FMD (fasting-mimicking diet) was created by Dr. Valter Longo a Professor of Gerontology at the USC Longevity Institute. Dr. Longo created FMD as an alternative to water fasting.
Water fasting is the most common form of fasting. But there are other options to “fasting” if you feel that you need some food daily.
The 5-day FMD protocol:
- Allows you to eat 500 healthy calories each day. This of course will vary slightly depending on your gender and height.
- Creates a hyper-focused fat burning environment. All foods consumed should be low or no carbs. This allows your body to stay in ketosis throughout the 5 days.
- Reduces inflammation which is the root cause of many common diseases.
- Helps you break any stubborn weight loss plateaus.
- Mitigates cravings once you go back to your normal diet.
FMD can be looked at as a great reset. You also train your body to want less food like regular fasting facilitates.
Dr. Longo has his own nutrition company that sells pre-packaged food for each day. On the first day, the calories are slightly higher then is gradually reduced. But the program is rather pricey.
Create Your Own 500 Calorie Diet Instead
If you have some experience with fasting and diets it’s best that you create a 500 calorie diet for your FMD journey.
There are plenty of examples on the internet that’ll give you ideas for meal plans.
If you’ve never tracked calories it’s best to do that for a few weeks before committing to an FMD protocol. Use popular tracking apps like MyFitnessPal to get a general idea of how many calories are in the foods you eat.
Long-term tracking isn’t necessary but you need to get an idea of what you consume weekly.
Notice how I said weekly.
Some days you’ll eat more than others. A weekly overview will let you know if you need to decrease or increase your daily caloric intake.
Too often people get stuck on what they consume daily.
If you aim for let’s say 1,500 calories and end up eating 1,800 calories two days out of the week and 1,200 another 2 days you’ll still end up roughly meeting your weekly goal.
Once you have a better understanding of how many calories foods have, then you can create a meal plan for FMD. Focus on whole minimally processed foods. Soups, broths, and vegetables are perfect to consume while on FMD.
Stay away from oils and carbs while doing FMD.
If you’re experienced faster you may want to only consume water and herbal tea for most of the days.
During my first FMD in September 2020, I water fasted all of the days except day four. On day four (which tends to be the hardest) I had some bone broth. The meal was under 500 calories and I was able to break my fast on day 5 without binge eating.
Practice 24–48 Fasts Before Committing to FMD
If you’re new to fasting it’s best to hold off on doing a longer fast like FMD until at least a year.
Your body needs time to adjust to its new way of being.
16 to 23-hour fasts are perfect for beginners. And you don’t have to fast every day to see massive results.
In my first year of fasting, I fasted 5 days a week. On weekends I worked a stressful, high energy job. I allowed myself on those days to eat freely. Doing so helped me maintain a steady fasting protocol without experiencing burnout.
Eventually, I started OMAD fasting (one meal a day) seven days a week in my second year. My body was already acclimated so it was an easy transition. Then I ventured into doing 48-hour fasts. Again I had great experiences because I was primed for it.
So when I finally did my first FMD it was much easier than I expected. Yes, I had tough moments but if I jumped into FMD during my first year of fasting I’m sure things would not have been so pretty.
My experience with fasting made eating during FMD unappealing (except on day four).
Once you’ve fasted daily for over a year you may want to experiment with longer fasts. Use the knowledge you’ve gained and create an FMD plan that best suits you.
There are companies like the one Dr. Longo owns that’ll provide meals for you but it’s better that you create your own diet. That way you’ll avoid packaged foods and have more control over salt, carbs, and oil intake while on FMD.
You may not want to eat every day while doing FMD as I did.
This is perfectly fine.
The more rest you give your body from food and digestion the better. This way you’ll be able to reap the big benefits that come with extended fasts.
Do FMD a few times a year in addition to your regular fasting protocol for the best results. Your body will thank you for having optimal health in years to come.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You With Hunger As You Go Through Your First FMD
Download the Stop Hunger Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll have a smoother fasting experience.