A Modified Fast is a 5-day dietary program designed to mimic fasting, while still allowing you to eat some food. It is intentionally very low in protein, 100% plant based, low-calorie and consists of specific amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat in order to mimic the benefits of fasting. The diet aims to improve health and longevity and can be repeated as often as once a month or on an as needed basis. Some of the benefits of the diet include reduced inflammation and autoimmunity, improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, lower fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reductions in belly fat, improvements in the gut microbiome and more.
Why try to mimic fasting?Our genes evolved under conditions of periodic fasting or very low food intake by necessity as we faced seasonal changes, famines, droughts, wildfires, disease, and warfare that were unavoidable parts of human history. These cycles of feast and famine have had a profound influence in shaping our genes and still play a vital role in our health today.
When we fast, whether by unfortunate circumstance or by conscious choice, we tap into an ancient reboot system hardwired into our genes that is designed to ultimately make us stronger, healthier and more resilient.
Prolonged fasting forces the body to use up stored fat and glucose, but also puts us into protective and stress resistant state. It encourages the breakdown of old immune cells, broken DNA, damaged cellular parts (like damaged mitochondria), protein aggregates that interfere with cell function, and other worn out or damaged parts. This process is called autophagy and it’s much like spring cleaning for the body!
Clearing out the old, broken down and damaged cellular parts makes room for new and healthy ones to replace them. When food is available again a tremendous rebuilding and regenerative process takes place and the creation of new healthy cells and tissues leads to lasting improvements in cell function, tissue health and ultimately longevity.
The prolonged fasting required to robustly stimulate autophagy, activate stem cells, and trigger this protective and stress resistant state is difficult to willingly self-impose. Most of us would find it very difficult to consume nothing but water for several days, even if we knew it could improve our health. This is where the genius of modified fasting comes into play. The diet is carefully constructed so that you mimic fasting, and reap all the benefits, without actually having to stop eating completely.
Who Is Modified Fasting For?
Modified fasting is an appropriate nutritional therapy for adult men and women who are of a healthy weight or who are overweight or obese and are needing to reduce body fat. Because modified fasting helps to preserve lean muscle mass, it may be also appropriate for some athletes, given that they are not underweight. Modified fasting is not appropriate for everyone, and should only be done under the recommendation, care and supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.
People are interested in modified fasting due to the many amazing health benefits demonstrated in clinical studies such as...
Increased cellular regeneration
Fat loss, particularly belly fat
Lower blood pressure
Improved insulin sensitivity
Better blood sugar balance
Healthier gut microbiome
Lower IGF-1 (a marker associated with DNA damage and increase disease risk)
Modified fasting is not appropriate for children or teens, pregnant or nursing women, those who are underweight, elderly adults over the age of 70, insulin-dependent diabetics, those struggling with disordered eating behaviors, or immune compromised individuals (such as individuals with AIDS, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, or those taking immunosuppressive medications).
Modified Fasting Options
If modified fasting has been recommended to by your trusted healthcare provider, here are a few ways you can participate with us.
Do-It-Yourself Modified Fast [FREE] This is a great option for those who are computer savvy and willing to do all the work themselves. We will provide you with the appropriate amount of calories and the percentages of protein, carbohydrates and fats to aim for each day and then you design the diet yourself using Cronometer on your computer. Knowledge of fractions, decimals and unit conversions (such as grams to pounds or cups to teaspoons) is also needed.
Dr. Ashe’s Fasting Meal Plan [FREE] The same simple meal plan with minimal cooking that Dr. Ashe uses when she does a modified fast, all ready done for you!
ProLon Meal Kit [$200] The ProLon Kit is a great way to do a modified fast. It is a patented product that uses dehydrated, pre-portioned packaged foods for the entire 5 days. It’s the most convenient and easiest option, however it is expensive (around $250 retail) and made with ingredients that may not be suitable for everyone. The ProLon Kit is not suitable for people who are allergic to nuts, soy, oats, sesame, legumes, rice or celery/celeriac. It is also unsuitable for those struggling with gas or bloating as it contains a prebiotic fiber called inulin that may significantly worsen gas and bloating in sensitive individuals. The kit can be ordered online or through our office at wholesale by contacting our wonderful office manager Deb McCoy.Shipping takes 3-5 business days after you've ordered your kit to get delivered to your home, so plan accordingly.
Comprehensive Modified Fasting Program [$250] designed and run by clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP This option provides the most one on one support and personal guidance as well as variety and delicious recipes. It’s a great option for those who would like to incorporate modified fasting on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis as it offers variety and teaches you how to get the best results with repeated modified fasts. It comes with specialized meal plans for those with specific dietary needs
Over 8 Delicious & Nutritious Meal Plansto choose from. Each meal plan comes with a complete shopping list for all 5 days and delicious recipes created by our nutritionist designed to help you feel full, satisfied and get the nutrition you need despite eating less food. All meal plans are gluten, dairy, and egg free with additional specialized meals plans for more specific dietary needs (see next bullet for details).
Specialized Meal Plansfor those who have specific dietary needs. Deena has designed an Elimination Diet meal plan, Low-FODMAP meal plan, Paleo friendly, No-Cook and Weight Loss friendly meal plans to meet your specific dietary needs.
30 Minute Phone/Video Consultation with clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP before you begin your first fast to answer any questions you may have about your plan, help you strategize any specific health concerns, and offer one on one support.
15 Minute Phone Callwith clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP at any point during your fast in case you have questions, need additional support or need help troubleshooting any problem that has cropped up.
Access to online messaging board where you can shoot Deena a quick question any time.
Instructional Videoson how to successfully complete a 5 day modified fast, see what a day of modified fasting looks like, answers to common questions like how to exercise during the fast, and tips for feeling your best during the fast.
Troubleshooting Guide designed to help you feel your best during the fast, with specific dietary and supplemental recommendations for troubleshooting any fasting issues.
Refeeding Guide to help with continued weight loss and make the most of the regenerative benefits of fasting. The refeeding guide comes with over 20 additional recipes to ensure that you get the most from all that autophagy and stem cell activation!
Modified Fasting Recipe Book (digital copy) which includes delicious, nutritious recipes from all the meal plans in the program.
Personal Customized Meal Plan [$175] designed by clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP This option is great for those whose dietary needs are very unique or whose food sensitivities are extensive (beyond gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, vegan, vegetarian, fodmaps, and nightshades which are accounted for in the online program).
30 Minute Consultation with clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP to go over your specific dietary needs. After that, Deena will get to work designing you a custom modified fasting meal plan for the 5 days.
15 Minute Phone Callwith clinical nutritionist Deena Thompson, MS, NTP going over your meal plan before you begin to make sure it fits your specifications.
Custom 5 Day Meal Plan & Shopping List that meets your needs and the specifications of the modified fast, including a complete shopping list.
Troubleshooting Guidewith great tips on how to feel your best during the fast with specific dietary and supplemental recommendations for troubleshooting any fasting issues