Fasting Mimicking Diet Recipes: Easy Ways to Find Them

Fasting mimicking diet recipes

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Focus on whole food plant-based dishes low in calories and protein but high in unsaturated fats. Opt for recipes featuring ingredients like avocados, nuts, and seeds to fit the FMD nutritional profile.

ABOUT ME

Be beauty. Be plant-based!

As a former Registered Nurse and avid plant-muncher, I’m in love with how simple plant-based foods make it easy to be beautiful.

Exploring the world of fasting mimicking diet recipes offers a unique path to health and beauty. This approach is especially intriguing for those who seek both weight loss and a healthy life. In this post, I explain how to easily find recipes for a fasting mimicking diet (FMD), a low-calorie diet that mimics the effects of traditional fasting without the need for complete food abstinence. Whether you’re a busy individual looking to enhance your health or someone curious about the benefits of this diet, here’s a complete guide for finding the right FMD recipes that are right for you.

The Fasting Mimicking Diet

What is the fasting mimicking diet?

The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) is a dietary protocol designed by longevity researcher Valter Longo to imitate the effects of prolonged fasting while still providing some nutrient intake. It is characterised by being low in calories, sugars, and protein but high in unsaturated fats.

The diet predominantly includes plant-based foods such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Also herbal teas like hibiscus and chamomile. There is zero animal protein or animal fat.

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This might sound intimidating, but as you get used to these recipes, plant-based foods will eventually feel just like a normal diet. 

The macronutrient distribution in FMD is tailored to provide about 40–50% of the normal calorie intake on the first day, reducing to approximately 10–20% for the subsequent days. 

Fasting mimicking diet recipes - woman holding plant-based foods

The fasting period typically lasts between 4 to 7 consecutive days (often a 5-day diet) and can be repeated every 15 to 365 days, depending on individual goals and health conditions. This approach aims to trigger some of the beneficial mechanisms of fasting, like cellular repair and metabolic shifts, without the completely going without food.

That makes FMD a unique form of intermittent fasting, offering a way to gain the health benefits of fasting without the challenges of a full traditional fasting or water fasting regimen!

The goal is to induce a fasting state in the body, which can lead to various health benefits such as improved blood sugar regulation, reduced blood pressure, and potentially even longevity.

Be Safe With Medical Advice

It’s important to listen to your body and adjust as needed, and always consider seeking medical advice if you have any medical conditions or health concerns. The fasting mimicking diet opens a door to a new way of eating and living, promising benefits for both the body and mind.

Finding Suitable FMD Recipes 

Wholefood plant-based recipes are an excellent choice for those looking for fasting mimicking diet recipes due to several key reasons:

Grilled eggplant

Nutrient-Dense Ingredients: Wholefood plant-based recipes focus on ingredients like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. These are nutrient-dense and align perfectly with the FMD’s emphasis on low-calorie, high-nutrient foods.

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Natural Low-Calorie Options: Many wholefood plant-based ingredients are naturally low in calories, which is essential for the calorie-restricted nature of FMD. This makes it easier to create meals that fit within the FMD’s caloric guidelines.

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Healthy Fats: FMD requires a good amount of healthy fats, which are abundantly present in plant-based foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds. These fats are crucial for the diet’s effectiveness and are easily incorporated into plant-based recipes.

Balanced Macronutrients: Plant-based recipes provide a balanced combination of macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – in their natural form. This balance is beneficial for adhering to the FMD’s macronutrient ratios.

Bowl of raspberries

Variety and Flexibility: The diversity of wholefood plant-based recipes ensures that you have a wide range of options to choose from, making the diet more enjoyable and sustainable. This variety also allows for greater flexibility in meal planning.

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Health Benefits: Beyond adhering to FMD, these recipes offer broader health benefits, including improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and reduced risk of chronic diseases, making them a wholesome choice for overall well-being.

In summary, wholefood plant-based recipes not only cater to the specific requirements of the Fasting Mimicking Diet but also contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall. They provide a practical and enjoyable way to adhere to the diet’s guidelines while ensuring you receive all the necessary nutrients.

