A Nutritional Intervention for Metabolic Health
We recommend the 5 Day ProLon Fasting Mimicking diet for our patients who want to lose weight, have detox issues, want to reset their metabolism, who are having gut issues like SIBO, or who want to age at their best possible rate!
So, I wanted to try it, in order to see how to coach my patients through this fasting week.
In this article, I will review the ProLon FMD Diet so you don’t have to and share my experience with a week of following the Prolon 5 day fasting-mimicking diet.
What is ProLon®?
Over the past few months, I’ve heard from some of my patients about their struggles with fad diets and their feelings of frustration around staying healthy with such busy lives. To each of you, you are not alone!
Based on published research, the average person diets 4x per year. In most cases, unfortunately, these efforts do not create sustainable long-term results.
This is why I’m so excited to share more details about a 5-day meal program that is backed by 20 years and $36 Million in research and development.
It’s called ProLon®—the world’s first and only “Fasting Mimicking Diet®.”
ProLon was developed to give you the benefits of a prolonged fast. It has been shown to:
- Reduce visceral fat while maintaining lean body mass
- Initiate cellular clean up (autophagy)
- Help maintain healthy levels of metabolic markers
- And more…all without giving up food!
Our practice supports fasting because it has been clinically shown to promote health and help patients lose weight and feel better. What’s more, a longer (five day) fast has been shown to help regenerate and rejuvenate cells by enhancing the natural process of cellular renewal.
There are several types of fasting, from prolonged (2+ consecutive days) to intermittent (i.e. 5:2 or alternate day) to time-restricted eating (i.e. 12:12 or 16:8). Overall these fasts are attractive because they’re easy to follow, require minimal planning, and are somewhat easy to stick to vs. a complete dietary overhaul.
However, there is a problem–and not because the fasts are bad. They aren’t.
In fact, short fasts and intermittent fasting can be helpful tools for improving your health.
The issue is short fasts only deliver a portion of results possible with fasting. Until recently, most people didn’t know this.
This is why our practice encourages patients to incorporate a prolonged 5-day fast instead, where additional health benefits such as cellular clean-up can be achieved. And, the easiest way to do this is by using ProLon®.
The developer of Prolon, Longo, developed the ProLon Diet to give people the health benefits of fasting while letting them still eat foods and according to Longo, “restrict calories for a longer period of time,” which is 5 days. The Prolon Diet is low in calories, protein, carbs and is high in healthy fats, and is actually plant-based.
Pre-Clinical Trial Results Using ProLon®
Source – Cell Metabolism
A Periodic meal program that Mimics Fasting, Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan.
In the first study from the Clinical and Translational Report, yeast deprived of food periodically were shown to have longer life expectancy than yeast fed normally. The second study involved feeding a group of mice a specialized diet for four days a month. The diet reduced both caloric intake and protein intake. The scientists tested markers in the blood of the mice and found that the diet emulated prolonged water-only fasting. After returning to regular feeding, the mice regained most, but not all of the lost weight. Differences between the Fasting Mimicking Diet group and the control group include improved metabolism and cognitive function, gradual weight loss, muscle rejuvenation, higher bone density, 40% fewer malignant lymphomas, immune system regeneration, and longer average, though not absolute, life expectancy.
A third study was done using people. There were nineteen FMD participants and nineteen control participants with a broad range of ages represented (19-75). There were members of both sexes and most races, so that the study represented a general cross-section of the adult population. The individuals in the Fasting Mimicking Diet group were provided with the food they were required to eat during five FMD days for each of three months. Scientists were pleased with the level of compliance with the diet, and most reported only mild or no negative effects on the fasting days. Results showed that the FMD participants experienced an average 3% reduction in weight, a reduction in visceral fat, a reduction in C-reactive protein, and rejuvenation for the immune system.
- FMD’s rejuvenate the immune system and reduces cancer incidence in C57BL/6 mice
- FMD’s promote hippocampal neurogenesis and improves cognitive performance and metabolism in mice
- FMD’s cause beneficial changes in risk factors of age-related diseases in humans
How to Get ProLon®?
Because we are a health care provider. we can offer a professional provider discount and the ProLon meal kit will be shipped directly to you from L-Nutra at a cost of $230.00 plus shipping.
The ProLon FMD kit contains everything you will need for 5 days of meals, such as a delicious Fast Bar for Breakfast, a lighter and a heartier soup for lunch and dinner, kale crackers, or olives for a snack. ProLon also comes with teas, an energy drink called L-drink, and some supplements.
How Much is ProLon® FMD?
You can purchase the five-day ProLon Diet Fasting Mimicking meal-plan kit, which was developed by Valter Longo, Ph.D., a researcher, and biologist at the University of Southern California-Davis, either directly from his company, L-Nutra at a retail price of $249.00 plus shipping or you can purchase from LifeSpark Nutrition here.
- Read all the contraindications before starting the 5-day Prolon Fasting Mimicking diet.
- Get your body into a fasting mode by doing a 16/8 fast the week before- use 1 cup coffee/tea with 2 TBS of Grass-Fed Collagen + 1 TBS MCT oil while fasting in the am.
- Try not to have your favorite cheat foods around.
- Follow the easy menu guide in the Prolon Box- use the foods for each day listed, however, you may switch up the order
- Make sure to have lunch, snack and dinner ie don’t run out of Prolon food for that day too early
- You may have 1 cup of coffee per day. If you drink more than one cup/day, I recommend weaning off down to one cup the week before you start Prolon, so you don’t get a “coffee withdrawal” headache.
