ProLon Reveiw: My First Experience with the Fasting-Mimicking Diet
This 5-Day Calorie-Restricted Meal Plan proved to be a powerful kickstart to helping me achieve my weight loss goals.
In this ProLon review I’ll explain why I decided to try the 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Diet. I have a feeling that many of you will relate. Then I’ll introduce you to a pioneering researcher of calorie-restricted eating, and the science behind fasting. This convinced me that the hype behind the meal kit is not mere marketing, but grounded in real results. And surprisingly, it is far more more than just a way to lose weight; the benefits to health and longevity are remarkable. Finally, I’ll share my overall experience and my ProLon weight loss results with you.
Like many people who have been significantly homebound during the COVID pandemic, I have been looking to lose weight. Almost two years of working from home has taken a toll. Although I do miss it, I’m not talking about the lack of social interaction at the office. I miss the built-in physical activity. All the steps between meetings, and up the stairs, and even to the restroom – they add up! Those are hard to replace when a day is spent mostly inside an apartment. Sure, I walk my dog and try to work out on a regular basis. And I am deeply inspired by the new wave of workout warriors killing it on social media. I hope to jump (and push and squat and lunge and spin) onto that train soon. However, I admit my discipline has been waning as the freezing Wisconsin weather bears down on me. So, like many in this modern world, I want a body hack. I want to know how lose weight quickly, easily, and safely. And I want it now.
If you can relate to any of the above, keep reading. I recently tried a couple of products -in particular, the Prolon 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Diet- that are easy to use and have been proven to support weight-loss goals. I hope you enjoy the entirety of this ProLon review, but feel free use these links below to jump to any sections that intrigue you the most.
So, What’s the Plan, Man?
It began with me thinking about, “What can I do to lose weight and keep it off?” The obvious answers of working out more and eating less weren’t sticking for me just yet. Those would have to be part of my long-term goals, but I needed something different. What else can kickstart a wellness and weight-loss plan? Luckily, in working with Kaldzar, I had the answers right in front of me. I turned to Hana, who has an incredible wealth of knowledge and information about diets, exercise, weight loss, and fasting.
“What are your weight-loss goals?” she asked me.
“How can I lose five to ten pounds quickly?” I blurted back, thinking that amount would motivate me to keep going.
That quick exchange inspired a plan to leverage the proven power of some of our weight-loss partners. In particular, we figured the Prolon Fasting-Mimicking Diet would be a great start. And it turned out to be the first ingredient in “my secret formula to weight-loss success”.
Wait just a second… did I just mention “fasting” up there? Indeed. I said I didn’t want to necessarily do extra exercise. Therefore, it became obvious that my eating would have to change right away. In talking a bit more about my objectives, I learned about the benefits of fasting. We will review these momentarily so you can understand why fasting is good for you, and why I went this route.
To Eat or Not To Eat…
There are many types of fasts. So many, in fact, that I can only scratch the surface. But hopefully this gives you an idea of the various fasting options and which kind of fast is best for you. We’ll start with a quick definition of fasting, just in case anybody is not familiar:
“Fasting is the willing refrainment from eating.”
The idea is to deny yourself food for a period of time, allowing your body to fully absorb the previous meal. Additionally, by extending this time of not eating, certain metabolic changes occur that can be beneficial to your health. (By the way, for the sake of simplicity, in this post “eating” refers to the consumption of any calories. Therefore, during the fasting period, you’d also not drink anything that has calories or any other nutrients. Just stick to water and herbal tea, and maybe black coffee if you really need it.)
“Why should I fast?”
People might ask this question all the time. After all, isn’t nourishment healthy for us? Granted, all organisms need to feed in order to live and thrive. Interestingly though, humans (and many other animals) are built for fasting. The first hunters and gatherers would often go days without food, and they obviously survived. Make a kill or find a fruiting tree, feast, then look for the next meal… which may be days away. This went on for thousands of years, helping to evolve our digestive system and metabolism from generation to generation.
Only in fairly recent human history have we had food so plentifully and readily available. It is fair to say the evolution of agriculture and food production processes has far out-paced humanity’s ability to evolve. The impacts to our health and fitness are dire, as demonstrated by ballooning waistlines and medical bills worldwide. Not to be a tease, but I’ll have to save that discussion for another post. For now we’ll focus on our ability to change/leverage one aspect of our dietary habits: the frequency of (not) eating.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and calorie consumption. It is an extremely popular health and fitness trend these days due to many purported benefits. Some of the simplest intermittent fasting diets may be referred to as “Time-Restricted Eating”. This involves eating only during a limited period each day. The time window could be 12 hours or all the way down to 1 hour, depending on the exact diet and goals.
