My ProLon Fast Review

My Personal ProLon Fast - Dr. Rick Zullo Review

I had wanted to do a ProLon fast review last year after I had completed my first cycle. My results from the five-day program were impressive, and I was eager to share what I had learned about this Fasting “Mimicking” Diet first hand.

But I didn’t get to reviewing it right away, unfortunately. And I wanted my thoughts and sentiments to be “fresh,” so I vowed to try again at a later date, equipped with more knowledge and personal experience. 

Fast forward about 16 months and I’ve finally completed my second round. This cycle, I documented everything in real time with videos and extensive notes to create a personal ProLon fast review that’s comprehensive and transparent.  

You can read my ProLon fast review in its entirety, or else use the Table of Contents below to jump to a specific section. 

A Quick Review of the Science Behind ProLon 

First, a brief history. Back in January of 2016, Dr. Valter Longo and his associates published a research paper to study the efficacy of the Fasting Mimicking Diet entitled “Methods and Diets for Lowering Glucose and/or IGF-1 Levels”

(And if you want to check out the actual science behind ProLon, you can read their patent submission here: Patent Number US9237761 B2 )

In sum, it describes their proposed method for improving longevity, alleviating the “symptoms” of aging, and preventing age-related diseases. The method included a pre-assessment of the subjects’ average (and type of) daily protein intake, IGF-I, and IGFBP1 levels, and other risk factors for overall mortality, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Their findings were nothing short of miraculous. After three consecutive monthly cycles, the study participants lost an average of five pounds, their BMIs were reduced by 3.4% while Lean Body Mass was preserved, and they experienced a 1-inch loss in waist circumference. But of course their blood markers were even more remarkable, resulting in a real-life increase in life expectancy, and a greatly reduced risk in chronic illnesses, such as Type-2 diabetes. 

One of the mechanisms involved in this process is ketosis. By now, we’ve all heard of the “Keto Diet,” but in fact, ketosis is not exclusive to the Keto Diet. Indeed, most modern weight loss programs employ the benefits of ketosis. This includes the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, Dukan, Paleo, and countless other “branded fads” in the past two decades or so. 

Ketosis happens when you deny your body of carbohydrates, the first source of choice for metabolic energy. When you deny your body of carbohydrates—especially simple carbohydrates (sugars)—your body burns fat instead, and makes ketones, which it can then use for metabolic fuel. 

The second important mechanism in the ProLon nutrition plan is autophagy. This is the “clean up” phase, when the body collects and destroys “broken” parts from the individual cells are replaces them with new ones. In other words, the consumption of the body’s own tissue as a metabolic process that occurs in a starvation state. The destruction of damaged or redundant cellular components within the cell, and their subsequent replacement with new, healthy organelles.

prolon 5 day pla

Those were some of the principles of Dr. Longo’s initial research. Fast forward five years or so, and now that science is put to work for anyone who wants to undertake the 5-Day ProLon Fasting protocol. I will discuss more specifics of the benefits later, but first let’s see what I found when I opened the box. 

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What’s Included in the ProLon Box?

When the ProLon box arrives at your house, it includes everything you’ll eat for five days. The days are individually pre-portioned into smaller boxes, and so there is NO thinking needed on your part. Which is a big part of why it’s successful. A precisely planned meal schedule informed by scientific research. 

What’s more, you’re instructed to not swap things around between the smaller boxes (days), although you are permitted to move the items around within the same day. I decided not to take ANY liberties with the prescribed regime. For this round, I did it exactly as instructed. 

You can see the contents in more detail in my photos and my videos, but in general, each day will include a breakfast bar, two soups (lunch and dinner), a dessert bar for after dinner, olives, crackers, teas, and two types of supplements: algal oil, and a multivitamin.  Here is my photo from the box I received: 

My prolon BOX
ProLon Day 1 food

As for what you can add from your own kitchen, the answer is: not much!

They allow unlimited water, of course, but also sparkling water (it can have natural flavors, but no caffeine or calories), and herbal tea. A few other things: a pinch of salt, a dash of dry herbs, a squeeze of lemon… that’s about it. Oh, and one cup of black coffee, too. 

For those of you wondering how come the boxes are “one size fits all” instead of based on age, sex, weight, or BMI? I wondered, too, and this what I found out:

ProLon has been found to be effective at inducing a fasting state in people with a wide range of body mass indices (BMIs) and was found to be safe regardless of size or weight. In addition, the L-Drink is dosed based on individual body weight to provide just enough glycerin to support the fasting mode. More on this later…

How Does ProLon Work? A Day by Day Overview

As mentioned, the entire “menu” of food for each day is carefully planned and individually packaged, so there’s no guesswork. Just follow the instruction card, as shown here:

my prolon 5 day schedule

Then starting on the morning of the first day, here’s how it goes:

Day 1 – Transforming to a Fasting State

•The body transitions into a fasting state and a fat-burning mode so that it can begin cellular clean up. Still early, but already things are happening.

Day 2 - Fat Burning and Ketogenesis 

•Fat-burning accelerates, contributing to the start of ketogenesis (ketone production). By the end of this day, ketosis may occur.  

Day 3 - Autophagy Clean-Up State

•Fat burning and ketone production/utilization continues and increases. Cellular clean-up (autophagy) begins. Autophagy is how your body cleans itself by removing the damaged cells, degraded proteins, and pathogens.

Day 4 - Cellular Rejuvenation 

•Your body is tapping into your ever-so-important ketones, plus you’re continuing the fat burning process, especially belly fat! Cell rejuvenation has begun in earnest. Think of it as your body’s natural way of cleaning out your old, worn-out components, then rejuvenating. Goodbye dead weight, hello newer, more optimized cells.

Day 5 - Renewal and Change

•The 5-day fast is completed but cellular renewal continues.. The autophagy will linger into the next few days. Autophagy = Cellular Clean Up!

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Eating Like an Italian While Doing My ProLon Fast

Bringing it back to the principles of this website, I want to mention that the ProLon fasting protocol aligns quite well with the fundamentals of a Mediterranean Diet

As mentioned before on my blog, fasting is part of many cultural traditions, including those in Italy. Whether for religious purposes or simply due to a lack of abundant food sources, Italians have historically endured periods of food scarcity. And paradoxically, this phenomenon has contributed to the impressive longevity statistics noted among the Italian population.

And as a side note, many, if not most, of the food items in the ProLon 5 day nutrition plan are made in Italy. Obviously this is marketing to some degree, but it works.

Regardless of government oversight and regulations, there is much more public scrutiny over food quality in Italy, which undoubtedly has an effect. Italians wouldn’t “approve” of the “Made in Italy” label if the food in the ProLon boxes weren’t of the highest quality. This is no joke. 

I refer to this type of powdered food-like product as “astronaut food,” (who remembers Tang?) but I can tell you that everything tasted pretty good. Honestly. But then again, after five days of no “real” food, a saltine cracker would’ve tasted like Thanksgiving dinner! So maybe it’s difficult to rate the taste objectively.

prolon mushroom soup

Made it Italy!

The Benefits of the ProLon Fasting Diet 

OK, now for the great news. The purported benefits of a 5-day ProLon nutrition plan are an impressive list of defenses against a diverse set of terrible pathologies. Well, “diverse” in their clinical effects, but they have much in common with their root cause. Namely, inflammation. 

Inflammation can be traced as the underlying cause to some of the most common (and serious) medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, arthritis, depression, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, and even cancer. 

Here are the Documented Benefits of ProLon:

  • Inflammation reduction.
  • Weight loss.
  • Reductions in blood pressure.
  • Reduced body fat.
  • Cellular rejuvenation.
  • Enhanced cognitive performance.
  • Extended "healthspan," not just lifespan. 
  • Improved sleep.
  • Reduced autoimmunity and multiple sclerosis symptoms.
  • Enhanced response to certain chemotherapy agents and slower progression of some cancers.

So as you can see, it has the potential to prevent or treat just about anything that your doctor is trying to accomplish with medical intervention. It’s always wise to consult a physician, of course, but you might want to explore these benefits of ProLon for yourself. It worked for me! 

Pros and Cons of the ProLon Fasting Plan

Compared to other dietary regimes, including other fasting protocols, ProLon has several unique advantages. And to be transparent, there are a couple of disadvantages, too. But they shouldn’t be significant enough to sway you from giving it a try for yourself.

The Pros of Doing ProLon

I don’t think I need to completely restate everything that I’ve already mentioned above. But in summary, here are some great reasons to try ProLon:

  • Weight loss. People who do ProLon lose an average of five pounds, their BMIs are reduced by 3.4% (while Lean Body Mass was preserved), and they experience a 1-inch loss in waist circumference.
  • Reduced inflammation. Inflammation contributes to a whole list of chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Mental clarity and better sleep. After five days of ProLon, people report that they experience a more restful sleep with fewer interruptions, as well as an increase in mental focus during waking hours. 

The Cons of Doing ProLon

Completing a ProLon 5-day diet plan is not without its challenges. Here are a few things to consider before you dive in:

  • The cost. It’s not super-expensive to the point of being cost prohibitive, but at about $200 per cycle, it’s not cheap, either. You can save 10% with my code ELI10, but it’s still a chunk of change. Still, not much more than a week’s worth of groceries, if you look at it that way. 
  • Inconvenience. This is actually the most challenging aspect of doing a five-day ProLon diet. Some of the soups must be prepared on the stovetop (although you can pre-prepare them and microwave later). Also, you have to plan around holidays and celebrations, because you don’t want to be the only one at a wedding reception not indulging in the festivities.
  • Not suitable for everyone. You should not try ProLon if you're pregnant or nursing, underweight, or have a history of an eating disorder. And anyone with a chronic medical condition, including Type 2 Diabetes, or heart or liver disease, should get a doctor's approval prior to trying ProLon.

Review of the ProLon Fasting Diet - My Conclusions

So what’s my overall impression after having completed this program twice?

It must be obvious at this point that I’m a big fan. It lives up to the “hype,” such that it is. In fact, they don’t really hype it, rather they let the research speak for itself. It can do miraculous things for your health if you stick to the program; more so if you repeat it for 3 or 4 rounds.

For me, the goal was a bit of weight loss (which carries with it a whole host of health benefits) along with the anti-inflammatory effects. I have a super annoying Achilles tendon issue, and this program always makes it better.

But I have to be honest. While it’s not difficult, it’s not a walk in the park, either. It’s inconvenient. While hunger is a minor issue, breaking my daily eating habits was a real challenge. I wasn't allowed to just grab a handful of nuts, for example, in the middle of the day. And no wine!!!

Also, I had to plan around my social schedule. I didn’t want to do this while traveling or while celebrating a holiday or birthday or some other special occasion. So there’s that.

But at the end of the day, I knew that ProLon is the only dietary program patented for promoting cellular rejuvenation from within for healthy aging. And that’s important to me. Super important, since I’m an “older dad” to a precocious nine year-old half-Sicilian daughter. Not only do I want to be around for her as long as possible, but I want to be healthy enough to engage with her in an active way. THAT is my motivation for this… and for everything, really. 

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My Actual Results from the 5-Day ProLon Fast

OK, all of that science is great, but what about real life results? Below I've attached screenshots from the Renpho electronic scale app on my iPhone. 

The first image shows my weight loss over the course of the five day fast. Actually, I took a measurement the day before I began (Day "0") then again the morning I woke up after completing the fifth day of the program (so technically Day "6"). Lo and behold I lost almost seven pounds! I'm pretty happy about that, even though weight loss wasn't my primary goal.

The second and third screenshots are more interesting. Over the course of my ProLon fast, not only did I lose seven pounds, but my body fat decreased by 1.3% and my BMI went from borderline "high" to within normal limits. BUT... perhaps the most encouraging statistic is that I gained a year in my metabolic age

Weight Loss Over 5 Days of ProLon

my weight loss during ProLon

Body Measurements Before ProLon

my vitals BEFORE ProLon

Body Measurements After ProLon

my vitals AFTER ProLon

So the bottom line from my ProLon fast review: It seems that I've discovered the Fountain of Youth! Just imagine, about a dozen more rounds of this and they might starting checking my I.D. at the liquor store again! OK, well, let's not get carried away...

But I think it's fair to say that by simply sticking to the prescribed plan, I've accomplished more in five days than any diet or doctor could ever deliver. I'm definitely going to do it again. 

FAQs of the ProLon Fasting Diet

How Does the ProLon Fasting Diet Work?

The ProLon Fasting Diet works by reducing caloric intake and subsequent blood glucose levels to the point of inducing ketosis and autophagy. These states will encourage weight loss as well as the reduction of systemic inflammation, leading to improvements in many chronic medical conditions.

Who is the ProLon Diet for?

ProLon is for anyone who wants to lose weight, reverse the effects of aging, and prevent the most common chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.

How long does the ProLon Diet last?

The ProLon diet officially lasts exactly five days, however it is recommended that you follow a “clean” supplemental diet one or two days before and after the prescribed dietary regime.

Are there any side effects of the ProLon Diet?

There are not any significant side effects to the ProLon diet, however you may experience reduced energy and mild mood swings due to the restrictive nature of the plan. Some may also have digestive issues, as well as a brief episode of ‘keto breath.”

Videos of My ProLon Fast Review on YouTube

Over on YouTube, I walk through my ProLon fast review day by day. I also make commentary are share some more details of my experience in real time, while it was fresh on my mind. If you're interested in trying ProLon for yourself, click here and use the coupon code ELI10 to get an additional 10% off the price: ProLon 5 Day Fast

*Note that this site is a proud #ProLonAmbassador. If you use links on this page, we might receive a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you.

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