PSMF Diet – (PSMF) Protein Sparing Modified Fasting For Weight Loss

psmf diet plan

PSMF Diet – (PSMF) Protein Sparing Modified Fast

The Psmf Diet or Protein Sparing Modified Fast is a ketosis-based way of eating designed to invoke rapid and significant weight loss in just weeks with minimal exercise.

It is not a permanent way of eating, but instead, the PSMF diet is used to help people lose a significant amount of weight and then transition to a sustainable diet that helps keeps weight off.

Those who have heard of other ketogenic diets are probably familiar with the basic concept.

However, PSMF varies from these routines because it severely limits the number of calories that you can eat.

The basic idea behind PSMF is to trigger what are known as starvation and ketogenic modes in your body.

When these modes activate, your body will start to burn fat instead of carbohydrates to help you lose weight.

Your metabolism will be boosted as well, which is another element that PSMF shares with other fasting-type diets.

However, PSMF is much different from these routines. [1]

That’s because it focuses on using protein and other types of macro and micronutrients to support your health more fully.

Unlike some forms of fasts, which can cause a decrease in muscle mass and even tissue health, PSMF works to keep you healthy.

As a result, it is one of the safest ways to drop weight quickly and with a minimal amount of exercise (though workouts are allowed).

And while it is true that PSMF activates similar processes in your body when compared to keto diets, it is not truly a keto diet.

That’s because you will be limiting the amount of fat you eat while on PSMF, which is not a goal for a standard keto diet.

While this means that a PSMF routine is stricter and more difficult to maintain than a usual keto method, it is also more effective at burning fat. [2]

Beyond that, a PSMF diet can also be used to provide you with a broad range of other benefits.

For example, studies have shown that PSMF can be a healthy way of managing type 2 diabetes in those who are very obese.

In some health centers, such as the Cleveland Clinic, it is one of the most utilized and effective ways of quickly burning fat off of an obese person’s body. [3]

Before you start this type of routine, it is essential to know how it works, what kinds of foods you can eat, and much more.

That’s because many side effects can decrease the effectiveness of this routine if you are not careful.

While these side effects are rarely dangerous or life-threatening, they may be an issue if you aren’t adequately prepared.

So make sure that you thoroughly read through every following section to get a tighter grasp of what to expect on PSMF and how it differs from a regular keto diet.

Table of Contents

How Does the PSMF Diet Work?

A protein-sparing fasting diet operates on the same extreme calorie restrictions common with other fasting diets.

That said, it is designed to be less severe and easier to handle than these stricter routines.

For example, a complete fast is one that restricts your eating to almost nothing.

Such periodic fasting has been connected with a variety of health benefits, including decreased aging symptoms. [4]

Your only food source will be calculated amounts of protein based on your lean body mass.

It’s very individualized.

Eating lots of healthy and low carb vegetables are also a key in this diet and helping you to stay full.

When you start a PSMF routine, you are eliminating as many carbohydrates from your diet as possible.

As a result, your body will have no sugar to burn for energy.

In a standard diet, your body will digest carbohydrates and use insulin to break it down into its bare components.

This process is an issue for those who are trying to lose weight because insulin naturally suppresses your fat burning capabilities. [5]

As a result, suppressing your production of insulin is one of the best ways to help you burn fat, lose weight, and get into shape as quickly as possible.

Multiple studies have shown this to be true, which is where diets like PSMF originate.

The idea behind restrictive diets like these is to minimize your insulin production and to force your body to start burning fat to provide you with energy.

Most of these methods are known as ketogenic diets.[6]

PSMF is a variation of that type of routine that uses a minimum amount of protein to keep your body from wasting away while you eat very few calories.

Your calories are restricted so heavily because your body must draw upon your stores of fat for energy.

Adding more than a handful of carbohydrates to your diet or boosting your protein too high would only decrease this diet’s effectiveness because it would use those calories and food for energy, not the fat in your body. [7]

Most of the time, a PSMF routine is given to people who are either severely obese or who have problems with excessive insulin.

It is a very restrictive diet that is designed as a method for shockingly fast weight loss and is often done in a clinical environment.

