What is The Fasting Mimicking Diet? Is it Better Than Regular Cleansing?

Regular cleansing works very well to help you lose weight. It also has great health benefits. I’ve done it many times but it’s not a form of dieting that everyone can do. I don’t recommend anyone who has medical problems or has never done it actually try to stop eating for several days. It’s tough, it is mentally heavy and for most people who do it, you’ll still gain all the weight back. But scientists have recently come up with a way to cheat cleanses through a diet known as the “Fast Mimicking Diet”.


What is the Fast Mimicking Diet?

The Fast Mimicking diet is a alternative to fasting where you you still put your body in a state or fasting, but don’t have the same kinds of difficulties in going through it. You somewhat copy or basically mimic what’s it’s like to go through a standard cleanse and still get most of the benefits. 

This plan is still very new and all the evidence that has so far come up has been a study based on only 19 people doing this and the effects have been shown to be good. They say the Fast Mimicking Diet helps reduce to the risk of cancer, reduces anti-aging, improves your immune system and helps you lose weight,  but I have not seen an average amount.

The fast isn’t really a fast, because you are eating, but in very small proportions. The fast lasts for 5 days out of every month and for the remaining time, you can eat anyway you like technically. 

The way you are allowed to eat is broken up into proteins, carbs and fats and for everyday, you can eat basically any foods as long as the proportions are within the limits:

  • Day 1, you are eating no more than 1,090 calories, of which 34% are carbs, 56% fat and the rest is protein. 
  • Then on days 2-5, no more than 725 calories a day of which 47% are carbs, 44% is fat and the rest is protein again.

As the proportions show, a “big chunk” of what you’re eating is with fat, which you shouldn’t be afraid of. You can lose weight while eating fat. A diet called the 3 week diet proved it and it’s actually beneficial.

If you can come up with foods to make up these proportions, you should be able to do this diet, but the people who were involved with it, mostly ate vegetable soup and kale crackers, a food which sounds like it has a lot of empty carbs. 

The people also did this fast 3 times over a period of 3 months before results were recorded and that’s where they noted the benefits of this diet. There wasn’t much information about the other foods they ate, or at what times the people were eating. 

The people’s height and weight were also not included which could make this diet a problem for most overweight people. Over a 1,000 calories for one day and then 725 for the remaining 4 days is very difficult, but for those who are overweight, it’s going to be even more difficult and I think this diet needs to be adjusted to the individual.

Cleansing is still more effective:

You really can’t copy or mimic the benefits of doing a regular cleanse. I’ve done water cleanses, colon cleanses and a master cleanse. I’ve had great results overall, but if you don’t pay attention to your health afterwards, you’ll just gain everything back so unless you make lifestyle changes after the cleanse, you shouldn’t do cleanses at all.

Water cleanses are the most traditional: You drink nothing but water and don’t eat anything for several days. If you are doing a water cleanse for the first time, obviously consult with a doctor first, but if it’s ok for you to do it, try to drink nothing but water for 1 day out of the week for a month. If you can get used to this, then try it for 2 days out of the month.

Some people take this to weeks and even a month, something that is too extreme for me, but if you can adjust to it and learn to cope with the side effects (feeling hungry and feeling little energy) you can try doing this, but always talk to a doctor first.

Colon cleanses can be done in doctor’s offices usually.

The master cleanse is an interesting one, 3-10 days of just drinking water and lemon mixed with other things. You are not allowed to eat anything, but this cleanse is really an amazing one. I lost 14 pounds in 5 days doing it. Get information and advice on doing the master cleanse if you’re interested.  

What’s going to happen to this new diet?

The Fast Mimicking Diet can end up becoming very popular and useful, but since it’s still early and it hasn’t been adjusted to everyone, I think it’s better to wait and see how things workout, to see what are the side effects and if there’s a more convenient and safe way to do it.

There are people who say cleansing is dangerous and to some it really is. If you’re extremely overweight, can’t control your urges and go on a week long fast, you’re probably going to feel like crap, quit and maybe even have some health problems pop up. Never do cleanses without preparation or consulting with a doctor first. 

