Diary of a Girl Who Ate While Fasting
When I began writing this story, it was going to focus on Intermittent Fasting (IF), or cycling between a period of fasting (usually 16 hours or more) and eating. I am very familiar with IF and have been practicing it since way before it was assigned a fancy name and before I knew anything about nutrition. I used to refer to it as my “coffee diet.” It essentially involved drinking watered down coffee until dinner and then eating whatever I wanted. It was always incredibly effective for losing weight and I loved how clear-headed it made me feel before I ate. I felt vindicated when it became a “thing” recently, especially since all my nutritionist friends had been trying to convince me for years that it was going to make me fat and sick, exactly the opposite of what science is now discovering.
Being a research nerd (once an analyst always an analyst), I couldn’t just write about my own experience. I had to validate it with empirical data and science! However, as I delved deeper into the research, I went down a “rabbit hole” and discovered that prolonged fasting (a.k.a. water fasting) promised seemingly miraculous health benefits that seemed to lead to nothing-short-of the fountain of youth and longevity.
I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. This is all great. I want to look and feel younger, potentially prevent disease, and definitely drop of few pounds, but fasting sucks! And who has that kind of willpower? I’m not Ghandi! I could maybe last 24 hours, but 3-5 days? No way!
But then I accidentally stumbled upon something called a “Fasting Mimicking Diet” (FMD), which involves consuming small amounts of carefully selected and portioned food for five days to trick the body into thinking it’s fasting while you are still eating. This was said to result in weight loss and have a regenerative effect on the cells that can lead to a longer, healthier life.
What kind of magic was this? It seemed too good to be true so I was skeptical. But also fascinated, and I became even more so as I began to understand the science behind this diet. I was so intrigued, in fact, that I decided to try it for myself. My experience, of course, changed the trajectory of this entire post.
DISCLAIMER: Before you continue, I want to stress that I’m not a doctor (and I don’t even play one on TV). This page is for informative purposes only and FASTING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE and can be dangerous to your health. Please consult your physician before commencing any new diet plan or fasting program.
Ok, now that I got that over with, continue at your own risk. To navigate, you can click on the category topics below, or scroll down at your pace and read the entire thing.
For decades scientists have known that restricting calories can have beneficial effects. Many studies have found that organisms from single-celled yeasts to rodents age more slowly and live longer when their calorie intake falls to 40% of that consumed by a group eating normally.
Today, fasting has become all the rage. There’s the 5:2 diet, where you fast for two days a week and eat normally the others; the 16:8, where you eat within an 8 hour window, and fast for 16; the alternate day fasting; and now, thanks to ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet, you can even fast while eating!
👉 So why all the hype?
Fasting isn’t just for weight loss (although that is a nice bonus). It has been shown to increase mental clarity, improve memory and mood, ward off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, produce a host of anti-aging benefits (e.g., rejuvenate skin, delay aging, and extend longevity), reduce inflammation, control blood sugar, improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and, of course, aid in weight loss. But one of the most remarkable benefits of fasting is that it may even aid in cancer prevention and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing its side effects. And it also stimulates autophagy.
👉 Auto what??? Yep, autophagy!
It literally means “to eat oneself” and refers to the body’s mechanism of breaking down and clearing damaged cell parts. This can help heal the body and prevent disease. It contributes to cellular development and differentiation, suppresses tumors, and supports immunity. Autophagy improves your cells and, therefore, your lifespan. Defective autophagy is linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, and aging.
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!
👉 But why fasting? Wouldn’t just eating a few less almonds have the same effect?
Not so much.
Apparently, every time you eat, glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen, which takes about 10-12 hours to be depleted. After all the glycogen is gone, your body starts burning fat, which is converted to ketone bodies, acidic chemicals used by neurons as energy. Ketones promote positive changes in the structure of synapses important for learning, memory, and overall brain health. And if your day consists of three meals and some snacks in between, your body will never have the chance to deplete glycogen stores and, therefore, will not produce those magic ketones.
