Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet How you can benefit from a Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet.

With Valentine’s Day just passing, the day of loving each other, I want to suggest we be sure and love ourselves! The month of February and onward! Be sure to build relationships, protect your sleep, be active and engage in exercise that brings you enough of a challenge without overdoing it. Find healthy ways to respond to stress and eat whole foods striaght from the Earth.

These lifestyle suggestions are foundational to support overall health and what I strive for daily. This is also what I suggest for my patients. However, there is also a thought in the literature that “hormesis” or a light stressor can also be beneficial at times (Rattan and Demirovic, 2010). One way to support your metabolic and cardiovascular health as well as promote cellular protection, regeneration and rejuvenation is by implementing periodic intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating. Another way is through implementing a Fasting Mimicking Diet. (FMD)

The FMD was designed by researcher, Victor Longo, after identifying genes that were activated by proteins and sugars shown to regulate aging. There have been multiple studies since on calorie restriction and dietary changes that aid in healthy living long-term, of which he has been studying for 25+ years.

Since fasting is not something that is often adhered to and extreme diets limit implementation of these plans, the FMD is a way to support the benefits of fasting in a more tolerated way. I have found that, because it comes as a packaged product, it makes daily meals easy to do and portable.

It’s only 5-days and has been shown to induce autophagy, cleaning up dead cells, and providing other benefits, particularly in individuals with metabolic dysfunction when done for 5-days each month, for 3 months in a row (Wei et all, 2017). For others, it is suggested that every few months, around three times annually, may be beneficial. If you are generally healthy, this is what I have found to be a good ‘cleanse’ and ‘reset’ for me. However, you should always have your personal doctor determine if this is something that you could participate in safely.

The plan consists of daily nut/chocolate bars, soups, crackers, olives, herbal teas, an electrolyte beverage, and supplements/vitamins. Each day is contained in a compact box, and I just get the box out at the start of the day to see what the day brings! Generally, I also evaluate my schedule to be certain I have a little ‘downtime’ for self-care in the 5-day window and that I will be somewhere I can make the soups.

Stocking up on flavored bubbly water can help get you through the lighter calorie days (ie. Particularly the LaCroix coconut and tangerine were helpful for me, so find your favorite!). If you don’t like this option, you will have to find herbal teas you enjoy. However, remember no additions other than a small amount of Stevia and potentially a little extra salt/pepper if needed in the soups.

Also, while you are instructed to eat what foods are assigned to each day, you can distribute the intake of those foods as you prefer during that day. I’ve found that waiting as long as I can into the day before eating makes it more tolerable as once I eat, I often felt hungrier.

The last Prolon 5-day plan I did last month I journaled a little each day:

DAY #1: I’ve done Prolon several times over the last few years and one of the first things I notice is how it helps me be more mindful about what I put in my mouth.

The amount of snacking daily is not even noticed regularly…until I can’t have something. I walk past the counter and there is a container of mixed nuts that I start to grab and then remember, “Nope, not today!”

You are still getting nutrients and vitamins as well as insuring you remain hydrated. I often find that I lose weight, however, will say that you gain some back once you start eating regularly again. Part of the weight loss is from the colon as much of what you consume is in the form of soups so easily digested and easily passes through.

DAY #2: Woke up on day two with a headache. This sometimes happens when I am starting to transition into ketosis, from not drinking enough fluids or if you are used to consuming more caffeine daily than 140mg.

After a big glass of water and drinking half my cup of black coffee before yoga that morning I was feeling better. Could’ve been any of these potential causes. I often save ½ my cup of coffee for after my morning activity and sit and sip on the remainder. If you drink coffee, a flavored coffee helps makes plain coffee more tolerable, since you can only add a small amount of Stevia (I like Macadamia nut flavor from Greenwell Farms in Kona, Hawaii 😉 ).

Each time is different, however, when I’ve checked for urine ketones in the past, there are times where I test positive on day #2 and others where it is only moderate ketones by the end of the 5 days, also insuring I am not getting dehydrated. Evaluating dehydration by looking at how dark the urine appears.

DAY #3: Woke up today feeling pretty good and checked to see that there were moderate urinary ketones present. The program advises to avoid doing strenuous activities and to avoid extreme temperatures; however, I work out daily so did my usual Sunday Bikram and Pilates classes. Please don’t do this without having been evaluated by your physician or you have been doing hot/strenuous activities for many years and listen to your body. If you do any activities, you may find you need to rest and self-care these 5-days and be sure to hydrate well!

I find that day #3 is typically the most difficult for me, ‘hump-day’, I suppose. It’s lower calories than day #1, at 800 (day #1 is 1150). Despite being in moderate ketosis, I am a little hangry [hungry + angry] and warn my kids that this is the case today. Doesn’t always get them to do their chores easier, however, sometimes it does 😉 This could be because I overdid it with my activities as well and am just trying to drink as much fluids as possible today.

Because there isn’t a ‘treat’ (ie. coco crisp bar) with dinner today, I generally save part of my morning nut bar to eat with the soup in the evening. I do this on day #5 as well [although this last time I forgot I saved it and brushed my teeth, so didn’t even eat it, oh well!].

This is typically a day that I try to have as a “down day”, meaning I don’t have to deal with too many issues/people directly. I find reading, resting, catching up on a show I may want to watch or movie or doing housework to be tolerable and even enjoyable activities.

