What Is a Fasting Mimicking Diet? FMD Diet Plan, Benefits & Downsides

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Fasting mimicking diet - Dr. Axe

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

There’s a good chance that you’ve probably heard about the many health benefits of fasting, from lowering triglyceride levels to helping the pounds slide right off. But if the thought of going for long periods of time without eating doesn’t sound fun or appealing to you, you’re in luck. With a fasting mimicking diet, you can get many of the same benefits as fasting without skipping meals.

Research has begun to unearth many impressive benefits of the fasting mimicking diet, suggesting that it could help with everything from improved cognition to diabetes management. Best of all, the makers of this diet claim that it can all be done by simply limiting your intake five days a week, just one time per month.

Has your interest been piqued? Keep reading to learn more about the fasting mimicking diet and whether or not it may be right for you.

What Is a Fasting Mimicking Diet?

The fasting mimicking diet is a diet that involves severe caloric restriction for five days out of the month. It follows the same principle as fasting by temporarily depriving the body of food to take advantage of health benefits like increased fat burning and reduced inflammation.

But what is fasting? It can be hard to group all types of fasting into a single fasting definition. For example, some types of fasting restrict food consumption for entire days at a time while some limit it to just a few hours each day. Others, such as the Daniel fast or the bone broth fast, only allow the consumption of certain types of food or food groups.

The fasting mimicking diet follows the same principle but allows you to eat a small amount of food while still reaping the rewards of fasting.

How Does It Work?

Each cycle of the diet lasts for five days, and it can be repeated several times every month or every other month to help promote long-term health.

The diet relies on severe calorie restriction to imitate the effects of fasting. During the first day of the diet, calories are limited to 1,100 calories. Then for the remaining days of the diet, calories are cut even further, down to about 800 calories per day.

What you eat on the diet is just as important as the amount of calories. The diet is high in fat, with about 80 percent of calories coming from fat and 10 percent coming from fat and protein, respectively.

By essentially tricking your body into thinking it’s fasting, you are able to take advantage of the many health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Although studies on the effects of this diet are fairly limited, research has found that it could reduce the risk of disease, kick up fat burning and boost brain health.


What is a fasting mimicking diet? - Dr. Axe


Potential Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits

1. Promotes Fat Loss

While the fasting mimicking diet comes with all kinds of benefits to heart health, many people begin this diet looking to slim down and shed some pounds.

In theory, it makes sense that this diet would spur weight loss, as it is low in calories and encourages the…

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