Plant Based

Fasting Mimicking Diet: A 5 day experiment 

I have written about the benefits of fasting before, during my experimentation with the Bone Broth Diet. The Bone Broth Diet prescribes two days of fasting (500 calories are allowed) per week (not consecutive). I didn’t want to do that because I felt it was not sustainable long term. Plus, the benefits of fasting mimicking beyond fat loss really kick in after 48 hours (here is an interesting paper on the topic). Fasting mimicking as a way to enjoy the benefits of fasting without eliminating food completely is based the work of Valter Longo. If you live in Italy or the United States, you can even purchase two kits with prepackaged foods and supplement to undertake your own fasting experiment in compliance with his parameters (which I will discuss below) for one low payment of $600!

Needless to say, I set out to plan my own meals. The first rule is to keep all meals vegan during the fast, but I also wanted them to be grain free and legume free. Also, the program normally would include supplements, but I don’t know what they are and I just kept up with my normal supplement regimen. While researching the diet and reading the findings of the study, I discovered that there is a specific recommended macronutrients ratio to follow. In fact, during the study, the subjects ate 1090 calories, 10% protein, 34% carbohydrates and 56% fat on the first day. During days 2-5, they ate 725 calories, 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate. I decided that I didn’t need to stick to these percentages perfectly and my goal was to keep my caloric intake to about 750 on days 2-5 while consuming about the same amount of fat and carbohydrate and about 10% protein.

I used the Fitness Pal app to calculate my calories and macronutrients. I was off on the first day, it was what I would call a transition day. I had one slice of Against All Grain World Famous Sandwich Bread for breakfast with some homemade unsweetened chia seed jam, two cups of a creamy green soup that I made from one of my books for lunch and a mixture of roasted broccoli, peppers and mushrooms for supper. I discovered about the macronutrients ratio while figuring out what I was going to make for supper and, at that point, I realized that consuming enough fat would mean way too many calories in my meal. At that point, I decided I would skip lunch for the remainder of the experiment. For breakfast, a smoothie consisting of a whole avocado, 1/3 cup of berries, a greens powder and water is easy and satisfying. It yield a bit less than 300 calories and presents the right macronutrient profile. For dinner various veggies with oil, nuts and/or avocado also work well. I had lettuce wraps with zucchini hummus, cucumber pieces, peppers, tomatoes, and homemade guacamole one night. Greens with a creamy cashew coconut milk sauce another night and a salad two other nights.

I just loved the results from this experiment. I lost all my symptoms and felt like I gained clarity about food. Fasting mimicking should be done every month for optimal benefits. I might end up doing that in the long run, although for now, I decided I would wait 2 or 3 month and do the Green Smoothie Girl Detox program. In the meantime, I will keep meat eating to a minimum and avoid grains and legumes. After feeling well for a few weeks, I will try to reintroduce legumes and then, gluten free grains.

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