15 Helpful Hints To Help You Get Through 5 Days of ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
If you clicked on this blog, you are either considering or have already committed to doing the ProLon 5-day Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), the breakthrough, scientific 5-day meal program that allows you to eat while putting your body in a fasted state and reaping all the health and weight loss benefits of a water fast.
If you stumbled upon this blog while doing research on ProLon, you probably want to start with my original blog on the subject, “Diary of a Girl Who Ate While Fasting”, where you can find detailed information on:
What is ProLon FMD?
Why should it become a regular part of your healthy lifestyle?
What was my personal experience with 3 rounds of ProLon FMD?
There is also an incredibly informative video of Dr. Mark Hyman interviewing Dr. Valter Longo, the developer of the ProLon FMD and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California.
WHAT IS PROLON FMD?
Here is the highly abbreviated answer (for more information, click HERE ):
Prolon FMD is a 5-day plant-based, gluten- and dairy-free meal program that aims to boost your health with scientifically developed foods. Its proprietary blend of ingredients has been clinically tested and proven to put your body into a fasting state, which will trigger weight loss, as well as all the health benefits of water fasting but without the risks and discomfort of hunger.
These benefits include increased mental clarity, improved memory and mood, potentially warding off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, anti-aging benefits (e.g., rejuvenating skin, delaying aging, and extending longevity), reducing inflammation, controling blood sugar, improving heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But one of the most remarkable benefits of fasting is autophagy (i.e., the body’s mechanism of breaking down and clearing damaged cell parts).
Autophagy contributes to cellular development and differentiation, suppresses tumors, and supports immunity. In short, it improves your cells and, therefore, your lifespan. Defective autophagy is linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, and aging. Incredibly, clinical trials are under way that aim to show that it may even aid in cancer prevention and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing its side effects.
Best part is that not only does fasting stimulate the clearing out of our old, damaged cells, but it stimulates the production of growth hormone, which directs our body to produce new cells, resulting in a type of cellular upgrade and bodily renovation. Sounds like that Fountain of Youth we’ve all been searching for. Yes, please!
Each individual meal comes in its own box (one for each day), which contains a variety of healthy, plant-based energy bars, snacks, supplements, beverages, and soups, adding up to about 750-1100 calories per day. It’s basically meal planning and prepping for 5 days, with all the work done for you… by a group of renowned scientists who painstakingly measured each ounce and studied the effect of each micronutrient on the body for 20 years!
Trust me, I was skeptical too when I stumbled upon this diet… until I did some research. ProLon FMD was took 20 years of research led by the brilliant Dr. Valter Longo PhD, one of the foremost experts in the field of anti-aging and longevity, author of the best-selling book, The Longevity Diet, Director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute, and one of Time Magazine’s “50 Most Influential People in Health Care of 2018.” It also holds the first ever U.S. patent for the reversal of aging.
15 Helpful Hints
I know that you probably have a lot of questions, because I certainly did prior to starting my first ProLon FMD program, so after many rounds, I put together 15 helpful hints I wish I had known before I tried it the first time:
Consider intermittently fasting a week or two before starting ProLon. Once your body becomes accustomed to eating later in the day, you may find the program easier to complete. My clients who were not breakfast eaters had an easier time on ProLon than those who were.
Follow the program for five consecutive days. There is a specific combination of food provided for each day and each meal (e.g., breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). You can eat the food in any order or at any time during the course of the day. If you miss a meal during any one day, it can be made up at any time during that same day, but it cannot be carried over to any other day during the program.
Sip on hot herbal tea all day. Hot liquids curb your hunger and “snackiness.” This is a great tip for when you’re off the fast, too.
Since you are only allowed one caffeinated beverage per day, if you are a coffee drinker, make the most of it by pouring that 1 cup into a big to-go cup and adding more hot water. Yes, it tastes watery, but it lasts longer. Personally, I just needed the taste of coffee on my lips and it does the trick.
Break up the L-Bar into a few parts to snack on if you get hungry. I also leave a little piece for after dinner on the days without the Coco Crisp Bar. It definitely fills a void.
Use your 5 kale crackers sparingly. I use one with each soup (some people like to crumble them into the soup for texture, but I like the crunch so I eat them along side the soup) and use the other three for snacking throughout the day. Little bites go a long way!
Add more water than the recommended amount of water to the soups. The subtle loss of flavor is worth having a bit more volume. I added 1/4 - 1/2 cup more than suggested.
Spice it up! Some of the soups are admittedly a bit bland. However, you are allowed to add a little flavor. Try sprinkling a small amount of parsley or dill. You can also add a tiny bit of lemon or lime juice. A little salt, chili pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper are also allowed. The combination of spices I used varied depending on the soup, but it made a big difference in palatability for me. Please note that the spices mentioned are the only ones allowed on the plan. Using unapproved spices and eating anything off plan may not have much impact on your weight loss, but will compromise your health results.
Whether you are drinking tea or water, make sure you drink a TON of it. This helps not only with hunger, but with constipation, which is unfortunately, a common side effect. If drinking lots of liquids doesn’t help, have some Magnesium Citrate tablets on hand. These will help until you get back to real food.
You may experience some detox symptoms on Day 2 and/or Day 3, such as headaches, dizziness, mental haze, and even kidney pains. Another great supplement to have on hand that will help is Activated Charcoal. Taking 1-2 capsules will help absorb some of the toxins your body is getting rid of during this process. Be careful, because too much activated charcoal can cause constipation!
Go to bed at the same time every night. This is really the key to getting a good night’s rest on or off the fast. My husband and I both found that we slept much more soundly and had more frequent dreams during the last round because we were more regimented about going to bed around 9 pm. During this round, we were busy and our bedtimes varied. Although we still felt refreshed and had lots of energy when we woke up, we didn’t sleep as solidly as we had when we went to be earlier.
Do NOT cheat! ProLon is a restricted calorie program by design, so you should expect to experience some low-level hunger (obviously!). In fact, if your standard way of eating has resulted in way too many calories throughout the day, some hunger will be completely normal, but it will likely subside considerably by day 3 or 4. Rest assured that you will not starve to death because because of a little hunger. In fact, hunger is good (see the 9 Life-Changing Takeaways after the ProLon FMD). If you find that you are feeling super hungry, stay strong! Don’t break your fast and undermine your goals. Try having a slice (or 2) of fresh cucumber, celery, bell pepper, or apple. Remember, this fast is not only physical, it’s mental… kinda like a marathon, but way easier. If you eat an extra snack here and there, you’ll still lose some weight, but you will forego the incredible health benefits of this program. In order to put your body in a fasted state and experience atophagy, you have to stick to what’s in your ProLon box only for 5 consecutive days.
After five consecutive days of the program, there is a one-day transition (not included) to real food, during which you should go easy on your digestive system, consuming juices or broths at first, and having a sensible dinner that consists of a small portion of fish or meat and steamed veggies. Return to your normal diet (which is hopefully one that consists of healthy, whole foods, and if not, this is a great opportunity to institute some changes) gradually on Day 7. Your digestive system will thank you.
The most important part to remember when your ProLon box arrives is that it is not take out from your favorite restaurant. It is a scientific meal program designed to improve your health and help you shed some pounds, and THAT is why you are doing it, not the taste of the food. I’ve heard some people rave about how delicious some of the foods are, and others endlessly bitch about hating olives, or mushrooms, or something or other. How spoiled are you that you can’t handle 5 days of a little restriction? So don’t be a spoiled ninny and don’t complain about the food (which, in my opinion, is great). Set your expectations to realistic and remember that this program is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. If you can’t be disciplined for a mere five days, how can you expect to change anything anything in your life to change for the better?
If you are thinking of doing ProLon strictly with the goal of losing weight, consider the following:
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a lot of movement on the scale in the first few days. The biggest weight loss days for most people (especially those who don’t have a lot of weight to lose) are days 4 through 6.
If you are already fairly lean, don’t expect to lose a ton of weight. The average is about 4-6 lbs, but people who are heavier may experience weight loss between 7-12 lbs during the 5 days.
You will likely gain back about half of the weight you lost on the program when you begin refeeding. Focus on eating healthy, sensible, and well portioned meals to achieve your weight loss goals. Every time you do another round of ProLon, you will lose more weight, so even if you gain half of it back, it will still be cumulative weight loss over time, especially if you do the recommended 3 rounds 25 days apart, which has been shown to achieve maximum results in reducing body weight, trunk, and total body fat; lowering blood pressure; and decreasing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and insulin-like growth factor 1 without any adverse effects.