But wait… there’s more! Not only does fasting help you get leaner, look younger, and feel healthier, it can make you happier and smarter, too! When your brain is challenged by physical exertion, cognitive tasks, or caloric restriction, the body produces a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF has an anti-depressive effect and plays an important role in strengthening neural connections, increasing neuroplasticity in the brain, and forming new synapses crucial to learning and memory, as well as mood and motivation.
Prolon fasting mimicking diet (FMD)
When I stumbled upon the ProLon FMD (which I later nicknamed the “Freaking Magic Diet” among my clients and friends), I was skeptical and continued to research just waiting to find out it was some kind of marketing bunk. However, what I discovered was that it wasn’t developed by some sketchy company in China, but 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.”
If his credentials aren’t impressive enough for you, perhaps you’ll be wowed by Dr, Longo’s benevolence. He donates 100% of his share of the profits in L-Nutra, the company that makes ProLon, to the Create Cures Foundation, which “helps fund research to treat serious diseases and prevent illness and promote longer, healthier lives.”
ProLon FMD received a lot of media attention when it was introduced a few years ago. A study that was published in Cell Metabolism found that cutting daily calories in half for just four days every two weeks reduced biomarkers for aging, diabetes, heart disease and cancer with no adverse effects. FMD was tested on yeast, mice, and humans delivering consistent results across all three groups. In fact, it has been recognized as a food program so powerful that it holds the first U.S. patent for the reversal of aging!
👉 So enough of the nerdy stuff, what the hell is it?
Well, the Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet 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 shown to put your body into a fasting state, which will trigger weight loss, as well as all the health benefits of water fasting. 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!
If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll love listening to Dr. Mark Hyman, an 11-time New York Times bestselling author, family physician and international leader in the field of Functional Medicine, interview Dr. Longo, the developer of Prolon FMD and the internationally recognized leader in the field of aging studies and related diseases.
This is a fascinating discussion (you can listen to it in your car or while you’re at the gym) that will answer all the questions you ever had about fasting, ProLon FMD, and Dr. Longo’s work.
👉 How often should you do it?
A clinical study concluded that completing three rounds of the ProLon FMD (without straying) 25 days apart achieved 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 (Plus you can save $150 if you buy three at a time! Click HERE to find out how!).
After the first three rounds, you can choose to do it 3-4 times a year if you are healthy and your goal is to maintain your health and weight. By contrast, a physician may recommend 6-12 ProLon cycles a year for individuals with high levels of multiple biomarkers for aging, cholesterol, IGF-1, CRP, blood pressure, abdominal fat, etc (for very high risk individuals, it may be given as often as every 15 days).
Personally, I thought I would do it about four times a year after my initial three rounds but, in all honesty, I felt so great on it and my skin looked so fantastic after I finished every round that realistically I will probably do the program every 4-8 weeks. The one thing I know for certain is that this is going to be a regular part of my life for a long time to come!
👉 What are the benefits?
ProLon FMD tricks the body into thinking that it’s in a fasted state and therefore delivers all the benefits of a 5-day water fast, but without the risks and discomfort of hunger. In addition, you can expect to:
Regenerate your cells. ProLon triggers a “natural multi-system regeneration,” which includes a variety of benefits from anti-aging and more.
Lose weight quickly. No surprise here. You are on a restricted calorie diet for 5 days, so you can expect to lose between 4 and 10 pounds by the end of the program.
Convenience. What could be more convenient than knowing and having on hand exactly what you’re going to eat for 5 days? Each meal comes in its own “grab-and-go” box, making it simple to follow and even easier to access.
Eat all natural food. The ingredients and foods in this program are completely natural and plant-based, comprised of ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies.
Can anyone do it?
Are sensitive or allergic to soy, nuts, celery, sesame, or oats
Have different dietary needs that are mismatched with the ProLon meal diet
Suffer from any medical condition or illness
Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18
The program also includes a 15-minute phone consultation with a nutritionist. I recommend you take advantage of it to make sure that you are a good candidate for the program and answer any questions I may not have covered in here. Additionally, it’s in your best interest to speak with your doctor before starting anything!
How much does it cost?
