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Mikecron

CRON without counting calories?

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Hi! I have tried and failed at CRON a few times in the past, but recently I had high blood pressure (143/98), and now think I am ready to be a CRON-y for life. The only problem is that I don't have the time to weigh and measure all of my food, and thus have been relying on eye-balling my portion sizes and my feelings of hunger as my CRON gauge. I have been on a vegan CRON diet for about a month, and already my blood has come down to 117/74, so my approach appears to be working. Anyone else utilize this crude method of calorie restriction?

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I tracked everything for a year, which was overkill but at least mildly educational. Then I just picked a BMI I felt was optimal, and now I simply weigh myself once each morning at the same time, if I’m over my target I just eat a little less, under, eat a little more.

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I tracked everything for a year, which was overkill but at least mildly educational. Then I just picked a BMI I felt was optimal, and now I simply weigh myself once each morning at the same time, if I’m over my target I just eat a little less, under, eat a little more.

Sounds like a good idea - that is what I will do. 

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picked a BMI I felt was optimal, and now I simply weigh myself once each morning at the same time, if I’m over my target I just eat a little less, under, eat a little more.

Sounds like a good idea - that is what I will do. 

 

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You may follow an optimized approach, that is weighing the goods which contribute most to the caloric intake (especially fats) and weighing less accurately or estimating the weight of other foods especially the less caloric ones (vegetables).

 

Also, if the qualitative estimate is 'calibrated' regularly, the method may yield reasonable results.

 

If the bodyweight is taken as a proxy of CR, then that's the parameter which needs to be monitored.

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Thanks mccoy

I do try to make a rough estimate of my calorie consumption by visually examining the portion size, and studying the calorie content of different foods. So far I have went from 189lbs to 180lbs in about 1 month!

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Hi! I have tried and failed at CRON a few times in the past, but recently I had high blood pressure (143/98), and now think I am ready to be a CRON-y for life. The only problem is that I don't have the time to weigh and measure all of my food, and thus have been relying on eye-balling my portion sizes and my feelings of hunger as my CRON gauge. I have been on a vegan CRON diet for about a month, and already my blood has come down to 117/74, so my approach appears to be working. Anyone else utilize this crude method of calorie restriction?

Maybe yes maybe no: doesn't blood pressure fluctuate all the time? I guess we're looking for trends.

 

Proud advice I took from others is that CR is a practice and not a perfect. Sounds tipsy in words maybe to say it like that, like wandering along a cliff, but I'm a perfectionist by nature so I'm easily upset when I'm not humming along at peak heights of new skill attained instantly, effortlessly. Something like that. Then I'm hard on myself when I realize oh shit I'm not living up to my tightrope-crossing standards and death is below without a net.

 

Stress. If you're eyeballing, and you're not perfectly weighing your food down to the bitter gram with a calibrated, scale of hideous perfection, then don't beat yourself up (sorry cliche alert code red). The fact that you're trying this thing, CR or ON or whatever, the fact that you're conscious and noticing and caring enough to document is a step into canyons of many steps (sorry, I'm full of "traveling canyons east to west" cliches).

 

Also that you weight has dropped, you notice, you care, you care enough to wonder am I practicing CR or not, and is it working to do .... whatever .... is pretty cool. At least it is here, anyway, quiet virtual corner it's become.

 

Do Good Habits!

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According to Michael Rae:

 

If you are lucky enough to have had a clear, healthy 'setpoint' in your youth — a weight to which you tended to gravitate when you were in your early twenties, and that was within the healthy BMI range — take that as your baseline, and restrict Calories down to a level that keeps you at least 15% below that.

"Wherever you start from, you need to cut Calories. Ultimately, the goal is to keep Calories lower than your physiology 'thinks' it needs, and a level of Calorie intake that only normalizes an overweight body will simply return you to the historical norm for our species, not induce the anti-aging metabolic shift that characterizes CR."

 

 

Of course, there are a lot of details and nuances to MR's position, but basically weight is used as a marker for calorie reduction.

 

Personally, I've brought my weight down to "setpoint", but not much below.   I monitor my  weight only, and I generally put 14hrs between dinner and breakfast.  I also like to feel hungry for a certain amount of time every day.

