An Honest Account of Trying The ProLon® 5 Day Fasting Mimicking Diet

I tried the ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet which offers a 5-Day plan and a 1 Day ReSet. It claims to be "designed and clinically tested by 14 global universities". Amongst the benefits are: autophagy, improved sense of well being and healthier, younger looking skin (after 3 cycles). What made the biggest impact on me though is it changed my relationship with food. After just 5 days it totally stopped my mindless eating. I lost weight and continued to lose weight after the 5 days, but I also found it really tough and I am in two minds about whether I would do it again. Read on to find my honest experience.

The ProLon logo on the box containing a 5 day plan and the front of the included booklet
Everything you need to eat for 5 days comes in the box

An Honest Account Of Experiencing Weight Loss With ProLon®

Why I Chose To Try ProLon®

Like most people my weight has fluctuated through out my adult life. I know how to stay a healthy weight, but I can be lazy and I love food too much so when it comes to losing weight I need some help. I can’t go in to the kitchen every day and make myself perfectly balanced meals, because every time I see a biscuit or other snack it quickly makes it’s way into my mouth before I have realised. 

This summer I was at my heaviest weight ever (and that includes during my pregnancies), I was eating a huge amount and I constantly felt hungry. I needed to do something before I had no clothes left that fit. So I reconsidered the ProLon® plan.

ProLon® particularly appealed to me because it is mostly plant based, I don’t eat dairy so I can’t do many diet plans and there is a B vitamin that gives me migraines which rules out most of the vegan milkshake type meals. There are no dairy ingredients in the plan, but they warn it is made in a factory with dairy ingredients so there is a risk of cross contamination. ProLon® isn't suitable for vegans because the L-bar you have for breakfast each day contains honey. 

ProLon® is a fasting mimicking plan which encourages your body to go into a fasting state, but don't worry you get to eat. The plan is meant to have all sorts of benefits, but my interest was the weight loss. The website says you can expect to lose between 2 and 5% of your body weight on the plan so it's not suitable for anyone who is underweight.  

In the past I have had some success with 18:6 intermittent fasting where I don’t eat until lunch time, but then have a decent lunch and dinner. I can’t claim to have experienced the benefits of fasting beyond it being a simple way to help me to eat less. Only allowing myself to eat within a shorter window of the day cuts down on my evening snacking, the type of snacking I do because I'm bored, tired or craving something sweet. It also works well for me because I tend not to be hungry when I wake up in the morning. During the summer holidays my eating got out of control and I went from eating in a 6 hour window to grazing non stop AND having big meals so I was quickly gaining weight. 

As I had signed up to the ProLon® affiliate scheme in anticipation of hopefully being sent a kit to review I was receiving automatic emails about their offers and they had one with 25% off their 5 day kit bringing it down to £150. That still works out at £30 a day for not very much food, but the advantage to paying a lot for something is you don’t want to waste it and having that extra motivation is definitely helpful when it comes to sticking to a diet. So I bought the kit and waited until my children had gone back to school to start it. The kit arrived in about 5 days, but everything in it has a long shelf life so you don't need to use it straight away.

Inside my ProLon 5 day diet box showing the 5 boxes and a water bottle
You get one box a day with all you need in it (just add water)

What Do You Eat On The 5 Day ProLon® Plan?

The package has each day boxed up separately so you just focus on one day at a time. The first day has slightly more food in to ease you into it, but there isn’t a lot to eat any day compared to what I'm used to. On days 2 to 5 the food comes to about 700 to 800 calories a day. I didn’t find I got particularly hungry though as the food is spread out through out the day and the teas helped too.

Each day you get breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack and drinks (including a squash type drink and fruit teas). In the booklet it tells you what to eat for each meal and it recommends not mixing items between the different day boxes. There are also supplements to take: omega 3 (from marine algae) and NR-3 (a multivitamin and mineral supplement). 

Breakfast each day is the L-Bar Nut which is a dense cereal type bar made with nuts (macadamia, pecan, almonds), coconut and honey. It also recommends having an infusion (one of the cups of tea) with your breakfast.

