fmd

I Lost 5lbs of Fat on Prolon’s Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)

Deborah KayBy Deborah KayOctober 13, 201923 Minutes

I first heard about the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) on Kevin Rose’s podcast. He spoke about how his buddy, Mike Maser, CEO of the Zero Fasting App, was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgins Lymphoma cancer. (Ironically, the diagnosis came after he sold FitStar to Fitbit for $25M.)

Maser came across research by an Italian doctor at the University of Southern California, Dr Valter Longo, that purported that fasting could make chemotherapy more effective with less side effects.  He then began the practice of fasting for five days before chemotherapy and believes that it contributed to him being cancer free after just two of his six scheduled rounds of chemotherapy.

The 5-day fast had prepped the bad cancer cells to die, while strengthening the good cells to survive after the chemotherapy.

 

What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet?

The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) is a 5 day low calorie diet designed to mimic the effects and generate the benefits of a water-only fast.

Scientifically developed and clinically tested by Dr Valter Longo at the University of Southern California, the FMD is meant to exploit the ability of the body during periods of low calorie intake to enter a protected mode, remove damaged cells and tissues, and undergo self-repair.

Significant benefits were found in yeast and mice during clinical trials:

  • Reduce cancer incidence
  • Prevent bone mineral loss
  • Promote neurogenesis
  • Stimulate stem cell production
  • Protect against chemotoxicity
  • Regenerate beta cells in models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
  • Remyelinate neuron sheaths in models of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Reduced visceral fat stores, which are associated with chronic disease

As for humans, a small clinical trial showed reductions in biomarkers for chronic disease after three cycles of FMD:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Lower levels of C-reactive protein (inflammation marker)
  • Lower IGF-1 hormone (which fuels the mTOR pro-aging pathway)
  • Reduced visceral fat stores

 

What is Prolon

Prolon Fasting Kit

Prolon is a 5 day plant-based meal programme developed by Dr Longo. It is a plant-based 5 day meal plan providing 1,150 calories on Day 1 and approximately 800 calories on Day 2-5.

 

What is in the Prolon Box?

What is In the Prolon Box

 

The Prolon daily meal plan consists of a nut bar (for breakfast), two soups for lunch and dinner, and occasionally some kale crackers, olives and a choco bar for dessert. Peppermint and hibiscus teas, and supplement tablets are also included.

The soups for lunch can be microwaved in 2 minutes (convenient for taking to work) but the soups for dinner require stove top cooking for 15 minutes.

Now you may wonder – how is this healthy? It sounds like a lot of packaged food with granola bars and dessert. That’s what I thought initially too.

The plan is well formulated. Honey is used to sweeten the nut bars and the soups are delicious. Dr Valter Longo’s point of view is that high compliance to the diet has far more benefits than the perfectly formulated one (I agree with that!), which is why this diet is designed for compliance as much as it is for health benefits.

 

How Much Does the Prolon Diet Cost?

One box costs US$249 (includes all meals for 5 days), whereas a set of 3 costs US $225 each (use my coupon code for $20 off). Delivery is free, though shipping internationally may face customs charges.

All plans include an optional complimentary nutrition coaching session with a dietitian or nurse practitioner and there is a wonderful Facebook group called FASTINATION that you can join for support.

Additionally, Dr. Valter Longo, donates 100% of his share of profits back to funding longevity research.

 

Prolon Review

After reading Dr Long’s book, “The Longevity Diet”, I decided to try the 5 day Prolon along with two other friends during the week of 30 September 2019. At that time, Prolon did not ship directly to Singapore, so a friend carried 9 boxes back from the US!

I enjoyed the week’s fast! I thought the soups and bars were yummy and I loved the teas. I did feel cold throughout the fast but other than that, not super hungry except for Day 3.

D2/D3 I thought I was dropping more hair than usual. Also felt my sweat smelt different. Metallic on D4. Also had big bowel movements on D4 and D5 which surprised me!

I was also slightly intolerant to inulin (the plant-based fibre that is added to the soups) so I was very bloated and kept farting smelly farts on the first 3-4 days but was fine by the last day.

