Last Updated on October 19, 2023
The fasting mimicking diet, often abbreviated as FMD, is a groundbreaking nutritional approach that has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential health benefits.
Over the past few years, many celebrities, like Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston, have endorsed the health and weight loss benefits of fasting.
There are many ways to fast, with the most popular plans prohibiting eating for prolonged periods each day, e.g., the 16:8 diet and eliminating food for a day or more a week.
However, the diet to hit the press recently is the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), which tricks your body into thinking it is fasting. Still, unlike regular fasting, you are allowed some food intake.
Those who promote the fast-mimicking diet say it gives you all the benefits of fasting without making you feel hungry, tired, or weak.
Sounds good, right?
Let’s find out.
Here’s a look at the fasting-mimicking diet and its pros and cons, and discover if you can do it yourself.
- 1 What is a fasting-mimicking diet?
- 2 Benefits of the fasting-mimicking diet
- 3 Side effects of a fasting-mimicking diet
- 4 How to do a fasting-mimicking diet
- 5 Fasting mimicking-diet plan for 5 days
- 6 Which is best, intermittent fasting or the fast-mimicking diet?
- 7 Lose weight with fasting
What is a fasting-mimicking diet?
The fasting-mimicking diet is a diet that was developed to be a less challenging form of the intermittent fasting 5:2 plan, as you are allowed to consume certain low-calorie foods during your fasting window.
It was first pioneered by Valter Longo, a biogerontologist at the University of Southern California and founder of the ProLon fast-mimicking diet method.
Benefits of the fasting-mimicking diet
The 5-day fasting-mimicking diet affects the body similarly to intermittent fasting, provided it is followed correctly.
The advantages of the diet include:
Side effects of a fasting-mimicking diet
Undertaking a 5-day fast-mimicking diet is generally considered safe, although due to the low-calorie intake, you may experience temporary side effects, including fatigue, hunger, dizziness, headaches, or weakness.
Should these side effects persist, you should resume eating normally and consult your doctor for guidance.
How to do a fasting-mimicking diet
The fast-mimicking diet lasts five days and is a modified form of 5:2 intermittent fasting that allows your body to enter gluconeogenesis, whereby fat turns to glucose.
The principle is that you consume 1,090 calories the first day, with macros including 56% fat, 10% protein, and 34% carbohydrates. In the remaining 4 days, the calorie intake is reduced to less than 725 calories, comprised of 44% fat, 9% protein, and 47% carbs.
Various pre-packaged FMD diet plans are now available, including the ProLon Diet by Dr. Lungo, who originally developed the fasting-mimicking diet principle, containing ready-to-consume soups, nutrient bars, supplements, tea, and a glycerol solution to help protect muscle mass while fasting.
Alternatively, you can replicate the fast-mimicking diet, but this approach hasn’t been clinically proven.
Fasting mimicking-diet plan for 5 days
If you want to try the fasting-mimicking diet DIY approach, an FMD meal plan could look like this:
Day 1 (1,090 kcal)
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh berries and walnuts
- Lunch: Warm summer salad with rice cakes
- Dinner: Tomato basil soup with celery sticks
- Drink: Water, herbal tea, black coffee.
Day 2-5 (725 kcal)
- Breakfast: Very Berry Smoothie
- Lunch: Strawberry and spinach salad with rice cakes
- Dinner: Carrot and ginger soup
- Drink: Water, herbal tea, black coffee.
Examples of fast-mimicking diet recipes
Find below the simple, low-calorie recipes mentioned in the far-mimicking diet plan:
*Oatmeal with Fresh Berries & Walnuts:
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 5 oz chopped walnuts
- ½ cup mixed berries
- 8 oz low-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- Cook the oatmeal in 1 cup of water
- Add the coconut milk.
- Top with the buts and berries.
*Warm Summer Salad Recipe:
- 6 oz chopped cucumber
- 6 oz tomatoes
- 2 oz avocado
- 3 oz spinach
- 4 oz broccoli or green beans
- 2 tsp olive oil
- fresh herbs as wished
- 2 rice cakes
- Boil green beans or broccoli until tender.
- Toss with the other cold ingredients and oil
- Serve with 2 small rice cakes.
Tomato Basil Soup (Serves 4):
- ½ tbs olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh chopped basil
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Fry onions and garlic in the oil.
- Add the tomatoes and stock, then simmer.
- Blend, then stir through the basil.
*Very Berry Smoothie:
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp zero-calorie sweetener (to taste).
Blend all ingredients, then serve.
*Carrot & Ginger Soup:
- 11 oz of carrots
- ½ oz almonds
- 1 oz onion
- 7 oz low-fat coconut milk
- 8 oz vegetable stock
- ¼ inch grated ginger
- 1 clove grated garlic, seasoning.
- Fry onion, garlic, almonds, and ginger until soft.
- Add carrots and stock, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, then serve.
*Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Rice Cakes:
- 6 oz sliced strawberries
- 5 oz spinach
- ½ oz walnuts or pecans, seasoning
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 oz rice cakes
- Toss the strawberries, nuts, and spinach with oil and seasoning.
- Serve with the rice cakes.
Which is best, intermittent fasting or the fast-mimicking diet?
When debating which kind of fasting is better, remember the difference between the two diet plans: intermittent fasting restricts eating altogether during your fasting window, whereas the fast-mimicking diet doesn’t. For this reason, the upshot is that FMD is easier to follow if you find a whole fast difficult to stick to.
But if you choose to practice intermittent fasting, Fasting Kompanion offers you a personalized plan with all the tools you need along your fasting journey.
Both IF and FMD have possible health and weight loss benefits, but it can be challenging to strike the right balance of food intake for fast-mimicking to be successful; therefore, it can be a lot slower to experience positive results.