The First Day of ProLon’s® Fasting Mimicking Diet

It’s Day 1 of my 5-day ProLon® fast and I thought I would share the experience and some of the science behind the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). As I write this, I am feeling hungry which for me means my concentration is affected as I struggle to switch from glucose to fat burning. As it is Day 1, I have had one of the delicious nut and chocolate bars supplied in my ProLon® box to keep me going. Which leads me to first tip: don’t eat everything in the daily box too soon in the day – it can get very hard!


Day 1 is a bit of a breeze with kale crackers, soups, two breakfast bars, olives and the chocolate bar but I am still feeling anxious: will I be able to cope; what if I get too hungry? So, my second tip is that I am also using mindfulness practices such as breathing and meditation which helps with my sense of entering into a different state of being as my body moves into a protected fast. The science behind the protected fast is a process called autophagy which will hopefully trigger by Day 3 and Day 4. Autophagy is the removal of damaged cells and activating stem cells to replace the old – a process of renewal. I am preparing myself mentally for tomorrow when the calories will reduce sharply, and I am quietening the voice that asks why am I putting myself through this when I love food so much and don’t like being hungry!


So, a bit of background from me: around two years ago, as I finally hit the menopause age 58, I noticed a pattern of metabolic syndrome with rising blood pressure, gaining weight around my middle and my lipid profile wasn’t looking good although my HBA1c was normal. Looking at some readings I had a discussion with the GP about HRT, hypertensive medication and statins. Family members have developed prediabetes and diabetes and have started on a range of drugs which over many years have caused side effects.


With my interest in Integrative and Preventative Medicine, I knew I wanted to try and implement lifestyle measures to get the results I need. I was fortunate enough to meet Professor Valter Longo at the Integrative and Personalised Medicine Conference. Valter was presenting the science of the fasting mimicking diet and how it had been applied in clinical trials. When I had tried to fast before without using ProLon®, I would invariably feel weak and headachy and irritable and that’s possibly because the tendency to weight gain and not having that flexibility to move between fat burning and glucose burning is part of the pattern of metabolic syndrome. If it was easy, and we weren’t fighting our genes many of us would be slim and healthy into later life! Undergoing a ProLon® fast three times last year I have been able to lose a bit of weight and have also developed metabolic flexibility which means I can stay hungry for longer. However, my lipid profile is still not optimal, so now I am embarking on a five day fasting mimicking diet monthly for the next three months to see if I can normalise my lipid profile and move into a healthy BMI which I will aim to maintain using a weekly 5-2 model.


To support my left brain and get engaged in the process fully, I’m re-reading The Longevity Diet by Professor Valter Longo. Fascinated by ageing, he started to look at how reducing calories for yeast elongated life span. But how do you translate a process in a yeast to a complex human being? Prolonged fasting in the human can weaken people, so Professor Valter Longo started to study a fasting mimicking diet in mice and got some fascinating results. He then wanted to explore how the fasting mimicking diet might help people during chemotherapy regimens along with creating a tool in the Integrative Medicine tool-box, for the epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome arising in the west with a high protein, high sugar diet. I would recommend having a look at this website Home – L-Nutra if you would like to read more about this and of course the ProLon® website: The Fasting Mimicking Diet | FMD Diet | ProLon UK


Each day I will share with you the practicalities of undergoing the FMD and some of the science. I have started on a Sunday to give my body time to acclimatise when I am not at work, and I will keep you posted!


Dr Elizabeth Thompson