What Can a 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Diet Do?

SELF-EMPOWERED HEALING

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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH, is board-certified in Preventive Medicine and diplomate-certified in Integrative Medicine. After her own self-empowered healing epiphany in 1997, she has guided people to live healthier through both Eastern and Western medicine, ancient and ultra-high-tech healing. She now practices telemedicine in 10 states, allowing you to see the doctor from the comfort of your home or office.

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By Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH

Who wouldn’t like to lose 50-70 percent of excess weight with almost no effort, other than major surgery and up to three months before you can eat normally again? Wait. “Just” major surgery with possible long-term side effects including chronic nausea & vomiting, acid reflux, malnutrition and hernias, to name a few? And what if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is not already over 35, but you still want to lose weight to improve health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea. And what if you have tried and tried but still can’t keep the weight off?

There are many reasons weight-loss diets fail. You may not have heard, but there are many factors for weight gain and difficulty losing it besides just the balance of calories out and calories in. Modern weight loss science has identified multiple root causes of obesity, many of which also are also root causes of the very cardiovascular and metabolic conditions we want to lose weight to avoid. These include:

Inflammation: Inflammation both causes obesity, as well as making it difficult to lose the pounds. Chronic inflammation can take the form of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, or be more subtle, such as undiagnosed gastrointestinal conditions.

Insulin Resistance: Many people without diabetes are unaware they are having insulin resistance which makes it harder for blood glucose to enter cells and be burned by the mitochondria. Long-term dietary management and appropriate exercise to build more muscle are often needed to overcome insulin resistance so weight is easier to manage.

Toxic burden: Research has concluded that many chemicals are endocrine disruptors. These include pesticides, perfumes and plasticizers known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are ubiquitous in our modern lifestyle. If you think you have a “hormone problem” contributing to weight gain (everything from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to menopause to adrenal fatigue), toxins are a likely culprit because they are literally mucking up your endocrine, immune and neurological systems.

Emotional Eating: The dirty little secret about weight gain is that much of it, and especially our self-sabotaging when we try to reduce weight is related to emotional factors far below the surface. If we don’t address these, addressing the previous physical causes are unlikely to have lasting effects. This leads to statistics such as 96 percent of people who lose weight gain it back within one year.

Functional Medicine and the Fasting Mimicking Diet

Functional Medicine is the relatively new science of finding root causes for health issues. Rather than treating the effects of weight gain with medicines for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, or bariatric surgery, Functional Medicine finds and treats root causes, such as those indicated above.

One of the most exciting scientific discoveries of recent years involves something called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), which has gained attention for its potential health benefits, including the ability to reverse many obesity-related conditions. FMD involves strategic calorie restriction for a limited period (5 days), providing the body with nourishment while mimicking the effects of a complete fast. This approach offers several advantages for weight management, insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, autoimmune disease, cognition, and even cancer. By understanding the science behind FMD, you can harness its potential to optimize your health and well-being. Consider the following robust science documented about FMD:

Weight Management: By eating specific foods while temporarily restricting caloric intake, FMD promotes weight loss while preserving lean body mass. The body shifts from utilizing glucose to burning stored fat for energy, leading to a decrease in body weight and fat mass. Furthermore, FMD may also have a positive impact on metabolic rate, helping you maintain your weight loss in the long term.

Insulin Resistance and Diabetes: By providing the body with essential nutrients while restricting calories, FMD can help restore insulin sensitivity and improve glycemic control. Additionally, FMD has the potential to reduce chronic inflammation, a key factor in the development of obesity.

Dyslipidemia: Studies have demonstrated that FMD can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.

Autoimmune Disease: Research suggests that FMD can modulate the immune system and potentially benefit individuals with autoimmune diseases. FMD promotes autophagy, a cellular process that eliminates damaged cells and promotes regeneration. This can lead to a reduction in inflammatory markers and the production of autoantibodies, providing relief for individuals with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. This also reduces other inflammation driven diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.

Cognition: FMD may also have a positive impact on cognitive function. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have been shown to enhance brain health, improve memory, and support neuroplasticity. FMD can increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein crucial for promoting the growth and survival of neurons. This may help protect against age-related cognitive decline, neurodegenerative diseases, and improve overall brain function.

Cancer: Emerging evidence suggests that fasting mimicking diets could have potential benefits in cancer prevention and treatment. FMD may sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy and reduce the side effects of treatment on healthy cells. Caloric restriction has also been shown to inhibit tumor growth and promote cellular regeneration. FMD induces a metabolic shift that restricts the availability of nutrients, particularly glucose, which many cancer cells rely on for their rapid proliferation.

Conclusion

Fasting mimicking diets have shown immense potential in promoting holistic health. Lasting just five days, and providing pre-package meals, FMD can trigger the metabolic, anti-inflammatory, detoxification and endocrine changes to treat many conditions. Learn more with The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo.. Come to our free informational meeting advertised in this issue, where you will also get keys to managing emotional eating. Now is the time to spark your health make-over from the inside out.