That said, it is possible to follow this routine on your own, as long as you follow the specific advice outlined below.

Therefore, it is essential to understand how much weight you can expect to lose on this diet and what kinds of foods you are allowed to eat.

This type of diet provides for minimal variation or deviation from its typical expectations, which means you have to be very dedicated and careful with it to ensure that you don’t make any serious mistakes while following this routine.

Setting up a proper meal plan is very important in this diet and will be key to your long-term success.

If you are looking for more detailed information about the Psmf Diet, I have a PSMF Diet Guide to assist you in getting you on your way to success.

If your ready to get started right away and want a full understanding of how to succeed with a PSMF Diet, be sure to get “The Complete Guide to the PSMF Diet.” The book gives my easy to follow plan, and all the necessary tools for healthy long-term success.

Weight Loss Expectations With PSMF – Protein Sparing Modified Fast

Weight loss while on PSMF can be quite high.

For example, one study took a look at a variety of weight-loss protocols and found that a restrictive PSMF diet naturally increases your metabolism and makes it easier for you to lose weight.

They didn’t discuss the exact losses that they found, unfortunately, but other studies have taken a look at this amount and found very positive results. [11]

For example, one study took a look at a variety of different individuals and used a protein-sparing modified fast to help them lose weight.

Each person in the study had a baseline weight of about 310-350 pounds.

These individuals were considered obese by a variety of health standards and had an average BMI of about 62.8 percent, meaning that nearly two-thirds of their body weight came from fat. [12]

This problem was a significant one because a high BMI is tied to a lot of common health problems.

For example, people with high BMI ratings can expect a higher risk of cardiovascular health issues.

They can also anticipate a higher risk of cancer and other hazardous health concerns.

So the idea behind the study was to see not only how much weight a person lost while on PSMF but how much their BMI decreased.

A heavier decrease in weight is more beneficial than a smaller one, according to most studies. [13] [14]

During this period of the study, it was found that the average individual on PSMF had decreased their weight by about 20-30 pounds.

So those on the lower end (310 pounds) dropped to 280 pounds while those on the higher end (350 pounds) were potentially dropping as low as 320 pounds.

That kind of significant weight loss was very beneficial for their overall health, mainly since it occurred in a matter of weeks. [15]

And when it came to the BMI decrease, the results were even better.

The average person in the study dropped to a BMI of about 49 percent. While this is still higher than usual, it is a quick and healthy improvement.

These types of losses are pretty typical for those who are on a PSMF diet, though you can achieve higher losses if you stay on a diet for a more extended period. [16]

The Calories and Macronutrients of a PSMF Routine

There are a few different stages of the PSMF diet.

Each of these stages has a specific amount of calories that can be calculated using my PSMF Calculator.

In this section, I’ll only discuss the intensive phase.

Later on, I’ll go into more detail on the refeeding phase and why it is so important.

In the intensive phase, calories are almost always restricted to no more than 1,000.

It may be as low as 800 calories.

During this phase, you’ll get most of these calories from protein, the primary macronutrient that you will eat during a PSMF diet.

For those who have never heard of them, macronutrients are the primary building blocks of your body and the main ingredients for a healthy life.

For example, carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the most important of these nutrients.

Carbs provide you with most of your energy, protein supports your muscle health, and fat provides you with an intense source of energy that can be stored (in your fat cells) when it isn’t needed and then get used in case of an emergency. [17]

Most diets will balance your intake of carbs, fats, and proteins in a variety of ways.

For example, most people likely eat a carb-heavy routine that also utilizes some protein.

Fat is likely to be minimized, though this isn’t always a wise decision.

That’s because certain types of fats are very healthy and can provide you with real benefits that you can’t get from any other kind of macronutrient. [18]

However, the uniquely-intense nature of the PSMF diet means that you will eat almost no carbs or fat.

Instead, you will focus on small amounts of protein.

As mentioned previously, the protein you eat is designed to minimize your muscle loss.

In most cases, you’ll be eating about 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.

So if you are 81 kilograms or 180 pounds, you would eat just 97.2 to 121.5 grams of lean protein every day.

