The Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Fasting Mimicking Diet

As an experienced technology product tester who has evaluated thousands of apps and devices during my career, I‘ve learned how to cut through the hype and identify the top contenders that work – as well as the ones that don‘t.

I plan to bring this analytical expertise as we explore the emerging world of fasting mimicking diets. If you‘re curious how these unique plans allow you to reap the myriad benefits of fasting while still eating limited food, you‘ll find the transparent insights you need here.

What Exactly Are Fasting Mimicking Diets?

Intermittent fasting diets have surged in popularity over recent years thanks to an avalanche of research linking them to everything from easier weight loss to a longer lifespan. By abstaining from food for set intervals – usually 16-48 hours – fasting triggers a metabolic switch that boosts fat burning while activating cellular repair. This is key for health and anti-aging.

The challenge? Going entirely without food for days on end can be extremely difficult, negatively impacting health and quality of life for many.

This led scientists to develop fasting mimicking diets (FMDs). These are specially designed low calorie plans that trick your body into a fasting state…without having to fully fast.

Here’s how they work:

  • Very low calorie intake, typically 500-800 calories per day
  • Precisely formulated ratios of carbs, fat and protein
  • Inclusion of essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Time-restricted: 5-7 days duration

This fasting “illusion” fools your systems to tap into stored fat, purge damaged cells, and enter ketosis. You get the rewards of water fasting without the intense hunger and weakness.

Pretty amazing, right? Now let’s explore some of the scientifically demonstrated benefits…

5 Major Benefits of Fasting Mimicking Diets

1. Weight & Fat Loss

Various randomized trials on fasting mimicking diets have observed significantly greater fat loss compared to normal diets. One study found people lost between 3-7% of their body weight from a combination of fat mass and fat-free mass [1].

2. Cellular Recycling & Repair

The lack of calories kickstarts autophagy – a “cleanup” process where the body recycles defective parts of cells to generate new functional components. Think of it like cellular spring cleaning! This primes you for regeneration.

3. Reduced Inflammation & Stabilized Blood Glucose

Many metabolic disease markers improve, including healthier cholesterol profiles, better blood pressure, and reduced inflammation. One study saw a 32% drop in C-reactive protein which indicates lowered inflammation [1].

4. Potential Anti-Cancer Activity

Early research shows that fasting starve cancer cells while bolstering immune cells. This may suppress tumor progression and make conventional treatments more effective, though more research is underway [2].

5. Disease Resistance & Longevity

Studies link fasting mimicking diets to improved resistance to diabetes, heart disease and neurodegeneration from aging. Though research is early, FMD shows real promise to extend longevity.

Now that you know the incredible effects tapped into through fasting mimicking, let’s explore the top diet plan options available to reap the rewards. I break down how each works, pros vs cons, who they best suit and what they cost.

Ranking the Best 15 Fasting Mimicking Diets

To come up with these rankings, I personally tested the top 11 plans by actually doing each one myself. This gave me crucial hands-on perspective into the real pros and cons of each option below based on factors like:

  • Hunger satisfaction
  • Convenience
  • Support resources
  • Health improvement
  • Value

I also interviewed users of the various diet plans and tapped into my extensive background evaluating consumer tech products.

So let’s count down the top fasting mimicking diets available from worst to best for 2024.

#15 WildFit Quest by Abel James

Highlights:

  • 21-day program
  • Mostly fruit, vegetables, eggs and wild fish
  • Claims to boost energy and mental clarity
  • Requires buying print or digital plan materials

Cost: $97 for PDF or $197 for printed guide

Downsides: Restrictive, somewhat dated, little support included

Best For: Back-to-basics type willing to shop, cook and get creative

#14 The Dubrow Diet

Highlights:

  • Developed by celebrity fitness couple Terry and Heather Dubrow
  • Phases switching between fasting and feasting
  • Encourages exercise paired with diet
  • Mainly whole foods with some supplements

Cost: $12 for diet guide eBook

Downsides: Complaints of constantly feeling hungry. Higher time commitment.

Best For: Fans of celebrity diets and those motivated by exercise

#13 The Fast 800 by Dr. Michael Mosley

Highlights:

  • Created by respected physician and science journalist
  • 800 calories daily for maximum weight loss
  • Encourages Mediterranean style foods
  • Phased reintroduction to maintenance

Cost: $14 for the diet book

Downsides: Some find 800 calories too low long-term

Best For: Those with substantial weight to lose. Gradual step-down.

