The 5-2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test

The 5-2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test
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The effects of eating only 5 days a week or a fasting-mimicking diet 5 days a month.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What about instead of eating every other day, you ate five days a week, and fasted for the other two? The available data is actually similar to that of alternate-day fasting. About a dozen pounds of weight loss was reported in overweight men and women over a 6-month period with no difference found between those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting regimen and those on a continuous 500-calories-a-day restriction. The largest trial to date found an 18-pound weight loss within six months in the 5:2 group, not significantly different from the 20 pounds lost in the continuous calorie-restriction group. Weight maintenance over a subsequent six months was also found to be no different.

Though feelings of hunger may be more pronounced on the 5:2 pattern than an equivalent level of daily calorie cutting, it does not seem to lead to overeating on the non-fasting days. One might expect going two days without food might negatively impact mood, but no such adverse impact was noted for those fully fasting on zero calories, or sticking to just two packets of oatmeal on each of the “fasting” days  (which provided about 500 calories a day). Like alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 fasting pattern appeared to have inconsistent effects on cognition and lean mass preservation, and failed to live up to the popular notion that intermittent fasting would prove to be easier to adhere to than daily calorie restriction.

In fact, fewer subjects on the 5:2 pattern expressed interest in continuing the diet after the study was over compared to the continuous restriction control group, attributed to quality of life issues, citing “headaches, lack of energy and the difficulty of fitting the fasting days into their weekly routine.” However, there has yet to be a single 5:2 diet study showing elevated LDL cholesterol compared to continuous calorie restriction at six months or a year, offering a potential advantage over alternate-day regimens.

Instead of 5:2, what about 25:5, spending five days a month on a “fasting-mimicking diet”? Longevity researcher Valter Longo designed a five-day meal plan to try to simulate the metabolic effects of fasting by being low in protein, sugars, and calories with zero animal protein or animal fat. By making it plant-based, he was hoping to lower the level of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1—which he indeed accomplished, along with a drop in markers of inflammation, after three cycles of his five-days-a-month program.

One hundred men and women were randomized to consume his fasting-mimicking diet for five consecutive days per month, or to maintain their regular diet the whole time. After three months, the FMD group (the fasting-mimicking diet group) was down about six pounds compared to control, with significant drops in body fat and waist circumference, accompanied by a drop in blood pressures. Those who were the worse off accrued the most dramatic benefits. What’s even crazier is that three further months after completion, some of the benefit appeared to persist, suggesting the effects may last for several months. It’s unclear, though, if those randomized to the fasting-mimicking diet group used it as an opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes that helped maintain some of the weight loss.

Dr. Longo created a company to commercially market his meal plan, but to his credit says he donates 100 percent of the profits he receives from it to charity. The whole diet appears to mostly just be a few dehydrated soup mixes, herbal teas like hibiscus and chamomile, kale chips, nut-based energy bars, an algae-based DHA supplement, and a multivitamin dusted with vegetable powder. So, I figure, why spend 50 dollars a day on a few processed snacks when you could instead eat a few hundred calories a day of real vegetables?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Couleur via pixnio. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What about instead of eating every other day, you ate five days a week, and fasted for the other two? The available data is actually similar to that of alternate-day fasting. About a dozen pounds of weight loss was reported in overweight men and women over a 6-month period with no difference found between those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting regimen and those on a continuous 500-calories-a-day restriction. The largest trial to date found an 18-pound weight loss within six months in the 5:2 group, not significantly different from the 20 pounds lost in the continuous calorie-restriction group. Weight maintenance over a subsequent six months was also found to be no different.

Though feelings of hunger may be more pronounced on the 5:2 pattern than an equivalent level of daily calorie cutting, it does not seem to lead to overeating on the non-fasting days. One might expect going two days without food might negatively impact mood, but no such adverse impact was noted for those fully fasting on zero calories, or sticking to just two packets of oatmeal on each of the “fasting” days  (which provided about 500 calories a day). Like alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 fasting pattern appeared to have inconsistent effects on cognition and lean mass preservation, and failed to live up to the popular notion that intermittent fasting would prove to be easier to adhere to than daily calorie restriction.

In fact, fewer subjects on the 5:2 pattern expressed interest in continuing the diet after the study was over compared to the continuous restriction control group, attributed to quality of life issues, citing “headaches, lack of energy and the difficulty of fitting the fasting days into their weekly routine.” However, there has yet to be a single 5:2 diet study showing elevated LDL cholesterol compared to continuous calorie restriction at six months or a year, offering a potential advantage over alternate-day regimens.

Instead of 5:2, what about 25:5, spending five days a month on a “fasting-mimicking diet”? Longevity researcher Valter Longo designed a five-day meal plan to try to simulate the metabolic effects of fasting by being low in protein, sugars, and calories with zero animal protein or animal fat. By making it plant-based, he was hoping to lower the level of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1—which he indeed accomplished, along with a drop in markers of inflammation, after three cycles of his five-days-a-month program.

One hundred men and women were randomized to consume his fasting-mimicking diet for five consecutive days per month, or to maintain their regular diet the whole time. After three months, the FMD group (the fasting-mimicking diet group) was down about six pounds compared to control, with significant drops in body fat and waist circumference, accompanied by a drop in blood pressures. Those who were the worse off accrued the most dramatic benefits. What’s even crazier is that three further months after completion, some of the benefit appeared to persist, suggesting the effects may last for several months. It’s unclear, though, if those randomized to the fasting-mimicking diet group used it as an opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes that helped maintain some of the weight loss.

Dr. Longo created a company to commercially market his meal plan, but to his credit says he donates 100 percent of the profits he receives from it to charity. The whole diet appears to mostly just be a few dehydrated soup mixes, herbal teas like hibiscus and chamomile, kale chips, nut-based energy bars, an algae-based DHA supplement, and a multivitamin dusted with vegetable powder. So, I figure, why spend 50 dollars a day on a few processed snacks when you could instead eat a few hundred calories a day of real vegetables?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Couleur via pixnio. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

How interesting was that?! All-you-can-eat above-ground vegetables for five days would have that same low amount of protein, sugars, and calories, with zero animal protein or animal fat. But, we’ll probably never know if it works as well, better, or worse since it’s hard to imagine such a study ever getting done without the financial incentive.

