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Old 10-06-2007, 08:30 AM   #1  
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Default Calorie Restriction For A Longer Life

Well, I don't know about giving up chocolate, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, ice cream, and all the other major food groups.

It says near the bottom of the article that experts suggest losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. Let's say you want to lose 6 pounds altogether. Losing it 1 pound a week means you would have achieved your goal in 6 weeks, right? What are you supposed to do on the 7th week?


From MSNBC:

Would you commit to eating a lot less if it helped add a few years to your life?

A small, but growing group of extreme dieters believe that by drastically limiting the amount of food they consume, they'll not only slow the aging process, but avoid heart problems, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Calorie restriction, also known as CR, may never be the next Atkins or South Beach Diet, but the movement is getting more attention from longevity-obsessed Baby Boomers. It has spawned a flurry of books, including "The Longevity Diet," "The Anti-Aging Plan," and "Beyond The 120 Year Diet."

Unlike typical diets that focus primarily on weight loss, CR is about reducing long-term calorie intake and consuming adequate nutrients at the same time in the pursuit of a more energetic old age. Numerous studies have shown that eating less can help rodents and primates live longer and healthier. People who follow CR claim that cutting calories, which leads to weight loss and a slower metabolic rate, can lengthen the human life span as well.

While there is no specific meal plan, followers generally eat 20 percent to 30 percent less than what is normally recommended. Sugar, saturated fats, and most dairy are no-no's in calorie restriction, with bulky foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains providing most of the calories.

Fighting heart disease
Some people may wonder if giving up chocolate or ice cream for life is really worth it.

No long-term human studies have tested CR’s impact on longevity, but there is considerable evidence it reduces several risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

A one-year study published in the July 2007 issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism compared the effects of an extremely low-calorie diet and exercise on coronary heart disease risk factors in lean and overweight middle-aged adults.

Both calorie restriction (consuming 20 percent fewer calories) and exercise (expending 20 percent more calories) lowered bad (LDL) cholesterol, raised good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and improved insulin resistance, but only calorie restriction led to significant declines in risks associated with heart disease and heart attacks.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2004 found that people who restricted calories by 30 percent for an average of six and one-half years had lower total and LDL cholesterol, higher HDL cholesterol, and lower triglycerides than those who followed a typical American diet.

There’s also some evidence that the diet can improve blood glucose control, which can help prevent diabetes.

Serious risks
But the calorie-cutting quest for the fountain of youth can also lead to some real health problems. Some people admit to feeling constantly hungry and become obsessed with food. Some doctors believe that calorie restriction can attract people who are susceptible to eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa.

People who try restricting calories can experience rapid weight loss, although it seems to plateau after six months as their bodies adjust, according to studies. For people who have little body fat even modest calorie restriction can be harmful, the researchers argue.

Dieters who restricted calories for 12 months had lower muscle mass and a reduced capacity to perform exercise compared with those who lost similar amounts of weight from exercise alone, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in February 2007. CR-induced weight loss (but not exercise-induced weight loss) was associated with reduced bone mineral density at the hip and spine (high risk areas for fracture), another study published in Archives of Internal Medicine in March 2007 found.

Other possible risks or side effects associated with the spartan diet include increased cold sensitivity, menstrual irregularities, and infertility.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that excessive calorie restriction causes malnutrition and can lead to anemia, muscle wasting, weakness, dizziness, lethargy, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, irritability and depression. The study was published in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association.

While earlier studies have linked calorie restriction to memory and attention problems, a recent study published in the June 2007 issue of Rejuvenation Research found no significant connection between the diet and cognitive impairments.

Take it slowly
Cutting calories by more than 500 per day (recommended in most other diet plans) will likely be too difficult and unrealistic for most people to follow long-term. While there may be some disease-fighting benefits from eating a lot less for the rest of your life, it won't guarantee 100 candles on your (sugar-free) birthday cake.

If you're looking to lose weight, it's best to take it slowly. Most experts recommend 1 to 2 pounds a week as a safe, realistic weight-loss goal. A healthy body mass index (BMI) is 18.5 to 24.9 (at 5’4”, that’s a weight of 108 to 145 pounds).