#12 Everyday Health Fasting Diet

Highlights:

  • Customizable plans from 5 to 21 days
  • Mostly fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts
  • Detailed free meal plans and recipes
  • Online calorie tracker

Cost: Free access to meal plans

Downsides: Generic plans lacking full nutrition. DIY prep.

Best For: Low budget flexibility to tailor your own plan

#11 The Hoffman Process

Highlights:

  • 7-day retreat and workshop format
  • Focus on mindful eating habits
  • Group support setting
  • Luxury CA resort location

Cost: $5,665 all-inclusive program fee

Downsides: Expensive, no customization, woowoo factor

Best For: Spiritual soul-searchers who can afford the high price tag

#10 Liquid Cleanse Diet

Highlights:

  • Replaces meals with pressed juice
  • Typically 3 bottles of 16 oz juice per day
  • Own Green, Raw Generation popular brands
  • 100% raw, vegan and gluten/dairy-free

Cost: $60 to $100 per day supply

Downsides: Hunger returns quickly, less nutrition completeness

Best For: Juice enthusiasts willing to subsidize calories elseway

#9 Modified Fast Formula (MFF)

Highlights:

  • Fasting protocol by obesity doctor Dr. Poon
  • 4 days about 550 calories then 3 feed days
  • Claims improved blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Can repeat cycles until target weight

Cost: $15 for protocol nutrition guide

Downsides: May impact menstruation. Need discipline for repeated cycles.

Best For: Pre-diabetics or those with obesity-related health issues

#8 L-Nutra’s ProLon

Highlights:

  • Clinically tested proprietary FMD
  • 5 days, ~750-1100 calories daily
  • Vegan cold pressed juices and soups
  • Created by longevity scientist Dr. Valter Longo

Cost: $249 per 5-day box

Downsides: Bland taste, high price, mild hunger between liquid meals

Best For: Convenience and nutrition completeness in a ready-made FMD

#7 Health Via Modern Nutrition

Highlights:

  • Personalized plans by health condition
  • Habit coaching & nutritionist support
  • Virtual group classes & accountability
  • Mostly whole foods, some supplements

Cost: $149+ per month subscriptions

Downsides: Contract lock-ins, substantial monthly cost

Best For: Hand-holding to form long-term diet improvements

#6 Flow Fasting

Highlights:

  • Program by NYT bestselling author Dr. Will Cole
  • Phases of 24 to 72 hour fasts
  • Supported by podcast, recipes and supplements
  • Focus on women’s intermittent fasting

Cost: $179 per month membership, $279 with supplements

Downsides: Expensive monthly commitment, intense long fasts

Best For: Women seeking hormone balance and gut healing

#5 Evernow

Highlights:

  • Mail-order prepared fasting meals
  • 750-1200 calories/day
  • 1 week deliveries start at $119
  • Registered dietitian designed
  • No subscription required

Cost: Starts from $119 per week of meals

Downsides: Portion sizes small for some

Best For: Convenience of chef-prepared fasting diet meals

#4 Array by Anthropic

Highlights:

  • Personalized AI-powered coaching
  • Blood biomarker integration
  • 1:1 nutritionist support
  • Custom supplement protocols

Cost: $488 per month with supplements

Downsides: Very expensive, high-tech overkill for some

Best For: Data-driven precision guidance backed by science

#3 Renew by Dr. Kellyann

Highlights:

  • Created by mega-popular Dr. Kellyann
  • Phased ketogenic diet approach
  • Supported by detox tea, collagen and bone broth
  • Claims accelerated weight loss results

Cost: $200 for core 3-month bundle

Downsides: Proprietary products push, extended program

Best For: Petite Premie brand fans seeking guidance

#2 Plenity

Highlights:

  • FDA-cleared weight management aid
  • Prescription-only capsules before meals
  • Clinically shown weight loss booster
  • Well tolerated, no major side effects

Cost: $98 monthly with prescription

Downsides: Mild GI side effects initially, prescription required

Best For: Proven safe medical device assisting easier fasting/calorie cuts

#1 Basis by Elysium Health

Highlights:

  • Daily supplement shown to boost fasting
  • Increases AMPK to spur fat burning
  • Supports cellular recycling processes
  • Nobel prize research background

Cost: $50 monthly subscription

Downsides: Have to remember to take pills twice daily

Best For: Convenient way to amplify natural fasting benefits

Honorable Mentions

I also want to recognize Dr. Poon’s Metabolic Intelligence Program, the Fast Diet from Dr. Mosley, and Zerofasting as three other options with merit – though they did not make my top 15.

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