.

How does the Fasting Mimicking Diet work?

This diet mimics a 5:2 fasting diet but in reverse, where fasters eat about 45 percent of their regular caloric intake for five days.

What are some of the benefits of the Fasting Mimicking Diet?

There are a lot of purported benefits of the fasting mimicking diet, including weight loss, increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, and more.

Is the Fasting Mimicking Diet good for cancer patients?

One of the most exciting potential benefits of the fasting mimicking diet is its ability to help prevent cancer. It is NOT a treatment for cancer itself, but can potentiate the efficacy of cancer treatments. This is still being investigated.

Who should NOT do the Fasting Mimicking Diet?

Certain people should avoid the fasting mimicking diet, such as people with diabetes,
people with a history of eating disorders, and pregnant women.

Rick Zullo

Former doctor, current science teacher, and life-long food lover, Rick's passion for Mediterranean cuisine was ignited while living as an expat in Rome, Italy. 


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