“Fasting while Eating” would seem to be an oxymoron and until recently I wasn’t aware that this is an ACTUAL thing. BUT IT IS…
The health benefits of Fasting are well established in the scientific community (and will be reviewed in future posts here). Even with such a preponderance of evidence, doctors have been leery of advising fasting because of the concern that adherence to this practices are quite difficult – many people do feel weak, tired, have headaches and could run the risk of malnutrition or electrolyte disturbances.
There are many different times of fasts:
1) Time restricted Feeding – abstaining from food from 8-16 hours per day
2) Intermittent Fasting – abstaining from food for 16 hours to 2 days
3) Periodic Fasting – abstaining from food for greater than 2 days to 21 days
4) Fasting Mimicking Diets – eating a diet that mimicks a fasting state for 5 days
Let’s skip right down to the 4th type – the Fasting Mimicking Diet.
Researchers led by Dr Valter Longo have devised a 5 day meal program what they claim provides all the health benefits of a 5 day fast but allows the participant to consume about 750 – 1000 kcal per day. The FMD diet being sold by Prolon has some good research behind it.
In a nutshell, the research study published in Science Translational Medicine (randomized and prospective crossover case control groups ) showed that participants that completed 5 days per month x 3 months (total 3 – 5 day fasts) of the Prolon fasting mimicking diet had lost fat, preserved lean body mass and their all their metabolic biomarkers improved (lipid, insulin growth factor 1, glycemic).
Furthermore, fat that was lost was primarily visceral (around organs) and abdominal and the good thing was that lean body mass was preserved.
This seems obvious – eating less food will result in weight loss – the good news from the studies was that the weight lost was primarily fat not protein (muscle).
But there really is one other big benefit that appeared in a study conducted with mice. Researchers noted that their was a decrease in the size of their livers during the study which rapidly grew back again once the fast ended. What appears to be happening is that the lowering of Insulin Growth Factor – 1 (IGF-1) allowing the cells to renew themselves – getting younger in the process. It appears that fasting kicks the body into a state of rejuvenation by activating our stem cells.
This is probably the mechanism behind why caloric restriction extends lifespan is all animals from the fruit fly to humans.
Faced with a scarcity of resources the body continues to remain youthful and not age BUT once we expose our bodies to an abundance of food and are past our optimum fertile stage of life (40+) the cells of the body send a signal to begin the decline that we notice as aging.
That’s a much longer discussion for another day…
Tomorrow, a bunch of us are doing the Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet. Check how we are doing on Instagram and Facebook where we will be providing updates.
To learn more, I recommend reading “the complete guide to Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung with Jimmy Moore.
Send us a message if this article helped you (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll arrange to get a copy of the book shipped out to you.
Be Peak Now..