More on IGF-1 in my video Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking.

So far in this fasting series I’ve covered the basics of calories and weight loss:

…water-only fasting:

…and types of alternate-day fasting:

I close it out with time-restricted eating in Time-Restricted Eating Put to the Test and The Benefits of Early Time-Restricted Eating, coming up soon.

If you want them all in one place, I’ve also done three webinars on fasting: Intermittent Fasting, Fasting for Disease Reversal, and Fasting and Cancer, which are available here for download individually or as a set.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

130 responses to “The 5-2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test

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  1. Nice surprise that Longo donates the money from his expensive, processed soups to charity.

    I have bought them and they are expensive, but that makes me feel better.

    Honestly, I think people who have cancer are the ones buying them and they want to make sure they are doing it properly.

    1. The charity he’s donating to is the one that funds his clinical trials. Producing a prescribable, albeit overpriced product, is an interesting solution to the problem of how to fund lifestyle intervention research.

      Omitted in this brief discussion of the FMD is that while its plant based, and agnostic on fats and carbs (~45% each), when considering the low 1100-700 kcal intakes, its a protein restriction diet. Valter Longo has written extensively on protein restriction.

    2. Hello
      I m a behavior change specialist
      I have experimented Dr Longo s FMD with my clients before he made the kit with Prolon we had a little book with all the recipes…..
      Results …it was difficult, my clients still need shopping than a lot of counting and weighting the veg…..and cooking , onthe 3 rd day …it is difficult so they decide …. to stop and do it again next week …..so there is this psychological effect more with the kit …we begin we pay this non négligeable amount of money so on Day 3 we don’t want to waste the kit and our money ….and we find the willpower to finish ….

      1. Nathalie, I do find day 3 the most difficult. On day 4 I feel the worst, but know only one day left. By day 5 I am feeling great, more energy, really up eat. But after the first fasting time I knew the benefit, and that it isn’t really that hard.
        People have asked Dr. David Sinclair if you can just eat normally, and work off, exercise off, the extra calories to be slim. He said the studies have shown, no. It’s the time of being hungry that is beneficial.

        1. Dear Marylin You are perfectly right , the more I educate my clients on what s happening during the fast , .’’D3 autophagy etc …the easiest they can do it , it s your brain that is convinced :), the problem all the wrong information on social medias as for exemple you can get autophagy with an intermittent fast of 16 h, …we are lucky to have dr Greger and all his energy to show the science based facts .

          Envoyé de mon iPad

          1. Nathalie, thank you for mentioning the real benefit, autophagy. Most people are only looking at this as some kind of a weight loss program. But autophagy is what it takes to promote healthy function on a cellular level.
            How wonderful that you are working with clients to do this!

            1. Yes! I have been discouraged by Dr. Greger’s emphasis on weight loss. I hope he covers autophagy and other physiological benefits in greater detail.

              I did the Prolon fast, and I also tried a do-it-yourself 5-25 FMD, but I have ended up reverting to water fasting, which I find actually to be easier and more potent in terms of the health benefits (at least subjectively). I have done a 7-23 water fast every month for over a year now.

                1. Thanks for your reply.

                  I have watched almost every video Dr. Greger has ever produced. Very few exceptions, if any.

                  The video you cite is excellent, however it deals with autophagy in connection with caloric restriction (CR), not fasting. To my knowledge, Dr. G has not addressed the non-weight related physiological benefits of fasting in any video heretofor.

                  In addition, Dr. Greger talks about the 5/25 regime in connection with the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) only, whereas in previous videos in the series he had talked about fasting in the context of total abstinence from food, i.e., water fasting (WF). For clarity, I would have preferred that he separate his discussions of CR, WF, and FMD.

                  1. I also acknowledge that Dr Greger’s focus in this series is on weight loss. But, again, that does not change my wish that he would also cover non-weight health benefits of fasting.

  2. “I have bought them and they are expensive, but that makes me feel better.”

    I think I have watched every program from BBC presenter Dr Mosley on the 5:2 diet and the alt day fast diet. Lots of good science. I liked the interview with Dr Longo also. I have tried the 5:2 and the alternate day fast for longevity reasons of health maintainance and was thinking about Longo’s FMD plan. Thanks for the info… I’ll give it a go..
    mitch

  3. “So, I figure, why spend 50 dollars a day on a few processed snacks when you could instead eat a few hundred calories a day of real vegetables?”

    I guess you could “mimic” the FMD meal plan if you used close to the same ingredients and close to the same calorie/protein/carb/fat content, yes?
    mitch

    1. Mitch, the diet is as Dr, Gregor states totally vegan.
      Day 1- is 1100 calories. 70gm fat, 98 carbs, 26 protein
      Day 2- 5 about 700 calories
      Day 2- 37 fat, 74 carbs, 15 protein
      Day-3- 39 fat, 72 carbs, 18 protein
      Day-4- 37 fat, 76 carbs, 14 protein
      Day-5- 39 fat, 72 carbs, 18 protein
      But these macronutrients are Not divided evenly. Breakfast every day is a nut bar with 23gm of fat, 13gm carbs, 5gm protein, 280 calories. On day 1 you get another of these bars as a snack between lunch and dinner.
      Lunch and dinner are soups, olives, kale crackers on some days.
      Day 2-5 lunch and dinner usually have one meal with more calories than the other. Apparently the ratios are important, as is the exact fat, carb, protein ratio.
      My advice is to do the Prolon program once to get the exact info. Keep the soup packets, or write down exactly how to do it.
      Then you can do what Dr.Greger recommends, and substitute real food.