ProLon is available for purchase on the official website, where there are three different purchase options:
3 or more boxes for $225 each - meant for those who are committed to doing the three rounds of the program (roughly) 25 days apart to maximize weight loss and health benefits. All three boxes are sent to you at once. (with my coupon code, it will cost you about $200 per box)
Ongoing subscription at $225 per box - automatic shipments that you receive as often as you choose. You are charged $225 when the box is shipped and you can cancel at any time.
All shipments on the official Prolon website comes with FREE SHIPPING. Click HERE to get a coupon code that can save you up to $150!
My EXPERIENCE ON the 5-Day Prolon FMD
Round 1 Day-By-day account
T Minus Fourteen (or so)
It arrives!!! I impatiently tear open the external packaging to find a sleek, white, glossy, boot box-sized case with a magnetic closure inside. The entire box isn’t much bigger than most of my nightly food deliveries not so long ago and my first thought is “How the hell can there be five days worth of food in that thing"?
Inside I find five smaller boxes, neatly organized and numbered one through five. Somehow I am supposed to believe that each of these little containers holds enough food for an entire day! A curious peek inside one of the bins reveals that it’s teeming with various multi-sized packages and looks like something an astronaut would be taking on his mission.
T Minus One … Maybe?
It’s the 1st of January and should be the perfect day to start the program, but I haven’t read the directions, not feeling mentally prepared, and frankly, just want to veg out on the couch with the family on New Year’s day watching TV and eating Vietnamese food.
I will spend the next week trying to carve out five days without any events, social commitments, or travel. Ironically, this will prove to be the most challenging part of the entire fast. After, what turns out to be entirely too much deliberation, I finally decide on a late January Monday and schedule the five days in my calendar so that I won’t accidentally book something that might tempt or entice me to stray from the program.
It’s official. I’m really doing it.
T Minus One… For Real This Time!
Can’t say that I am super excited or motivated to start this fast. I think the correct verb is “dreading.”
Five days of little food… and no food that I actually want to eat doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. However, I bought the damn thing, so I am going to do it. And I have to do it now, because there isn’t another week sans events for two more months… and next week, I have a big, fancy, black tie event in LA, which means that dropping a few pounds before squeezing myself into my curve-hugging gown is definitely a motivator.
After procrastinating all day, I finally pop open the ProLon box around 8:30pm to see what is in store for me over the next five days. The box is very well organized and the directions are far simpler and easier to understand than I had imagined. It takes me no more than 5-10 minutes to read through everything, unpack the first day’s food (which conveniently comes in its own little bin and marked with a “1” to avoid confusion) and organize it by meal (specifically what I’m supposed to eat for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner) on the counter so it’s ready to go when I get up in the morning. My first thought is actually surprise at how much food fit into that little white container, and then relief that it’s not going to be that bad and that I won’t actually starve to death.
I am officially prepped and ready to start the FMD.
The first day is a piece of cake (clearly, no pun intended). There is a lot of food and I never feel hungry or lacking in any respect. I reluctantly step on the scale to get a baseline (I don’t like to weigh myself very often, as it plays a role in my history of disordered eating) and immediately realize that I have clearly been a little too festive over the holidays. Suddenly the idea of a 5-day restricted calorie diet seems a lot more appealing.
The ProLon plan says you can have one coffee or caffeinated tea a day “if necessary,” so I deem it necessary and fill my 20 ounce travel cup with one huge, watered down cup of coffee. Then I fill my glass water bottle with filtered water from my Royal Berkey, take the provided supplements, and head to the gym. The official word is that you’re not supposed to exercise while on ProLon, but I’m a rebel without a cause. Literally. Plus, I can’t just sit around and think about food all day. I need to move my body.
I complete my regular leg day workout and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s the morning of the first day and I have plenty of energy.
It helps that intermittent fasting is a big part of my life, so I try to hold out for as long as possible. My watered down coffee and then multiple cups of the hibiscus tea that is included in my first day box help. I find that sipping hot beverages (whatever they are) makes you feel full and is very effective at controlling hunger and cravings. I don’t touch my breakfast L-Bar before 2 pm. It’s delicious. And not because I’m hungry. It’s for real seriously good. Sweet, nutty, and decadent, it’s a real treat for someone like me who rarely ever has a snack or any kind of bar. (Note - although ProLon breaks the food down into recognizable meals, there is no requirement that you eat at certain times, in any certain order, or in any amount, as long as you only eat what is in that day’s box, i.e., no carrying food over to the next day!)
