I Tried That Influencer-Approved Fasting Diet
Is ProLon worth $150 for a bunch of soups and teas?
It’s no secret that your phone hears your conversations. Just have a chat with a friend over brunch about a movie you want to see, a pair of shoes you want to buy, or a car you admire, and — as if by magic (or Big Brother), you’ll start seeing ads popping up on your social media account.
This was the case with ProLon, a five-day diet that’s popular with social media influencers. I’d really never heard of ProLon, but my friend had mentioned that she tried it not once but three times and really liked it. Coincidentally, I started getting pop-up ads for the ProLon diet and my Instagram feed was filled with people raving about it.
Social media influencers seem to love this diet. Instagram and TikTok are filled with literally thousands of people drinking from their ProLon bottles in leggings and sports bras. ProLon also has a robust affiliate marketing program where Influencers can make up to $50 for each person that buys a kit using their unique code, so I took the hype with a grain of salt. Still, I was intrigued (and, no — I am not part of any affiliate program and I paid for the ProLon kit myself).
The diet is basically a five-day diet of dehydrated soups, supplements, and snacks that are so low in calories, that your body thinks it’s fasting.
The diet is distributed by L-Nutra Italia Besides ProLon, the company is researching how fasting can help people with diabetes, autoimmune disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The diet was created by Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology and biological sciences and director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California –Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Los Angeles.
And, though there are very few articles to be found by reputable sources about the diet, there are a number of articles by Dr. Longo on the benefits of intermittent fasting — what ProLon tries to achieve by having you cheat your body into thinking it’s not eating anything. It should also be noted that my friend was turned onto ProLon by a holistic medicine practitioner and she, herself, is a doctor of gerontology.
When I booked a spur-of-the-moment cruise that sailed in a few weeks, AND I saw that the company was having a “flash sale” of $150 for a kit, I decided to plunk down my credit card and try ProLon for myself.
My ProLon kit arrived on a Friday, but I figured I would start on Monday. To prep for the five-day fast, I made sure my fridge was free of goodies. And, on Sunday, I ate an order of Buffalo wings and downed two IPAs. I was ready for whatever came my way.
The ProLon diet comes in a sleek box almost pretty enough for gifting (but maybe don’t do that).
Inside, there were five smaller boxes, along with a water bottle. Each box represented what you could eat in one day (about 800-1,200 calories worth of food) — and these boxes were tiny.
Though there are some differences daily, each morning, you get a nut bar and tea for breakfast, soup for lunch, a snack (most days), more soup for dinner, and a micro dessert bar. The kit also comes with a glycerine solution (designed to help hydration) that you mix with water, along with some supplements. All ingredients are 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO, with no artificial additives.
The soups range from OK to downright tasteless, though the nut bars are moist and delicious. And, I found myself really loving a nice glass of iced spearmint/lemon tea in the afternoon. Was I hungry? Nope — but I sure was bored. It didn’t help that I live in Miami where it’s 93 degrees out and I had to eat hot soup for a week.
The first two days were fine, until I got to Wednesday, where I lost some energy, felt hangry all day, and probably wasn’t fun to be around. On Thursday, however, I found myself not even thinking about food. In fact, the soups were so tedious, that I decided to skip dinner altogether.
On Friday, I actually felt pretty great. Although the diet suggests that you don’t work out vigorously, I took three-mile walks daily just to get some air.
The next day, I continued to eat super healthy. I didn’t drink any alcohol for another week, preferring how I felt without it.
And, although losing weight is not the number one purpose of the five-day diet (and we are body positive here at Broken Palate), I did fit into a dress that had been languishing in the back of my closet for a year because it didn’t fit anymore.
The diet was certainly a way to kickstart a healthier way of eating. I started looking at food purposely, stopped opening a bottle of wine at dinner, and drank more water. I even bought some spearmint tea.
Of course, I went on that cruise and ate and drank like a wolverine. (Who can turn up a pool party with free champagne? Not this girl). But, off the cruise, I’m back to eating better, not drinking, and getting more hydration.
The makers of ProLon state, “it’s not possible to replicate Prolon at home,” but this site offers a copycat diet that uses low sodium soups, almonds, and olives to mimick the ProLon diet and its super low-calorie diet.
Was ProLon necessary? For me — and many people — “yes” in the way that it’s a structured challenge. There’s a goal to be met and an end date in sight.
More than anything, however, is that it did reset my brain. I work from home — as so many of us do — and I have found myself running to the fridge for a snack break between stories or after checking emails. When that was taken off the table, I had to find other, more productive things to do in those little 15-minute chunks of time that it would have taken to devour a bag of chips: I took my dog for a walk, cleaned my windows, watered and pruned my plants, and folded laundry.
In conclusion, I’m on the fence with this one. $150 for a bunch of soups and teas sounds a bit much, to be sure. But I did get into a different frame of mind as to how I eat at home. And that was a reset that I needed.