I’m just a girl, staring at a bowl of soup, wishing it to be an Italian sub. Consider this my PSA in how to survive the ProLon fasting program, and especially Prolon Day 1. I’m now on my second ProLon experience and I’m a convert. (This is not a paid post – I purchased the program on my own = honesty!) I was interested in trying it for a couple of reasons. First, I truly believe in the science behind it and how it boosts the anti-aging mechanisms in your body. Second, I had packed on a few menopause pounds (thanks to the pandemic and my mother’s illness) so I needed some motivation to jumpstart a new healthier eating plan.
My first time on this fasting mimicking diet was two months ago and I voraciously researched how to survive ProLon. I’m not going to kid you, it’s a tough five days, especially for someone like me who is a boredom grazer. Every time I pass by the kitchen, I’ll grab a handful of peanut butter-billed pretzels, or piece of cheese, or (yikes) a few pieces of chocolate. One thing that was very apparent to me, especially on my second round of ProLon was that I am a mindless eater – I just grab things and nosh on them without really focusing on the activity. I think (hope) having this realization will help me break a mindless eating habit.
But two things happened that led me to do a second round: I dropped 5 pounds the first time and 3.6 the second round have kept it off. Once it was over, I was really focused on eating less and eating healthier. I had planned to do a second round sooner (the website recommends you do it once a month for three consecutive months for the best results) but I traveled to Africa and ended up coming home with Covid which put me down for three weeks (that’s one way to get rid of vacation pounds – I lost my taste and could not eat.)
So I just completed my second round and thought I would share what you can expect on the ProLon Diet.
A couple of rules for following the ProLon Fast:
- There is no diverting from what the company sends you. The program says you can have coffee in the morning to avoid caffeine headaches, but it is discouraged. I did drink one cup of coffee each morning on both of my fasts. Per the program, you also should not take any unnecessary medications. I had a toothache and wanted to take an ibuprofen but did not want to affect all the beautiful things going on in my body (hopefully).
- No working out – You’re advised not to workout while you’re doing ProLon, and honestly, I don’t know how anyone has the energy to do so. I’m a Pure Barre junkie so it was tough for me to skip a week of classes.
- No wine – This is always a good thing, right? I tend to do Dry January and Dry June, and honestly, with all the stress of my life these past few months, I needed a reason to cut back.
What I love about the ProLon program
- I don’t have to think about meals for five days – it’s a cooking vacation. And there’s no cleaning up. Starting with ProLon Day 1, I used the same pan and bowl all week and just rinsed them out each meal (although I wanted to throw it away after the end of the fast for its cruelty LOL).
- You have a great excuse to go to bed early.
- You can ditch the bra while you’re doing it. I didn’t leave the house most days so why not?
What you eat and drink on the ProLon program
The whole program is prepackaged by day for you and there is a day-by-day instruction sheet on what to eat each day. Starting with Prolon Day 1, you’ll have a nut bar for breakfast with tea, and then powdered soups for lunch and dinner with olives and crackers as the bonus on alternating days. ProLon Day 2 through 5 includes the ProLon L-drink, a glycerin drink intended to keep you hydrated and provide some energy. The soups actually were not that bad (see my tips below for spicing them up). My biggest fear was spilling some of the soup powder or the dog eating my crackers. I actually had some boil over on the stove one day and I freaked out – I needed that extra spoonful that poured out! Trust me – you want every single spoonful. The crackers and olives are like sinful indulgences so you’ll want to savor each bite. I read another post somewhere where someone said her husband was drinking the olive juice in the bottom of the package. For dessert, there are these chocolate bars – I heard someone else refer to them as “fart bars,” because well… yeah. They have prebiotics and probiotics and all kinds of other “bios” so it’s no surprise. There are also vitamins you’ll take each day.
My first ProLon experience compared to my second ProLon experience
- Both times, ProLon Day 1 was pretty easy because I was so motivated. I was mildly hungry late in the day.