Your carbs are limited to less than 20 grams per day (or about two slices of bread), and your fat is limited to whatever you get from the lean protein.

Following this routine will allow a person’s body to go into lipolysis, meaning that they will lose adipose tissue and start producing ketones.

As a result, you are going to drop a significant amount of water weight in your first week or two of PSMF.

However, you can anticipate a loss of between 1.5-2.0 kilograms (or 3-6 pounds) every week after you start this diet. [19]

What You Eat on PSMF Diet

Eating on a PSMF diet is going to be limited.

That’s because you are limited to tiny servings of just a handful of different food types.

For example, most of the food you eat is going to be available in just 25-50 calorie amounts.

This does increase the potential foods that you can eat in a day but can minimize your enjoyment.

However, there are still several foods that you can eat when losing weight on PSMF. [20]

Typical foods you eat on a PSMF routine include:

  • Fish – Haddock, sole, flounder, or cod
  • Shellfish – Shrimp, lobster, clams, or scallops: eat sparingly
  • Cottage Cheese – Non-fat or low-fat
  • Eggs – White-only eggs
  • Poultry – Skinless chicken or turkey
  • Organs – Liver and very small amounts of kidney
  • Cheese – Fat-free types with limited sodium
  • Ground Chicken or Pork – Well-trimmed and minimal fat
  • Lamb – Lean cuts only
  • Water – Unlimited amounts
  • Broth or Bouillon – Only use if you suffer from lightheadedness

These are just a few of the foods that you can eat while on a PSMF routine.

There are also many foods that you should avoid, including:

  • Artificial sweeteners, such as sucrose, fructose, or corn syrup
  • Cheese that isn’t fat free
  • Processed meats, such as prime rib, sausage, hot dog, bologna, salami, pepperoni, spare ribs, or kielbasa
  • More than three fruits or high-carb vegetables

The severe restrictions of a PSMF diet do vary during certain phases of your diet.

For example, the intensive phase will mostly limit you to lean meats, egg whites, poultry, and fish and seafood.

You can also eat low-carbohydrate veggies, such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, mushrooms, and zucchini.

In the refeed stages, which I’ll discuss later, your diet will expand to make PSMF easier to handle for extended periods.

Anyone who is on a PSMF diet needs to make sure that they find high-quality and tasty snacks that keep them from getting too bored.

Thankfully, it is possible to tweak a variety of different recipes to create dishes that keep you excited and entertained by PSMF.

While it isn’t going to be easy to stick to this routine, finding foods and meals that you love will prevent you from getting too fatigued.

The History of PSMF

The PSMF started in the 1970s and was developed as a way of helping obese people lose weight.

This purpose has remained the same over the years but has adapted to include diabetes. [21] [22]

That change in its focus was due to the fact that PSMF has a substantial impact on the nitrogen retention in your body.

A healthy PSMF routine has been shown to improve your nitrogen balance in your muscles, which makes it easier for you to avoid muscle loss when fasting.

Just as importantly, this benefit helps those with diabetes by reducing their weight and decreasing the severity of their symptoms.

These advantages were noticed as early as 1976 in a variety of different studies. [23]

Beyond this study, there has been a large number of other examinations that have helped to expand the range of PSMF and increase our understanding of its benefits.

I have already included links to quite a large number of studies throughout this page.

However, there are even more studies that you should understand to help increase your overall grasp of the ways that PSMF affects your body.

Research Results on the Protein-Sparing Modified Fast Method

The many research studies that have gone into examining PSMF have focused heavily on a multitude of concepts.

For example, there was a study that examined how well it worked for adult obesity.

It found that it was a beneficial way of burning a large amount of fat off of a person’s body.

In fact, they noted that it had become the standard method for treating obesity at the Cleveland Clinic, a facility that will be discussed in more depth later. [24]

In another study, the examination of short-term weight loss with PSMF was confirmed, with the specialists saying that this weight loss was “rapid and significant.”

They also found that it caused a variety of short-term changes beneficial for a multitude of health issues.

These included improved cholesterol and a range of other benefits. However, they were also quick to point out that the long-term efficacy of this method of weight loss was less certain than its immediate effects. [25]

In another study, the benefits of PSMF on the preoperative health of obese patients were carefully studied.

