Fasting-mimicking diets and other forms of faster can have a variety of health benefits. Below is a summary of the clinical research behind the FMD, a breakdown of what can happen within your body throughout day 1-5 of a fast, examples of what protocols could be beneficial for different individuals, and how often to complete the LFD. For more information on the research behind fasting and fasting-mimicking diet, head to the Research and Resources page for an extensive list of research papers.
Fasting-Mimicking Protocol Background
Sip Kitchen’s Longevity Fasting Diet is based on the published clinical research from the “Fasting Mimicking Diet” (FMDTM). The FMDTM is the culmination of decades of ground-breaking work on longevity and on the biochemical pathways by which cells age by Dr Valter Longo and his team at the University of Southern California (USC) Longevity Institute.
Five-Day FMD Clinical Trial
In April 2017, outcomes from the first randomised clinical human trial of participants completing the FMDTM for five-days a month for three consecutive months were published.
The outcomes of the study were reported as including:
- A reduction in blood glucose and a large increase in ketones
- A 25%+ reduction in circulating Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
- Orchestrating genes to increase cellular protection
- A reduction in blood pressure for those participants with moderately high blood pressure
- Initiating stem cell rejuvenation
- Initiating autophagy & apoptosis
- A reduction in C-Reactive Protein (CRP) & Interleukin 6 (IL-6)
- Positive changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- A reduction in body weight, with decreases in visceral stomach fat in particular and an increase in lean muscle mass
- A shift to produce more lymphoid vs myeloid immune cells
In essence, this carefully constructed diet allows your body to initiate a set of highly coordinated protectionist measures that we are biologically capable of but which most of the time remain dormant due to our ready and stable supply of food. It allows your body to enhance its performance, rejuvenate its cells, and thrive under such circumstances.
Other Forms of Fasting
There is also extensive research into the benefits of periods of shorter fasting and low protein diets. These benefits include:
- Improving biomarkers such as insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol & body fat which are common indicators of metabolic syndromes such as type II diabetes & heart disease
- Decreased inflammation
- Decreasing cancer risk and improving the effects of chemotherapy
- Depleting glycogen stores and initiating fat-burning⠀
- Weight loss
- Improving gut health
- Improved energy, mental clarity and focus
Most individuals also find that a shorter period of fasting, such as the three-day LFD, is easier to adhere to and can be used on a more regular basis than longer periods of fasting.
What Happens When you Fast?
Who should do the LFD?
Fasting and fasting-mimicking diets have been shown to be beneficial for many individuals, whether it be for weight loss, decreasing unhealthy abdominal fat, improving blood glucose control, decreasing inflammation, or decreasing cancer markers.
Sip Kitchen’s three-day and five-day LFD is intended primarily for healthy individuals who want to improve their health, those who have sub-optimal markers for chronic conditions, and overweight individuals who want to better manage their weight and metabolic markers.
What’s right for me?
Start with listing your health goals and then prioritising them in order of importance. Be aware of your current stress level and any significant lifestyle factors (travel, family etc). This should help steer you in the right direction. It is important to understand your stress levels ahead of undertaking a fast, especially for middle-aged females. Too much added stress by way of a stringent protocol or extended fast is likely to be counterproductive and can disrupt hormones. A couple of days a week of eTRF (Early Time-Restricted Feeding) combined with a healthy wholefood diet may be enough to begin with.
If you need guidance on understanding what’s right for you, please discuss with your GP or health professional.
- Slim individuals who have no major health issues and are interested in anti-aging/longevity may choose to complete the five-day or three-day Longevity Fasting Diet 1-2 times per year, in combination with including one of our My800 meal plans or using Time Restricted Feeding.
- A busy individual with signs of metabolic syndrome who doesn’t have the time or inclination to prepare food mid-week may be more suited to a more intensive My800 approach such as 5-days on 2-days off for several weeks to accelerate biomarker improvement, then progress to maintenance via 5:2 intermittent fasting.
- A menopausal female may be best suited to completing the three-day or five-day Longevity Fasting Diet once a year, with My800 three-day meal plans or 5:2 intermittent fasting used more regularly for weight control (as it contains more protein which is important for menopausal women).
- A cancer patient wanting to help protect healthy cells during chemotherapy but can't afford to lose too much weight could be suited to doing the three-day LFD leading into treatment and then go back to eating normally again.
- A busy individual with high stress load, or an individual susceptible to hormonal disruption from decreased energy intake who wants to start fasting to achieve specific health goals may be better suited to a three-day LFD.
- Individuals who are new to fasting and may struggle with a longer fast may wish to start with a three-day LFD before trying a longer fast such as the five-day LFD.
- An athlete may be best suited to doing three-day My800 meal plans 2-4 times a year (not in heavy training weeks) to maximise NAD+ and improve fat burning/adaptation.
Dr Valter Longo’s clinical recommendations on the frequency for undertaking a FMD™ are as follows:
- Once a month for those who are obese or overweight with at least two risk factors: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or neurodegenerative disease
- Once every three months for those who are of an average weight with at least one risk factor: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or neurodegenerative disease
- Once every four months for healthy people with a normal diet who are not physically active
- Twice per year for those who are healthy and physically active
- It is recommended that you do not participate in the five-day Longevity Fasting Diet or any other extended fast (longer than 3 days in duration) within a month of completing your last five-day Longevity Fasting Diet to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Since the three-day LFD is less intensive than the five-day LFD you can complete it more frequently. Please see our recommendations below on how frequently you should participate in the three-day LFD:
- Two three-day LFD per month for three months for those who are obese or overweight with at least two risk factors: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or neurodegenerative disease
- Two three-day LFD every three months for those who are of an average weight with at least one risk factor: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or neurodegenerative disease
- One three-day LFD every four months for healthy people with a normal diet who are not physically active