My First Experience with a Fast Mimicking Diet

March 17, 2017

I read an article about the research being conducted by Victor Longo on Fast Mimicking Diets (FMD) and was anxious to give this a try. Of course I usually think that, fail to take action, and then forget about it. I’m happy to say that this time was different!

Introduction to the Fast Mimicking Diet (FMD)

I consider myself a somewhat disciplined person with a good heaping of will power in my list of internal ingredients, but this 5-day journey humbled me quite a bit. I’ve included a brief recap of each day below.


Start Weight: 184.5 pounds

Day 1

Hunger pangs. A smaller than normal breakfast goes by fine, but by mid-morning my stomach has already expressed a dislike for this. I suspect it has more to do with the transition to 3 distinct meals (I’m a grazer) rather than the drop in calories. Either way, I’m not off to the start that I hoped for.

Day 2

Calories drop by about 30% from Day 1 and it’s noticeable. Hunger seems to dominate my thinking and I’m noticeably more tired. I’m somewhat shocked at what a wimp I’ve become. There are some moments of panic, but I remind myself that this is training and becoming good at this will require practice. Dr. Longo’s FMD diet has to be done in multiple cycles to have a shot at the potential benefits – in my case keeping auto-immune disorders at bay. I keep this in the front of my mind. Practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t get easy unless you practice and that’s what this is – practice.

Every burger commercial feels like a personal insult against my entire being. The one upside is that the dull meals that I am eating on the FMD taste like they come a 5-star restaurant due to my hunger.

I feel as if I’m freezing even though the thermostat is one degree higher than normal. I load up on lots of layers and my kids are asking why I’m wearing a winter coat inside the house.

I weigh myself and I’m down to 181 pounds. I’m guessing that’s mostly water weight.

Day 3

I’m embarrassed because this isn’t even a full fast and yet I feel beat up physically and emotionally. I’m exhausted, and yet my sleep is interrupted and I’m feeling a twinge of depressive sentiment. What is wrong with me? Practice, practice, practice. Remember you are practicing…Ignore the cold, ignore the exhaustion, ignore the darn food commercials. You can do this!

Pressing through my daily routine is difficult and I just want to lounge around. But supporting a wife and 3 young kids does not allow for much idleness.

Day 4

Oddly enough I do not wake up with strong hunger pangs today, and I realize that this is my chance to show this FMD whose boss. I decide to just do a water-only fast for this day. The original reasearch by Dr. Longo examined the benefits of water only fasting, and the FMD was proposed as a way to get the same benefit without as much discomfort. Because of this I feel confident that doing a day of water-only can only help the cause.

The first half of the day goes very well. I’m surprised at how little hunger I have. I even feel a decent amount of energy, but still pretty cold. By the end of the day, every negative force comes back with a vengeance. I’m tired, cold, incredibly hungry and feeling nauseous while I drink water. I go to bed early and have nightmares. Again, I’m feeling very humbled by this entire experience.

Day 5

I return to an under 700 calorie diet thinking that today is going to be a breeze after yesterday. Very wrong. The only good thing about this day is that it is the last day. Hunger attacks me far more than the water-only day before. How is that possible I wonder? Nevertheless, I know that I only have one day ahead of me. What’s more, I look in the mirror and notice that the dark circles under my eyes are barely visible. Is that related to the FMD? I’m not certain, but it’s quite plausible and worth tracking.

Not certain why, but feeling nauseau throughout the day. It could be a stomach bug that’s been going around the house, or maybe a consequence of the FMD.

Day 6

Not an actual day on the Fast Mimicking Diet, but I wakeup ready to chow down with NO restrictions! What a feeling! Again, very humbled by this experience. I read about other blog entries from folks doing full, water-only fasts for longer periods of time w/o any problem and it really challenges my perceptions of my own level of self-discipline. I would beat myself up more, but it’s time to eat! :)

Final Weight: 180

Further Reading

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