02 Nov The Power of the Pause: How the Fasting Mimicking Diet Can Heal the Body and Mind
Are you feeling overwhelmed and burned out?
Maybe you’re suffering from a lack of motivation or constant, low-level anxiety?
You’re certainly not alone:
Our fast paced lifestyles, combined with the stresses and strains of balancing a family life with a successful career can quickly become overwhelming.
Add in a global pandemic and the threat of financial instability, and well, you probably get the picture!
Pause for Thought…
When everything seems to be up against us, and motivation and productivity begin to tank, it’s tempting to try and push through the problem and work even harder.
But you know what? That’s a huge mistake.
In situations of stress, lethargy and procrastination, it’s absolutely vital to take a pause and reassess the root causes of your mental and physical overwhelm.
In this article, we’re going to look at how fasting, and specifically the “Fasting Mimicking Diet”, can form the cornerstone of successful life realignment or reset.
Fasting? But My Issues are Purely Stress Related!
Fasting has risen greatly in popularity over the last five or so years, and with very good reason: studies have repeatedly shown that not only does fasting promote weight loss, it’s also associated with boosts in general mood and wellbeing, with many of the physical benefits of fasting being closely tied to improved mental health and brain function. Back in Russia, some hospitals treated most difficult cases of depression and bipolar disorders with water fasting up to 30 days, and those patients would reach the complete remission. It is still done in some cases, but under physician supervision in the hospital setting.
Here are just a few of the positive health outcomes you can expect from a well-designed fasting program:
A Reduction in Elevated Blood Sugar and Lower Cholesterol
Repeated studies have shown that fasting can reduce “bad” cholesterol and promote more healthy insulin production, stabilizing elevated blood sugar levels.
Lowered cholesterol and insulin will reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes respectively. And, once your blood sugar is under control and stable, it will reduce mood swings, irritability and food cravings. All of it can be accomplished once you successfully adjust to a lifestyle of periodic fasting.
A Reduction in Inflammation
Several studies on both animal and human subjects have shown a reduction in overall inflammation, once the body is allowed a rest from the demanding task of food digestion and processing, allowing the stomach and intestinal lining time to heal and repair.
We also see from the studies that fasting will change the gut microbiome (microorganisms populating the gut). The science is still in its infancy, but having the wrong types (and ratios) of gut bacteria can be a key reason behind symptoms of lethargy, listlessness and anxiety.
The Slowing of Mental Decline and Improvements in Cognition
Autophagy is a complex process in which old and damaged cells are recycled to produce new, healthy ones. During the process of fasting or significant reduction of caloric intake, the process of autophagy kicks in around the third day.
Animal studies have repeatedly shown that fasting can improve lifespan and cognitive ability, and often drastically so. As a bonus, the process of autophagy can also help to ward off cancers and the growth of malicious tumors.
Overall, the evidence is mounting that far from being stressful, a well implemented fasting regime can do wonders for your health, both mental and physical.
Sounds Great! But What Do You Mean By the “Fasting Mimicking Diet”?
“The Fasting Mimicking Diet”, created by Valter Longo, PhD aims to give all of the positive benefits of a long fast, without severe calorie deprivation of a full-blown starvation diet.
So How Does It Work?
The “5 Days Fasting Mimicking Diet” called ProLonis designed by company L-Nutra. The company’s plan is based around specially formulated kits that feature pre-packaged meals and instructions. Here’s how the diet is structured:
- During the five-day period, participants consume only the meals contained within the kit.
- The first day of meals and snacks provides around 1,090 calories, with 10% protein, 56% fat and 34% carbohydrate.
- From the second day onwards, the kit provides just 725 calories, with 9% protein, 44% fat and 47% carbohydrate.
The specially formulated meals cause your body to slowly deplete it’s stores of glycogen (stored sugar), and eventually burn energy from non-carbohydrate sources (your own body fat reserves).
This staggered calorie restriction triggers the body’s physiological fasting response, boosting cell regeneration, decreasing inflammation, and promoting fat loss, without the dangers of eliminating food and nutrients entirely.
For optimal results, the Fasting Mimicking Diet should be undertaken at least once every 4-6 months, and shouldn’t be thought of as a one-time cleanse.
What Will I Be Eating?
If you decide to undertake a Fasting Mimicking Diet, you’ll need to order a ProLon meal kit from our office. The kit makes sticking to this protocol extremely easy, as you won’t need to worry about getting meal timings wrong or selecting the wrong types of food.
The ProLon kit is spread over five individual boxes, one for each day of the fast, and includes an easy to understand chart to help you make sense of the meal timings and order.
The kits are vegetarian, as well as being lactose and gluten free, but allergy sufferers should note that the meals do contain both nuts and soy.
There’s a broad list of foods to keep you on track, with nut bars, soup blends and vegetable chips all thrown into the mix. In addition, you’ll also get a range of herbal teas, as well as a comprehensive stack of vegetable supplements and specially formulated drinks.
Should You Try the Fasting Mimicking Diet?
Right away, it should be mentioned that breastfeeding or pregnant women should avoid lowering calories. That means a fasting protocol is not appropriate if you’re in either of those positions.
Likewise, if you already suffer from a serious medical condition such as diabetes or have a history of disordered eating, you shouldn’t undertake any kind of dietary intervention without consulting your doctor first.
Other than that, if you’re felling stuck in a rut and looking to improve your mood, energy levels and overall health, why not give it a shot? The benefits of a healthy fast are hard to ignore!
Watch: How can fasting support your health:
Call our functional medical office for a more explanations or simply click on the recording of the educational webinar that further discusses the science and process of fasting mimicking diet. 212-696-4325
Watch: The Power of the Pause in Business and Life: