Ever quit on a diet? I have. The only way diets really work is if you stay on them forever… and that’s not happening.
I mean, we’re human. No one wants to diet forever — or just, ever. We have parties to attend, vacations to enjoy, holidays to celebrate, and other special occasions (cough, weekends) where we should be free to fully participate!
Diets are long-term, slow to produce results, restrictive, expensive, and usually kill your social life. You don’t party all the time, hopefully, so you shouldn’t diet all the time either.
Fasting is a Legit Health Hack
This dissatisfaction with the current health improvement options has opened the door for a weird trend that’s taking hold of the health/nutrition world: fasting, and it needs to be addressed.
Fasting comes in many different forms, as you have probably seen. There is the 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, the FMD, and maybe you have a crazy friend that just goes days without eating.
Your friend is likely doing these extended fasts because she saw a post on Reddit saying short fasts are great for weight loss, but to permanently change her body, she has to fast for at least 3 days.
It’s true, lasting health improvements occur when your body enters the metabolic state known as ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat for energy after it has run out of sugar from the food you eat, which is the whole purpose of fat — to be stored energy.
The benefits associated with ketosis have caused it to become affectionately known as the “healing state.” Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of extended fasting.
Wow, that’s an impressive list. Who wouldn’t want all those benefits? And all you have to do is fast! Sigh.
How many of your friends fast regularly? Probably none. Because fasting is hard.
So we know that fasting essentially “hacks” your body to improve your health, but we can also agree that it sucks.
Luckily, there was a group of scientists who felt the same way, so they decided to hack fasting.
Fasting is Hard — Here’s How To Hack Fasting
That group of scientists I mentioned was led by a researcher at USC named Dr. Valter Longo, who has dedicated his career to fasting and longevity.
He began his quest to make fasting doable by asking a simple question: “Is there a way to mimic the effects of prolonged fasting without actually fasting?”
Turns out you can! And the method Dr. Longo developed to do so is fasting mimicking. It hacks fasting and makes it doable in the same way that fasting hacks your health and life.
You essentially “fast” for 5 days by eating a set number of calories containing a finely tuned ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). Voila — fasting while eating!
I was so impressed with the results after reading the original study that I decided to try it for myself. The results have changed my life forever.
I used to be classified as pre-diabetic according to my A1C (blood sugar) numbers. I have since lowered my A1C to normal as well as lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure, and, to be honest with you, I think I eat more sweets than ever (not that you should — it’s bad for you and I’m trying to stop).
Additionally, my dad and brother both used to be classified as pre-diabetic and have since used fasting to lower their numbers to normal.
I have also taught many of our friends how to begin fasting and have witnessed their lives change for the better.
We have seen people become more active by reducing inflammation, come off their blood sugar medicines, and some even reversing their diabetes.
Needless to say, ten months later I’m still fasting mimicking for 5 days every month.
Here’s how you can do it too.
How You Can Get Started with Fasting Mimicking
When you fasting mimic, you get some food — it just has to fit the calorie and macronutrient breakdown as defined by the study. This is everything you need to follow to create your own FMD (fasting mimicking diet).
- The 5-day protocol provides between 34% and 54% of normal caloric intake, depending on your normal diet.
- Day 1 provides 1,090 calories
- 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbohydrate
- Days 2–5 provide 725 calories
- 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate
It takes a bit of research the first time to build a menu of foods that fit these parameters. There are tons of ideas all over the place that show you how use foods you prefer, whether that be fresh veggies and nuts or prepackaged on-the-go foods for a fast-paced lifestyle.