      1. Btw, I have done the program now 4 times. My intention is to do it every 3 months. I do the exact amounts of the macronutrients for each meal for the 5 days within a tight margin. It is most likely important to do this. I calculate the nutrients in various foods, and weight out each vegetable, mushroom, nut etc. so it is complicated. For the soups I usually start with a no fat vegetable broth, then add veggies to get the correct proportions. For the fat in the soups I either add EVOO, or munch a few walnuts.
        Except for the first day avocados are too high fat to use.
        1 cup of coffee in the morning is allowed, I usually substitute tea. After that only herbal teas like lemon, peppermint, hibiscus are allowed. There are some drinks included in the package. But I haven’t bothered to replace them, just use water or herbal tea. I do take 1/2 food derived multi-vitamin every other day. Also algae oil.
        Yes, insulin, igf-1 goes down. I don’t have high blood pressure, and mine doesn’t change much. I usually lose about 5 pounds, but that will vary. Since I have a high amount of lean body mass, low fat, I don’t change my diet after and slowly go back to my target weight.
        I don’t get headaches, or any other issue. Past times I didn’t do my regular workout routine. This time I’m experimenting with a lower intensity one. Brisk walking for about an hour, or running just a mile and a half, walking the rest of the hour.
        Today will be shoveling snow. :)

        1. Marilyn,

          That is the most useful feedback possible.

          Can I ask what you are motivated to do it for?

          Some people are cancer focused and some people are longevity focused and some are weight loss focused and some are overall health-motivated.

          I bought it related to cancer and I am someone who did so many types of fasting with church for years and I lost any desire to fast at all.

          This would be what I did if I got cancer, but I am more “eat healthy food” oriented.

          I don’t know if It will translate to health outcomes but I am not really health motivated. I probably would be more like my brothers who have health issues and aren’t changing their diets if I hadn’t found WFPB.

          I was talking to 2 65-year olds yesterday and they have not heard anything about any dietary solutions for health and one of them is very ill and the other is walking him through it. Not one mention of one vegetable. The hospitals don’t serve healthy foods either. Neither do rehabs. They companions who come in and cook don’t have any concept of healthy foods.

          They never heard of any of the doctors.

          I made a comment about Steven Hawking talking about the blessing of his physical condition and how it made him a better scientist and this professional man had never heard of Steven Hawking.

          I watch a lot of PBS and used to have cable and watched Discovery channel is what I realized.

  4. Seems kind of elitist to price it so high for what it is, charity or not… no way I could afford the FMD plan, but would love to try it. Despite the insistence that the specific ratios are critical, I’m sure some math whiz could emulate it with selections of real food? I tried but duh! Anybody? lol

    1. From my research and lots of reading I found this….
      Make the foods WFPB and BobsYourUncle…;^)
      mitch

      The bodyweight based variation works like this –

      Day 1: 10 to 16 calories per kg bodyweight, 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbs

      Days 2 – 5: 7 to 11 calories per kg bodyweight, 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbs

      Macros for traditional fast mimicking are:
      First Day:
      34% carbs 10% protein 56% fat

      Remaining Days:
      47% carbs 9% protein 44% fat

      1. Yep, I saw those macros somewhere also. All that’s needed is an app or website such as cronometer.com to plug in your choice of vegetables, fats, grains or legumes to match those macros and you’re golden.

    2. I would also like to see someone create alternatives to achieve this without buying bars etc. Seems like Dr. Greger just
      teased us on this video.

      1. I did it successfully hacking my own recipes using the free app Lose it to track ingredients and macronutrient ratios.
        It was not that hard…basically 400 calories of fat a day and 400 calories of low carb vegetables. I ate soups twice a day bascially loaded with veggies and then added enough fat in the form of olive oil, olives or snacked on celery with nut butters.

        In fact the cauliflower jambayla with okra, peppers, celery, tomato and jackfruit was so filliing I could not finish the 400 calorie bowl….200 calories of low carb veg take up alot of space!

        I also made a great spicy muhammara dip with red peppers olive oil and walnuts and used daikon, celery, jicama. I also did an eggpant dip with olive ol and crudite.
        The soups were butternut squash with coconut milk; cabbage and sauerkraut, mushroom celery. Tomato.
        I also did kale/chard agrodulce: steamed greens with balsamic, raisins, capers, pine nuts and olive oil as a meal. I think the soups more filling.

        It was not that hard….as in I did not feel ravenous, did not obsess too much about food…but definetly interferes with social life as I did over a weekend and makes it difficult to meet friends for a meal or drink.

        I plan on doing one a month after thanksgiving and Xmas just to get out of holiday eating mode.

        I think doing it in the summer months with more summer focused produce would be good too…

    3. My wife and I did it or year ago and it is heavily packaged like a cadre of Apple products. The packaging actually helps you do it without having to think about what you’re doing but it would be very easy for someone to mimic the fasting mimicking diet and set everything out in let’s say Ziploc bags or Tupperware. But the bottom line is when you’re fasted you’re miserable and you don’t want to be thinking about it. The olives definitely help you get through that first day and also they have those glycerin water that taste sweet and that is a key part of it as well. It’s basically very expensive because they have to design package and market it but the ingredients are very easy to replicate.

      We personally never want to do it again. We’d rather focus on life extending practices such as maintaining healthy weight through WFPBD, exercise. I also Take david Sinclair regimen for longevity: nightly metformin (though I’m not prediabetic), NMN 1gm per day, Resveratrol 1gm per day. He also advocates restricting calories but more by skipping meals while busy rather than sitting around starving. Slight starvation diet did clearly help the Okinawans (who practiced eating 80% fullness) but I’m unable to do that.

      1. Thanks for that info. Have you found good + inexpensive sources for NMN and resveratrol? I haven’t seen any that make me want to take the plunge (and Sinclair generally doesn’t publicly state what he takes (although I think he’s got lots of resveratrol left over from past studies)).

        1. Keep in mind that the vast majority of studies investigating supplements show that they either have no benefit or actually increase the risk for disease and premature death, especially cancer, as compared to placebo. Best to get your resveratrol and other antioxidants from fruits, veggies and nuts.

        2. Rhonda Patrick (foundmyfitness) did an interview with David Sinclair recently. He struck me as elitist, almost bragging about the hugely expensive supplements he takes, which he has obtained for research!–which, if I understand it correctly, is funded by donations! Red flag for me. Much better to live a healthy lifestyle and eat the right foods, and fasting doesn’t cost a thing!

        3. Have you found good + inexpensive sources for NMN and resveratrol?
          ————————————————————————————————–
          Can’t say I’ve found an inexpensive source (Alive By Nature brand) but I do believe I’ve found the most efficient source. That is, they offer the product as a sublingual tablet. Easy to take and by going directly into the blood stream from under the tongue, you get the full benefit of the NMN, whereas going the pill form you lose much of the benefit due to stomach acid destruction.

