Digital Packs

Digital Packs Banner Digital Packs Banner

Weight Loss

Need to lose weight quickly? Here’s how one writer lost half a stone in FIVE days on the latest new 5-day fasting diet

woman stomach outside, losing fat, by

If you need to lose weight quickly, the new ProLon 5-day fasting diet might help, says Victoria Lambert, who lost half a stone on it in five days

Could a little self-denial offer more than just a swift weight loss? Professor Valter Longo, Director of the University of Southern California (USC) Longevity Institute, believes so. His team reported in 2014 that fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly. The research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Valter Longo, losing fat, by
Professor Valter Longo is a
member of the team that created

As a result, his team is studying the impact fasting could have on making chemotherapy more effective. They have developed a patented five-day diet, known as a Fasting Mimicking and Enhancing Diet (FMED). The quick-fix will be sold over the counter as ProLon later this year for about £150.

ProLon will help you lose weight, of course, but Professor Longo’s team believes it will help kick-start your immune system too

ProLon will help you lose weight, of course, but Professor Longo’s team believes it will help kick-start your immune system too, thanks to its highly researched constituent elements.

The nutritional composition of the day’s meals is considered key to its effects. It’s a delicate balance of flavour, appetite-tricking nutrients and all important minerals and vitamins. The idea is that these calories eked out across the day will make it more comfortable to stick to than other fasting programmes.

Prolon full set, losing fat, by
A full set of meals for the five-day ProLon diet.

So how many morsels of grub do you get?  Well compared to the 500 calories on a fasting day of the 5:2 diet, or the 440 cals on the most extreme version of the Cambridge Weight Plan (a monitored Very Low Calorie diet), ProLon’s average 800 calories a day seems generous.

On day one, you consume foods that are 10 per cent protein, 56 per cent fat and 34 per cent carbohydrate, making 1,090 calories in total. Then, on days two to five, you are allowed no more than 725 calories, split between nine per cent protein, 44 per cent fat and 47 per cent carbohydrate.

Most of us would only need to do it twice or three times a year to achieve results

Some weight loss is inevitable at this level, but is the effect sustainable? Interestingly, Professor Longo thinks most of us would only need to do it twice or three times a year to achieve results.

I tried out an early prototype last year and lost five pounds which stayed off till Christmas; so it was time to see if the new version could cut the (imaginary) mustard.

Prolon meal, losing fat, by
Victoria Lambert begins the ProLon diet with a nut bar, herbal tea, and Algal Oil supplement.

Day One. Motivation high, but portions small. Breakfast is a teeny nut bar and herbal tea, plus two capsules of Algal Oil (£21, This is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, vital for our brain function, sourced from algae. Lunch is a cup of soup with five olives and three squares of kale crackers, plus a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. Another nut bar and herbal tea sustains until supper’s cup of minestrone soup, and ‘‘Choco Crisp’’ bar.  The most notable side-effect isn’t hunger but that dreadful headache you get with no caffeine and no sugar.

Prolon diet food, losing fat, by
The ProLon diet incorporates several types of soup, olives, and kale crackers.

Day Two. The portions shrink ominously. Lunchtime mushroom soup is relieved only by olives OR crackers, and there is no second nut bar. But from today, you get L-drink: an energy cordial you add to bottled water, quantity depending on body weight.  Remarkably, the energy drink is very useful for satiating any twinges of hunger.

The most difficult day is day three

Day Three. The most difficult day is number three, when your body has stopped munching through the easily accessible carbs we store in our liver, and starts breaking down actual fat instead.  I felt grumpy and tired as I sullenly ate the nut bar, and swigged the two cups of soup, but there weren’t even any olives in this day’s plan. Those five green delicacies had become the highlight of my day.

green olives, losing fat, by

Day Four.  Two sets of olives today, and my mood lifts, which might also be due to my body’s shift into fat-burning properly. The headaches have eased, and at supper time there is a Choco Crisp (albeit the size of an After Eight). I realise I am trying to bring bed times forward as I prefer being hungry and asleep to being hungry and awake.

Day Five. I organise an absurdly busy day to get through the last achingly empty 24 hours.  The soups which started the week as tolerable now seem to resemble gruel. And the kale crackers are (almost) inedible. I even leave one. Despite my groaning belly.

Who wants to go through a week of starvation and then risk the results?

The Transition. The diet suggests you transition back to normal food by drinking juices and soups of your choosing, and small amounts of protein and veg on day Six, and then eat normally from Day Seven. I felt a sense of relief, but also very mindful of what I was eating. Who wants to go through a week of starvation and then risk the results?

Victoria Lambert, losing fat, by
Victoria Lambert shows off her
waistline after losing an inch
on the ProLon diet.

And what was the conclusion? Half a stone in weight loss, and an inch lost from my waist. So far, no sign of it returning either as often happens following a crash diet. By the end of Day Six I definitely felt renewed energy and have slept very well.  Would I do it again? Incredibly, yes.


More information on ProLon 

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Healthista Content