My day flies and it is suddenly 5pm. I rip open the second bar and inhale it, knowing that I still have most of my food left.
I make dinner for my family and realize that I’m not accustomed to preparing food without grabbing or tasting something. I’m sure I waste many of my daily calories on this mindless activity.
I heat up the Minestrone Soup, lay out my olives and Kale Crackers, and slowly peck away at them while my husband and daughter feast on divinely smelling braised duck and roasted cabbage.
I finish my soup and consider heating up the Tomato Soup I never ate for lunch, but I am feeling super full, and still have my Coco Crisp Bar, which truly turns out to be the highlight of my day! You’ll see what I mean.
Shortly after dinner, my tummy starts to feel bloated, and gassy. It feels like the minestrone soup has expanded in my stomach like a hot air balloon. This uncomfortable feeling continues throughout the evening.
I drink more hibiscus tea and start to feel tired a little earlier than usual. I get to bed around 9:15 and sleep more soundly than normal for some reason.
Bring on Day 2!
down 1.2 POUNDS
My mornings are regular, with an emphasis on regular. Every morning. But not this morning. Hopefully, my watered down coffee will help.
I step on the scale and realize that I’m down 1.2 pounds. I know better than to get excited about the number on the scale, but the cheering section inside my head doesn’t.
I look inside bin #2. There is noticeably less food today. The second L-Bar is gone as are the kale crackers. There is something called an L-Drink, which you are supposed to portion by your weight. It’s a bottle of concentrated liquid that you are to dilute with water in the large water bottle provided with the FMD. The mixture is to be sipped on throughout the day. I soak one of the hibiscus teabags inside for extra flavor. It’s tastes mildly fruity.
The coffee does not help. I head to the gym a little more bloated than normal and complete a lighter version of my usual chest and back day, and ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes.
The day goes quickly, but there is a marked difference without the second L-Bar and especially the Kale Crackers which, even in tiny little crumbles, really help hold you over. I can’t say I am ever legitimately hungry throughout the day, just “mouth-hungry” (craving taste more than nourishment). The L-Drink and hot beverages, however, help get me through without much difficulty.
The most challenging part of the day is when I have to go to Whole Foods. Everything looks delicious, even the stuff I would never think of buying. The smells are intoxicating and definitely more pungent than usual. The apples look extra delicious and I salivate a little as I pass the cheeses. I decide that it would not be a good idea to to put my mouth under the opening of the bin full of chocolate-covered almonds and pull the lever in the bulk section and immediately head to the cash register before doing something ridiculous (like stealing a macadamia nut). There should definitely be a warning in the ProLon literature against grocery shopping while on the program and I plan to contact customer service as soon as I get home.
I don’t contact customer service and still can’t go #2.
To sum up my experience with the food for the day, both soups are enjoyable, especially after I spice them up with a little salt and cayenne pepper. The olives are delicious, perhaps only since I am hungry because I don’t really like olives. It gets even better when I unwrap my amazing coco crisp bar and essentially make out with it for half an hour.
By 8:15 pm, I hit some kind of invisible wall and start feeling super sleepy. I put my daughter to bed and crash almost immediately.
Kinda dreading Day 3.
down 1/2 Pound (1.7 Total)
I’m not gonna lie. Day 3 sucks! There seems to be substantially less food and I am feeling it. The good news is that I slept like a rock and had crazy vivid dreams, both of which are highly unusual for me.
Although I feel more focused than usual, my thoughts are constantly turning to food and interfering with my clear thinking, as are the constant trips to the bathroom from the sheer volume of water and tea that I am consuming. It is exhausting.
The worst part of the day? They took away my lover. My coco crisp bar is gone. Waaaaaaa!!!!