          One very important thing I learned from Sinclair when watching the Rhonda Patrick interview… keep your NMN refrigerated as you lose strength otherwise.

    4. I did the FMD twice now. I ate mostly steamed vegetables and fermented vegetables. I didn’t restrict my calories all to vegetables. I did eat free range eggs and salads with home made olive oil dressing on the first day. After the first day I stuck to steamed vegetables.

      Only problem with this FMD is that I lost weight I didn’t need to lose. Now I do the FMD only twice a year. Right now I’m doing 2500 calories a day two days in a row followed by a 1000 calorie day on the third day. Problem with this method of eating is that you can’t meet your RDA nutritional requirements without supplementing.

      1. Allen, if you add eggs, you are still raising insulin, IGF-1 and mTor. So it will accomplish weight loss, but lose the more important benefits.

    5. I have done the fasting mimicking diet a couple of times with just substituting real vegetables and fruit with mushrooms instead of the diet. It makes me feel great and I think it will decrease my odds of cancer, diabetes, and obesity. I just had like kale with mushrooms and two olives, a couple of nuts, a tiny apple, or some broccoli for example. Not that hard. My new normal is to do that diet at least once every winter. It feels like a good habit for me. During the rest of the year I have too many wonderful fruits and vegies growing in my garden. Seems natural to fast in the winter.

      John S

  5. I want to study Nutrition! But not the traditional view. Dr. Greger view!!! I became vegan 4 years ago to lower my cholesterol level. Started to learn more and decided to change my career and my life. Which schools would have that approach of increase longevity and improve health through nutrition? Could you let me know which schools would you recommend?

    I will be eternally grateful!

    Andrea

    1. Andrea, I’d consider an eCornell Plant based diet certification! It’s a one time course that the certificate doesn’t expire and require continuing education ($$) and is taught by the heavyweights in the WFPB world!

      I’m letting my CCN expire as it was a huge expense and very expensive to maintain…. and not respected enough to get a job with… sigh. It was a nice add on to my RN though. Plan to do the eCornell certificate myself.

  6. For people wanting to try it, they can get $50 off for Black Friday

    It still is $200, for soup packets and tiny almost Lara bars and olives and hibiscus tea, but that is better than $250

    1. Lets see, 5 McDougall soup cups are less than $10.

      Olive pearls are less than $4.

      Making your own kale chips is maybe $5.

      Hibiscus tea bags are about $5 (for more than 5)

      The bars of all types are around $1 to $1.50 each, but are twice as big as you are allowed, but $5 to $7

      So, you are paying $250 for the ability to do the math.

      1. In fairness the packaging and design are part of what you pay for. iPhone is about $100 of parts and labor- rest is marketing and profit. ProLon packaging and app also helped get my wife and I through It. Yes we figured we could easily replicate it- but have we? Nope. We lost weight and regained it. I can See a place for it. Better for someone to do this once monthly for a year rather than weight loss surgery for example. Anyway, it’s not a con job they’re just trying to make it more compelling and that increases adherence. Heck the price made us comply! If it were only $5, we would’ve probably stupidly quit on that basis.

        1. Honestly, I didn’t see it as a weight loss product at all.

          I saw it as something people eat when they get cancer to have chemotherapy less toxic or to try to help immunotherapy.

          But it is way too expensive for cancer patients.

  7. When looking at the photo of the soup, I was impressed by the hexagonal carrot slices! How is that done?

    I don’t peel my carrots, just scrub them and slice them, so they are round, or half or quarter round, depending on how thick the carrot is.

    And we make most of our meals at home from whole plant foods. It keeps our total grocery bill down, for sure. So we can donate more of our money to charities of our choice. Such as Nutrition Facts. I LOVE the outreach cards, and the little Eating Guide (which I call the Quick Guide for Busy People); so convenient to give to interested folks I meet.

  8. As always, I wonder: What were the study subjects eating before (and during) the study? And what effects would these various fasting regimes have for whole plant food eaters?

    1. Dr J,

      I agree, particularly in this instance where people could go from whole fruits and vegetables to processed foods, even if low calorie.

      My grocery bill went up when I went WFPB.

      I am amazed at how much I spend on fruits and vegetables every single week. Every time I turn around it is a $100 Whole Foods run.

      1. I always ate a lot of pasta and never bought fruit or vegetables, so I guess produce costs more.

        I did buy things like any version of chocolate bars back then, but I still buy dark chocolate and that isn’t on sale as often, so I guess that cancels things out.

        I also never used spices before and didn’t eat any nuts or seeds and didn’t use any grains or things like oatmeal.

        1. Deb,

          I don’t only eat produce. I try to make my “plate” about 1/4 legumes, 1/4 whole grains, and about 1/2 produce, which includes both veggies and fruit.

          When produce is in season, I buy it locally at our little farmers market. Otherwise, I buy it at the grocery store, especially what I can’t buy locally. I buy fresh, frozen, and dried (the latter is mostly fruit) produce.

          I buy dry beans and grains, and make most of my meals at home. I make a lot of soups and stews, so a lot of veggies go into these dishes. I also serve veggies as side dishes, and eat fruit as snacks. I cook beans and whole grains either to eat as is or to add to salads, or as entrees. I rarely eat pasta any more. I also make my own bread, because I don’t buy that (too many additives, and generally not whole grain or real sourdough), but even then, we eat it sparingly.

          If I compare the cost of making my own meals to buying prepared (processed) meals or foods, cooking at home wins hands down, usually by at least 3 fold. And the difference is even greater when we eat out. And the food I prepare not only tastes better, but it is also healthier.

          Here’s one recent example: I’ve been cooking steel cut oats in my Instant Pot, with soy milk, water, raisins, chopped apples and cinnamon and nutmeg. I cook enough for 4 breakfasts (I heat the left-overs for breakfast), with left-overs which I eat cold after a meal as a dessert. These can be dressed up by adding dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds, ground flaxseed, coconut flakes, a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, etc. Much, much better than any “instant oatmeal” in a package. Even better than cooking rolled oats.

          For other breakfasts, I eat beans, which I cook in a batch, freezing portions for later breakfasts. I usually add onions, garlic, thyme, broth, and bay leaves. And Wow!! These beans are delicious! And easy. And they can be dressed up; one way is to add salsa and avocado. There are lots of possibilities. (I rarely eat canned beans, though I keep a few cans on hand in case the power goes out.)