Lunch is a microwavable soup, the NR-3 supplement and either olives (you get about 6 in the pack) or sesame seed and kale crackers. Make sure you microwave the soup in a large container as they bubbled up a lot in cooking and losing half your lunch can be quite distressing.

Dinner is another soup, but these ones take longer to cook and need to be cooked on the stove. On the first day and the days you get olives with your lunch you get to have a L-Bar Chocco Crisp for pudding. This is a small chocolate, nut and oat bar.

Throughout the day to help control hunger you are encouraged to drink the teas, plenty of water and, on days 2 to 5, the L-drink: an orange or lemon glycerin drink. On a couple of days you get another pack of olives as a snack and on the first day you get a second L-Bar nut as a snack (the breakfast bar).

They have 2 versions of the plan with the only difference (as far as I can tell) being the types of soup so look at the options and see which one appeals to you most. I chose the second version as I think the soups sound more interesting. The soups I had were: Butternut Squash, Black Bean, White Bean & Spinach, Butternut Squash & Quinoa, Minestrone and a Tomato soup. 

You can tell them the dates you plan to start the diet so each morning you get a short email from them with what to expect that day. They also have a Facebook group you can join for support.

Day 1 lunch consists of soup, crackers, olives and a supplement
Lunch on day 1, you get more to eat the first day to help you adapt

What Does The ProLon® Diet Food Taste Like?

The first day I really enjoyed all the food, but after a few days I really struggled due to not feeling well and eating the same food multiple times, but the soup, olives and the Chocco Crisp bar were always appreciated. The soups are thick and I really liked most of them. By day 5 I couldn’t stand the sight or smell of the crackers.

Days 2-5 there is the L-drink that you make up and are meant to sip throughout the day. On day 2 I felt really sick and so couldn’t stomach this drink, I tried it again on Day 3, but couldn’t manage it so I skipped it the rest of the week. I don't know what difference this made.

You get a few infusions (teas) to have each day. You can use these to flavour the L-Drink or have on their own. The number and variety vary each day, but you get hibiscus, spearmint lemon tea and spearmint tea. I found these helped if I was feeling hungry. They aren't the most exciting teas in the world, but they have flavour and are more exciting than water. 

A close up of a butternut squash and quinoa chunky ProLon diet soup
The soups are thick and taste good (I was too hungry for beautiful photography)

How I Felt Each Day While on ProLon®

I recognise that everybody will have their own journey while following the plan and I don't think how sick I felt is typical. However from reviews on the site it seems normal to struggle with energy on days 2 and 3.

Day 1

I didn’t feel hungry because there was food to eat regularly. I enjoyed the food and was surprised how good it tasted. The algal oil supplement I had a breakfast gave me fishy burps which wasn't pleasant (although it doesn’t actually contain fish).

Day 2

I started feeling sick mid morning and I had a headache (I regularly get headaches so that isn't unusual for me). I thought the nausea might be linked to hunger even though I didn't feel hungry so I tried to eat lunch and was sick. I spent most of the day in bed and struggled to eat any of the food in the afternoon.

Day 3

I still felt very tired and needed a nap. I felt a little sick and headachy too, but I didn’t feel as bad as the day before. By evening I was feeling bloated, but this might have been from eating some food after being sick the day before.

Day 4

I still tired felt tired and had a headache, but I was otherwise ok.

Day 5 

My headache had gone and I wasn’t feeling tired, but I definitely wasn’t feeling full of energy like some people claim they do by day 5. I felt hungry and was fed up with the food choices, but knowing it was the last day was a relief.

Useful to know

They recommend taking it easy in the 5 days, so don’t plan exercise etc other than light walking. 

Day 6 is a “Transition” day. They recommend you consume light meals starting with liquid foods like soup or juice so don't plan a huge meal to break your fast!

It says on the Day 1 email that you can have a small cup of black coffee, but on other emails it says to avoid caffeine.  If you are used to drinking a few cups of coffee or tea a day you might want to try and detox from that before starting the plan as caffeine withdrawal undoubtedly made me feel more rough.