The coffee still hasn’t helped. I head to the gym feeling heavier than I should given that I have “fasted” for two full days. My energy is down and I’m feeling a little weak when I try to lift, so I just walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
I don’t feel great. I have a light headache and a nagging ache in my left kidney. This is likely the result of my body detoxing. I swallow two Activated Charcoal capsules and start to feel a little better after a while.
In other news, I’m literally obsessing about food all afternoon. This never happens. It makes it hard to concentrate. I’m just happy I have my five crackers, which I eat in tiny crumbles throughout the day.
After dinner, I lament the lack of my chocolaty dessert and turn in feeling gassy and bloated, which seems to be the norm after the dinner soup, which is apparently designed to sit in your stomach like a brick.
down 0 pounds (1.7 Total)
Seriously? I lost no weight after having 700 calories yesterday? Again, I stress that I try not to live and die by the scale (mostly because I don’t weigh myself every day and I can see how this can become an obsessive and unhealthy daily habit) but admittedly, the cheering section in my head is now booing and I am ready to throw bins #4 and #5 off into the Hudson.
The good news is that I slept through the night again last night (that’s two in a row!) and had graphic and memorable dreams again, which is a sign that there was more REM sleep. The thing that immediately turns my day around is that I spy my coco crisp bar in bin #4. It’s baaack! Woohoooo!
I decide to skip the gym today and instead go on an obsessive compulsive cleaning rampage between clients. Something is definitely misfiring in my brain as a result of this program. I don’t remember the last time I had an overwhelming urge to clean and organize. Amazing!
Put on a pair of jeans and they feel loose. The day just got better. I mentally give my scale the finger and go to Whole Foods to get food for dinner. Frankly, I am dreading the trip because I remember how I felt when I was there two days ago but, surprisingly, it feels completely different. I must have turned the corner today. I am not hungry and not even tempted by anything in the store. I pick up some Magnesium Citrate, which helps with constipation and won’t interfere with the fast, and swallow it down before I leave the store. Something’s got to give!
I get home and make dinner for the troops. I don’t think about the food I’m preparing and am not tempted in the least. It takes me about 45 minutes to eat my soup. I lick the spoon. My husband’s quizzical look turns into a sneer. I roll my eyes. He does not understand. Like he’s ever been hungry. Just wait until he sees me making love to Coco. We’re on a first name basis now.
The Magnesium Citrate works! I go to bed blissfully happy and ready to face my last day.
down 1.8 pounds (3.5 Total)
Holy productivity! I leap out of bed 45 minutes before my alarm goes off and start working. I feel amazing. Food is the farthest thing from my mind. I am 3.6 pounds down from Day 1 and suspect that my scale and I will develop an even better relationship tomorrow.
I look in the mirror and my tummy and thighs are noticeably leaner. I feel slim. And energetic. And euphoric. And super clear. And I want to go running. Who am I?
I make my daughter avocado toast for breakfast and I’m not even tempted to lick her plate when she’s done. (Don’t think I’m kidding! I seriously considered it every day this week.) I look at her leftover eggs with disdain and scrape them into the trash without a second thought.
I’m talking unusually fast, as if I’ve had 7 cups of coffee. In reality, I’m still sipping on my one watered down cup and it’s 11am. I am also in a remarkably good mood. Did I mention that I want to go running?
There are a couple of times during the course of the day when I get up too quickly and feel a little light-headed. Maybe going running is not a great idea.
I get three days worth of work done in one day. I am a machine. I think I could do this fast for the rest of my life. Part of me never wants to eat again. I feel seriously amazing.
The tomato soup may be the best thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s freezing outside and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I eat it by dipping my spoon in and licking it. It takes an hour to finish the bowl. I’m full. Yet I am light and airy. And happy. Crazy happy. Like drug-induced happy. I would like to understand the science behind this euphoria. It is freaking amazing!
I run up the stairs and realize that I have no knee pain. I tore my meniscus in my left knee six years ago during a rainy, three-day trek to Machu Picchu. My orthopedist said it would cause me pain until I had surgery. I refused and have successfully managed pain with an anti-inflammatory diet and supplementation. The pain is minimal, but I don’t remember the last time I was able to walk up the stairs and feel none. Today, I did. If that is not an indication that inflammation is down, I don’t know what is.
