But you’ve also heard about the cost of the ProLon diet kit—the only fasting mimicking diet on the market—and wondered, “Could I DIY a fasting mimicking diet?”
Maybe you’ve even read other fasting mimicking DIY plans but gotten lost in the data, or wondered if you really need to measure the changes in your blood before and after the fast.
Allow me to break it down: The health benefits are amazing, you can DIY a fasting mimicking diet (if you’re really committed), and no—you don’t need fancy equipment or doctor’s appointments to gather data about the changes in your blood if you just want to make a habit of fasting mimicking for long-term health.
So, how to hack the fasting mimicking menu? I did it for you.
What is fasting Mimicking?
Fasting mimicking is a diet of restricted calories, over a prolonged period (about four to seven consecutive days) that essentially “tricks” the body into “thinking” that you’re fasting, while still providing specific, strategic nutrients.
I dug into lots of details on what a fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is and how it works when I did the ProLon fasting mimicking diet review.
The Fasting Mimicking Diet DIY Plan: A 5-day Menu
So here is our five-day, total DIY fasting mimicking diet plan. For convenience I’ve linked all the products you will need directly to the amazon marketplace.
A few notes first:
- Check with your doctor if you have concerns or health issues. Prolonged fasts are not for everybody. If you are on medication or have other health issues (see below), please talk to your doctor first. The menus below are designed to mimic the ProLon FMD in calorie count and types of foods, but, of course, have not been tested and certified like the ProLon diet.
- Yes, this includes the ProLon Fast Bars. Why? Because they’re delicious, and I had a hard time finding a comparable nut bar in my local grocery store. If you really don’t want to order fancy fasting bars, you can substitute every “Fast Bar,” below with 1.5 oz of almonds. Fast Bars, in our opinion, are the only intermittent fasting snacks that work, so we highly recommend them. You can save 20% on your Fast Bar purchases by clicking HERE.
- Every mention of “tea” is decaffeinated herbal tea with no added sugar. Get a few flavors before you start. You will be thankful for the variety.
- We tried to stick with brands that are sold in grocery stores as much as possible. Links are also included, to try to make your life easier, but you are welcome to find your own products, obviously. If you do, of course, just check the calories and make sure you don’t go over the daily limit.
- Soups are suggestions, again, just to make your life easier. Mix them up at will, or just eat the same one for five days if you want.
- Drink lots of water.
Let’s also talk about supplements.
- Algal oil — The ProLon diet comes with an algal oil supplement in the Day 1 box. It’s a 200 mg gel capsule. I did plenty of research to find a comparable substitute. Note that the product I’ve chosen is free of carrageenan as there has been a lot of controversy around the side effects of that additive. Although you will only take this supplement on Day 1, it is critical to the plan. You can continue to enjoy this supplement after you complete the 5 day fast.
- Vitamin supplement — Each day of the ProLon diet also includes two vegan vitamin supplements, that are meant to be taken at separate intervals. Again, I did my research to find a supplement: 500 mg and vegan.
Day 1 Menu
The first day, you get a few extra calories. As with every day, we’re going to split them between complex carbs (veggies) and healthy fats (nuts).
- Breakfast — One Fast Bar (190 calories) and a cup of herbal tea. One, 200 mg algal oil supplement
- Lunch — Amy’s Organic Minestrone Soup (190 calories), five pitted green olives (30 calories), 10 Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a 500 mg vegan supplement.
- Afternoon snack — One Fast Bar (250 calories) and more tea. Remember to click HERE and use code FB15 at checkout to receive a 15% discount on Fast bars.
- Dinner — Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato Soup (130 calories), 10 Basil and Garlic Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a second 500 mg vegan supplement.
That gets you to 1,040 calories, which is below the goal for Day One.
Day 2 Menu
For the next four days, you’re only looking at 800 calories per day.
The ProLon diet also introduces a glycerin energy drink for days two through five. ProLon’s L-Drink is a plant-based glycerin (sugar syrup) with a little bit of flavoring. You get a four ounce bottle each day, to mix into a big sports bottle of water and sip on throughout the day.
When you’re fasting, the glycerol helps to protect amino acids, which preserves lean body mass. Glycerol also stimulates the absorption of water, allowing your body to retain more than drinking water alone.
This, however, is harder to find on shelves—even digital ones, so here are a few options:
- Powdered glycerol — There are a few powdered glycerol options on the market. LiveLong has one that doesn’t have any other additives in it.
- Clean energy drink supplement — Another option might be a sugar-free, “clean” (no other additives) drink powder. It will give you some flavor and energy, and help you stay hydrated. It’s only 10 calories per serving so it is very well matched with ProLon’s L-Drink. Keep a very close eye on calories, here.
- Water — Just drink water. Put a few slices of fruit in it if you need some flavor. You’ll miss the extra energy boost from the glycerol, but if you don’t want to do powdered and you don’t want to get into other energy supplements, just drink water.
The energy drink is worth 25 calories per day, so if you choose a powdered glycerol or other supplement, adjust calorie counts as needed. The powdered glycerol above has no calorie count, and the other energy drink supplement above is 10 calories per serving so either choice will be great for your calorie count and glycemic index.
Okay. Onto your Day 2 menu:
- Breakfast — One Fast Bar (190 calories) and a cup of tea
- Lunch — Amy’s Mushroom Bisque (180 calories) and one 500 mg vegan supplement. And don’t forget you can sip on the energy drink.
