Our Head of Brand Did the 5-Day Cleanse FMD - Here's What She Actually Thought
It goes without saying that the team at Artah HQ are passionate about health, well-being, and the efficacy of our products.
So, when it comes to feeling our best, we always turn to our own collection of supplements and programmes. Recently, our Head of Brand, Olive, felt she needed a bit of a reboot, so decided to try the 5-Day Cleanse - here's her honest review of the experience.
What other cleanses have you tried in the past?
I’ve done too many juice cleanses to count and have enjoyed absolutely none of them. I’ve also done one or two cleanse meal delivery services which I found disappointing and incredibly expensive.
What was your motivation for doing an FMD?
After hearing all the amazing results that our community had experienced, I decided to buckle down and give it a go myself. Last year I was on multiple rounds of antibiotics and had also been under a lot of emotional stress for a variety of reasons – my body and mind were exhausted, and I needed a break.
The 5-Day Cleanse is a programme we created to completely reset the body and mind, no matter what your health journey looks like. We created two levels – Level 1 was more of an intro cleanse, great if you were new to fasting and time-restricted eating, whereas Level 2 was an FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet).
What interested me most about taking on the FMD was not the cleanse itself or the immediate results, but the research behind it, and the incredibly positive long-term effects it has on the body. I like to think of the fast the same way I do a spring clean – I’m a pretty tidy person and I keep my apartment clean but occasionally I really crave a good clear out. The FMD does the same for the body - the programme was created to restrict its nutrient-sensing pathways over the course of the 5-days, which mimics the adaptations you get within a fasted state. In an extended ‘fasted’ state, the body is then given the opportunity to ‘clean up shop’ and remove any pathogenic cells in the system. I had been drinking less and moving more, so it felt like a great baseline from which to try the cleanse.
How did this differ from the way you’ve approached previous cleanses or fasting programmes?
Historically, I have only taken cleanses as a drastic pre-vacation regime and have been miserable for the duration – I usually took it on from a place of punishment as opposed to health, which is why it felt so horrendous every time I did it. It’s also worth mentioning that every time I’ve done a cleanse before, I had tried to maintain an intense exercise regime which is strictly disapproved of when it comes to the FMD. When I took on the FMD, however, my ‘why’ was totally different. Sure, I wanted to look and feel great, but I was approaching the cleanse with longevity in mind and with an incredibly positive mindset. I was also just very curious; I’d done a ton of research on the positive long-term effects and wanted to see if I could do it.
How did you prepare for the cleanse?
I made sure to reduce my alcohol and caffeine intake in the weeks prior and removed 90% of meat and fish from my diet (the FMD is a plant-based regime). I planned ‘treats’ throughout the week, whether it was going for a walk in the park with a friend after work, going to the movies or having a massage – I made sure to have a restorative but busy evening schedule every night to ensure I was tired enough to want to sleep through the night and not just stuck at home, tempted to eat out of boredom or habit.
What was the most difficult part of the programme?
I missed coffee. The programme allows one coffee in the morning but in the first day or two I craved it throughout. All I can say is thank God for Cellular Hydration. Having Energy Fix and Cellular Hydration honestly saved me – I don’t think I would have survived without them.
Another difficult part of the programme was forcing myself to slow down and do less from an exercise perspective, which is something I wasn’t used to but absolutely LOVED once I was in it. As a result of a less chaotic schedule, I found I had more time and more energy, which was great in a lot of ways but meant that after I had made dinner each night, I wasn’t tired and had a LOT of time to sit and think about food, hence why planning is important. Also - let’s call a spade a spade - not having a glass of red wine on Friday night was an absolute killer.
What benefits have you noticed / anything surprising?
My energy was crazy – I didn’t feel tired at all which I was super surprised by. I was in an exceptional mood throughout – I was convinced that I would be hangry the whole week, but it flew by and I was honestly happy and positive the whole time. I would say to anyone who is cyclical and thinking of doing the FMD – try and schedule it around week 2 of your cycle and DEFINITELY avoid it in week 4. I think the Artah team would have found me a LOT less upbeat had it coincided with my PMS. I also realised how important it is to give my body time to rest and recover.
The question that everyone wants to know is did I lose weight? The answer is yes – I don’t have a scale so have no idea how much numerically, but my clothes gave me an indication. Interestingly, with an FMD you preferentially burn body fat, and can experience a rebound in lean muscle mass, so my body still looks leaner. I should also mention my skin is clearer and my digestion has been amazing ever since.
Has it made you more aware of any habits or attachments around food/drink/movement?
It’s made me realise how fantastic I feel on a predominantly plant-based diet and also made me much more aware of how fast I normally eat. When you’re eating less food than normal, you tend to eat more slowly to savour the experience. By day 5 I felt satisfied and borderline full after every meal, which is saying something when the cumulative calories are around 700 for the day. The programme also completely changed the way I approach movement. Breaking news – it turns out you do not need to work out like a madwoman every day to see results. I went from an intense weekly schedule of HIIT, spin and transformer pilates classes, to long walks, yoga, and mat pilates at home, and my body has never felt or looked better.
Would you do it again?
100%. It’s important to note that an FMD is not something you are meant to do long-term or repeat every single month throughout the year. It's something you do maybe two or three times a year to improve your health on a cellular level and stay on track. Eating this way is not sustainable nor is it recommended as a long-term strategy, it’s meant to be a short intervention. Honestly, I couldn’t recommend it enough. I felt incredible from the inside out, and it was exactly what I needed - I felt energised, invigorated, lighter and just completely reset.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All advice given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.