Next we have the “5:2 Diet”. On this plan, you eat normally for five days of the week and consume only 500-660 calories on the other two days. Stepping this up a notch, we have the “24-Hour Fast”. As the name suggests, you would simply not eat for a full 24 hours. This could be done once or twice a week. And finally, “Alternate Day Fasting” would have you eat one day, fast the next, and continue that same pattern indefinitely.
Water Fasting and Dry Fasting
People can intermittently fast as a lifestyle, week in and week out. However, there are other fasts that are more drastic and impactful. The first of these is the “Water Fast”, which requires the dieter to consume only water for at least 36 hours. The most common of these fasts run 3, 5, or even 7 days with absolutely no food or calories. Even more extreme is the “Dry Fast”. I’m sure you can guess that this requires the dieter to consume nothing at all – not even water – for at least 24 hours, and maybe even up to four days! Anybody doing either of these fasting diets is advised to do so with supervision and guidance from trained (medical) personnel.
Benefits of Fasting
There are so many types of fasts because the various health benefits depend on the varying durations of calorie restriction. Certainly, more fasting types exist than what is listed above. But those provide context to the physiological changes caused by fasting and their timing. Here is a general timeline of fasting benefits, per hours after last feeding:
Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss and some improvements in metabolic health. It does this mainly by regulating blood sugars and fat storage/usage. But as you can see, the really “fun” effects of fasting kick in after a full day of not eating. And the metabolic changes only increase from there. However, this is also the challenge. We are so used to eating on a regular basis, going without food for a day or two can be excruciating. Enter Prolon and the fasting-mimicking diet.
What is Prolon and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet?
In simplest terms, a fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is exactly what it sounds like: a diet that mimics a fast. It is a regimen of food that tricks your body into behaving as if on an extended fast. So, you get to eat, but you get all the metabolic benefits of fasting! Pretty amazing, right? But that doesn’t really explain how it works nor do it justice.
Prolon FMD the commercially-branded five-day fasting-mimicking diet invented by Dr. Valter Longo. This Italian-born biochemist and his team at University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute developed this diet after decades of research. Importantly, the work done by this group of scientists and nutritionists was funded by the National Institute of Health. Therefore, you know it has merit and legitimate backing. You can read all about it in Valter Longo’s book published in 2018 – The Longevity Diet.
Valter Longo’s Prolon journey began in the labs of Roy Walford at UCLA. This is significant because Dr. Walford been intensely studying the effects of caloric restriction. His research in this area indicted that starving yourself while still taking in crucial nutrients will let you live longer. In fact, he demonstrated that he could double the life span of mice by drastically restricting their caloric intake. Further, he showed it is the only proven way to effectively extend life across a wide variety of creatures. You can learn more about Walford’s research in his books, The 120 Year Diet and Beyond the 120 Year Diet.
At first, Longo was not as interested in the association between diet and longevity. Instead, he was fascinated by another side effect of extreme calorie restriction. Like Walford, he observed that starved bacteria and yeast far out-lived their well-fed counterparts. But he also discovered that the starved organisms entered a protective state that seemingly shielded them from environmental stress. For example, when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, starved yeast were 60 to 100 times more resistant to cellular damage than yeast feasting on glucose.
This seemed counter-intuitive. Most people would think that cells weakened by starvation would become less resistant to damage, rather than more resilient. More years of research by Longo and others supported the findings that lab animals fed a calorie-restricted diet lived longer. But more importantly, they also began to understand the mechanism behind these results.
Cellular House Cleaning
When well-fed, cells of multicellular organisms (including us humans) invest energy in reproduction and regeneration. However, when food is scarce, the cells divert energy to feeding and protecting themselves. They almost “know” it takes less energy and resources to protect what you already have than to build anew.
In order to do this, the body activates a number of protective pathways. First, the organism creates enzymes that fight free radicals – the pesky ionized molecules that damage cells and DNA. Second, the body releases other chemicals that support proper protein structure. And third, each cell devotes extra resources get to repairing its own DNA.
And last but not least, the body also kicks off autophagy. Complex organisms always need calories to keep the heart beating, brain, and muscles functioning. To get the needed calories while starving, the cells need to trigger autophagy. In this process, derived from ancient Greek and meaning “self-consumption”, the body breaks down and recycles its own cells’ components. But this autophagy is not random.
The cells start autophagy by consuming proteins that are broken, denatured or otherwise worn out. Basically, when forced to use internal energy sources, the body hunts down, eats, and recycles its own cellular garbage. This cellular house cleaning process removes any accumulated trash that would prevent the cells from operating efficiently.