Start by doing them for one day to get used to the side effects so that the next time you do it and it happens, you’ll feel more comfortable. Don’t do cleanses as crash diets, expect to live an unhealthy life and never see the weight come back. It’s going to.

What I also don’t like about the Fast Mimicking Diet is how they don’t really talk about eating healthy and the assumption is that you can eat anything, just do this cleanse 5 days out of every month and expect everything to workout well. That’s a wrong way of looking at it. A healthy lifestyle should be the main focus of any dieter.

10 thoughts on “What is The Fasting Mimicking Diet? Is it Better Than Regular Cleansing?”

  1. Hi VitallyG, thank you very much for the post and advice on fast mimicking diet. Never heard of the term before but you had clearly justified the way of doing it and why it is better than body cleansing. Is going on a juicing diet better than water cleansing since juices will be able to provide all the necessary vitamins, fibre required by the body.

    • Juicing diets will not work without drinking water so you need to do both. Water will always compliment juicing and any other cleanses.

  2. I think I would wait for more data on the fast mimicking diet before trying it – as you suggest.

    I have tried cleanses before but never involving fasting – though I’m not necessarily against the idea.

    Can you give more information on the Colon cleanse? Is this just something you go to your doctor and ask about?

    • Colon cleanses can be done through a doctor’s office Nate, but also through traditional means like enemas, but those methods aren’t very comfortable…

      A regular colon cleanse like this will help flush out most of the undigested food in your colon area, but for the best results, you may want to do it more often, maybe once a month.

      Salt water flushes also work very well and all you have to do is drink about 1-2 liters of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of sea salt every morning.

  3. I can definitely relate to this article. Over the past month I lost 15 pounds with barely any exercise. What I changed was my food intake. I limited myself to essentials like proteins, healthy fats and limited amount of carbs, while eliminating sugar completely. The fast mimicking diet seems very similar to what I did. One thing that I also think might happen with the Fast mimicking diet which happened to me was if you try to eat foods that are unhealthy and don’t offer the essential nutrients your body becomes used to during this cleanse, you will feel pretty terrible! It’s like your body gets used to this new way of living. Amazing article!

    • The first time I ever did a cleanse, I also felt horrible Sal and I think you made the right point about it being easier to do if you’re already eating healthier.

  4. Very interesting article. I have been looking for ways to lose about 15 pounds and a friend told me about cleansing. I have not heard of the fast mimicking cleanse.

    My concern with cleanses is that my body most likely will go into a state of hibernation, which means my body will store anything and everything as fat. When that happens it can throw off your body’s metabolism which means that you may have had a BMR of 1400 at one time, but due to the fact that you are doing cleanses and confusing the body your BMR is now 1100 (these numbers are just examples).

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • I know cleanses only have the effect only when after the cleanse, you just go right back to eating badly. You will definitely lose a lot of weight during any sort of cleanse but to prevent weight gain from occurring, you need to right away go into a healthy eating habit right after the cleanse is done with minimum cheat days.

      About BMR, you should not calculate it after a cleanse because it will be completely different. Wait at least 3 weeks after the cleanse (while on a healthy eating plan) and see where your weight ranges at. If you notice that within a week, your weight only changes about 5 pounds, then you’re in a solid position to find out how many calories you need to eat a day (based on BMR).

      • Thanks. So basically if you eat well after the cleanse there shouldn’t be any issues with a permanent change to BMR? My naturopath has warned me about doing cleanses where the calorie intake is limited because of this. My BMR is 1500 (as measured via BIA). She advised that if I drop my calorie intake below 1200 my body will go into a hibernation state and this will through off my metabolism which in turn will make weight loss harder to achieve. I think she might be referring to having calories under 1200 for a long duration, so not just a few days a month for a cleanse. I will clarify this with her at my next appointment.

        • Your naturopath is correct Tanya, that’s why low calorie diets cannot be sustained for long periods of time and I don’t recommend them at all. Cleansing is very different as it’s meant to clean out the body. That leads to weight loss and a healthier body, but it should never be used to determine BMR. It shouldn’t even be part of the BMR formula. Once your body gets back to normal (after the cleanse and a few weeks of regular eating), then measure your BMR again and go by that. I think it might be up to 100 calories lower than before.


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