Easy 5 Day Fast may help you stay healthy long term
As my long-time readers know well, I am all about moderation. I tend to eschew fasts, meal replacements, and deprivation diets in favor of real food. So when I received an email from Weight Loss Buddy about their new Easy 5 Day Fast Diet, I was initially skeptical.
What About Fasting?
Recent studies at the University of Southern California first tested the "periodic fasting mimicking diet" on mice, and then moved on to a small group of 19 randomized people who tried the diet, and 18 participants who ate a normal diet. The experimental group ate a diet that was less than half of their normal caloric intake, and featured about 12% protein, 44% carbs, and 44% fat. They ate the diet for five days in a row each month, for three months straight. For the rest of the time, they ate whatever they wanted. Read more in Cell.
By the end of the three months, the participants had lower risk factors when it came to diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as aging in general, with no major side effects. The idea of the diet is to decrease a certain hormone in your body, IGF-I, which promotes aging and makes you more vulnerable to cancer. "It's about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration," according to lead researcher Valter Longo. "It's not a typical diet because it isn't something you need to stay on."
Once I read this, I accepted the free sample box!
The 5-Day Fast Diet
The folks at Weight Loss Buddy decided to make the The 5-Day Fast Diet easy, by choosing healthy snacks in a particular nutrition profile and packaging them into daily suggested servings - 1175 calories day 1 / 750 calories days 2 - 4. The snacks include miso soup, Kind bars, veggie chips, and apple sauce (you may substitute an apple if you prefer) and are all quite good. There are also packets of green drinks and different herbal teas to keep your mouth occupied. And a chocolate square every single day!
Short Term Fast for Long Term Gains
To replicate the study, you could do this pretty painless fast over the course of three months. You would do the fast once a month for 5 days, eating whatever you like the rest of the time. You should see some weight loss, feel better, and your overall health numbers - cholesterol, sugar, etc. - should improve.
How often should you do this? Nobody is sure, but it seems reasonable to try this twice a year - 3 months with 5 day fast, 3 months off, 3 months with 5 day fast, 3 months off.
Will You Be Hungry?
Look, it's a fast. You will be going from well over 2000 calories per day to under 1000. But the nice thing is that the snacks are chosen to give you enough fat and fiber to feel somewhat satiated. Plus, your food is spread out over the day along with the flavored herb tea to drink.
Here is a sample day:
Morning – mini Kind bar Mid-morning snack – apple Afternoon – pretzel crisps/wheat crackers/animal crackers/rice pops and almond butter Mid-afternoon – super greens (mix with 8 or more ounces of water) Evening – miso soup and kale chips Late Evening – chocolate square
Note that even though this is all snack food, the snacks have been picked for fat, protein, and fiber content. No day contains too much salt or sugar (my concerns), and at least there is chocolate! Other than the crackers and pretzels, everything is gluten free, so if you can substitute a GF snack of the same nutritional value, go for it.
What Will This Cost?
Cost is not a big issue with the Easy 5 Day Fast. Each box, which contains all food for 5 days and a shaker bottle for the green drink, costs $99.95 with free shipping (and less if you order 2+ at once) - basically, less than $20 per day. You would spend at least that to buy these snacks at a retail store (especially the almond butter), plus you would have to spend the time doing that and parsing out the snacks.
If you are looking to kick off a longer term weight loss program, or simply want to try a monthly fast protocol to get your cholesterol down with minimal effort, the easy 5 Day Fast Diet is for you.
Click the "Start Your Journey" button on the top right of the index page and you can order there. Note that none of the site's Buy Now buttons work, and the product is unavailable on Amazon. Hopefully they will fix that soon!