Let me preface this with stating a few facts about me:
I am not a cleanse person.
My eating habits are something awful (I think I ate pad Thai 20 days out of the entire month of December)
I don’t believe that things you do or eat can “detox” you. You have a liver. That’s the most effective detoxifying tool in your body.
So why did I sign up for something called a fast-mimicking program, made up of powdered soups and fairly fatty nut bars and olives and teas and the mysterious pink drink?
Because my entire body needed a reset. And one that made it easy for me on the prep front (the experience is NOT the easiest thing, especially in the beginning).
Here are your questions on ProLon, answered, along with my own experiences.
What is ProLon?
From the website: ProLon is a 5-day dietary program that nourishes your body and a 5-day cycle of ProLon Professional once a month for several months is clinically tested to have similar weight loss, percentage of body fat reduction, and similar visceral fat reduction when compared to an everyday heart healthy diet.
Here’s the line in the About page that caught my eye:
Similar to a heart healthy diet, weight loss associated with ProLon Pro use over several months supports the ability to lose weight to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and losing weight with Prolon Pro supports the body’s ability to maintain healthy HbA1c levels.
My A1c levels are borderline prediabetic, as a result of treating my body like a dumpster for much of this year. My big priority for the year is to bring my A1c back into healthy range (ideally at 5.0, currently it’s at 5.7). Left to my own devices, I will begin meal prep with the best of intentions but will have a rough day at work and order my emotional comfort foods and spiral down.
Why did you want to do a fast?
The reason I decided to do ProLon the first week back at work was to see if I could come up with new ways to manage stressful moments, and to give myself a little “new year, new me!” energy that puts very little preparation effort on my plate.
Is this for weight loss? Any studies this is actually beneficial? Thanks!
Weight loss is one of their claims and big selling points, and they have clinical data to back it up that doing ProLon 3 times in 3 months and then on a quarterly basis may help you lose weight. But that’s not why I did it - my nutritionist niece (who reviewed the program for me) said that the weight you lose is water weight, and you’re likely to put it back on.
I ordered it but I’m afraid to start. Tips?
When I do it again, I plan to go alcohol-free for the two weeks before and make an effort to eat more healthfully (aka no more pad Thai or Taco Bell every day for a week), and do soups and FAST bars as an ease-in diet before beginning it. For my menstruating folks, it’s recommend you do ProLon AFTER your cycle, not before (which I did and it definitely exacerbated my PMS).
I’ve done it twice but do you have a questions about how you end up easing back after it ends? It’s hard to.
Something I’m extremely mindful of are the meals I’ll eat post-ProLon. Rather than jump back into my old ways, I stocked up on a lot of salad kits, Daily Harvest’s vegetable-rich soups and bakes (proud investor!) to pair with my favorite meals. The plan is to make sure my plate is half salad/soup/veggies, half of my usual meals (usually a Blue Apron meal, but one of our usuals like enchilada quinoa, black bean kimchi quesadillas, my favorite pasta, or something we order in). From what I heard, people tend to slip back into their old eating habits after doing ProLon, but my intention is to set new habits (thankfully, my husband has much better nutrition habits than I do and will keep me accountable - which I need!).
How easy/hard is this for someone who had poor eating habits?
It’s easy in that all the meals are prepackaged for you - all you have to do is heat the soups with some water, and everything else is ready to eat.
It’s difficult in that your body will likely enter ketosis (when your body burns its own fat because it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy), and it may cause you to feel feverish and freezing, exhausted, and with insomnia in the first days. But day 4 and 5 had me so energized, focused, and my skin was glowing and I felt INCREDIBLE.
Will I die without caffeine?
I have two young kids - there’s no way I could survive without coffee. They do permit you to have 8 ounces of black coffee a day, and I had mine as an Americano with a pinch of cinnamon.
You mentioned that you looked into the science behind it. What was it/what was persuasive?
I reviewed the published study. While weight loss and waist circumference and BMI were the primary endpoints, I was interested in looking at other markers for overall health - fasting glucose, cholesterol, IGF-1, and cholesterol. Those who completed all 3 cycles of ProLon saw pronounced reductions in them, which is a reason why I wanted to try it out. You can read the journal article here.
