There are several ways to incorporate fasting into your lifestyle; and while intermittent fasting is the most popular, the fasting mimicking diet is gaining popularity.
In this post, I hope to explain what it is, how it works, and whether you should choose it over intermittent fasting -you get to decide based on what works best for you!
The purpose of this post is to give you a simplified explanation of the mimic fasting diet and some information about the differences with intermittent fasting; it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet
The fasting mimicking diet is supposed to simulate a full fast but allows you to take in a limited amount of calories.
A full fast is when you do not eat any solid, calorie-containing foods for a specific amount of time. You can, of course, drink water and other zero-calorie drinks.
Therefore, with the fasting mimicking diet, you’re supposed to reap the benefits of a full 5-day fast, also considered a clinical fast, without the risks of abstaining from foods the entire time.
So, you get to eat some things while your body “thinks” it’s fasting.
The fasting mimicking diet restricts the types of foods you can eat and often does this through packaged foods and supplements sold in a program, such as ProLon.
How Fasting Mimicking Diet works
Unlike intermittent fasting, where you restrict when you consume foods, the fasting mimicking diet restricts how many calories you consume. It’s also a 5-day plan to be repeated monthly for 3 to 6 months.
The mimicking diet plan is very macronutrient specific and is broken down the following way:
Day 1: 1100 calories
11% protein, 46% fat, 43% carbohydrate
Days 2-5 725 calories
9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate
As you can see, the mimic fasting diet has very specific restrictions so it’s very difficult to do it yourself making sure to plan out your macros -it’s not just about calorie consumption, but clinical research shows that it’s also about the type of calories (macros).
For this reason, nearly everyone that wants to do a mimic fasting diet uses the plant-based meal pack from ProLon which accounts for the calories and macronutrient breakdown.
What Foods Mimic Fasting
There are no foods that naturally mimic fasting on their own. The mimic fasting diet uses specific packaged foods in a kit and is nearly impossible to replicate at home with a list of foods.
Is Fasting Mimicking Healthy?
There is a lot of research that supports a 5-day clinical fast for certain medical conditions and a mimicking fasting diet is supposed to make your body believe it’s doing a full, 5-day fast without being deprived of food.
Unfortunately, nearly all the research on the benefits of the mimicking fasting diet has been done by the company that developed the meal kits sold to follow the 5-day program.
How Many Calories Can You Eat While Fasting Mimicking
The 5-day mimic fasting program limits the calories to 1100 on the first day and 725 calories on days 2 through 5. These calories have very specific macronutrient breakdowns and are not just about the total number of calories.
Fasting Mimicking Diet vs. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting limits the period of time during which food can be consumed and is restricted by creating an eating window and a fasting window. There are several intermittent fasting schedules you can follow and still get the benefits of intermittent fasting.
With intermittent fasting, you don’t have a list of foods to eat during fasting. You consume the number of calories that are appropriate for your body’s needs and health goals.
There is a lot of freedom with how many calories to eat during intermittent fasting since you eat what your body needs, plus there is no additional cost of supplements or foods to purchase.
Fasting mimicking diet follows a 5-day program that makes your body believe it’s fully fasting, and while it does not restrict when you can eat, it restricts what and how much.
The cost of the mimic fasting program from ProLon is about $245, for the full 5 days and you’re supposed to repeat it monthly.
If you want to make better food choices and want to incorporate fasting into your lifestyle, you can learn more and start intermittent fasting today with this eBook.
Intermittent Fasting for Women
If you want to dive deeper, I’ve created a book with everything you need to know about intermittent fasting & a 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what to eat during your eating windows. Check out my Intermittent Fasting Guide here.