Fasting has come into trend in the health and fitness world. It is popular for many different reasons—one of the most common is managing glucose levels to prevent or manage diabetes. However, fasting in its truest sense can be difficult even for the most dedicated patients. In addition, it is not always the safest protocol for patients managing chronic illnesses.
The Fasting Mimicking Diet developed by Dr. Valter Longo is one potential alternative to conventional water fasting. Having heard positive reviews of this program, I wanted to give it a try myself, so that I may recommend it to patients in the future. My first takeaway from this diet after a 5-day trial is the amount of energy I retained. Normally fasting zaps energy and leaves you feeling unfocused and sluggish. However, the Fasting Mimicking Diet still allows you to retain your energy by allowing small meals throughout the day.
What You Eat on the Fasting Mimicking Diet
Following this dietary protocol, you will reduce your caloric intake dramatically. Furthermore, you will eat almost no carbohydrates or protein. Instead, your meals will consist primarily of fatty foods. Fat helps you sustain energy and feel satisfied without taking in as many calories as you would following a more diverse meal plan. Essentially, mimicking fasting equates to a very low-calorie ketogenic diet. And, in fact, it offers many of the same benefits.
Effects of the Fasting Mimicking Diet
While following this diet, I monitored my vital signs as well as ketone and glucose levels. As expected, glucose levels went down while mimicking fasting and ketones went up. Results were comparable to strict water fasting, but the diet itself was much easier to follow. I was still able to sit down for family meals—albeit I was eating much smaller portions—and I didn’t feel the typical energy drag that can come from water fasting.
Who Should Follow the Fasting Mimicking Diet?
Bottom line is that the Fasting Mimicking Diet is appropriate for individuals hoping to lose weight, manage diabetes, or take better control of their cardiovascular health. Alternatively, it may not be appropriate for individuals who are not aiming to lose weight. As with any diet program, you should consult your doctor before beginning the Fasting Mimicking Diet. There are some potentially dangerous side effects, such as low blood pressure that your doctor can help you review and manage before beginning this program.