In my box I got a free sample of the ProLon® Longevity Spread. I don’t really understand what the spread is other than a low sugar almond and chocolate spread which is soooo good. I looked on the website about ordering more, but it isn’t currently on sale in the UK and based on other region sites I think it is going to be super expensive. It tastes amazing though. 

Me with a mug of tomato soup on day 4 of the 5 day ProLon diet
Enjoying soup for lunch

The Figures - How Much Did I Lose On ProLon®?

The morning I started the plan I weighed myself and took measurements around the thinnest part of my waist, around my stomach where my belly button is and around the largest part of my body which happened to be at the top of my thighs. 

My before figures were: 79.1kg, 88cm, 102cm, 112cm. I was a size 16. 

The morning after the 5 day plan I took the same measurements.

My after figures were: 75.9kg, 86cm, 97cm, 109cm.

Loss after the 5 day plan: 3kg (nearly 7 lbs and 4% of my body weight) and measuring between 2cm and 5cm loss (nearly 2 inches off my stomach).

1 month after completing the plan I have lost a further 2.5kg and 2cm (roughly an inch) off each of the other measurements. I tried on size 12 clothes in M&S yesterday and apart from one pair of jeans that I could do up, but was a bit bulgy, they all fit me. 

So in 6 weeks I have dropped 2 dress sizes and 7% of my body weight. The kick start and biggest loss was in those first 5 days, but more importantly I have been able to both maintain the weight loss and continue to lose weight. 

Summary of My Experience

The ProLon® 5 Day plan really worked for me. Not only did I have an initial burst of weight loss, but I have continued to lose weight afterwards. In less than a week I went from uncontrollable snacking to conscious eating. It has also reduced my sugar cravings, I now open my children’s sweet packets without taking one “to try” and I have gone from having 3 sweeteners in my coffee to 1. 

While the plan is really easy to follow because everything you need (other than water) for the 5 days is in the box, I found it challenging to do. For the 5 days I was on the plan I felt pretty rough and struggled to work, one of those days I was in bed all day.  I can't say that it was definitely ProLon® that made me feel sick, but no one else in my family felt unwell around this time. 

After the plan ended I have focussed on helping my body and mind adapt to eating less. If I had gone straight back to eating a ‘normal’ amount of food I’m confident the weight would have gone straight back on and then some so I have gradually increased my intake so my body gets used to the food. 

The first week post plan I made small, healthy meals (mostly salads and vegetables). Over the next month the amount of food I eat has gradually increased and I have been enjoying roasts and takeaways etc. The difference is I am now eating smaller portion sizes than before I did ProLon® and I am snacking much less too. I balance the tastier, sorry I mean unhealthier, meals out with better choices and I consciously think about what food I am eating rather than stuffing food in my face. I’ve also been making an effort to be more active. 

Would I Do It Again?

I’m in two minds. ProLon® recommend doing the plan 3 times a year and that makes sense to me. As time passes I feel I am gradually slipping and I expect that after Christmas I will benefit from a reset. My worry is that I think I would struggle to eat some of the foods as they are linked in my head with feeling unwell, in the same way you avoid a food if you get food poisoning shortly after eating it. There are currently 2 variations of the plan with different soups in each, but the breakfast bar and snack crackers are the same in both and form a key part of the meal plan. I would also have to make sure I had 5 days set aside when it didn’t matter if I felt too tired and ill to do much. Not everyone feels rough the whole time, and I’m sure that being physically sick is rare (or quite possibly a coincidence), but I would want to prepare just in case. 

Having said that, it is the most successful diet I have ever tried both in terms of how much weight and fat I have lost and in changing the way I eat after the diet plan finished.  So I think that will motivate me to buy another 5 Day plan in the future. 

I would recommend trying the ProLon® 5 Day Fasting Mimicking diet if you can take it easy for 5 days and you are committed to sticking with the diet. Not just for those few days, but afterwards too. Losing weight while on the plan really helps to provide the motivation to keep going with it, but you wouldn’t want to do it just before a holiday or when you are going to want to splurge on food (eg before your Birthday or Christmas).

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