My Favourite Blogs for FMD recipes

When looking for great whole food plant-based (WFPB) recipe sites for FMD suitable recipes, there are several that stand out, each with its unique offerings and strengths.

Forks Over Knives

This site is renowned for its comprehensive approach to plant-based eating. Beyond a wide array of delicious recipes, it offers a cooking course that is 100% vegan and covers essential cooking skills, flavour balancing, and seasoning. The course is praised for its engaging content and large library of recipes, making it a fantastic resource for both budding vegan chefs and home cooks. Forks Over Knives is ideal for those looking to dive deeper into vegan cooking and expand their culinary skills.

Rainbow Plant Life

This site is known for its vibrant and flavour-packed recipes and is a great source for those looking to explore creative, delicious plant-based dishes. Probably the tastiest plant-based dishes you will ever make.

Minimalist Baker

This site is celebrated for its simple yet delicious recipes, often requiring 10 ingredients or less. It’s perfect for those who want quick, easy, and tasty plant-based meals.

Nutriciously

This site offers a range of healthy plant-based recipes and is known for its practical tips on vegan living and nutrition.

Each of these sites brings something unique to the table, whether it’s in-depth cooking courses, creative recipes, simplicity in preparation, or a focus on healthy living. While they may not always show calorie counts, they are fantastic resources for delicious, healthful plant-based eating.

Make the FMD Diet Your Own!

It’s a really good idea to to tailor the diet to the foods you like, and create your own fasting mimicking diet recipes based on your personal faves, so that you are more likely to stick with the FMD.

All you need to do is find a WFPB recipe that sounds delicious for you. Here’s how you can adapt your approach to discover recipes that align with both WFPB and FMD guidelines:

Search with Specificity

To find recipes that fit the FMD criteria, your search terms need to be a bit more specific. Instead of just typing “WFPB recipe,” include terms related to FMD, like “low-calorie WFPB recipe” or “high-fat plant-based recipe”.

Focus on Key Ingredients

Since FMD emphasises low protein, low sugars, and high unsaturated fats, your ingredient choices should reflect this. Search for recipes using ingredients like avocados, nuts and seeds, which are high in healthy fats. For instance, try searching “WFPB avocado recipes” or “plant-based recipes with nuts”.

Woman cooking in kitchen

Calorie Consciousness

Unlike standard WFPB diets, FMD requires careful attention to calorie intake. When exploring recipes, look for those that either provide calorie counts or can be easily adjusted to fit within the FMD’s caloric guidelines.

Balancing Meals

While finding individual recipes is great, consider how they fit into your overall daily meal plan for FMD. Ensure that the total day’s worth of meals aligns with the caloric and macronutrient targets of the diet.

Explore and Experiment

Use this as an opportunity to explore various plant-based blogs and cooking sites. Even if a recipe isn’t labeled as FMD-friendly, with some adjustments and portion control, it can often be adapted to suit the diet’s requirements.

Learning and Adapting

As you explore various recipes, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to balance and adjust ingredients to meet both WFPB and FMD criteria. This will make it easier to adapt regular WFPB recipes to fit into your FMD plan.

By using these strategies, you can enjoy a diverse range of delicious and nutritious meals that support your goals on the Fasting Mimicking Diet, all while adhering to whole food plant-based principles.

Or, start with your favourite ingredients

When seeking out whole food plant-based (WFPB) recipes for a FMD, starting with your favourite plant-based ingredients is a great approach. 

For instance, if you love beans in chilli, you can begin your recipe search with terms like “low-calorie WFPB bean chilli” or “FMD-friendly bean recipes”.