- ProLon Day 2: The first time, day 2 was easy, just like day 1. I was still feeling motivated. This second time, I think I knew what to expect so my enthusiasm had waned, so day 2 was when my real hunger kicked in. I was even starting to give myself permission (or excuses) to have a regular dinner on ProLon Day 5 and break my fast (but I did not). I also had a headache most of the day.
- ProLon Day 3: Most people say this is the hardest day. I’ll admit I was hangry (I mean, when am I not?), but my determination carried me through. I was feeling a bit more energy and creativity on Day 3 the second time around.
- ProLon Day 4: The first time I did Prolon, this was the worst day for me. I was hungry and had no energy. I laid in bed watching food TV shows all day and longing for something decadent. I was pretty miserable. But the second time through, I had a markedly different experience. I woke up feeling very energized and felt great all throughout the day – I even considered going to a barre or yoga class but decided not to push it. I never felt any hunger and even got tied up and did not have “lunch” until 4pm.
- ProLon Day 5: Victory! It was an easy day because I knew the end was near. What a sense of accomplishment! I will say I definitely felt that boost of energy that others report the second time through. True confession: on my second fast, I almost caved on Day 5 and had a piece of bread with my dinner. I was pretty hungry. But I decided I’d rather get up early and have an “honest” real breakfast – I had worked too hard to cheat at this point.
- ProLon Day 6: It’s important to ease back into eating as you break the fast. The program offers some guidance on what to eat, primarily soup and light veggies. I opted for avocado toast for breakfast, whole wheat pasta for lunch, and a small chicken breast with veggies for dinner.
My tips for surviving the ProLon fasting program
- I chose to do the fast when my husband was out of town. I’m not sure I could have stuck with it watching him eat a bowl of pasta with a glass of wine each night.
- Weigh yourself on ProLon Day 1 and Day 6. Do not weigh yourself each day or you might get discouraged.
- Add a little extra water to the soups – I added about 1/4 cup just to give me more food. Trust me, every spoonful helps.
- Cayenne was my best friend. I love spicy food so I added cayenne to every soup, along with pepper and occasionally cumin. Add any spices you like so it’s somewhat enjoyable.
- Eat slowly. You could woof down the nut bars in five minutes but I ate very very slowly to spread them out over 30 minutes. Same with the soups. I even consciously chewed the teeny tiny quinoa seeds.
- Add the hibiscus tea to your water just to mix things up, especially if you’re not a fan of plain water. You will need to drink a lot on this program. I also drank sparkling water a few days because it helps fill me up.
- Get out and take walks. I did try to walk each day and not have that guilt that I wasn’t working out.
- Find things to fill your time. On my first program, I was redecorating a room so I saved up all of my shopping trips for that week to get me out of the house. The second time, I had several articles to write and I can get lost in writing so I spent ProLon Day 2 and ProLon Day 3 feverishly writing to the point I didn’t really think about it.
- Condense your eating time. I’m one of those people who don’t get hungry in the morning so I waited until about 11am to start eating, much like I do with regular intermittent fasting. If you’re an early riser, this will be tough. Then, I spread products out throughout the day – I did not eat the olives with my meal but tried to wait another hour or two just to get something in my stomach every couple of hours. I tried to have my last “meal” about 6pm. Then I’d just go to bed early so I didn’t have to think about it.
- Sleep. I don’t say this because it’s good for you. I say this because you’ll have less time to think about how hungry you are. A lot of people report that they sleep better during ProLon but that was not the case for me. Maybe it was because I was not taking my usual vitamins and supplements, some of which help me sleep. Or maybe it was because all of the pistons and engines in my body were so busy as the repaired and replaced cells.
- Commit to meal planning. Trust me, you will feel motivated to clean up your diet after following this program. I created a month of meal plans (Skinnytaste is my favorite) and I was so excited to jumpstart a new healthier eating plan.
The bottom line, YOU CAN DO IT! Clearly it’s not that bad because I’m ordering another kit for next month. My goal is to do it at least three successive months each year and I would like to do it twice a year. Happy to answer questions in the comments, or if you do the program, let me know how it goes!