Dr. Valter Longo
Dr. Valter Longo
The Fasting Mimicking Diet
an interview with Dr. Valter Longo
Dr. Valter Longo, saved my health last year. After going through an intense several months of major life traumas, my body had a meltdown. Wanting to get back on track, I researched ways for busy people to reset their bodies – I was in desperate need of sleep, symptom relief, and losing a good 20 lbs.
Through research and recommendations, I found Dr. Longo’s 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet. I was intrigued because the fast actually allowed you to eat so I took the plunge and did it. I lost 13 lbs, overcame my insomnia and frequent cravings and my body was coursing with energy.
I was so impressed with the results and his personal journey, I asked Dr. Longo if I could interview him. He is a fascinating person who is doing so much good in the world. Read on to learn more…
Oh, and if you’re interested in trying out his protocol, you can order it here (use promo code MMM25 off a kit or MMM25Sub off a subscription to save $25 off through 4/30/19)
As you’ll learn in our interview below, Dr. Valter Longo doesn’t earn income off these fasting kits. 100% of his book royalties from The Longevity Diet and L-Nutra shares are assigned to the Create Cures and other foundations supporting research into aging and age-related disease, assisting patients with life threatening conditions, advanced stage diseases (like cancer) and educating children and adults on lifestyles promoting healthy longevity.
- What inspired you to leave your home country to live and work in another country? Tell us a little about your journey and your story.
As a kid growing up in Italy I wanted to be a rock star, so when I was 12 I asked my parents if I could move to London. They laughed, but I was able to negotiate a deal with my father that if I received good grades at 16 I would go for a short period. I did, but I turned 16, I decided instead of London to go to Chicago for 1 month. I never went back to Italy.
- What is it like to be an Expat – the good, the bad and the ugly?
To me it was mostly good, since I was so happy to be in Chicago and to study be bop and blues guitar with some of great musicians there. It was also very tough, since I entered the third year of high school and I did not know anyone. My life was turned upside down, but it was worth it, I never looked back.
- Tell us about your research focus – what’s your mission; your soul’s purpose and why you are passionate about it.
Since I started working on aging at age 19 in college in Texas, my mission has always been the same: make everyone live to 110 healthy
- How are you changing the face of healthcare and/or the wellness industry? How do you create, innovate or break the rules in healthcare?
Changing healthcare and wellness is not easy but I think we are getting there. The report on new nutrition behavior just came out, and “intermittent fasting” was by far the # 1 most adopted dietary change for people under the age of 34 to be healthier and maintain a normal weight. However, our goal is much more ambitious since we believe that periodic fasting mimicking diets and other nutritional interventions we are developing can revolutionize the way we prevent and treat diseases. In 10 years we expect to see products like our Prolon FMD next to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology drugs. In some cases it will replace drugs, in some cases it will complement drugs, in many cases it will help people prevent the disease
- What personal and professional legacy or impact do you want to leave on the world?
I like Woody Allen’s quote “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” We are not trying to make people immortal but my legacy is very practical: give everyone one, rich or poor, 110 years of a healthy and youthful life. Personally, eventually I hope to continue to use the funds coming from the sales of L-Nutra products to expand my foundation Create Cures, which is focusing on patients with advanced stage disease and on integrative approaches that can help them reach a cure
- In your opinion, what is the most significant factor in healing or overall wellness?
Activating the body’s ability to repair and regenerate itself
- What do you wish people realized when it comes to their health or about the wellness industry?
That we are spending an incredible amount of money to live about the same, sicker. Too many people have voices when it comes to health and wellness but most of them are not qualified to have that role. You would not want your Doctor to repair your car, nor your auto mechanic to do surgery on you. Then why do we have people with a business degree or no degree at all writing books on nutrition and aging??
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your Longevity Studies?
And, what has really helped you move the needle in making your vision a reality?
It took many years. To change the way things are done you go through a period in which everyone is against you and you are not taken very seriously, then you have a period in which you think of quitting, then, if you are lucky, things begin to change and you catch a wave. Eventually you will have people saying “of course, we have always known that”. But none of this matters if you don’t do it to get prizes but you do it to accomplish the mission, focus on the fundamentals. In my case that was making people live long, so when things get noisy and negative, I focus on the mission.
- What action has the most impact that you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
I think both my music training and my US Army training have been essential to allow me to reach difficult goals. You need to be creative, think different, but you also need to be disciplined, never quit.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self about following your dreams?
Focus on the fundamentals, and build the building brick by brick. It will take many years for it to start looking like the building you dreamed of, but if the foundations were built correctly, the structural plans are solid, and the design is creative, it will be a great building and will stand for centuries.
- What’s the best piece of business or personal advice YOU’VE ever received?
Many years ago, I was sitting next to a venture capital investor. He told me: “what all of our success stories have in common, is someone who is completely devoted to a particular product or business. They do nothing else, just that. Eventually, they make it work”
- What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give a new Wellness professional who really wants to make an impact in healthcare and people’s lives?
Don’t build your foundation on 1 or 2 pillars. It will collapse sooner or later. Build it on 4 or more pillars. Don’t build that building thinking of others living in it, think of it as the building you and your family will live in. Then it will be great for everyone.
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
I hate working but I work all of the time. The typical day is divided between working with my USC researchers in Los Angeles, work with my team in Milan, work on my books, and work
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I personally must know.) 🙂
I like Steve Wonder. I never liked the Beatles, but some of their later songs are remarkable.
Dr. Valter Longo is Director of both the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California and The Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM in Milan. He is also the creator of the 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet. 100% of his book royalties from The Longevity Diet and L-Nutra shares are assigned to the Create Cures and other foundations supporting research into aging and age-related disease, assisting patients with life threatening conditions, advanced stage diseases (like cancer) and educating children and adults on lifestyles promoting healthy longevity.