It was found that following this dietary method for at least two weeks before an operation improved a patient’s success rate and made the surgery more effective.

This study was small scale, however, and further examinations of its results or replication of them have yet to be examined. [26]

Other studies have attempted to gauge the benefits of this weight-control method on adolescents.

In one study, it was found that a short-term intervention routine of 10 weeks of PSMF was beneficial as a way of helping obese children manage their excessive weight.

However, the study concluded by stating that long-term treatment with it could not be recommended because of a lack of studies on the subject. [27]

Another study took a look at how protein broke down in people on a complete fast versus those on a protein-sparing modified fast. They found that a person on a total fast had a decreased balance of protein in her body and skeleton. This problem could result in muscle and even bone-density loss. By contrast, they found that those on a PSMF routine experienced no loss of protein or only a minimal decrease. As a result, they believed it was a better method for obesity control than a total fast. [28]

A common theme that popped up throughout these studies was a concern over the lack of knowledge on long-term results.

Many specialists were worried that this lack of information could cause a person to go on a PSMF routine when it wasn’t right for their needs.

As a result, it is critical to know what kind of individual should try out the PSMF routine and who should pass on trying it out.

Those Who Should Go on a PSMF Routine

The difficulty of maintaining a PSMF diet means that it should only be done if you fall under certain headings.

For example, people who are trying to lose a few extra pounds might not find this is the best diet for them.

That’s because it is designed more for people with severe obesity.

While it would likely burn a few pounds off of your body, there are other less severe ways to lose weight. [29]

In fact, most facilities that perform a PSMF diet only do it as part of a prescribed weight-loss method.

For example, the Cleveland Clinic states that it is a beneficial way to burn a lot of fat off of a person’s body in a short period while not affecting their muscle mass.

Individuals who are dangerously obese and who need to lose weight often go to a clinic to go through this type of treatment or get at-home dietary suggestions from experts like the Cleveland Clinic. [30]

The reason for this limited use is that PSMF requires a careful balance that can be easily upset if you don’t follow each step correctly.

That said, you can do PSMF at home if you are dedicated and skilled enough.

Utilizing this method will require careful planning of each of your meals, only eating what is needed for muscle maintenance, and regularly talking to your doctor to ensure you don’t overdo it.

That said, the use of a PSMF diet is incredibly beneficial for those who have problems like type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis problems, fatty liver disease, or high blood pressure.

All of these benefits occur because of the ways that you lose weight quickly and efficiently.

People who are sedentary or who have a hard time moving due to obesity often get excellent results from this particular diet. [31]

In fact, fatty liver disease is particularly important to manage when it occurs. That’s because it can cause a multitude of health complications and may even shorten your lifespan.

As a result, the many benefits that PSMF provides in treating this disease make it something to consider seriously.

As always, though, it is essential to talk to your doctor before assuming that PSMF is safe for you. [32]

These safety concerns shouldn’t scare away anybody who is interested in PSMF for managing severe obesity.

It is a safe diet method when it is, and proper care minimizes its risks.

That’s because, while the side effects can be reduced with careful attention, there are still a few problems that could occur if you aren’t careful enough with your routine.

Please pay attention to the following section to learn about what might happen to you if you aren’t careful with your dietary method.

The Risk of Side Effects on PSMF

Anybody going on a fasting diet knows that it can be a difficult-to-maintain dietary proposition.

That’s because it requires you to cut out a majority of your daily calories and carefully control what you do eat.

For most people, this is going to be a real challenge.

Even worse, there are many types of side effects and even adverse reactions that you have to take into account when going on this type of diet. [33]

For example, you are going to go through a period of adjustment when you start that will throw your body into a loop.

That’s because you are cutting out a lot of carbohydrates and forcing your body to adapt to this change.

Many of these side effects are similar to those that you get from a keto diet.

That’s because PSMF shares the low-carbohydrate approach familiar with all ketogenic diets. [34]

In many cases, you are going to suffer from a myriad of side effects, including:

  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Halitosis or bad breath

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