Is it a scam? Haha
I can see how you would think so! But publishing a peer-reviewed study in a major medical journal is no feat. That said, the system does you no good if you return to a lifestyle where you don’t sleep enough, eat poorly, and don’t exercise.
How are you feeling? I’m HUNGRY! And le tired.
I got used to the hunger by day 2 (I’m one of those people who tends to forget to eat), and was exhausted days 1 and 2. But by day 3, I was feeling incredible.
How headache-y do you feel? Do you get that 3 pm hunger?
I think I avoided the headaches because of the coffee I had in the morning and because I was staying so hydrated. ProLon forced me to eat my meals on time, so I didn’t get that 3 pm hunger that many people do.
Do you have an opinion on Zoe, which analyzes your gut for health and weight loss?
I haven’t heard of it and didn’t have time to look into it. That said, my goal with ProLon wasn’t weight loss, but a full health reset to build better nutrition, fitness, sleep, and stress management habits on.
Is it worth it? Can it be put together with low effort? Like buy some bars and tea?
ProLon does sell their FAST bars, which are similar to the bars in the program. You certainly could try - a few folks have and shared their experiences on Reddit.
Do you have a discount code at all? Thank you for all that you do?
I do not, but TINX does (it’s $199 instead of $249) and I used hers (she doesn’t do any affiliate partnerships, so there’s no kickback - full transparency). I paid for this myself and this is my honest experience. I ordered the New Flavors box, because I honestly don’t care for minestrone soup.
Days 1, 2, and the morning of the 3rd (until I had my coffee) were the hardest for me. Day 1 was my body going “where is the pad Thai? Why aren’t you eating your kid’s leftover bagel? Can we lick that cream cheese off the knife? WHAT IS HAPPENING?” Day 2 was much of the same, but not nearly as intense. I was so aware of my hunger and the food everyone else was eating around me, and I was a lot more irritable because of it. But I will say that I was going ragey because of a work e-mail on Monday evening and realized I was passively scrolling through social media and feeling even more anxious because of it. I immediately put my phone on airplane mode for the night, took a warm bath, read a book, and it calmed me down better than any glass of wine. I continued that practice of putting my phone to bed at 7 pm for the rest of the week, and it’s a practice I plan to continue from here on out.
After my bar and coffee on day 3 (I slept from 5-6:30 the early hours of Wednesday morning), it was like a switch flipped and I was on fire. My focus was intense, I had so much energy, and I felt like Captain Marvel when she absorbed all that power and became an actual superhero. I was definitely still hungry all the time, but it was more a dull hunger that I observed than a compulsion I couldn’t stop thinking about.
These superpowers (as I’ll call them) settled into my body these last two days - still focused, still energized, but not as in awe of them as I was on Wednesday. I had an incredible night’s sleep on Thursday (making up for the previous night’s insomnia), and I’m writing this on Friday so I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight. I hope it’s a restful sleep, after a long day of having the kids home from school and trying to finish up work.
Tomorrow is about easing back into a normal diet. I’m going to start with a FAST bar and enjoy some Splendid Spoon soups (gifted) as my meals, along with lots of water and tea. I’m glad to be rid of the L-drink, which has a heavier taste than actual water but is made tolerable when diluted with sparkling water and flavored with the hibiscus tea.
My favorite soups were the white bean (I added dried dill), tomato (added chaat masala), and butternut squash (added turmeric and black pepper and a bit of lemon to it). I didn’t care for the black bean soup (which I normally love, but the beans never got soft). Those crackers and ChocoCrisp bars were my LIFESAVERS. I actually wonder where I can get those crackers?
I absolutely will do this again, likely 3 times a year and as a part of a dry month. I do plan to do it after my monthly cycle, and will likely keep my Athletic Greens as my morning ritual (I skipped it this week) and skip the supplements ProLon includes. I did continue taking my iron supplement because I’m anemic and my doctor told me to stay on it.
If you have more questions about ProLon, leave them below! I’m happy to answer them.