- You may chew sugarless gum. I recommend aspartame-free like “Pure.”
I only used half of the L-drink bottle (follow directions for mixing) mixed with water so I used the rest of the bottle for the next day..
Side Effects of Using ProLon®
Due to the low caloric nature of the ProLon® 5-day meal program:
- You should not take ProLon® in combination with prescription or non-prescription drugs unless approved by your healthcare professional.
- Drink at least 8 cups of water to minimize the risk of dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol consumption, strenuous exercise, and exposure to high temperatures (e.g. saunas, spas, Jacuzzi) or cold environments and swimming.
- Operate a motor vehicle and heavy machinery with care until it is known how ProLon® may affect you.
Potential side-effects associated with a low calorie, low protein meal program may include:
- dry mouth
- memory impairment
- muscle pain
- abdominal cramp
- loss of coordination
- decreased sensation
- hair loss
- oral pain
Who Should Not Do ProLon®?
- Pregnant women.
- People who are underweight, have a very low body mass index or suffer from anorexia.
- People over the age of seventy, unless in Superior health- and only with a doctor’s approval
- Anyone who is fragile.
- People with liver or kidney diseases.
- People affected by pathologies, unless they have prior approval of their specialized doctor. In the case of serious or relatively serious illness (cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular, autoimmune, or neurodegenerative diseases), it is important to seek permission and approval from a disease specialist.
- Patients who take medication should not undertake the FMD without the approval of their nutritionist or medical specialist.
- Patients who have low blood pressure or who are taking medication for hypertension
My Experience with ProLon® FMD
I picked a week with not much going on, especially social activities where I would be tempted to cheat.
Day 1 was an easy day. You get 1100 calories. I wanted to make sure that I did not mindlessly munch, as I do so frequently, by walking into the pantry and start picking out stuff to eat. I made sure to keep the Prolon menu guide out on the counter and kept checking what was next and shut the pantry door! The directions say that you must eat exactly what’s listed for each day, however, it doesn’t matter what order and I liked having the flexibility.
I already do a 16 hour fast with a morning tea and 2 Tablespoons of grass-fed Collagen and 1 TBS of MCT oil, so I decided to keep up that plan, ( which is still fasting), and have my breakfast Prolon Fast Bar at lunch, which was really yummy! I really liked the soups, (in each day there was a microwaveable soup and a stovetop cook only soup) and it doesn’t matter which order you eat them in the day, so the ones that needed to be cooked on the stovetop, I ate when I was home or if I worked out in the am, I would eat the stovetop soup like thee Minestrone, for that day at lunch because it was more filling. I also thought the Crisp dessert bar for dinner dessert was delicious!
Day 2 was a little tougher. I felt like my body was getting used to the Prolon plan and I wasn’t craving sugar or desserts, however, I was a little hungrier during the day! I really made sure to drink all the recommended water with added mixed amount of “L-Drink” plus regular water and I liked having the teas to sip on. I had to stay up very late that night which didn’t help. I think it would have been easier to get to bed early or on time! I could definitely feel the calorie drop from the first day 1100 to 800.
Day 3 was much more brutal for me. I was tired from staying up too late and hungrier than day 2. I am a work out junkie and even skipped working out. (It is recommended that you don’t exert yourself during your five days, but I figured I was already used to working out and wanted to stick with my routine. I used my judgment and was ready to quit the workout if I was light-headed or felt sick or couldn’t do it, so I decided I better not go on day 3)
I stuck with the Prolon plan, followed the menu guide, and didn’t exert myself too much on day 3. I felt pretty satisfied after the soups, however, I was ready for an earlier than normal bedtime cause I was hungry! I was kinda hungry during the day, so I tried to keep busy around the house and worked on the computer. I knew Day 3 is where your cells start to regenerate so I really wanted to hang in there!
Day 4 was so much easier than Day 3. I woke up not feeling not too hungry, however, having my 1 cup of coffee (I like an occasional cup of Four Sigmatic Adaptogen Coffee Mix) with the collagen and MCT oil and it really took the edge off. I went to the gym and did an hour of low impact cardio and did well! I think a key maybe that I was already used to fasting 16 hours and doing morning work out. I was a little constipated, so my plan was to make sure I drank all the L-Drink mix, plus 32 more ounces of water, and take 400mg of Magnesium Citrate that night before bed.
I really looked forward to having the Minestrone soup that evening for dinner, however, we were going to a social event at a brewery, yikes! I ate my soup and kale crackers on the way in the car, so I would be “full.” I was hoping I would have the will power to say no thanks to the hot steaming pretzels, sub sandwiches, chips, and queso dip. Luckily, I was able to resist all the carbs and I don’t drink beer, so that helped. I saved the Prolon Crisp dessert bar for on our way home, which felt like such a treat! So I made it thru day 4!
Day 5 was so exciting because the finish line was here! I had already lost 4 pounds and my previous bloated tummy felt so much better and frankly, I was proud of myself! I made it through day 5 until dinner time and since it was Friday night, I saved my last packet of Prolon soup for another day and ate a light dinner with my family.
It is suggested to stick with soups and light foods for Day 6, however, I don’t eat pasta, rice or potatoes so I went back to sauteed veggies and pasture-raised, non-GMO chicken. Most non-Prolon days, I really try to embrace 2 veggie-filled meals plus healthy protein, with a small snack of maybe olives or nuts.