I’m pretty sure that my husband thinks I’ve lost my mind. I am literally jumping around him like a crazy person. I’m like a little kid with boundless energy.
I have my last soup and crackers for dinner and feel completely satiated. I don’t even miss Coco. Au revoir mon cheri.
Until Round 2!
down 1 pound (4.5 Total)
I sleep like a baby, and for me that is truly a miracle. I don’t remember the last time I was able to sleep more than three hours without tossing, turning, or waking. I hop out of bed at 7 am on a Saturday (also a miracle) with purpose and run to my laptop to continue writing this post. I may have gone into mild ketosis earlier in the week, but today it is undeniable. I don’t even need the keto strips. I can taste it in my mouth.
I skip over to my BFF, the scale. She tells me that I am a total of 4.5 pounds down from just five days ago. I know I should’t get too excited about this number, as some of this weight loss is unsustainable and will return as I make my way back to real food.
The euphoria and over-caffeinated-like speed talking continue all day. I have no desire to eat and, frankly, I don’t even know what I should be eating. I bought a box of Fast Bars, another L-Nutra product, and ate the crumbles of one throughout the early afternoon. I sure hope that my sloth-like eating continues when I transition to real food. The Tomato Soup that was left over from Day 1 comes in handy for lunch. Looks like I’m still fasting on Day 6.
For dinner, I have a couple of pieces of sushi and sparkling water. I am full. This is incredible. Can’t wait to see my BFF tomorrow morning. I’m talking about the scale!
Round 2 Summary
Down a total of 5.2 pounds (8.2 pounds since commencing the 1st round)
A clinical study concluded that consuming the FMD for 5 consecutive days per month for 3 months achieved 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. That is why it is recommended that the first three rounds of ProLon are completed 25 days apart.
I lost a total of 5.2 pounds during and shortly following Round 1 and had an amazing overall experience. It wasn’t difficult for me to agree to do rounds 2 and 3. In fact, I even finagled my husband into doing it with me.
Round 2 starts for me exactly 23 days after the end of my first round. I gained 2.3 pounds back when I returned to normal eating, but was still 3 pounds down from where I started.
Unlike the first time, there is no trepidation and no dread. I am genuinely excited to start the program the second time around. I love its structure and simplicity, and feel excited to experience the same results, especially the Day 5 and 6 energy, productivity, mental clarity, and light-speed brain function, which makes me feel like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, and of course, the crazy euphoria. I was so excited about it that even my skeptical husband got on the ProLon train and agreed to do it with me. This definitely made it easier, as we were both on the same page.
All in all, the experience is very similar to Round 1. Day 1 is super filling and I end up leaving the Tomato Soup again, just like the first time. Day 2 is a little harder, and Day 3 is the toughest day of the fast for me, as expected.
I sleep soundly, feel really great on days 4, 5 and 6, and don’t experience any detox symptoms or discomfort at all, outside of being super “snacky” on Day 3.
I’m down a total of 4.4 pounds by Day 6 and feel great, although the euphoria is not quite as intense as it was the first time around. I don’t know if it ever will be again and hope I don’t go crazy chasing my version of the dragon.
My husband drops 6 pounds during his first round. He doesn’t have the same energy that I did on Days 5 and 6, but nevertheless has a great experience on the FMD and commits to do his second round when I do my third in a month.
Round 3 Summary
Down a total of 4.5 pounds (9.8 pounds since commencing the 1st round)
My husband and I commence our subsequent round exactly 24 days after finishing our last. It is his second and my third. I’m a pro at this point and the third round is the easiest of all. Everything goes exactly as it did in rounds 1 and 2. I know what to expect and act accordingly. I have my Activated Charcoal and Magnesium Citrate on hand and they help immensely, especially since I battle a nagging headache on my second day of the fast.
The only difference in my third round is that little headache on day two, but other than this little annoyance, this program is a breeze this time. Even the third day, which has historically been my toughest, is completely painless. It seems the more you do it, the more accustomed to it you become both mentally and physically.
