There is a good chance that you have heard that many health benefits are offered by fasting, by boosting your immune system to lose weight and by improving insulin sensitivity. But although many people would like the benefits that are provided by fasting, not too many welcome the concept of going without eating food for a long time.
However, what if you could get the benefits from a fast without needing to skip meals?
Introducing the “fasting mimicking diet” (FMD), which is a protocol that the medical community has been paying a lot of attention to recently. The most recent research is pointing to the ability of the fasting mimicking diet to do everything from managing diabetes to improving cognition.
So, let’s dive into this and take a close look at what this diet is exactly and some of the benefits that it provides.
How The Mimicking Diet Works
The same general principles are followed by the fasting mimicking diet as regular does in the sense that you deprive your body of food so that it takes advantage of various health benefits such as fat burning and reduced inflammation.
The main difference is rather than eliminating all meals for a certain number of weeks or days, you are restricting calories on five days in a month. The five-day fasting period may be done once per month or it can be practiced every other month in order to promote well-being and health.
During the first days of the diet, your calories are restricted to a maximum of 1,100 calories. On the other four days, your calories are restricted to a maximum of 800 per day.
But it isn’t just the quantity of food that you eat that is critical, it is the foods that you eat as well as the ratios. Different macronutrient ratios are recommended for eating by various proponents of this diet. The general recommendation is to eat 1,100 calories comprised of 56% fat, 10% protein, and 34% carbohydrates on the first day, and on the final four days 44% fat, 9% protein, and 47% carbohydrates. Other people recommend to eat fat in meals that is even higher, with up to 80% of calories that come from fat, and 10% from carbs and protein.
The Fasting Mimicking Diet enables the natural starvation process (stem cell regeneration, protection, autophagy) to occur. It doesn’t interfere with our natural process. For the FM Diet to work that is key.
What Does Science Have To Say?
It has already been proven by science that there are numerous benefits to calorie restriction for an animal’s lifespan. But what does science have to say about Fasting Mimicking Diet benefits for humans? Science did not have a lot to say until very recently.
However, according to a recent study that analysis FMD effect in humans was able to uncover some very profound results. This study was conducted on a total of 100 healthy subjects. Half of the subject following the FMD for five days per month for three months, and then the other half consumed their regular diet.
The Fast Mimicking Diet group after three months lost weight (which included losing visceral fat), reductions in blood pressure and blood sugar and inflammation markers. What is even more astonishing is the FMD group experienced a drop of insulin-like growth factor 1 (1GF-1) that is a cancer growth biomarker.
Other Health Benefits
Let’s look at some of the other health benefits:
Mimicking diet helps in Lowering Cholesterol
This same study above also found that after the initial three months, the group of FMD subject experienced reduced levels of bad LD and total cholesterol. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it may cause the buildup of plaque inside the arteries, which leads to the narrowing and hardening of arteries. That, in turn, can result in coronary heart disease and possibly a life-threatening heart attack.
When the FMD is combined with a healthy lifestyle overall can maintain your heart’s health and lower and maintain cholesterol at a healthy level.
Mimicking diet: Reduces Inflammation
We previously discussed the FMD study and that it found that the diet reduced inflammation. However, let’s discuss exactly what inflammation is what it does to the human body.
Inflammation is the response of the body to a foreign invader. This is a really normal reaction that your immune system takes to protect your body. Therefore, say a splinter gets lodged in your finger. Your finger becomes inflamed and red within minutes. Your body uses the inflammation process to attack the foreign object. This also is true whenever you get a bug bite or cut.
What about inflammation inside the body? How is your health affected?
Chronic inflammation contributes to a number of chronic diseases which include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and heart disease. That means the Mimicking Diet can potentially reduce the risk to develop chronic disease.