          1. It is probably cheaper for you because you are eating grains and beans and oats.

            I don’t really eat grains or oats mostly since I don’t eat breakfast.

            I haven’t been cooking almost at all.

            Even when I was cooking, I was trying to eat the 10 servings of vegetables/fruit per day and that is where the cost is.

            1. I can tell you that 2 years ago, I did buy some grains, stocking my symbolic pantry (I don’t have a house with a pantry) but never used any of them. I just looked at them again to see the expiration date to see if I can give them to a food pantry. I thought I would use them eventually, but they never are what inspires me at all.

              I am going to be getting a pantry cabinet, but it is going to be home for things like multi-cooker, blender, food processor, immersion blender, electric kettle, etc.

              1. Deb,

                I don’t get inspired by looking at grains; I get inspired by reading recipes. If they look simple and easy, I consider trying them.

                Two pressure cooking books that I really like are “The New Fast Food” and “Vegan Under Pressure” by Jill Nussinow, an RD who has been teaching plant food eating for about 30 years. I like them because of their cooking charts (how to cook whole grains, beans, and veggies in a pressure cooker) and because Jill is a really good cook, and her recipes are wonderful! As well as healthy. The recipes use foods that I generally have on hand or can easily buy. And I make enough for left-overs, which makes the next meal or two easier.

              2. Deb,
                Look for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.) Have you heard of it? I have been a member of one or another for YEARS and wouldn’t do vegetables, along with occasional fruits without my CSA. I pay $100/month for a year-round CSA that is certified organic. Even in the winter in Michigan, I am getting kale, huge kohlrabi, huge collards, cabbage, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots (so SWEET right now!) as well as fabulous Asian greens like tatsoi, for example. There are less expensive options than my $100/mo option, as well. With my particular option, I can choose which vegetables I want, taking double of things I like and ignoring things I don’t. Add to this is Romaine lettuce that I don’t worry about…. I pick up my weekly load straight from the farm. I see the things growing, the land does not flood, there are no CAFOs near it, and I know what’s going on there. Supporting local workers that I know is a plus and I feel good that I am not paying to get food ridiculously shipped to me from overseas when it is grown so nearby. I highly recommend looking up CSAs near you. They can be found by googling.

            2. Deb,

              It sounds as though you don’t eat beans or whole grains, in contrast to me.

              I wonder how a whole plant food eater can eat a balanced diet without them. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen recommends eating 3 servings of each, where a serving of beans is about a half cup of cooked beans or the equivalent, and a serving of whole grains is also about a half cup of cooked grains or the equivalent. They are both a great source of protein and fiber.

              Plus I admit to being mystified about how a person can eat a healthy balanced whole plant food diet without cooking. To me, cooking food at home is key to eating this way, since there are so few options for eating out, and prepared foods are processed foods; neither one is very healthy, and both tend to be much more expensive than cooking and eating at home.

              1. J, While I agree with what you say, there are a few raw foodies who don’t eat grains and, prior to the invention of cooking, they were all of us. I personally strive to do what you do everyday. But raw could be more strenuous and even better. Don’t you think?

    2. I eat WFPB. And this fasting works for me. I have lung problems due to being in a fire when I was young. Also, almost everyone in my family has allergies, asthma, IBD etc. I was on lots of meds, trips to ER. Going WFPB, running, hiit exercise helped some. But fasting has caused much greater healing. And, of course, with greater lung function, I can workout more. It’s not just for cancer.

      1. Marilyn, thank you for your comments. I, too, was in a fire several years ago, and had to contend with residual contamination since. I suffer exercise asthma at the start of running and swimming and sometimes use an inhaler beforehand. Though I can not afford the prolon program, I will definitly give the 5 day fast a try for a few months. Thanks!

  9. If you read Longo’s book “The Longevity Diet”, he also provides a do-it-yourself fasting mimicking diet which does not require you to buy any of his products. It consists mainly of vegetables and nuts. I have tried it, and it’s palatable and prevents you from feeling bereft of all food for 5 or so days. So Dr. Greger’s comment right at the end of the video is exactly what Longo suggests (with the addition of nuts) for do-it-yourselfers.

      1. I was able to borrow Longo’s book from my local public library. If yours doesn’t have a copy, they can get one for you via Interlibrary Loan.

    1. Yes, Tim, you’re right; Longo does lay out a daily diet to follow in his book, but did you notice how he has you eat (if I remember correctly!) 1/8 cup of dried blueberries (or another dried fruit) a couple times a day? (I have his book, but it’s loaned out right now, so I can’t check my memory on this.) I can’t figure this out since an entire cup of fresh blueberries would provide far less sugar/carbs/calories, and they would give you much more fiber. I feel that his theory is spot-on, but I don’t think he knows very much about actual nutrition. Unless he has a reason for all the dried fruit consumption, I feel eating real fruit would be much better!

      Also, I’m hoping Dr. Greger does a video on 16:8 or 18:6 fasting. I do 18:6 because it’s been super easy to fit my lifestyle, and I don’t even feel like I’m fasting at all since I eat lunch and dinner. I can’t imagine trying to do 5:2 and juggling the 2 every week, depending on what was going on. (Just like the people in the study mentioned.)

      1. Suz – Dr. Longo’s diet plan was constructed with the help of a Registered Dietitian. They constructed the diet for a typical 5’5″ 130lb woman (if I recall) with the suggestion that a typical 5’11’ man would need to add 20% more calories. And everyone would need to extrapolate for their own physical body in terms of activities and body size variation. He presented that information as a basic example and guide so that you can make it fit for you.

  10. Since Dr. Longo is donating profits to charity, I would think he could apply the principle that “charity begins at home” and reduce the cost for his customers ! ?

    Like Dr. J, I noticed the hexagonal carrots.. I guess Dr; Longo must have a sorcerer/witch on staff (joke). But why peel them at all ? I seem to recall seeing recent reports that peels of apple, potato. and perhaps also carrot have nutrients that the flesh does not. Are we valuing aesthetics over nutrition?

