What is Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet? How Does it Work?

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It might seem like the ProLon Diet has crashed onto the scene out of nowhere, and although some have heard of it, others wonder — what is ProLon fasting mimicking diet?

The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet was developed over a 20 year period by Valter Longo at the University of Southern California (USC). 

Longo’s work was sponsored by the National Institute for Aging and the National Institute of Health.

The ProLon Diet is a high-fat, low-calorie fasting diet that may help you lose fat and may also help reduce blood sugar, inflammation, and cholesterol. The ProLon fasting mimicking diet gives your body a reset in 5 days by providing the benefits of fasting without having to skip a meal. It’s a 5-day pseudo-fast that consists of a 5-day meal program.

This meal program is as unique as it is powerful. 

It provides scientifically researched micro- and macro-nutrients in precise quantities and combinations that nourish you but are not recognized as food by your body. This allows your body to maintain and mimic a fasting state. It’s a great way to reboot your body and could possibly help reset your blood sugar levels. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to jump into the beneficial world of intermittent fasting, ProLon is a great place to start.

prolon diet products

But there is so much more to the ProLon story than just Longo’s work or just a 5 day fast. In order to truly understand ProLon you must first understand how your body reacts to intermittent fasting and how insulin and glucose affect your weight gain.

What is ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Doing to Your Body?

The benefits of intermittent fasting are clear. If you restrict the number of hours your body must deal with the tasks of digestion, then it will have more time to repair, replenish and heal many other parts of you body and brain. And by keeping insulin levels low for long spans of time it allows your body to access and use your stored body fat. And when that happens you can literally begin to shed extra pounds.

In addition to these physical benefits of intermittent fasting, you can also be assured of a mental clarity and sharpness that you haven’t felt in years. That carbohydrate and sugar fog that’s become such a predictable part of life begins to lift. Your productivity rises, attention sharpens and your ability to articulate thoughts begins to feel normal and smooth again.

But for anyone who has practiced an intermittent fast, it doesn’t come without challenges. After all, we’ve been programmed for decades to eat 3 meals per day. For most of your life these meals have followed a pattern that’s become part of your habit and routine. And at the same time this eating routine has programmed your body and brain to try to deal with a surplus of carbs, sugars and calories that our biological systems were never meant to process. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and a plethora of other issues have skyrocketed over the past 40 years.

The Role of Insulin

The magic of intermittent fasting comes when you stop spiking your insulin levels. When you reduce the number of times in a day that you spike your insulin levels you give your body a chance to do many other beneficial things. And you take away the opportunity for the body to store excess insulin as fat. The bottom line with insulin is that you want to avoid spiking your levels if you want to lose weight.

The average American ingests some form of food 10 times per day. In most cases these meals and snacks are filled with the things that spike our insulin levels. These include refined sugars (cookies, sweets and candy), dairy (cream in coffee, yogurt, ice cream), potatoes, corn and refined grains (bread and rice).

When we begin to digest these high-glycemic foods, our pancreas must release insulin to help our body absorb the carbs and sugars (glucose) as immediate energy and then store the excess glucose as fat. When too much insulin is released during the day, our body begins to store this excess glucose as fat in our thighs, chest, and stomach area. Millions of Americans have even developed insulin resistance which is a devastating health issue that causes the pancreas to release even more insulin, and our bodies begin to store even more fat.

This can eventually lead to obesity and diabetes.

Our bodies were not meant to digest so much glucose. Nor were they meant to deal with multiple and continuous insulin spikes each day. Too many insulin spikes will lead directly to fat gain.

a chart showing how consuming snacks high in sugar and fat affects your weight and insulin levels
Reaching for too many snacks that have high levels of carbs and sugars can create a constant level of insulin in the bloodstream. Your cells don’t need this much glucose for energy so it’s stored as fat for future use. This will eventually lead to fat gain and obesity. Always look for snacks that have a low glycemic ranking and avoid spiking your insulin levels.