Fasting to Fight Cancer
Armed with this knowledge about how the body’s cells protect themselves, Dr. Longo began thinking of real-world applications. He noticed that many of the genes involved in his fasting research were also mentioned in cancer literature. This inspired a thought: What if we could trigger healthy cells to protect themselves from cancer and/or cancer treatment?
Chemotherapy is effective at killing cancer cells. However, it is so aggressive that also tends to severely damage the normal cells we wish to keep healthy. As stated above, normal cells grow and reproduce when fed, but cease this activity when starved. Cancerous cells, on the other hand, never stop growing and multiplying. They simply don’t listen to the normal chemical triggers to stop reproduction. Longo hypothesized he could trigger normal cells to enter their starved-protective state while leaving cancer cells “exposed”. This would give the normal cells a better chance to survive chemotherapy. And thus, patients would have a better chance to survive cancer and its treatment.
Year of research on mice proved Longo’s theory correct. But when it came to clinical trials on humans, volunteers were lacking. Patients were not ready to accept the agony of starving themselves for 5 days before undergoing chemotherapy. As noted, the cancer treatment is already extremely physically demanding in itself.
Despite the initial lack of traction, Longo and team remained confident in their research and determined to make a difference. They searched for alternative ways to leverage their results and soon came up with a more palatable idea. What if they didn’t actually need to starve the patient? Could they design a diet that would trick the body into thinking it was fasting?
Longo knew a low-carbohydrate diet would still trigger the body to enter its protective state. But in order to do this, the diet must be lacking glucose and certain key amino acids. Basically, no carbs and only very few proteins.
Because the diet had to be so controlled, Longo created a company: L-Nutra. This would allow him to oversee the quality of the food and the balance of nutrients necessary to mimic fasting. Additionally, he realized the benefits of fasting could now be made available to more patients and markets.
The L-Nutra Prolon Fasting-Mimicking Diet continues to be researched at a wide variety of institutions. And not all of them are for cancer. There are also studies for Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more. Surely, the restorative effects of fasting could bring relief to people suffering an assortment of ailments.
But luckily for the broader health and wellness industry, Prolon is FDA approved to be sold to individual customers. We are now able to enjoy all the benefits of fasting without actually starving ourselves in the process.
Managing Food Cravings
All the above information sure convinced me to want to give fasting a try. But let’s be honest: eating (far) less food per day than normal is pretty difficult. So before I discuss my actual fasting experience, let me start by sharing a few things I did to help manage my hunger.
These are things I did every day during the diet to manage food cravings:
- Eating slowly allowed me to enjoy my meals, and gave my body the chance to recognize that it was indeed being fed.
- Drinking lots of water helped keep my stomach feeling full. Plus, thirst often induces false feeling of hunger, so I curbed that completely. I made sure to drink plenty of water all day, especially before, during and after meals. If I got bored of water, I drank lots of tea.
- Sleeping early limited my waking hours… and thus lessened the hours I could think about food.
Let’s Get To It
Armed with the new found knowledge of fasting and leptin, I was excited to start my week of fasting. When my Prolon meal kit arrived, I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed. I mean, the packaging is great. The white box is very sleek, clean and modern. However, when I looked inside, it looked like less food than I might eat in a day. A five-day box of Prolon FMD typically runs $250. For that amount I could feed an army for a week. I had to remind myself that this was not supposed to be a feast. I was paying for science, convenience, and results.
I’ll take a moment here to recognize that a $250 meal kit may be a challenge. But that comes to $50 a day, which you might spend on dining out anyway. And I have to emphasize that it is more than just meals. This is an investment in yourself. Not only to support your weight-loss goals, but for your overall health and longevity. Further, this money goes toward continued research. Additionally, we are here to support you…
When you subscribe to Kaldzar email notifications, we’ll be sure to let you know when Prolon is on sale. And whether you subscribe or not, we are happy to offer our discount to help you save.
Use the coupon code KALDZAR at check out to save 15% when you order.
Inside the main carton was a meal program card describing the week’s menu, along with five smaller cardboard boxes. Each was labeled with a number, corresponding to the day of the diet. The kit also came with a large empty Prolon water bottle. Seeing as I was starting “day one”, I went ahead and opened that first small box. It actually didn’t look too bad. For breakfast I’d get to eat nut-based energy bar for breakfast, some algae oil supplements and tea. Lunch would be butternut squash soup, a bag of olives, a packet of kale crackers, and a supplement tablet. Dinner was minestrone soup and another energy bar. And there was even an afternoon snack! But I chose to save this “choco crisp” and additional tea for dessert.