I don’t usually like olives but the ones in the Prolon pack were delicious.

Overall, I loved the experience and hope to continue once every quarter.

 

Prolon Results

Day 1Day 6Day 11
Weight (kg)56.755.054.7
Fat %22.1%18.1%18.3%
Fat Mass (kg)12.510.010.0
Fat Free Mass (kg)44.245.044.7
Muscle Mass (kg)41.542.242.0
Total Body Water (kg)29.629.929.7
Total Body Water %52.2%54.4%54.3%
Bone Mass (kg)2.72.82.7
BMR126612771267
Visceral Fat Rating544
BMI23.322.622.5

Overall, I lost 1.7kg in weight but 2.5 kg (5.5lbs) in fat which has stayed off even on Day 11, and am extremely happy about that!

In fact, I gained 0.7kg of muscle mass during these five days. (I was working out throughout the fast (note: this is NOT advised by Prolon). However, under my doctor / trainer’s supervision, I decided continued my regular exercise regime which included 90min of yoga daily and 2 weights sessions. I did cut out all cardio.

Visceral fat came down from 5 to 4 (as measured by the Tanita machine at Fitness First).

I also did a blood test at the end of October and saw several biomarkers improve after doing Prolon:

  • HDL increased from 65 to 89 (optimal >40)
  • LDL decreased from 137 to 115 (optimal <100)
  • Total Chol/HDL-Chol decreased from 3.4 to 2.5 (Risk indicated if >4.5)
  • Trig/HDL decreased from 1.2 to 0.9
  • Liver: GGT decreased from 34 to 22 (optimal range: 9-36)
  • Uric Acid decreased from 9.2 to 5.2 (optimal range: 2.6-6.0)

I was extremely happy with these results.

 

Prolon Tips

If you are thinking of doing Prolon as well, here are some tips and tricks that helped me survive the 5 day Prolon fast.

  1. Go into the diet in ketosis. You’ll be less hungry.
  2. Chop up the olives and throw them into the soup. I also added chilli padi (and next time will chop in some raw garlic). It gives the soups some texture and your teeth something to munch on.
  3. Freeze the Nut Bars and cut them up into cubes if you need snacks throughout the day.
  4. Skip breakfast with a 16:8 or 18:6 fast and you’ll only be slightly hungry in the mornings. I worked out from 7-11am every day so was barely hungry and ate at 12pm and 5pm.
  5. Be careful when microwaving your soups – if it spills over, you’ll have to lick it up. Do the 2 minutes in 1 minute rounds with 30 seconds rest in between
  6. Fuel up with the Nut Bar / Glycerin L-Drink before your workouts to spare lean muscle mass.
    • L-Drink (Glycerin)If you don’t need it, you’ll excrete it in your urine
    • If you need glucose, the body secretes glucagon for gluconeogenesis (when the body breaks down fat or protein for glucose). Glycerol is a natural product when fat is broken down. By giving the body extra glycerol, it spares the body from breaking down lean body mass, so the diet is muscle sparing.
    • This is a key difference between FMD and water only fasts (which tends to result in loss of lean muscle mass)
  7. Shorten your eating window. I would fast till noon and eat dinner at 5pm. This means more food in that 5 hour window
  8. Exercise in the morning. This will help you burn fat and be less hungry.
  9. Make sure you have three full weeks clear to eat clean. Dr Valter Longo recommends that the week before the diet, one should follow a healthy, low protein, preferably vegan diet with limited saturated fat and sugar. Eat two meals a day within a 12 hour window. The week after the FMD is also critical – this is known as the transition week and one needs to eat nutrient dense food to refeed your cells and regenerate your organs (which may shrink during the fast).

 

Does Prolon ship to Singapore?

Yes they do! After my Prolon experience, I bugged them to start shipping to Singapore until they agreed! Prolon now ships to Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea. They also ship to Europe (UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland).

You can order a box from their website for $249 or a set of 3 boxes for $225. Use my coupon code for $20 off, valid for orders from any country).

Bear in mind, SingPost will ask you to pay 7% GST upon delivery.

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