Adapting Your Favourite Foods to FMD

  • Modify Recipes as Needed: If you find a WFPB recipe that you love but it doesn’t quite fit the FMD criteria, try adjusting it. For example, reduce the quantity of high-calorie ingredients or replace them with lower-calorie alternatives.
  • Portion Control: Pay attention to portion sizes. Even with healthy ingredients, portions matter significantly in FMD due to its calorie-restricted nature.
  • Balancing the Meal Plan: Remember, FMD requires a balance of macronutrients with a focus on healthy fats and low protein. Incorporate your favourite ingredients in a way that maintains this balance.
  • Explore and Enjoy: Use this as an opportunity to explore new ways of preparing your favourite ingredients. You might discover new flavours and cooking methods that you hadn’t considered before.

By keeping these tips in mind and starting with ingredients you already love, you can create enjoyable and satisfying meals that adhere to both WFPB and FMD guidelines, making your diet both effective and pleasurable.

Where are the calories?

Often many of these plant-based recipes and blogs do not prominently display calorie information. 

This is probably because the wholefood plant-based diet philosophy often prioritises the quality and source of food over calorie counting. The emphasis is usually on natural, minimally processed foods that are inherently nutritious and beneficial for health.

Fasting mimicking diet recipes - green salad

For those following the FMD, where calorie intake is a crucial component, this lack of calorie information can be a bit of a challenge. The FMD requires a specific caloric restriction, especially a significant reduction on the first day, followed by a more drastic cut for the remainder of the diet period.

To adapt these wholefood plant-based recipes for FMD, you may need to do a bit of extra work:

  • Calculate Calories: Use online calorie calculators or apps to estimate the calorie content of each ingredient in a recipe.
  • Portion Control: Adjust portion sizes to ensure they fit within the FMD’s daily calorie limits.
  • Ingredient Swaps: You might need to modify recipes slightly, such as reducing high-calorie ingredients or substituting them with lower-calorie alternatives.

Alternatively, you could try to stick with soups as much as possible for the few days of fasting mimicking.

Remember, while the focus on whole foods in these recipes is excellent for overall health and aligns with the principles of FMD, careful attention to portion sizes and calorie content is key to ensuring these recipes meet the specific requirements of the Fasting Mimicking Diet.

Key Points for Identifying FMD Recipes

  • Calorie Content: Recipes should be low in calories. The total daily calorie intake for FMD typically ranges between 800 to 1,100 calories, with the first day being the highest.
  • Macronutrient Composition: Look for recipes with a high proportion of healthy fats, a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates, and low in protein. The diet emphasises plant-based sources of fat and protein.
  • Ingredients to Include: Focus on whole, unprocessed plant foods. Vegetables, nuts, seeds, and limited portions of fruits are good choices. Healthy fats from sources like avocados, olives, and flaxseeds are encouraged.
  • Ingredients to Avoid: Steer clear of refined sugars, processed foods, animal products, and high-protein plant foods.

The 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Explained

The 5-day FMD is structured to provide the benefits of fasting while still allowing food consumption. This period typically involves a specific caloric and nutritional protocol.

Daily Structure of the 5-Day FMD

  • Day 1: This day usually allows for a slightly higher calorie intake, typically around 1,100 calories. The focus is on easing into the diet.
  • Days 2-5: Calorie intake is reduced further, typically between 800 to 1,000 calories per day. The nutrient composition remains focused on healthy fats and low protein.

How Many Calories a Day on the Fasting Mimicking Diet?

  • The daily calorie count varies over the 5 days but generally stays within 800 to 1,100 calories. It’s important to distribute these calories carefully throughout the day to maintain energy levels and nutritional balance.

Coffee Consumption on FMD

The good news is, coffee can be included, but there are some considerations.

Guidelines for Coffee Consumption on FMD

  • Black Coffee: Pure black coffee, without added sugars or creamers, is generally acceptable as it’s low in calories.
  • Moderation is Key: While black coffee is permissible, it should be consumed in moderation. Excessive caffeine intake might disrupt sleep patterns or cause dehydration.
  • Impact on Appetite: Some people find that coffee suppresses appetite, which can be helpful during a calorie-restricted diet like FMD. However, individual responses vary.

Alternatives to Coffee

  • If you’re sensitive to caffeine or prefer other options, herbal teas can be a great alternative. They are calorie-free and can offer a variety of flavours and potential health benefits.