    1. Michael, The photo of the soup is not a photo of the soups that come with the Prolon fasting mimicking diet program. It’s just a stock photo of a soup. The FMD soups are dehydrated, so all the veggie pieces are tiny squares even after being rehydrated. No one is paying extra for fancy knife skills.

    2. Hi, Michael Lauriston! It would be nice to have health-promoting substances be as affordable as those that destroy our health.
      I think most of the photos used here on NutritionFacts are stock photos (pun intended, in the case of soup). I agree that it is better not to peel fruits and vegetables with edible skins, as there are often valuable antioxidants and fiber to be found there. It’s just a picture, not an endorsement of peeling carrots, but I see your point.

  11. I’m with Doc for the “all you can eat above ground veggies ” as mentioned in his Dr. notes. I enjoy IF daily:21:3. I don’t recieve as many of the health benefits obtained by some of the other diet/fasting lifestyles but it is sustainable. Very good video

  12. For those wanting a DIY (Do It Yourself) version of the FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet), I recommend try Jan’s version detailed in her blog “GenXLifeIsGood.com”. She has analyzed and tweaked both the macronutrients and micronutrients to largely agree with Walter Longo’s patents, including a wonderful spreadsheet which was done correctly (I’m a Ph.D. biochemist). I have tried them twice and saw good results. Start here: http://genxlifeisgood.com/the-5-day-fasting-mimicking-diet-fmd-my-diy-version-round-2-results-large-cholesterol-drop-recipes-and-exercise/

  13. Following.
    Haven’t gone more than 24 hrs without food yet, but fasting mimicking with real whole foods looks easy enough.
    I don’t know how critical the macros are but low protein low sugar are obviously key to not breaking the fast, while getting adequate nutrients.
    Sounds like a meal of anti-cancer veggies including garlic onions Brussels sprouts kale broccoli cauliflower would do it without pushing fat, protein, sugar, carbs.

    1. Dave, you do need to do the fats, healthy fats though. The fairly high fat content, all those nuts, is important. That’s why he starts you with 23 grams of fat, only 14 carbs and 5 grams of protein for breakfast every day.

  14. Thats ridiculous.. and the soups are processed foods with oils, salt, and not even low fat at all apparently and there also are vitamins supplement which showed to be often useless and/or harmful… just do some real water fast for few days once in a while, will be much better and much cheaper, it will probably also be easier than eating a very low calories diet…

  15. Great video Dr G.
    The one thing left out of the video and comments above is the effect of the FMD on insulin resistance.
    For autophagy to occur, the body would enter ketosis. According to Dr G’s videos on low carb ketogenic diets is that insulin resistance increases. I have also noticed that Dr G mentioned that insulin resistance increases for some days after ketosis but did not mention if it is a long term thing. Even Atkins accepted that this is a phenomenon. He mentions in his 2002 book that one should eat 150gm of carbs for 3 days coming out of ketosis before doing a glucose tolerance test.

    So, the question I have is:
    Is there a lasting increase in insulin resistance after doing a FMD?

    1. Hi, Frank H! I think that the main reason ketogenic diets tend to increase insulin resistance is the high fat content typical of such diets. The fasting-mimicking diet achieves ketosis through calorie restriction rather than replacing carbohydrate with animal fat. The effects do appear to persist, especially if people do not return to an unhealthy diet after the FMD is completed. You can find much of Dr. Longo’s work in free full text here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Longo%20VD%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=24440038 I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you Christine. I think I understand what you are saying. The FMD 5 day diet is not a high fat diet and certainly no animal saturated fat diet. Of course the Atkins and other very low carb diet are usually high fat (animal saturated fat) diets. As Dr G has shown it is the animal saturated fat that causes the insulin resistance. Therefore, as you said, the FMD is totally different.
        Thank you again.
        By the way the link you provided doesn’t work for me.

        1. Frank, i have found that blood glucose levels are slightly higher in some people the day after the fast. Not- due to insulin resistance though, due to lower insulin output. The pancreas hasn’t had to work hard during the diet, Verified by C-peptide levels.

          1. Thank you Marilyn. Pancreas output is also an important consideration especially for people like me, with a lowered out normally. But this will improve after a few days of consuming normal amounts of carbs.

            1. Hi Liisa: I eat raw when I want to lose weight, so I end up eating mostly fruit, especially frozen bananas and blueberries. Otherwise our family makes a big pot of pintos or garbanzos or lentils every day along with brown rice or quinoa. We then put a scoop of those on a bed of lettuce or cabbage, then raw onions and tomatoes and corn on top. We often cook cabbage or spinach in with our legumes and sometimes spice it with onion powder, curry powder or cumin/chili powder. All this covers 90% of what we eat every day and never get tired of it.

              1. Ben, Putting legumes on lettuce, I can picture. However, what do you do with the cabbage before putting legumes on it? Shred it?
                Are you in Hawaii? I am in Michigan; we have snow now and it’s pretty, but cold, and I am craving hot soups!

          1. Ben, that is an interesting study you referenced.
            Also, it would be great if you could find a link to the Dr G video about BCAA being the culprit for insulin resistance contribution in animal protein.

              1. Oh, OK, I follow Steven. Yes the link shows numerous studies regarding Dr Longo’s FMD.
                I was confused because my last request was a link to Dr G’s video about BCAA being the culprit for insulin resistance contribution in animal protein.

  16. I don’t know how or why some of this forum’s participants constantly strive to make this into the “Processed Food Plant-Based Diet” forum…?

    The words ‘Whole Food’ should be self explanatory…never consume anything that has a shelf-life greater than 7-10 days.

    1. “…never consume anything that has a shelf-life greater than 7-10 days.”
      – – – – – –

      Oh, I dunno, LG. I don’t think I could ever give up my trusty nothing-added peanut butter; I’m an addict. Or dark chocolate squares for dessert after dinner. Or rolled or steel-cuts oats, etc. in the morning.

      https://www.quora.com/Is-peanut-butter-considered-a-processed-food

      https://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-steel-cut-rolled-and-instant-oats-138355

      1. LG King, so you are saying that foods like rice, barley, beans, potatoes, etc. are the same as processed foods?
        Even foods like beets, turnips, winter squash, will keep a lot longer than 10 days. How about home canned and frozen food? That’s how healthy people have lived for a long time.