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The soups are a powdered mix, which I chose to reconstitute on the stovetop. And all the foods are vegan with 100% natural ingredients. The teas are herbal so do not contain caffeine. I’m not usually a huge tea-drinker, but this timing was perfect. It is getting so chilly in Milwaukee, I was actually craving a steaming mug of tea all the time.
I felt good, and I hoped the rest of the week would be this easy. However, I had very slight hunger pangs later in the evening. And I had a bit of dread knowing these would only increase as the daily rations decreased.
I woke up on the second day still feeling great. When I opened the box, I got a better idea of why they called day one a “higher-calorie transition day”. One of the energy nut bars had been replaced by an additional pack of olives. And the kale crackers were nowhere to be seen. I like olives well enough, but come on… They are not very filling nor nearly as fueling. And those kale crackers were tasty. They were actually my favorite food from the first day. To help compensate, days 2-4 would utilize the water bottle that came with the diet kit. I was instructed to mix a proprietary glycerin-based “energy” drink with water, and sip it throughout the day. The fruit-based flavor of the drink tasted okay, but not great. Letting hibiscus tea steep in the drink added a bit more kick, which I enjoyed.
I feel fine physically. However, I was actually starting to feel hungry before lunch. I took this as a warning sign that I’d be “starving” later in the day. So this is when I started using LeptoConect. And as advertised, my hunger subsided. I went to bed feeling satisfied and optimistic about the remaining three days.
Days 3 to 5
Around day three of the Prolon diet in when users typically start feeling really hungry. But this is also when they begin feeling lighter and more alert due to the ramped up metabolic processes. And I’d have to agree. Overall, I was a bit physically tired, but not completely lethargic. My mind, however, was awake, alert and energetic. Maybe even slightly euphoric. I was starting to understand what people call the “keto high”.
The food per box had been reduced just a bit more on these last few days compared to day two. So now was the true test for my Lepto capsules. I don’t know if it was just a placebo effect, but honestly, at no point did I feel like I was starving. Sure, I had cravings for solid, delicious food that I love. However, I didn’t actually feel extra hungry. As in, I felt no desire to cheat or quit the fast.
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The Days After
The 5-day fast had trimmed an inch or two off my waistline. However, in addition to trimming my tummy, it had actually shrunk my stomach. Therefore, although I could technically eat whatever I wanted, my portion sizes decreased significantly. So even on days 6 and 7, I ate less and still felt full in doing so. Moreover, I had less cravings for sugary and carb-laden foods. I naturally felt inclined to eat more veggies and clean protein. All this while still having an alert mind and pep in my step. This excited me into kick starting my physical exercise in an effort to maximize the benefits of my refreshed body until I do another round of fasting. (Yep, I feel so good, I’m already looking forward to doing it all again! Read a bit more below.)
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink as much water and tea as you can handle.
- Do it with a friend or group. You can motivate each other. (and commiserate as needed)
- Stay busy with work and other activities to keep your mind off food.
- Do light exercises, walking and stretching. But definitely not a full blown workout.
- My personal trick: Stretch the soup out by adding an extra 1/2 cup of water. They still taste great. And it feels like you are eating more, and leaves you more full.
- Keep your eyes on the prize! Remember it’s not about one craving or even one pound… Stay disciplined so you can reap all the benefits you’re seeking.
- But listen to your body. If you feel ill or extremely weak, stop. You can always try again later.
I do feel like I should add a small disclaimer. I don’t know if this fasting diet would work for everybody. If you have a work schedule that is extremely physically demanding without five consecutive days of down time, you may not be able to safely reduce calories so drastically and still get the job done. Or if you have very specific dietary needs, these meals may not meet them. As with any big change to your diet or workout plan, check with your doctor first, to be sure it is safe for you.
My Prolon weight loss results were actually better than I expected. Over the course of five days I lost 7.5 pounds. Woohoo, I hit my weight-loss goal! This amount is fairly typical for any user of Prolon FMD. So I’ll definitely vouch for its effectiveness in helping one lose weight. Moreover, I can assure you this was not just water weight. And my muscles did not feel weak or depleted. The weight lost was all from my body using visceral body fat reserves and other cellular ‘garbage’.
In addition to the weight loss, I felt great! My mind was sharp, and after a transition day of gently refueling my body, I was energetic. And even after the five-day fast, I had less cravings for sugar and carbs. I feel like I’m eating less and making healthier choices at mealtime. We’ll see how long it lasts, but so far this has made it possible to keep most of the weight off.
There is absolutely no way I could complete a 5-day water fast. And at the beginning of the week, I didn’t think I’d be able to survive on 800 calories a day. But by allowing me to eat daily, the Prolon Fasting-Mimicking Diet showed me an easier way to reap the rewards of fasting.
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