Photo courtesy of Lizzie Mayson for Mother Root. Styled by Rosie Ramsden.
The 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Meal Program
Kiki Koroshetz is the wellness director on goop’s editorial team and the ringleader of the #goopbookclub.
There are a lot of detoxes and meal programs that I will try but only a few I will do more than once. Last year, I did ProLon’s five-day program three times, and I’ll probably do it about three more times this year. If you’ve never done ProLon’s fasting-mimicking diet, you might think I’m one of those people who thinks the number of times they’ve fasted is something to brag about. (If you don’t know any of those people: good work.) But what I mean by it is: ProLon makes it simple and impactful enough that you would and could reasonably do the program multiple times.
There are a lot of detoxes and meal programs that I will try but only a few I will do more than once. Last year, I did ProLon’s five-day program three times, and I’ll probably do it about three more times this year. If you’ve never done ProLon’s fasting-mimicking diet, you might think I’m one of those people who thinks the number of times they’ve fasted is something to brag about. (If you don’t know any of those
people: good work.) But what I mean by it is: ProLon makes it simple and impactful enough
The meal kit is designed to mimic the effects of fasting—so you’re eating (although less calories than usual) and you’re still getting some macro- and micronutrients, but you’re also getting some of the benefits you could get from fasting. Animal and cell studies have shown that fasting can promote cellular regeneration and the expression of genes associated with longevity. ProLon is based on research from Valter Longo, PhD, and the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. (Longo is one of the leading researchers on longevity and fasting—he’s incredibly smart and cool. He donates his shares of L-Nutra, the company that makes ProLon, to fund more research. If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to, I love Longo’s goop episode with my boss Elise on intermittent fasting.)
There’s ongoing research on the fasting-mimicking diet looking at all sorts of potential results, but in one clinical study, body weight, BMI, and total body fat decreased after three cycles of ProLon. I lost a few pounds each time I did ProLon, and I know other people who have lost more, but for me, it’s about a different game, and it’s kind of a long one. I had cancer (Ewing’s sarcoma) in college, and that probably made me more inclined, at a young age, to start paying attention to things that might help us stay healthier, longer, even if there isn’t an immediate payoff.
But you may just want to know what’s inside the five-day kit, which is: five small boxes, one for each day, packed with everything you’ll eat. Every day, you’ll have an almond butter bar for breakfast, a plant-based soup for lunch (tomato or mushroom), and another veggie soup for dinner (minestrone or quinoa mix). There are snacks throughout (olives and kale crackers). And some nights, there’s a Choco Crisp bar after dinner, which was the thing I looked forward to (it’s not that sweet—it’s actually less sweet than the breakfast bar). There are also herbal tea bags, supplements, and an energy drink that you add to water. Some people would say that eating powdered soup is tragic, but I’m very unfancy in the kitchen, so five days of boxed food was fine for me. You can add herbs and lemon in small quantities to taste if you’d like, though.
When I’ve done ProLon, I’ve taken it pretty easy—I’ll do slower yoga classes, maybe go for a jog, but not do a HIIT class and then sit in the steam room. I’m more tired the first few days—I typically drink coffee, which is excluded on the program—and day three can be a little rough because it’s less food than the previous two days. But at that point, you’re also halfway done with the program. By day five, I feel good, I have more energy, and I’m not hungry.
On day six, you’re supposed to follow your own “transition diet” of light meals, instead of, you know, ordering everything on the brunch menu. I’m very all-or-nothing when I do a meal program—I follow it to an annoying degree—but it’s as if that type A part of me disappears on the last day and anything could happen the following. What I like about ProLon, though, is that I don’t feel that I need to have three lattes, a breakfast burrito, fries, and a couple of cocktails before noon on day six. I feel: reset. And steady. And healthier than I was on day one.
(As with anything in life, ProLon is not for everyone. I want to say read the fine print on goop here, but we made the font regular size so you don’t miss it.)
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.