  17. To Dr. Greger – I would like to mention that I feel you gave insufficient coverage of Dr. Longo’s research in this video. Longo’s work encompasses a lot more than the subject of weight reduction. His work shows us that a 5 day fast will consume the immune system via autophagy and the body will rebuild a new immune system when re-feeding begins. His work shows that this may be a gigantically helpful clinical tool to use for those with autoimmune disease (of which there are many) as the new immune cells that regrow at refeeding appear to not have the same autoimmune disposition i.e., they regrow as normal immune cells and do not self-attack the body. Clinical trials are now under way across the world. His work also shows that during a 5-day fast that the body’s normal cells go into a “hibernation” type of state. This is the best time to administer chemotherapeutic drugs which then do a better job of attacking the cancer as normal cells are protected and the person has less adverse reaction to the damaging effects of chemotherapy. Clinical trials are underway at this time wtih oncologists studying this work. This work in fasting is being studied for use in Type II diabetes as there are signs that this protocol may help to rebuild the pancreas (do not do this at home unsupervised as it can kill you). Given how a 5-day fast can re-boot our immune system, this protocol has huge implications in healthy aging.
    There is so much that Dr. Longo’s work has discovered that you have simply ignored that I feel compelled to mention it and also tell those reading these comments that they should read Dr. Longo’s work if you have any type of health condition that you are struggling with as this science deals with more than just weight loss. Dr. Longo was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. I feel Dr. Greger has done his readers a disservice by glossing over this important work.

    1. Ruth,

      Dr Greger is doing short videos on specific topics.

      This was not a video on cancer or autophagy. He recently did a longer format on cancer and chemo and fasting was discussed there, too, and it will probably come back again in other topics.

      This video was about using types of fasting for weight loss.

        1. Ruth

          Deb was very politely and very gently trying to point out that your comment completely missed the point of the video.,

          As the doctor’s note above makes perfectly clear ‘in this fasting series I’ve covered the basics of calories and weight loss:’

  18. I did Longo’s 3 month FMD protocol about one year ago. I mostly did it to lower my CRP level. I have been WFPB for seven years. My doctor did bloodwork before and after. This was my experience:
    – I felt like crap all five days. Seriously. You hear about feeling better after day two or three. No me. All five days sucked.
    – My CRP went down by about half but still not to a healthy level.
    – My cholesterol went up.
    – I have no idea if this is related but I haven’t had a cold in over a year and with two small children always getting sick, this is very weird for me.
    I’m glad this option was available because I get very light headed when fasting and didn’t trust myself to drive my children around if I had done water only fasting on my own even for one day. But the effects on my high CRP levels just weren’t enough. After a year of going to every specialist one can think of, my last resort is to attend True North for a two week water fast. I have a reservation for January.
    In short, I wouldn’t do FMD again. The results just weren’t significant enough for me especially given the price. But maybe for someone less sick or who wasn’t already WFPB it would be good.

  19. Christy said:

    “…but I haven’t had a cold in over a year”
    – – – – – – – –

    I haven’t had a cold or the flu since the winter of 2000. And I never had a flu shot. Nor do I ever eat between meals or go on fasts. Other than the 14-hour”fast” between dinner and the following breakfast. And, if anything, I’m considered underweight.

    In other words, so far so good. *knock on wood* :-)

  20. I have done FMD once with the kit and twice copying the kit, but making it myself. I still buy his bars to support his work. This has been a life changer for me. I gained a lot of weight by taking birth control pills and even the diet recommended by Fuhrman and this website didn’t work. I went to a lifestyle medicine doctor who recommended fasting and the FMD to reset my hormones and it did. I can now lose weight on the same food that didn’t work before. I think it also helped heal my plantar fasciitis. I would recommend the book. It is easier than water fasting.

    My husband tried it and it helped him lose belly fat and he had less pain from nerve damage he’s had for years and helped his symptoms since his gallbladder surgery. My son did it to try to reset his allergy to grass. He was disappointed until he found out it reset his food allergies instead. I keep telling him he should still not eat milk protein even if he isn’t reacting to it, but he is young and is enjoying ice cream that he has never been able to eat. He can also eat cereal he couldn’t before. He thinks he can just do the fast again if he has problems. I hope he’s right.

  21. Mitch Quote:

    “From my research and lots of reading I found this….
    Make the foods WFPB and BobsYourUncle…;^)
    mitch

    The bodyweight based variation works like this –

    Day 1: 10 to 16 calories per kg bodyweight, 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbs

    Days 2 – 5: 7 to 11 calories per kg bodyweight, 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbs

    Macros for traditional fast mimicking are:
    First Day:
    34% carbs 10% protein 56% fat

    Remaining Days:
    47% carbs 9% protein 44% fat”

    It has been stated that the greatest number of ‘active centurions’ in the world were the inhabitants of Okinawa. When analyzed, there diet consisted of:

    6% Fat
    9% Protein
    85% Carbohydrates.

    The above stated numbers of 56%/44% fat are simply ridiculous and meant to appease the already sick and obese American culture. Dr. Greger has already stated that just about ‘everybody’ in the USA has some degree of Heart Disease, and that fatty streaks in the arteries are showing up in 10 year olds. By my book, if you are truly interested in reversing any disease and living a ‘healthy life’, Dr. Esselstyn nails it. Low fat, as in no nuts, avocado, peanut/nut butters, and no oil.

  22. Thiamine and dystonia. On the web there’s a case study about high dose thiamine to treat the dystonia caused by genetic mutation. What about dystonia caused by antipsychotics? Would it work for people affected by antipsychotics like Risperdal?

    1. I am not a medical person.

      I looked it up and start with that people with it tend to have high levels of homocysteine so that would be B12 and eating plant foods with Folate. They mentioned glutamate being involved and for keeping that lower, I think it was blueberries and turmeric and bergamot essential oil. They mentioned synapses and for that, broccoli sprouts. See the autism and broccoli sprouts video. I used these things for my brain issue and treating the synapses blew me away. I had some tremors, but these things are just things I tried for my brain. I think Omega 3 was a synapse thing, too, but I would have to look it up. I am thinking Vitamin D and Magnesium were part of it, but again, I am a self-hacker.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1600-0404.2000.90339.x

      1. Also, watch Dr Greger s treating and preventing Parkinson’s videos.

        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-parkinsons-disease-with-diet/

        They say that the same parts of the brain are involved and they talk about Dopamine and L-Dopa for both conditions.

        Again, this isn’t medical advice.

        It is what I looked at.

        I also use a MicroPulse ICES which has a very low power TMS. Much, much safer than real TMS, but that is an experimental device which researchers and self-hackers use.

          1. Mine went away, but mine wasn’t caused by meds.

            Pretty sure mine was caused by high levels of Homocysteine and by heavy metals and by things like mold in the environment.

            Taking Fiji water helped get rid of some of it. (Silica gets things like aluminum out of the brain)

            Each of the things helped a little.

  23. For the B-12, if you are taking Methyl version be careful.

    A few of us became insufficient even though we were supplementing, and switching B-12 types helped me, but in this case, a medical person would have to do the logic, because when they looked at genes and Dystonia, it is one case where people often have the MTHFR thing going on and they need a Methyl donor, but Methyl B-12 is less shelf stable and less effective so if you use that, maybe also drink fortified plant milk or take a different type of B-12 with it.

    That is what one PubMed article recommends.

    1. Don’t go overboard with Methyl donors.

      People who genuinely have MTHFR need one, but too many are bad.

      Also watch out to not try to supplement folate. Eat foods for folate.

      Our body enzymes can’t process synthetic folate and we end up with what is called a Folate Trap.

    2. …it is one case where people often have the MTHFR thing going on…
      ———————————————————————————————
      (Bites lower lip while saying “uhmvvvvv” and pointing a finger being sharpened with the other hand at Deb in a “shame on you” fashion ‘-)

  24. Google said that FDA rejected unsafe drugs were found in brain supplements so be careful with supplements, but sometimes we need some.

    Lab tested GMP is what to look for.

    1. Sorry for writing too much.

      My brain problems were so severe, but I never got diagnosed.

      I just looked up studies and tried things.

      And eventually found this site.

      Things like foods with lutein and the broccoli sprout study for autism and Fiji water and learning how to lower Homocysteine and lowering saturated fats and cholesterol to increase blood flow to my brain all changed my life and got rid of things like tremors and muscle spasms and brain problems of all sorts.

      The Parkinson’s researchers think all of the diseases are damage to the brain and that even just increasing oxygen to the brain helps and fixing things like TMJ so that the trig emu all nerve isn’t compressed is another.

      I tried them all and it changed my life.

      1. Yes, but you will never know if you would not have gotten better anyway. It is not for nothing that we have expressions like’ time heals all wounds’.

      2. Interesting stuff you bring up but my brother wouldn’t want to do any of that. I am looking for a simpler solution. I think he’s OK with B12. You may be right about folate since he’s not really eating any greens, beans, nuts and seeds though he eats bread and that’s fortified so maybe that’s enough. I wouldn’t know if MTHFR polymorphism is an issue. The olanzapine really compels him to eat junk food – it’s unfair they make drugs with such nasty side effects. Since the dose is taken at night (otherwise he’d be sedated during the day), he gets the urge to eat fat and refined carbs at night.

  25. Hello

    As an endurance athlete, would you recommend this fasting mimic diet protocol to reduce inflammation? or do you think there can be a detrimental effect, potentially losing lean body mass?

    Thank you

    1. Juandiegoarias, this time using the FMD, I did maintenance level exercise. Nothing that would cause significant muscle breakdown. I lost 5.5 lbs., but my muscle percentage stayed the same. I did lose 1.5% fat, although I am quite low body fat for a female. But my weight is normal. Just higher muscle.
      Muscle % staying the same indicated I did lose some of course, as my overall weight went down. But I haven’t had any problems in past rounds of FMD recovering that within a short time. Of course, I’m just one data point.

    2. juandiegoarias, fasting (whether using the fasting mimicking diet or not) is not really an inflammation reducing diet. Neither is it inflammatory.

      Whole Food Plant Based is anti-inflammatory by itself; moreso if adding anti-inflammatory spices like cloves, ginger, turmeric, rosemary.

      Fasting is about weight-loss and/or autophagy. Fasting mimicking is aimed more at autophagy because there is some caloric intake (emphasis on good fats as fuel)

      You can increase autophagy and weight-loss while minimizing any muscle loss by doing full-body cardio while fasting.

    3. Hello Juan,

      While I don’t believe we have research on athletes and fasting mimicking diets, vigorous activity is never recommending during a fasting period, so I would assume the same principles would apply to fasting mimicking. If you were to do a bout of the fasting mimicking diet, it would be best to avoid training during that time.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

      1. Hello

        Indeed, I don’t fast more than 14-16hr and if I do it, I try to do it on resting days. What I have found is that if I wake up with digestive discomfort, allowing this window of time, helps me feel better

        Thanks for your comments

  26. Am a 65-year-old male and did the Prolon fast four times. Felt very energized and ‘youthful’ each time on days 4 and 5 and also for a week or two after completing it. Was not hard at all, except for the part about excluding coffee. (You’re allowed to have one cup a day, “if needed”, but I chose to do it without any caffeine in case it was more effective without). Lost more weight than I would have liked to, so will only do it two or three times a year from now on.

  27. Have there been studies exploring eating different types of meals at different times of the day? I’d like to see a study that looks at a diet where the morning meal calories are mostly carbs and the evening meal calories are mostly fat. Another thing i wonder is whether eating flesh would enhance the chances of a couple conceiving a child compared to eating strictly plants. One more thing. Lupins might be a good low carb vegan source of protein. Hopefully they breed a safer, tamer variety someday.

  28. I recently purchased Professor Satchin Panda’s book, “The Circadian Code” which recommends Time Restricted Eating combined with getting regular sleep by avoiding bright (blue spectrum) lights about 2 hours before sleep( turn off or dim your I-phones etc) and getting out in or exposed to bright/natural light. He gives all logic behind the daily switches that exist in all living things. He claims it improves health substantially in many ways and that people lose weight when following the Code. I’m in my 5th week of trying it out and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it and losing 1.5 pounds per week. I went from 148 lbs to 140 lbs. All I would say, is try it. I’m not doing it to lose weight, I’m doing it for the alleged health benefits.

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