By incorporating these guidelines, individuals following the FMD can enjoy coffee or other low-calorie beverages as part of their diet plan.

FMD Frequency and Duration

Deciding how often to undertake the Fasting Mimicking Diet is important for maximising its benefits while ensuring it fits into your lifestyle and health goals.

Determining the Frequency of FMD

  • Individual Goals: The frequency can vary based on personal health objectives, such as weight loss, improved metabolism, or general well-being.
  • Common Practice: Many people choose to do the FMD monthly for more significant health benefits. However, doing it quarterly or bi-annually is also beneficial.
  • Listening to Your Body: It’s crucial to pay attention to how your body responds to the diet and adjust the frequency accordingly.

Duration Considerations

  • While the standard FMD is a 5-day plan, some might opt for a shorter 3-day version, especially when starting or for maintenance.

FMD and Other Diets

Understanding how the Fasting Mimicking Diet compares to other popular diets can help you choose the best approach for your health and wellness goals.

Comparison with the Keto Diet

  • Ketogenic Diet: Focuses on high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate intake to induce ketosis.
  • FMD: While also low in carbs, fasting mimicking diet recipes emphasise lower protein and calorie intake, with periodic implementation rather than continuous.

FMD and the Longevity Diet

  • Longevity Diet: Aims for long-term health and longevity, often with a focus on plant-based foods and reduced calorie intake.
  • Similarities with FMD: Both diets share principles like plant-based eating and calorie restriction, but FMD is more focused on short-term, periodic implementation.

By understanding these comparisons, you can make informed decisions about which dietary approach aligns best with your health objectives and lifestyle preferences.

Safety and Medical Considerations

Before starting the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), it’s crucial to consider safety and medical aspects. This diet, like any significant dietary change, can have profound effects on your health.

Seeking Medical Advice

  • While fasting mimicking diets are healthy, always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning FMD, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medication.
  • Medical supervision is particularly important for individuals with conditions that could be affected by dietary changes, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Potential Impacts on Health

  • Blood Pressure: Changes in diet can affect blood pressure. While some may experience a beneficial reduction, others might need adjustments in medication or close monitoring.
  • Blood Sugar: FMD can significantly impact blood sugar levels, particularly for those with diabetes. Monitoring and adjusting medication under medical guidance is essential to avoid hypoglycaemia or other complications.

FAQ: Fasting mimicking diet recipes

Is fasting mimicking diet better than water fasting?

FMD provides a balanced approach, allowing the body to experience the benefits of fasting while still consuming food and avoiding health issues. This can make it more manageable and sustainable compared to traditional water fasting, especially for those new to fasting diets. All while achieving your best results. 

FMD is not just about restricting calories; it’s about choosing the right foods that support your body’s needs during the diet. 

What is the avocado fast mimicking diet?

The Avocado Fast Mimicking Diet is a specific fad diet approach within the broader framework of the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), where avocados play a central role due to their high healthy fat content and nutritional value.

Characteristics of the Avocado Fast Mimicking Diet:
  • Focus on Avocados: This diet highlights avocados as a primary source of healthy fats, essential for this type of diet.
  • Nutrient-Dense Choice: Avocados are not just about fats; they are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a balanced choice for nutrient intake.
  • Maintaining Caloric Goals: While avocados are relatively high in calories, their inclusion in the diet is balanced with the overall caloric restriction of the FMD.
Implementing Avocados in the Diet:
  • Avocados can be used in various ways in FMD recipes, such as in salads, smoothies, or as a creamy base for dressings.
  • It’s important to consider the caloric content of avocados in the context of the overall daily calorie limit of the FMD.

References

Boccardi V, Pigliautile M, Guazzarini AG, Mecocci P. The Potential of Fasting-Mimicking Diet as a Preventive and Curative Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease. Biomolecules. 2023;13(7):1133. Published 2023 Jul 14. doi:10.3390/biom13071133

Wei M, Brandhorst S, Shelehchi M, et al. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med. 2017;9(377):eaai8700. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700

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