DAY #4: This day I was feeling the “cleansing” in my body. Suddenly, my housework seemed more urgent, and I wanted to “clean” up my environment, my dresser drawers, the bathroom, it was an overall day of cleansing! An interesting phenomenon although I do generally enjoy cleaning up my spaces, it seemed my “inner cleanse” was being expressed in my external environment.

Once you reach DAY #5, it seems easy to get through as essentially, YOU MADE IT! I enjoy each item more as it is the homestretch. Today, I make my menu for the coming week and go shopping for whatever I am going to make for the day after.

The other way to make things wrap up faster is that I find I go to bed earlier on this final day. Hah, knowing that when I wake up in the morning, I get to go back to my morning routine and coffee combination (ie. coconut cream without added sugar or gums, organic cocoa powder, lion’s mane/mushroom combination powder from Four Sigmatic and a couple drops of organic vanilla extract/shavings all mixed is delicious and, I find, energizing for my morning workout).

You want to return to a healthy menu afterwards and bring things in slowly. I never crave anything “bad for me” after this program. However, I do want something crunchy and filling. I have a favorite Asian Cabbage salad that I often want to eat or a Greek salad, both of which just feel like nutrients and provide the mouth feel you miss from primarily soup for 5-days.

Dr. Longo suggests that between Prolon FMD rounds you return to “The Longevity Diet” (2018), which he suggests is the following strategy based on his longevity research:

Pescetarian Diet primarily, mostly plant and fish based, along with eggs and certain cheeses (feta) and yogurt from goat’s milk.

Insure adequate protein but not too much. At 130lbs, 40-47 grams/day of protein and avoiding red meat and too much cheese with higher amounts of vegetable proteins (legumes, nuts, if tolerated).

Eat monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats and complex carbs and avoid ‘bad’ fats and sugar. The idea is you need all the macronutrients and insuring what you take in is whole foods, directly from the earth and avoiding anything in bags, boxes and cans should provide you with sufficient nutrition. I am a fan of having my patients see a Functional Nutritionist, who can help figure out how much/what may be best for each person.

Nourish your body! When nutrients become too low, the body’s repair mechanisms and defense systems slow down/stop and allow damage to accumulate or infections to overcome us. While you can get all your nutrients through foods, you do need to be mindful and insure adequate intake for your needs. I often suggest a basic multivitamin and if you aren’t taking in enough Omega-3’s via food (ie. Fatty fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines and Herring, Walnuts, Perslane and Flaxseed meal can all provide differing amounts of different kinds in the fatty acid synthesis pathway). On days I don’t eat something in this category I often take a supplement. While I know the literature is always debating there are companies that I trust to get them through.

Eat a variety of foods. The best way to get your nutrients is through varieties of food and eating with the season and those that your ancestors took in as this may be in your genes as to what your body is better able to digest and utilize.

Eat twice daily and a snack. Generally, there is a risk of eating too much rather than too little. Starting with a small meal earlier in the day and one major meal/protein along with a snack, you can often obtain what you need. Depending on digestion, sometimes it may be best to break the major meal into two smaller meals, however, not into 2 major meals as you will end up taking in more than you need. Last meal is best eaten at least a couple hours before bed as I know eating too close to bed impacts my sleep and likely others who aren’t monitoring.

Time-restricted eating. Eating in a window during the day, say 12 hours to start, is generally tolerated by most with at least 3 hours before bed avoiding food intake has many benefits (although can increase gallstone risk if too short of window) and would want to be certain this is appropriate for you by discussing with your health care provider.

Fasting. Many religions practice some form of fasting with some exceptions/adjustments. The 5-day Fasting Mimicking Diet is a way to reduce disease risk factors and optimize healthy longevity and supported with increasing research studies on many different risk factors.

As noted initially, for those with cardiovascular disease risk, 3 cycles of the FMD, followed by a return to a normal diet, reduced risk by dropping systolic blood pressure by 7mmHg, triglycerides by 25mg/dl, LDL by 22mg/dL, and normalized CRP (an inflammatory marker) in those with elevated levels (Wei et al, 2017).

Prolon advises those under 18 or over 70 years old, anyone with a chronic condition or taking any medications ensure that it is right for them. Also, if you are underweight, have an infection or at risk for infections, are pregnancy/breastfeeding or may be to avoid a restrictive diet.

Of course, be sure to check the ingredients for potential allergies/dietary restrictions before purchasing and an interesting thing I have found is that some people [ie. My husband!] does not like the olives [although I do;].

It is generally felt to be well tolerated by most individuals, however, not medical advice, and always suggest you speak with your health care provider before starting any program.

If you are already in good cardiovascular health, implementing a FMD every 6 months, or so, can aid in autophagy and ‘clean up’ of senescent cells, particularly as we age. It is for this reason, as I age, that I’ve been including Prolon as part of my health regimen.

If you want to try it, you can order here

and receive a discount for the Prolon 5-day FMD.


Rattan and Demirovic. Hormesis can and does work in humans. Dose-Response 2010, 2010; 8(1): 58–63. Published online 2009 Dec 10. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.09-041.Rattan

Wei et al. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med 2017, Feb 15; 9(377).

Longo, W. The Longevity Diet. (2018). Penguin Random House Publishing.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended to seek the support of a qualified health care provider who had direct knowledge of your personal medical condition to provide guidance. This page also contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.