The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) is the easiest and fastest way to get into ketosis. The benefits are that you usually don’t have any keto flu symptoms, brain fog, and/or tiredness.
Eventually, your body slips into ketosis, sometimes by the end of the first or second day! If you do it for five days in a row, you’ll get deeper and deeper in ketosis. At my practice, we’ve had dozens of patients do the FMD. I’ve had a number of people on my YouTube channel do this and are experiencing the benefits of weight loss as well. I’ve heard from many people say they don’t like avocados, which is one of the primary foods used in the fasting mimicking (FMD) diet method I outline in one of my videos, so in this article I want to provide other food options to substitute.
The fasting mimicking diet I’m referring to involves the daily consumption of only two avocados and two green drinks for five days. The green drink is powder you buy at a health food store and we also sell it at my practice. It’s called Greens First Pro. I’m not talking about juicing kale and celery and romaine lettuce, because with that the carb total is too high, especially with kale. The goal is to get the most nutrition with the least number of carbohydrates.
Around 1910 to 1915 the federal government closed the fasting clinics that were all around the United States at that time. Fasting cured a lot of diseases back then, and it still does, but it was especially known to end childhood epilepsy. Because of the closures, in the 1920s the Mayo Clinic had to reproduce the results of fasting with a diet which they called “the diet that mimics fasting”. Later it became known as the ketogenic diet. More recently, Dr. Valter Longo has made “the fasting mimicking diet” popular with a specific program called “Prolon”. The point is that ketosis and the FMD have been around a long time and many people have benefited from it. Basically, when you are fasting or mimicking fasting, you’re burning more fat than protein or carbs. To achieve that, protein and carbs need to be lower in ratio to fat.
To explain further, I would like to share an equation that is super important! It is a stable piece of information that you need to always know and apply while doing the FMD. The equation of: quantity + quality = vitality. For this article, I want to focus on quantity, not quality. I watch other people on YouTube and read blogs, and a lot of doctors aren’t getting the quantities correct. They’re talking about the quality of various types of food, which of course is important, but if you neglect the correct quantities, you prevent yourself from getting better results, faster.
The point is we’re going to get it right the first time. So, I’m going to outline two categories of food. In the first category are the best foods for ketogenesis, and in the second category are the foods that you might think are ketogenic or we hope they are, but in fact, they’re not.
We’re going to talk about fat versus protein plus carbs, and then the calories. For example, one avocado is approximately 227 calories, and when you do that twice a day for the fasting mimicking diet, you’re at about 500 – 600 calories. Thus, an avocado only diet isn’t a great idea.
The green drink is going to have calories, so you might be up to 800 calories a day. So, it’s a low-calorie diet, but it’s fine because your body slips into ketosis and starts burning the fat that you’ve been storing for many, many, years.
The ratio of fat versus protein plus carbs with the avocados and green drink is 4:1, which is very ketogenic and we want to shoot for at least 2:1 ratio. If it’s 1:1 it can be ketogenic for some people but not for everybody. So, first off, you’ll want to use an app that gives you the fat, protein and carb count (macros) so you get it right the first time. Cronometer is the app I use to find these numbers, and you can use Cronometer, too. Please do so for your own knowledge and information. It’s free. I am using it for the examples below.
Let’s talk about other foods to substitute for the avocado. These are the foods that fit in the first category, the foods that are excellent for getting into ketosis. The first one is four tablespoons of macadamia nuts. That’s 240 calories and we’re trying to stay around this mid to low 200 calorie mark. Basically, you would have this quantity twice a day in your fasting mimicking diet. The ratio here is 25 grams of fat to 4 grams of protein plus carbs. So it’s about a 7:1 ratio with the macadamia nuts and that’s better than the avocados.
Better yet would be five tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. That’s 225 calories and is basically a 7:1 ratio. That’s 27 grams of fat to 4 grams of protein plus carbs. Two tablespoons of butter are 200 calories, but here we have 22 grams of fat compared to 0 grams of protein plus carbs. Butter is very, very, ketogenic. It beats all of these, as does coconut oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil. These oils are all very ketogenic. So, keep that in mind because you can add these oils to any food to try to raise up the fat content.
Guacamole is the next substitution for avocado. One serving of guacamole is 287 calories, and it’s 24g fat versus 12g protein plus carbs. So, it is ketogenic because it’s a 2:1 ratio. Guacamole is not the same as avocados unless you make your own and you do it right.
How about ice cream? We all want ice cream to be ketogenic. But from Cronometer it says that there are 15 grams of fat versus 36 grams of protein plus carbs. It’s got too much sugar. By a lot. You can get a no sugar ice cream and see what those numbers are. Just look it up yourself on Cronometer. In one cup it’s 282 calories.
Next, we have different types of nut butters. Three tablespoons of hazelnut butter are a 2.6:1 ratio, which is pretty good. That’s 270 calories. Two tablespoons of almond butter is a 1.5:1 ratio. That’s not bad. Two tablespoons of peanut butter are 1.3:1, that’s not as good, but it’s still better than the 1:1 ratio. It just depends on how your body reacts—I’m just giving you the numbers.
Lastly, I will give one example of cheese. In two ounces of cheddar cheese, there are 19 grams of fat to 15 grams of protein plus carbs… so, it’s okay. It’s better than a 1:1 ratio. But if you eat cheese all day you may not get into ketosis unless your body has already been fat adapted and the mitochondria in your cells transfer easily from sugar burning to fat burning. But if you’re new at this, and you’re trying to get into ketosis, cheese is not the food for you to start off with. You want to go with avocados (if you like them), macadamia nuts, heavy whipping cream, butter, and oils.
This is workable and if you need to, do it on a gradient. Do it at what rate works best for you. I do have a video on getting into ketosis on a gradient called Benefits of Ketosis by Degree.
I hope these foods help you to do the fasting mimicking diet and getting into ketosis fast! The benefits of these fasting mimicking diet foods are numerous! You may think that it might be weird that there are people that don’t like avocados… well, I don’t like them either. 🙂
If you want a device to measure your ketones I have one to recommend that works really well: it’s called Keto-mojo. It’s a blood test that you do at home. I have a video about that too called Keto-mojo over Precision Xtra for testing blood ketones.
Darren Schmidt, D.C.
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