Snacking While Intermittent Fasting

The positive results of intermittent fasting are beginning to look undeniable. People seeing the greatest success are those who are choosing low glycemic foods as a compliment to their fasting. The glycemic index is a ranking of the levels of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. So foods that are low in carbs and sugars will not spike your insulin levels to unhealthy extremes. Lean meats, raw vegetables, nuts and plant-based proteins are all great choices for low insulin spikes.

Fast Bar is a plant-based protein bar invented by Valter Longo’s team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC). After 20 years of research a group of scientists discovered a nutri-technology that nourishes the body while keeping it in a fasting mode.

These bars are made from a proprietary blend of healthy fats from nuts that can nourish your body while keeping it in fasting mode.

Many people rely on Fast Bar to help them get through difficult times during intermittent fasting. If you must snack, always reach for snacks that are packed with plant-based protein and have a low glycemic ranking.

fast bar healthy snacks for prolon diet
This unique nutrition bar provides nourishment to your body and supports your fasting goals due to its macronutrient profile of more beneficial fats, plant-based protein and low carbs.

Testing Your Blood Sugar Levels

If you are serious about losing weight, you should start by evaluating and understanding your current blood-sugar levels. One of the easiest ways to do this is to try an at-home test kit. The Everlywell HbA1c test is one of the easiest, fastest and most reliable blood sugar tests on the market.

blood sugar test

The Hemoglobin A1C test is an easy way to evaluate how well you have been maintaining your blood sugar levels for the past 90 days and can help you determine if dietary changes may be needed. The test is simple and the kit will arrive at your home within days. Simply prick your finger and send in a few drops of blood. A board certified physician will review the lab results and send you a personalized report detailing each marker tested and what your results mean for you. This test is a great way to begin a fat loss journey.

The Most Important Book You Can Read

There are a million books written about nutrition and weight loss. Many of them are pretty good. But some of them are based on fad diets, outdated information or antiquated beliefs about the relationship between calories and exercise.

As obesity and diabetes have begun to overwhelm many Western countries, it has become clear that our diets are at the core of the obesity problem. Dr. Jason Fung has taken an outside of the box look at the role of insulin in weight gain. His book is called The Obesity Code and it presents a compelling and hard to deny look at the role of glucose (carbs and sugars) and exactly how they are creating havoc with our bodies.

the obesity code book

Dr. Fung’s voice is one of clarity in a cacophony of weight loss opinions, advice and quackery. This book has changed the lives of thousands as it provides a relatively simple action plan for real, lasting weight loss. If you want to get serious about understanding your body and how it processes food, the book is a great first step. And if you want a real action plan for weight loss, this is the place to start the journey.

Another Popular Fasting Method

16:8 Method

If the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is too radical for you, you can always try the 16:8 method. This is when you eat your meals between noon and 8PM. I usually eat lunch at noon and then dinner at 6PM. If I need a snack during the day, I rely on Fast Bars to keep my blood sugar levels and insulin levels as low as possible. Then from 8PM to noon the next day, you sleep and fast. This method is also known as the Leangains method and it is one of the easiest ways to try intermittent fasting.

intermittent fasting schedule chart showing how to follow the prolon fasting mimicking diet

Final Thoughts

Over the past year, intermittent fasting and the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet have leaped into the general health and weight loss conversation. Intermittent fasting has also emerged as a profoundly powerful way to gain cognitive clarity and reset many chemical functions within your body that have been thrown out of balance.

Now that you know what ProLon fasting mimicking diet is, you know that the relationship between intermittent fasting and insulin levels is clear. If you are going to get healthy and lose weight, it’s critical to understand how your body digests glucose. 

Each of us has different body chemistry and therefore everyone has a unique relationship with sugar, carbs, glucose, and insulin.

There are many ways to control your own insulin levels and many ways to explore the benefits of fasting.

Whatever method you choose, I highly recommend you consult a physician or certified nutritionist before you dive in. Weight loss is a very personal journey and might be the most important step you can take toward longevity and health.


Anne Haliday has spent her career in the food industry both as a chef and a food critic. She is passionate about health and nutrition and has spent years studying food and it’s impact on our health. In her free time Anne can be found kayaking or practicing yoga.

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