Fasting is one of the most used resources in the last time when the intention is not only to lose weight but also, to take care of the health of the organism. Because prolonged fasting can be detrimental and stress the body, a five-day semi-fast has been created that has become the fashionable diet in Silicon Valley.
Semi-fast to reset the body
The fad diet is not as severe as a full and prolonged fast but consists of imitating fasting in a more flexible and “beneficial” way to health.
Under the name “Fasting Mimicking Diet” this strategy has been tested recently in 19 people and the results are shown in the journal Cell Metabolism. The diet consists of taking a feed unconstrained (as usual would do) for 25 days, a day of that cycle calories to 1090 daily limited (10% protein, 56% fat and 34% carbohydrate, and the Four days following this first day (day two to five), the calorie value is reduced to 725 calories with 9% protein, 44% fat and 47% hydrates.
|25 DAYS INITIAL||DAY 26||DAY 27 TO 30|
|KCAL / DAY||Without restrictions||1090||725|
|HYDRATES||Without restrictions||3. 4%||47%|
Specifically, each 25 day cycle will have 5 days of semi-fast, in which the calories are reduced to more than half in the diet of a normal person and the nutrients are chosen in such a way that the proteins are reduced, fat is increased And decrease (but not completely) the supply of hydrates.
The diet consists in performing 5 days of semi-fast, of very low caloric value, in cycles of 25 days.
In the study participants took the diet for three months, or whatever, they completed three cycles of this half-fast. Improvements were found in different parameters such as adiposity, immunological indicators or insulin-like factors and all this fasting modality would help prevent cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and others associated with aging.
The author points out that fasting five days a month helps to eliminate damaged cells and represents a “reset” for the organism that resumes processes and revitalizes it.
There are different modalities of intermittent fasting which consist of “fasting” the body for no more than 48 hours. In this case, it is not a fast as such but a “half-fast” because we must restrict the calories considerably for five days a month. In this way, do we really get benefits?
According to the study, as well as other researches by the author of the diet, Volter Longo, this semi-fast favors the regression of breast cancer, contributes to the improvement of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
However, all studies on the effects of the Fasting Mimicking Diet have been carried out on rodents or with a very small group of people, and among the authors of such investigations is always the founder of the diet, Mr Longo.
Therefore, there is little scientific evidence to prove its benefits and if we analyze the nutritional composition of the diet, as well as the caloric intake of the semi-fast days, we will easily realize that it is not a diet fit for everyone or beneficial always.
It is not the same as intermittent fasting, because in this diet we must restrict the calories significantly, for five days a month.
While intermittent fasting has shown positive effects on the body, this modality in which calories are severely restricted five days a month is very different, since it is not a matter of eating ad libitum after hours of fasting but of eating much less.
So we can limit ourselves greatly, without enough satiation because we are almost not consumed proteins and the percentage of hydrates is very low. That is, we can experience hunger during those five days a month and then, our organism resent, producing a metabolic adaptation that leads us to burn fewer calories, feel less satiety and more hungry. All of this can lead to progressive weight gain and alterations in eating behavior as well as long-term metabolism.
As if that were not enough, their low supply of energy and protein on semi-fast days make this diet inappropriate for athletes, who need quality proteins to repair structures and cope with their high physical wear and tear, as well as enough calories to not affect performance.
Finally, we can not fail to comment that a variety of products are marketed for the semi-fast of five days, under the name of ProLon, company that the creator of the diet recognizes of its property. That is, there is already a trade behind this dietary proposal that makes even more doubt its benefits and scientific foundations.
So this five-day semi-fast is just another option that we should look with critical eyes, even if it is the fashion strategy in Sillicon Valley we can not confirm its benefits and even recommend its practice.