9 Life-Changing Takeaways After Completing the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
If you’re reading this, you have completed or are considering doing the ProLon 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’re just starting to research ProLon FMD, you may want to check out the following resources:
READ: my original blog on the subject, “Diary of a Girl Who Ate While Fasting”, where you can find detailed information on fasting in general, details about ProLon, and a detailed description and review of my own experience with it.
CHECK OUT: the ProLon FMD Website
WATCH: the Video of Dr. Mark Hyman interviewing Dr. Valter Longo, the developer of ProLon FMD and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California
VIEW: my story highlights on Instagram, where I give you the play-by-play and show you exactly what you eat each day (@newtritionny)
WHAT IS PROLON FMD?
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.
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 - check out my Instagram Story Highlights to see exactly what’s in each box), 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 also skeptical when I stumbled upon this diet… until I did some research… which wasn’t nearly as much as it took to come up with ProLon, which took 20 years and $36 million of research. It was developed 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.
Bottom line? This is the real deal!
9 LIFE-CHANGING TAKEAWAYS
In addition the weight loss and tremendous health benefits, ProLon FMD is a great detox or a terrific jump start or reset to a healthy lifestyle. While on this program, you will have a great opportunity to replace your bad habits with good ones if you so choose. The key is to incorporate them into your lifestyle going forward and continue practicing them after you finish the fast.
Every time I personally do another round of ProLon (as of writing this blog, I’m finishing up my fifth), it reminds me of the following:
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 completed one or more rounds of ProLon FMD, I’d love to hear some of YOUR takeaways. Chime in in the comments below. I’d love to incorporate your learnings into this article.