I begin this round 5.3 pounds down from the beginning of my first round and drop a total of 4.5 pounds by the morning of Day 6. My husband loses a whopping 8 pounds, which is crazy because he’s already fairly lean. We exchange notes and agree that we both feel amazingly clear headed, productive (I’m writing this at 7:45am on a Sunday), happy, and pain-free (from past injuries). He’s not quite as energetic as I am this morning and is definitely more excited to start eating normal food, whereas I could easily continue for another week.
You may think I’m crazy, but I can’t wait to do it again. I have a big birthday coming up next week and there will likely be drinking and cake. There is a good chance that it will throw me off track for a bit. However, what’s so great about ProLon is that it’s an amazing reset. Because it is a highly structured program and due to its incredible health benefits (and cost), you aren’t likely to cheat. I’ve never been into detox cleanses, but this one is the queen of them all. Not only does ProLon cleanse your body in five days, but it provides incredible (some noticeable, some not), science-backed physiological and mental health benefits which you could never get from any cleanse (pssst: most cleanses don’t do anything). For me, it has been life-changing and I plan to incorporate this program into my life on a long term basis. I may repeat it when my husband does his third round in 25 days depending on how I feel (and how far I fall off track in the next week). After that, I’m going to do it every 8 weeks. Given that there is a history of cancer and autoimmune in my family, I can use all the cell rejuvenation I can get.
I’ve already signed up for a subscription that automatically ships a box at your selected interval. You can choose intervals anywhere between monthly and bi-annual shipments, depending on your own goals. Your credit card does not get charged until each box is shipped and you get a $25 discount per box when you subscribe. Moreover, I can give you an additional $25 OFF coupon code if you click here, which will bring you to a total of $50 OFF EACH BOX!
9 LIFE CHANGING Takeaways
In addition the weight loss and tremendous health benefits, ProLon FMD is a great way to kick off (or reset) your healthy lifestyle. While on this program, you will have the opportunity to replace your bad habits with great ones. The key is to incorporate them into your lifestyle and continue with them over and over once you finish the fast. Here are the nine life-changing take-aways and reminders that I’m being more mindful about as a result of having been on the FMD:
Hunger is good. Our first-world lifestyle has conditioned us to seek out food the nanosecond we think we are hungry (and I stress the word “think” because most of the time, it’s not even real hunger - see my first point above) that we can’t experience even momentary discomfort and act as if we don’t gobble down a snack immediately, we’re going to starve to death. We aren’t. Most of us have plenty of fat reserves to hold us over for weeks! The irony is that hunger is good. Your body has to burn all the available energy from the food you eat before it burns any body fat, so if fat loss is your goal, you’ll have to learn to experience and manage a little hunger. And this FMD is a great reminder and teacher of how.
Recognize the difference between real hunger and mouth hunger - we get hungry for a variety of reasons, and some of them aren’t legitimate reasons to eat. There is real “stomach” hunger (as in when your body truly needs nourishment), there is mouth hunger (when you want the taste of something in your mouth), there is also time hunger (when you are used to eating at a certain time), stress and emotional hunger, and then boredom eating. During this program you will definitely understand the difference. You will notice that, over time, your body will become accustomed to restricted calorie eating before your mind does. In other words, although you will not be stomach hungry, you will notice that you are craving the taste or texture of something that you normally eat. It is a great lesson in mindfulness that you will hopefully take out of this regimen and apply to your life going forward.
Plan your meals. You know the old adage, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It’s 100% true. When you don’t plan your meals, you end up eating way less healthy and more than you should. Planning and portioning in advance takes the guesswork out of it. Oh, and by the way, helping and teaching how to plan is one of the things I cover with my clients in my NEWYOU program.
Eat slowly and savor. It is amazing how most of us shove food down our throats while watching TV, playing on our phones, talking to other people, or just generally being busy and not paying attention. Our food fails to be satiating because we haven’t even noticed that we ate. And since there’s always more where that came from, we can always have seconds, thirds, and beyond. And since we are eating so quickly and not paying attention, it takes much longer for our brain to signal us to stop. Eating slowly and mindfully gives your body more time to recognize when it’s full. It takes about twenty minutes from the start of a meal for the brain to send out signals of satiety. Most of our meals don’t even last that long. Eating slowly means better digestion, more satiety with your food, and smaller portions, which makes it easier to lose or maintain your weight.
