Fasting Mimicking DietFAQs
Frequently asked questions about the Fasting Mimicking Diet. If you have additional questions or are interested in getting cleared to start the Fasting Mimicking Diet, schedule a no obligation information call with me.
How is this different than doing a fasting diet that is drinking water only?
For starters, this is food, not true fasting. The hunger, feeling tired, and other side effects of a fast are not as drastic on the fasting mimicking diet. Also, in many cases a true fast is not safe. Many doctors and health professionals hesitate to or do not authorize patients to do a true fast. Health professionals feel safer clearing a patient for the fasting mimicking diet.
Is the Fasting Mimicking Diet the same as a ketogenic diet?
The fasting mimicking diet is not what is frequently called a ketogenic diet. There are similarities. Both are low protein and very high in fat. Both put the body into a metabolic state called a ketosis where fat is turned into ketones in the liver and this supplies energy for the brain. You also see drops in blood sugar and insulin levels and this along with the increased ketones has many health benefits for both diets.
A ketogenic diet typically is lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein than the Fasting Mimicking Diet and overall not as low calories as the fasting mimicking diet. A standard ketogenic diet is 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs. A Fasting Mimicking Diet is 47% carbohydrate, 44% fat and 9% protein. The Fasting Mimicking Diet composition of carb, fat and protein has been tested in research to ensure the desired results are achieved.
How do I know if it works?
Throughout the fast you will physically feel your body at work. For each person the physical outward signs will be different. Common signs the first three days are hunger pains, tiredness and into day three and four possibly some dizziness. This is your body working hard to clear out damaged cells.
Most people on day five and the transition day (Day six) feel mental clarity and energy much better than normal and have a very productive day. Every person is different. Your body during the fast has cleared away cells it needed to let go of. Once you restart back to your normal eating your body is in a refeeding phase which is critical to gain all the benefits of the Fasting Mimicking Diet. This is when your body will rebuild itself even better than before.
You can also take some lab values before and after the Fasting Mimicking Diet to see positive health changes. It is recommended for taking lab values you complete 3 cycles of the fast. All these values will decrease:
- C-reactive protein (CRP)
- Waist circumference
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- Blood pressure
How much weight can I expect to lose and will I keep it off?
This varies according to each individual. Your healthcare professional that is working with you can discuss this with you. One of the benefits of the fasting mimicking diet is a higher amount of the weight you lose is from the belly region than on other diets and the your muscle is not lost. Both these are benefits not seen on other weight loss diets.
What are typically results?
The results will vary person to person. Most will experience positive changes in the many of the following areas of health:
- weight loss
- belly fat loss
- no loss of muscle
- increased energy
- softer, healthier looking skin
- positive lifestyle impact
- mental clarity (sharpness of mind)
- increase in quality of sleep
What are the pros and cons?
The pros are it is easy to follow. All your food for five days is prepared and portioned. The most work required is stove top boiling some of the soups at dinner. Most experience weight loss, high level of energy and mental clarity with other benefits mentioned above. We know from research that the amazing benefits include activating stem cells, killing damaged cells and replacing them with new functional ones. Also, after three cycles of the fasting-mimicking diet patients see large drops in risk factors for diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The cons include you want to avoid intense exercise while on the fasting diet. You can walk and listen to your body at a pace that is manageable. Most experience some headaches if they are used to drinking caffeine drinks, lack of energy and possibly dizziness off and on the first three days. For most, headaches disappear on day 3 or 4. Some report that they liked not having to make decisions on food, they felt a freedom from spending time and energy on food decisions.
Can I do the Fasting Mimicking Diet on my own? Without purchasing the product?
Yes, you can create your own Fasting Mimicking Diet and avoid purchasing the product. The challenge is meeting the nutrient requirements (47% carbohydrate, 44% fat and 9% protein) ratios to trick your body into thinking it is on a fast with food that is palatable.
Here is a link to a site with recipes and instructions. I have never done the Fasting Mimicking Diet recipes. If you do it on your own, let me know how it goes. It takes a lot of preparation and motivation.
How often do I need to do the fasting mimicking diet?
This is something you want to discuss with your healthcare professional that is working with you. In general, those that have risk factors for cancer, heart disease or diabetes, the greatest benefits are seen after three cycles in three consecutive months. For those that are currently healthy and want the anti-aging benefit, once to twice a year is recommended. Again, discuss this with your health professional.
Who is the Fasting Mimicking Diet Not Safe for
While there are multiple benefits for doing the Fasting Mimicking Diet, there are some people who probably shouldn’t do it, including those with eating disorders, who are pregnant, or with thyroid problems or adrenal fatigue. Teenagers and children should also not pursue fasting. Consult your health professional or setup a no obligation informational call with me to discuss if the Fasting Mimicking Diet is for you.
These Fasting Mimicking Diet FAQs are for informational purposes and are not meant to be a substitute for the medical advice provided by your own physician. The information is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the expertise and experience of Teresa Pangan, PhD, RDN. Dr. Teresa Pangan encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Read full disclaimer.