- Afternoon snack — Tea and five pitted green olives (30 calories)
- Dinner — Amy’s Split Pea soup (190 calories), 10 Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a 500 mg vegan vitamin supplement
And that’s only 740 calories. That’s 60 calories below goal so you can add a few more olives if you’d like.
Day 3 Menu
Days three, four, and five look a lot like day two. You can repeat the menu if you want, but we’ll continue listing menus to share some more soup and snack options. Don’t forget your energy drink (25 calories).
- Breakfast — One Fast Bar (190 calories) and a cup of tea
- Lunch — Dr. McDougall’s Black Bean and Lime Soup (160 calories) and one 500 mg vegan supplement. And don’t forget you can sip on the energy drink throughout the day.
- Afternoon snack — Tea and eight baby carrots (30 calories)
- Dinner — Dr. McDougall’s Pad Thai Noodle Soup (190 calories), 10 Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a 500 mg vegan supplement
That’s 720 calories, so feel free to sneak a few extra baby carrots.
Day 4 Menu
This is usually when you start to get a little energy. You’re on the homeward stretch!
- Breakfast — One Fast Bar (190 calories) and a cup of tea
- Lunch — Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Tortilla Soup (200 calories) and one 500 mg vegan supplement
- Afternoon snack — Tea and five pitted green olives (30 calories) and don’t forget you can sip on your energy drink.
- Dinner — Imagine Organic Butternut Squash Soup (1.5 cups, 150 calories), 10 Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a 500 mg vegan supplement
With that energy drink at 25 calories, this brings you to 720 calories for day four, so, again, pop a few extra olives. You earned it.
Day 5 Menu
You’re going to make it. One more day. Here we go.
- Breakfast — One Fast Bar (190 calories), a cup of tea, and don’t forget to start that energy drink (10 calories)
- Lunch — Imagine Organic Creamy Broccoli Soup (2 cups, 140 calories), 10 Super Seed Crackers (125 calories), and a 500 mg vegan supplement
- Afternoon snack — Tea, cucumber slices (about three inches of cucumber) and two tablespoons plain hummus (75 calories)
- Dinner — Imagine Organic Potato Leek Soup (2 cups, 180 calories) and one last 500 mg vegan vitamin supplement
That brings you to 735 calories for Day 5. Go dream of donuts and hot coffee.
(Don’t actually go binge on donuts on Day 6, though. Dr. Longo—creator of the fasting mimicking diet—recommends slowly “re-feeding” on Day 6: only slightly larger meals, mostly plant-based, try to avoid sweets. You want to reintroduce meat, dairy, and sugar slowly.)
Save Even More Money on a Fasting Mimicking Diet
The fasting mimicking menus here were designed to create some variety, because fasting is hard enough as it is. But if you want to save even more money, simply repeat soups and snacks.
A box of Imagine Organic soup, for example, has at least two or three FMD meals in it. So if you can handle the same soup for two days, you’ll save some money. Similarly, one small tub of hummus and one cucumber can be a 75 calorie snack a few times, one box of tea is cheaper than three, etc.
How to Prepare for a DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet
Is it difficult? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely. So here are a few bonus tips to make your five days of fasting mimicking as easy as possible:
- Shop ahead of time. Make a grocery list, or sit down with Amazon for a few minutes, and get everything you need ahead of time. The grocery store is the last place you want to be on Day 3 of a fast because you didn’t buy enough seed crackers.
- Remove temptations. Especially if this is your first prolonged fast, clear out the junk food. Give it to friends. Ask a spouse or roommate to hide it from you. Set yourself up to win and get it out of sight.
- Check your schedule. Life gets crazy and stuff comes up, but try to pick five consecutive days that should be fairly boring. No kids’ birthday parties or work lunches. Shoot for a Monday through Friday with nothing scheduled in the evenings.
- Tell family/roommates what you’re doing. They can help you resist temptation and (hopefully) be your cheering section. If nothing else, they at least deserve to know why you’re super cranky.
Again, check with your doctor if you have health issues or concerns. Prolonged fasts are not good for everybody. If you are on medication or have other health issues (see below), please talk to your doctor first. (Even if you’re in perfect health, it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor about any medical advice you get from the internet.)
Is Fasting Mimicking Safe: Potential Risk Factors
Prolonged fasting can cause complications for some people. Please do not start a fast without talking to your doctor if you have:
- Blood pressure issues
- Blood sugar issues
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- A BMI less than 18
Please also consult a doctor if you are:
- Under the age of 18
Finally, if you have a nut or soy allergy, please take special care—as always—to check labels and substitute foods. If you adjust a fasting mimicking diet to avoid nuts and soy, please have your doctor review your proposed menu before you begin.
Getting Started With DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet
The benefit of the ProLon FMD is that it’s clinically tested and proven, and it’s so convenient. No counting calories and no shopping.
It is an investment, though. Five days of food (and that super cool ProLon water bottle – not pictured for some reason) will cost you up to $250. But, as I pointed out on my ProLon FMD review, $250 every six months is a little over $40 per month. Which really isn’t much for cellular rejuvenation. To get a special ProLon discount for Foodzie.com readers click here.
If you want to DIY a fasting mimicking diet, though, you can. The fasting mimicking menus here will get you through a fast for much less than the ProLon diet.
If you don’t have any health concerns, start by checking your calendar and talking to a loved one about what you’re planning!
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