Food is fuel. And this is coming from someone who looooooves food! Look, food tastes great and I love eating just as much as the next guy. However, you can’t eat ice-cream all day long and expect to have a svelte physique and a healthy life. That goes for any foods in whatever combination that you know are not good for you. Healthy food can taste delicious too, but you have to allow yourself to develop a taste for it. Remember that food is supposed to nourish, sustain and energize your body, not just consist of empty calories that taste good because they are full of trans fats and/or sugar. I’m not saying that you can never have ice-cream or (insert your own vice here) again. You can treat yourself every so often, but it can’t become a regular thing.
Don’t eat late at night. Eating late at night is not necessarily bad for weight loss (weight loss is more dependent of the total number of calories in and out rather than time of consumption), but it is bad for digestion. It can alter hormone function, cause heartburn and reflux (which can eventually lead to esophageal cancer), and impair sleep. Moreover, eating out of sync with our circadian rhythm (i.e., our biological clock which regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle and affects many metabolic processes in the body) can impact the way the body metabolizes lipids. This can lead to increased levels of both triglycerides and cholesterol.
Drink more water. I don’t know about you, but I am notorious at forgetting to drink enough water. I get busy and just, well… forget. This program really reminds you how much of a difference it makes. Yes, the constant trips to the bathroom are exhausting, but my skin looks more hydrated and I feel more energetic when I do drink. I downloaded an app called Daily Water (there’s a free version too) and it reminds me whenever I have to drink. I find that I fare far better that way.
Self-discipline. This program is scientifically proven to be incredibly beneficial for your body, but it can also be beneficial for your mind. “Self-discipline is not an innate characteristic; it is a learned skill,” according to Dr. Amy Morin, PhD and author of the Forbes article called “6 Ways To Develop The Self-Discipline Necessary To Reach Your Goals,” and “the only way to improve is through intentional and dedicated practice.” Like any other skill, the more you practice, the better at it you get. As such, this 5-day program is not only a fantastic way to kick off your health journey, but it is your opportunity to practice self-discipline for five days, which will make it that much easier thereafter. Self-discipline is the most important criterion in achieving any goal you set forth and having a happy life, so make it a priority to practice this important life skill as often as possible.
Appreciate what you have. Do you ever stop to think how lucky you are that you have a refrigerator full of food? Or that you are a short drive away from any cuisine on earth? Or that your local grocery store is brimming with every kind of food and food product under the sun? Or that your phone is packed with apps that can be used to get any type of food from any restaurant delivered to your door in minutes? No? Me neither. This abundance is the norm for most of us and we simply take it for granted. It’s amazing how this too changes the minute you realize that you do not have access to everything you want that minute. You start to think about each morsel that passes your lips, you start to savor the little food you are given, and most importantly, you become grateful and appreciative in a way that you forget to be when you are in your everyday. This program is a great reminder of how fortunate we are and how grateful we should be. Every day!
If you are interested in very seriously tracking your progress while on the ProLon FMD program, here are some tools you might find useful:
Weight and Body Composition: I use this Omron Body Composition Monitor and Scale for weight and body composition measurements. Please note that composition measurements are not very reliable (unless you go for hydrostatic weighing , so take them tongue-in-cheek.
Blood Pressure: Omron blood pressure monitor
Blood Oxygen Sensor: Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
Body Temperature: Kinsa smart thermometer
Breath Ketones: If you’re serious about testing for ketones, there is a cool (but very expensive) device called Ketonix that checks your breath for ketones by measuring acetate.
Urinary pH: I used these inexpensive HealthyWiser urinary pH test strips
“A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan,” Cell Metabolism (original FMD paper)
“Are There Any Proven Benefits to Fasting?” Johns Hopkins Health Review
“Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications,” National Institutes of Health
“Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy” Science Translational Magazine
“Fasting condition as dietary treatment of diabetes,” (original FMD patent)