Fasting is all the rage in the wellness world, its proponents touting benefits that range from better blood sugar control, to weight loss and metabolic flexibility, to chronic disease prevention and a longer life span. And fasting isn't just gaining traction in the wellness industry; the scientific and medical communities are also experimenting with its potential healing and disease-prevention properties.
Now researchers are designing programs that harness the healing powers of fasting. Dr. Valter Longo—a biochemist at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Longevity Institute—designed the ProLon (ProLon stands for pro-longevity) Fasting Mimicking Diet, which is a kit with five days of pre-prepared food and instructions that guide you through the fast. The specific combination of nutrients in the diet is designed to make the body think it's been totally without food, but you don't feel as deprived because you eat pre-prepared foods during the day. It's been shown to improve a wide range of biological markers like cholesterol, inflammation, and fasting glucose and is completely made of plant-based, whole foods. The program was developed after many years of preclinical and clinical studies at the Longevity Institute and the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at USC (all funded by the National Institutes of Health).
I'm a fan of intermittent fasting—which I've used in the past to improve my blood sugar control, cravings, and brain fog—so I was curious to see how the packaged fasting mimicking program would compare. I gave ProLon a try and here's how it went: