While we live in a highly stressful world, the pressure to be fit and thin has not ebbed. We all want to be healthy, but at the same time how people see us physically drives us to lose all the excess poundage amidst the hassle of work and life. Hence, the plethora of diet plans, fitness centers, cosmetic clinics offering to help us shed the unwanted weight, and of course improve our total well being.
When it comes to diet strategies, a slew of techniques is available – from cutting carbs, eliminating fats, resorting to just consuming liquids for an almost entire week, spacing meals, and so forth. The most interesting and seems to be welcomed by many of those who wish to lose weight or go back after sliding is fasting for several hours or days. The one garnering so much buzz lately is the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Plan, patented in 2018.
So what is the Fasting Mimicking-Diet Plan, and what makes it different from other fasting methods?
Debunking The Myths On Fasting
In recent years, more and more people have started to see the helpful nature of fasting or at least scheduled eating. Some cultures and faith have for centuries practiced this strategy for meditative and internal healing, but recently people have discovered that fasting not only aids in managing weight but also brings amazing curative elements to the body’s internal systems. Of course, many are still apprehensive of adopting this diet strategy for the fact that it requires a considerable amount of time of refraining from consuming solid food or even liquids.
There are, of course, some risks when you don’t nourish your body with food and liquids for a very long period, especially when you suffer from certain ailments. The body can lose salient body mass and when done for a very long time, some systems may even be affected.
Fasting Mimicking Diet is not fasting per se, but it mimics the diet plan by tricking it through consumption of very small amounts of food for a specific number of days in a year – like 3 days, 5 days, or even 7 – days.
What Is The Fasting-Mimicking Diet Plan?
Fasting-Mimicking Diet plan or FMD was conceptualized by Valter Longon of the University of Southern California. Patterned after the concept of fasting or intermittent fasting, Fasting-Mimicking Diet builds on the notion that the body can lose weight, strengthen the immune system, purge harmful cells that can hurt the body and, reset the body by reducing the intake of calories for a specific number of days. When the body goes fast, it heals, rejuvenates, and burns specific fats, especially on the abdominal area.
Somewhat similar to the Keto diet, during the Fasting-Mimicking Diet only around 40% of calories are consumed, and most of them should be low on carbs and protein but ampler in fat. By eating fewer calories (and reducing specific food groups), your blood sugar levels won’t increase either.
In Fasting-Mimicking Diet, instead of doing it for a very long time, the dieter follows a 5-day plan for one month. The diet also is done intermittently, so it can be once every 6 to 8 weeks, or once every six months, depending on the condition of the dieter. However, the length may also vary, it can be a 3-day fasting-mimicking diet for those who are leaner or of normal weight or longer. Some suggest that the Fasting-Mimicking Diet is actually for those who are no longer struggling with their weight but would like to rejuvenate their health, activate autophagy, and the like. Those who also would like to reset their system after sliding from their usual diet are also said to be suitable for this 3-day fasting-mimicking Diet Plan or 5-day fasting.
A Plethora of Amazing Benefits
While weight loss is the immediate benefit of the Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan, this diet plan can do more for the body. Fasting, or reducing caloric intake has benefits such as improving the metabolic state of the body, renewing the cellular system, removing toxins and inflammatory enzymes, and so much more. So once you cut down on calories and kick the habit of having a poor diet, you get all of these benefits. And luckily, these are the changes that one can get with the Fasting Mimicking Diet plan.
Below are the benefits in detail:
1. Weight loss
This is the immediate effect of following a Fasting Mimicking Diet or other intermittent fasting techniques because of the reduction of caloric intake. Fasting also triggers the body to react by burning the fat to create energy. This then improves the metabolic rate of the body.
2. Younger looking skin
Another beneficial effect of the Fasting Mimicking Diet is its Anti-ageing ability. Damaged cells caused by several external and internal sources lead to inflammation which can also hasten the aging process. When you do the fasting Mimicking Diet, it helps slow down the effects of aging (which manifests on the skin too) by decreasing the insulin, sugar blood levels, and IGF – 1.
3. Manages blood pressure and cholesterol
Cholesterol is good, but too much of the bad variety (LDL) can lead to inflammatory effects which can cause ailments like high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Fasting-Mimicking Diet improves cellular function and reduces both bad cholesterol (LDL) and tricycle rides.
4. Renews the immune system
Following this diet helps reduce the incidence of inflammation by decreasing the inflammatory cytokines and immune cells – thus rejuvenating the body’s immune system.
5. Enhances the autophagy
Another benefit of Fasting Mimicking is by renewing the cellular function by regeneration. This means damaged cells are expunged naturally and replaced by new ones – a process called autophagy. So when the autophagy process occurs when new structures are created and old ones are removed, some of the good effects include prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, strengthens muscle performance, prevents the growth of cancerous cells, and decrease inflammation in the body.
Fasting-Mimicking Diet Cycle
Based on the diet strategy of the inventor, the caloric intake should be like this for the whole duration (a 5-day diet plan):
- 1st day: 4.5 to 7 lbs caloric intake based on body weight (example: 1090 calories – 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbs)
- 2nd to 5th day: 3 to 5 lbs of caloric intake based on body weight (example: 725 calories: 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbs)
After the 3 or 5-day Fasting Mimicking diet plan, you can go back to your regular, but healthy eating routine. It is however recommend to at least do this fasting diet every three to two months.
Tips While Doing the Fasting-Mimicking plan
Of course, following any fasting diet strategies can make the body slightly weak, and hunger pangs will surely be felt on the first day. Some helpful tips are then needed to make one last till the last day of fasting:
- Regularly drink water
- No heavy exercise, just do light workouts or plain walking
- Avoid or reduce caffeine intake
- Sleep on time
- Don’t take long hot showers
- Avoid alcohol.
- As much as possible, drive with caution.
Those who are under medication should ask their doctor first before following this diet. Pregnant women, anorexic, and those with liver and kidney ailments are discouraged from following this fitness strategy.