Still, most of us could benefit from modest calorie cutbacks and incorporating mostly whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans, and low-fat dairy foods into our diets. Combining that kind of diet with exercise – a proven disease-fighter — can help you achieve a healthier body weight, preserve muscle and bone, and give you a psychological boost.

And you can still enjoy a little chocolate now and then.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:58 PM   #2  
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I have seen a lot of info on this, and it appears legitimate. I'm on a long-term program to gradually reduce my weight, but I will not be going to the extreme of giving up beer and the occasional desert. I'm sure I'll never get near my "ideal" weight, but hopefully I can still realize some long-term benefits.

My bodyfat is low, but I carry extra muscle mass which apparently still causes your organs and metabolism to work harder. Not to mention the joint stress from extra weight...I about cured my minor knee and ankle issues by losing 5 pounds (and glucosamine/chondrotin).

I'm going to gradually ramp up the aerobic stuff a bit and shift to higher reps and lower weights when lifting. I'm also trying to eat more fruits and veggies.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #3  
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Default CR diet

My program is similar to the CR diet except that I let it go on weekends. I eat 1200 calories a day for 5 days of the week, then try to eat smart for the other two as much as possible. I like alcoholic drinks and rich food, but I limit this sort of thing to only two days per week as a rule. Not giving up Sam Adams and Breyers totally, it's just not me. I never was into weight lifting either. I prefer cardio activities for around 45 minutes a session. I tend to push hard, heart rate over 150, 600+ calorie burn rate per hour. My BMI has been around 25 for the last 7 years, which is how long I have been doing this regimen. It is a regimen I can live with, and not feel taxed or bored.

My philosphy on this is you absolutely have to adopt eating and exercise practices that will work for you over the long haul. If you don't like something as a long-term proposition, you won't be doing it in 5 let alone 10 years. And if there is one thing you should do with a diet and exercise routine, it is to keep it up over the long term. Lose only half a pound a week for only two years and you've lost 52 pounds. Caloriewise this is a deficit of only 250 calories a day, or 12% of a recommended daily allowance for man. Weight loss is a slow, steady war.

As for the other benefits that CR supposedly brings, I don't think anyone brought up the question of why would one want to live a such long time? 70 seems like enough.

Last edited by Cubdriver; 10-17-2007 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:08 PM   #4  
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Good to hear from you again, Cubdriver. I hope the new job is treating you well. The key to losing weight and lifelong health is the slow and steady method, after all, we didn't gain 20 pounds overnight. Like you and rick, I use a similar program and I've lost some weight and dropped my BMI to 23. I do more weight training than aerobic, but trying to equalize them more.

Yes, 70 seems long enough, but I wish my father were still here though. He passed away at 71 and I still miss him everyday.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:55 AM   #5  
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New town and job are great! I am leery of saying too much or hijacking this thread, but aircraft production is a thrill and there are a lot of interesting new models coming out!
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Old 10-21-2007, 11:22 AM   #6  
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Default Hardee's Country Breakfast Burrito

I didn't want to start another thread, although this article about Hardee's new Country Breakfast Burrito weighing in at only 920 calories seems to be contrary to the calorie restriction model.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21309269/

But, hey, what's a few more calories anyway?
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Old 10-21-2007, 12:07 PM   #7  
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The fast food industry gives people what they want- it's what will sell and most people do not eat for health, they eat for pleasure. But if enough people demanded healthy food they would offer it. Even the few things that fast food chains have developed in the past ten years were a response to demand. As for me, I almost never eat fast food unless forced by business association. It isn't very good for you nor is it very good in itself, too little care involved its preparation or ingredients.

Some years ago I lived in a college town and they had this fast food place that only made truly healthy stuff. I ate there every day! Bean soups, veggie burgers, seafood dishes, foreign dishes, fresh bread, even the take out was good. Fast food does not have to mean cheap, unhealthy food.

Last edited by Cubdriver; 10-21-2007 at 12:16 PM.
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