To get the best benefits from your ProLon 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet, you can actually prepare beforehand and ease your body out afterwards. This ‘easy in, easy out’ approach will avoid shocking your body and help to mitigate any effects of hunger even further. Remember, ProLon is designed to forgo painful hunger pangs that many people experience with water-only fasts by feeding your body the nutrients it needs while still restricting calories, prompting the cellular rejuvenation process known as autophagy.
Discover these tips from nutritionist and fasting expert Don Gordon on how to get started before and return to a balanced diet afterwards.
How to prepare for FMD
Try these three top tips two days before you start your fast:
Control your portions: Dial back on your portion sizes to prepare you for the reduced calorific intake during the five-day ProLon programme.
Hydrate: Get serious with your hydration intake, even if this means visiting the toilet more often! Up your hydration with two more glasses of water or three more herbal teas. Include an electrolyte supplement pre, during and post-fast to maintain key minerals which would ordinarily be present in the foods you have like magnesium and potassium. Try Elete, a clean non-flavoured hydration drink with trace minerals from Great Salt Lake, Utah, with 15% off using discount code ‘elite15’. Drink at least 2 litres during the fast, and more if required due to hot weather.
Exercise: Increase exercise or activity the day before you fast; this will help deplete your energy reserves stored in the muscles and liver so you will enter ketosis faster from day one. There’s no need to go overdo it though—work within your own range of capability as nothing too intense is required.
What to do after FMD
The hard work is done, and now it’s up to you to maintain your healthy reset. Introducing food to your body on transition day can feel liberating and confusing at the same time.
Remember when introducing food back into your system, you want to keep it light and mostly consume plant-based foods. Limit fruits high in sugar, sugary drinks, refined pasta and bread, white rice and animal products, instead focusing on unsweetened plant milk, a variety of vegetables and unsaturated fats.
Here are four top tips to help guide you through a successful transition off ProLon—think of it as day 6:
Support your microbiome: Try fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and coconut yoghurt. This will help to underpin the plant-based FMD programme. Good bacteria live on three types of foods: prebiotic, probiotic and polyphenol. Foods from these groups have live microbes that support immune function, neurotransmitter production and vitamin metabolism. Other prebiotic foods include chicory, dandelion root, asparagus, burdock and hummus, leeks, and garlic. Polyphenols come from spices like cinnamon, saffron, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil, as well as broccoli and olives.
Nourish your liver: Supporting detox pathways helps to eliminate toxins stored in visceral fat, as well as old hormones like oestrogen metabolites. This can be supported with folate from fibre such as homemade vegetable soups or Mediterranean vegetables with hummus. In addition to liver-supporting milk thistle and dandelion tea.
Support your hormones: Out of all the macronutrients, fat tends to stabilise blood sugar the most and will actually help you to continue to burn fat. Avocado ticks the right boxes with good amounts of fibre and fat, while pumpkin, hemp and chia seeds provide omega-3 essential fats. Incorporating this into a transition meal may include avocado on sourdough with hummus, seeds and watercress which is high in magnesium.
Include protein: Maintaining lean tissue with muscle mass is a key component of good functional health particularly as we age. By undertaking a prolonged fast with the 5-day FMD, you stimulate autophagy, the cellular clean-up by limiting protein intake. Once completed, you enter a transition phase and the increased levels of protein stimulate the same cellular healing pathway called mTOR. This is one of the metabolic switching effects through opposing healing mechanisms: clean up and take out damaged cellular material (‘autophagy) followed by protein synthesis for new growth and repair.
There are 20 different amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential. Even though animal protein packs the biggest punch, there are 3 plant-based amino acids that assist in building muscle: leucine, isoleucine and valine. The re-feeding phase on day 6 and beyond should support muscle growth and may include a bone broth, or a hemp and pea protein smoothie with coconut milk. Plant-based foods containing leucine are pumpkin seeds, tofu and haricot beans so try including some of these in your transition day menu to boost your protein.
Note how you revitalised you feel—you should experience better digestion, energy and sometimes even weight loss. You can make ProLon part of your regular health and wellbeing management with our 5-Day Kits.