Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
The Fast Mimicking Diet: lose fat (and gain a little muscle)
There's a new way of losing weight that flies in the face of almost everything you've ever heard about fat loss. Biogerontologist Valter Longo and his colleagues call it the Fast Mimicking Diet. According to Longo, people can lose body fat alone by reducing their daily energy intake to 1000-725 kilocalories for five days of every month, and consuming a normal amount the rest of the time.
But there are serious drawbacks to this strategy. Long-term caloric restriction leads to listlessness, reduces the body's ability to heal itself, wears down the immune system and generally diminishes quality of life.
The Fast Mimicking Diet provides an alternative strategy. This involves caloric restriction for five days a month, but not for the rest of the time.
Fast Mimicking Diet
CTRL = mice allowed to eat as much as they wanted.
The graph on the right above shows that the Fast Mimicking Diet reduces the rate of mortality due to cancer.
In other animal studies the Fast Mimicking Diet protected brain cells against aging. The lab animals on this diet remained able to absorb new information until a ripe age.
Fat loss in human study
Longo suspects that 5 days is the optimal length of time. In earlier experiments he discovered that fasting works because the concentration of IGF-1 and insulin in the body is reduced temporarily. The optimal effect is reached on the fifth day of fasting.
The figure below shows that the Fast Mimicking Diet led to weight loss and a reduction in IGF-1 levels.
FMD = after 5 days of caloric restriction; FMD-RF = after 3 months on Fast Mimicking Diet, measured during the first week after the third period of caloric restriction.
The figure below shows that all weight loss could be accounted for in the loss of fat reserves. Lean body mass actually increased slightly as a result of the Fast Mimicking Diet. It's not the first time that studies have reported that fasting protects or even increases lean body mass.
"The human fasting mimicking diet program is a plant-based diet program designed to attain fasting-like effects while providing micronutrient nourishment (vitamins, minerals, etc.) and minimize the burden of fasting", the researchers wrote about it. "It comprises proprietary vegetable-based soups, energy bars, energy drinks, chip snacks, chamomile flower tea, and a vegetable supplement formula table."
"The human fasting mimicking diet consists of a 5 day regimen: day 1 of the diet supplies 1090 kcal (10 percent protein, 56 percent fat, 34 percent carbohydrate), days 2–5 are identical in formulation and provide 725 kcal (9 percent protein, 44 percent fat, 47 percent carbohydrate)."
"This contrasts with the use of leucine-enriched amino acids or the use of a whey protein, leucine-enriched supplement, which has demonstrated beneficial acute effects on muscle protein synthesis, and particularly at higher concentrations of 40 percent."
The subjects ate foods produced by L-Nutra [l-nutra.com], a longevity foods manufacturing company set up by Longo.