Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)

FMD Fish Dish

Have you heard about the nutritional regime known as the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), developed by academics at the University of Southern California? 

One of the scientists behind this revolutionary new way of fasting is Prof. Valter Longo, Professor in Gerontology and Biological Science at the USC, and Director of its Longevity Institute.

What might make this new fasting diet do-able is that most of us would only need to follow this fasting regime four times a year to reduce our risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as to boost our immune system, lose weight and look younger too. 

"Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous," says Prof Longo. "So we developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body." 

In his study, reported this week in the journal Cell Metabolism, old mice placed on cycles of a four-day low-calorie diet had reduced visceral belly fat, and increased numbers of progenitor and stem cells in several organs — including the brain, where neural regeneration was boosted, as was memory. 

"This fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is less of a stressor on the body than complete fasting. It supplies most of the carbohydrates in the form of vegetables which are packed with phytonutrients and minerals and positively good for us, rather than grain-derived carbohydrates which don't supply much except sugar. One of the hormones this diet reduces is insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1); high levels of which are correlated with increased risk of cancer." 

Here's an example of a Fasting Mimicking Diet eating plan:

Day One

FMD permitted calories: 1,090 max

  • Breakfast: Black or Green Tea; one boiled egg (78 calories) + one slice whole wheat toast (68 calories)
  • Lunch: black coffee or tea; small green salad with avocado, dressed with olive oil (300 calories)
  • Snack: two almonds (28 calories)
  • Dinner: Large helping of mixed green vegetable soup with borlotti beans, and slice of whole wheat bread (616 calories)

Day Two

FMD permitted calories: 725 calories max

  • Breakfast: Black or green tea; one poached egg with a grilled tomato (100 calories)
  • Lunch: Miso soup (21 cals)
  • Snack: 7 walnut halves (90 cals)
  • Dinner: Vegetable chilli with kidney beans and two tsp sour cream (514 cals)

Day Three

FMD permitted calories: 725 calories max

  • Breakfast: Black or Green tea: one slice whole wheat toast with two tsp of cashew butter (150 calories)
  • Lunch: Espresso; Smoked Salmon (100g) with watercress (200 cals)
  • Snack: Blueberries (100g) (57 cals)
  • Dinner: Large portion vegetable soup (318 cals)

Day Four

FMD permitted calories: 725 calories max

  • Breakfast: Black or Green tea; half an avocado on one slice of whole wheat toast (220 cals)
  • Lunch: Espresso; 250ml glass of almond milk (60 cals)
  • Snack: two squares 70 per cent dark chocolate (110 cals)
  • Dinner: Large green salad with 100g prawns, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice (335 cals)

Day Five

FMD permitted calories: 725 calories max

  • Breakfast: black or green tea; two boiled eggs (156 cals)
  • Lunch: Half an avocado on toast; miso soup (210 cals)
  • Snack: An apple (60 cals)
  • Dinner: Large portion of vegetable soup with 10g toasted pine nuts (299 cals)

You can watch a video about the Fasting Mimicking Diet on the ABC Catalyst website here, or to read this original article in more detail, go here.


Okami Life. Optimal Living.

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