Fasting mimicking diet

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Marco38 1 year ago.

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  • Morning,

    I’m currently following the 4/3 plan, and things seem to be progressing nicely. I’m always on the lookout for new science though, and found this article in the Telegraph over the weekend. Basically, you followed a restricted calorie plan over five consecutive days, but only once in a month. I’m not certain how effective this would be for weight loss, but I can certainly see the benefits for everybody to follow this a couple of times a year, to ‘rest’ your system and start the repair process.

    I’m going to continue on my trusty 4/3 for another 6 weeks, then revert to 5/2 until I get to my goal weight. I was thinking I would then maintain on a 6/1, but quite like the idea of just ‘fasting’ every 3 months or so following the plan below ?. What are your thoughts on this plan ?. It seems credible science.

    Link –

    Hi Kev,

    Several of us on Jojo’s 2lb week Thread have discussed this. It mostly seems to appeal to the Maintainers amongst us who have already reached their goal weight. Personally, I am succeeding on 4:3 or 5:2, slowly but surely. (18kg gone, another 2-5 to go). I prefer to use a weight loss plan that has been proven as in when Michael Mosely first used it on himself. Not sure about the Mimicking Fasting Diet, sounds too good to be true, especially as the calorie restriction is not as severe. It will be interesting to follow the research on this one. So much we still have to learn about nutrition and individual differences. Good Luck!

    Hi Kev,

    I think I might give it a go. I’ve been maintaining now for over a year, but I’m not currently doing even 6:1 since I lose 1lb each time I fast and just can’t eat that back in a week (I’m not prepared to overeat every day!).

    I do mostly eat 16:8, and pretty healthily, but I would like to get the health benefits of fasting. I’m not sure that a 5:2 type day every couple of months provides any long-term health benefits, so doing the FMD a couple of times a year might be a good option for me.

    Hi Kev:

    Here is the study. It also contains links to several other important studies.

    While there is little evidence that 5:2 carries many ‘other health benefits’ other than those associated with weight loss (lower blood pressure, better cholesterol, lower triglycerides – nothing wrong with that!), there is growing evidence that longer fasts (measured in several days) carry many more significant benefits. As the study states, they are trying to come up with a diet that is easier to follow than simply not eating for four or five days.

    Good Luck!

    Hi Kev:

    PS. Please read this from the study – research is in its early years and it is not clear what other impacts routine, prolonged fasting might have on humans:

    “Further analysis indicated that many deaths at very old
    ages occurred during or shortly (within 3 days) after completion
    of the FMD cycle (Figure 5E, asterisk). Based on this observation,
    at 26.5 months we shortened the FMD diet from 4 to 3 days and
    halted the FMD diet completely at 29.5 months. Analyses of the
    data indicate that whereas the shortening of the FMD from 4 to
    3 days was associated with reduced mortality rates between
    26.5 and 29.5 months, the halting of the FMD diet at 29.5 months
    did not reduce mortality further (Figure 5D). These results suggest
    that FMD cycles can have a potent effect on lifespan and
    healthspan, but, at least for very old mice, a less-severe (3 versus
    4 days) low-calorie and low-protein diet
    may be preferable to continue to provide
    beneficial effects while minimizing
    malnourishment, in agreement with our
    recent work demonstrating opposite
    roles of high protein intake on health/mortality in mice and
    humans of middle to old and very old ages (Levine et al., 2014). . .”

    “In summary, this study indicates that FMD cycles induce longlasting
    beneficial and/or rejuvenating effects on many tissues,
    including those of the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems
    in mice and in markers for diseases and regeneration in humans.
    Although the clinical results will require confirmation by a larger
    randomized trial, the effects of FMD cycles on biomarkers/risk
    factors for aging, cancer, diabetes, and CVD, coupled with the
    very high compliance to the diet and its safety, indicate that
    this periodic dietary strategy has high potential to be effective
    in promoting human healthspan. Because prolonged FMDs
    such as the one tested here are potent and broad-spectrum,
    they should only be considered for use under medical

    This issue has been raised in many previous threads in the Science forum, but extrapolation of these sort-lived animal studies, especially mice and rats, to humans is more than a little tricky. Metabolically, a 24-hour fast for a mouse may come closer to mimicking a four-day fast in a human being than a one-day fast. So, fasting (or quasi-fasting) a mouse for four days is a considerably more severe form of caloric restriction than a four-day (modified) fast for a human. Recall that in the BBC documentary, the four-day fast that Longo had Moseley try was an extension from his ADF program for the mice.

    Hi All!

    I work with the Quantified Body podcast, our host Damien Blenkinsopp recently did his own self-experiment of the FMD for 5 days and discussed his results on the show. You can find more info of his findings on the blog (, both the benefits and the downsides.

    You can also listen to the episode on iTunes.

    I’d love for you to listen to the podcast, and hear how his results may have related to your own findings.

    The Quantified Body

    Dr Longo has now done a small human trial that showed similar results to the animal studies. Also he is close to finalising a larger human trial and is applying for a larger FDA approved human study.
    Go to his Facebook page for the links to his youtube lectures I have read Michael’s book and have done his 5:2 but due to the regenerative effects of Longo’s FMD I will try it next instead, 5 days straight a month for 3 months.

    I wonder if Michael and Mimi are interested in publishing a book on how to do the FMD as I find their books easy to understand and follow.

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