Edited by Sibiriak

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At the end of it, I believe the point of using cronometer daily and and go thru all the fuss is to become cognizant of one's own dietary intake.

Knowledge is power. Once we are cognizant, we can correct our weaknesses (like micronutrient deficiencies, macros ratios and so on).

 

In particular, CRON requires that micronutrients and amminoacids RDAs are satisfied, so I wouldn't know how to do without it at the beginning. No benchmarks at all. Whereas an estimate is always better than no idea at all.

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Mccoy, that makes a lot of sense.

 

I would just say:

 

1) After adopting a general dietary approach that has been already well-studied by others and/or has a long history of healthiness,  and after doing some initial calculations and adjustments as required,  I don't see the point in continued daily  calculations (unless you enjoy doing that.)

 

2) The need for precise calculations increases with the severity of the CR practiced.   The less calories consumed, the harder it is to get all the required nutrients.

 

3)As Saul has argued, "the only way to know if you're out of line (or in line) for some nutrient, is blood and urine work.  (Dietary intake only hints at that.)"

Vitamin D is a perfect example:  there is no way you are going to find out if you have optimal blood levels  by calculating dietary/supplemental intake + sun exposure.

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3)As Saul has argued, "the only way to know if you're out of line (or in line) for some nutrient, is blood and urine work.  (Dietary intake only hints at that.)"

Vitamin D is a perfect example:  there is no way you are going to find out if you have optimal blood levels  by calculating dietary/supplemental intake + sun exposure.

 

 

 

Good point, and I would add that vitamins in general are not stable substances, and are susceptible to destruction by heat, light, age, soil quality, water, and other factors. Therefore logging the same amount of vitamin C for every orange eaten may not be accurate.

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Re: sibiriak: yes, I confess I'm having some sort of geeky fun in monitoring daily and accurately my food intake! Next level of course is observing the consequences of such a detailed input by blood samples and even some personal checks, the best (and geekiest) of which is probably the DEXCOM continuos blood glucose monitor used by T1D patients. I'm thinking about that, maybe I'll start doing it in a couple of years

 

 

2300x1440_dexcom_difference.jpg?sfvrsn=2

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3)As Saul has argued, "the only way to know if you're out of line (or in line) for some nutrient, is blood and urine work.  (Dietary intake only hints at that.)"

Vitamin D is a perfect example:  there is no way you are going to find out if you have optimal blood levels  by calculating dietary/supplemental intake + sun exposure.

 

Good point, and I would add that vitamins in general are not stable substances, and are susceptible to destruction by heat, light, age, soil quality, water, and other factors. Therefore logging the same amount of vitamin C for every orange eaten may not be accurate.

 

 

We have discussed about it in other threads. The classic solution proposed by agencies is simply adherence to RDAs. RDA is a statistical concept, a cautious value which guarantees that, once assumed, the individual will have about 98%  probability that it will be sufficient to himself. So simple adhering to RDAs puts us in a probabilistically safe region.

If we are in the upper 2% of requirement for a specific nutrient, that can only be found by lab analyses. Also, we may have a hint that we may be in the upper 2% of requirements by having those recent analyses of genetic polymorphisms done. (23 and me and similar, if they are really effective).

 

Last but not least, a very easy way to check if we are poor absorbers relative to the average (so requiring higher amounts of nutrients) is the scale: if we need more energy to keep a constant weight than the energy indicated by the usual formulas (which are the average trend of clinical observations) then we may extrapolate the poor energy absortpion to a likewise poor absortpion of other nutrients (but this is only my reasonable belief, I have looked no literature up). The higher the difference from average, the poorest absorbers we are. And vice versa.

The genetic polymorphisms are unrelated to this, since they are very specific to the single micronutrients.

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Mccoy: RDA is a statistical concept, a cautious value which guarantees that, once assumed, the individual will have about 98%  probability that it will be sufficient to himself. So simple adhering to RDAs puts us in a probabilistically safe region.

 

 

In the case of vitamin D , the RDA is  600 IUs a day up to age 70  (800 IUs  if over 70), based on a goal of 20 ng/mL 25 (OH) D blood level.

 

However:

 

1)There is very compelling evidence that an optimal 25 (OH) D level is in the 30-50 ng/mL range (I aim for 40 ng/mL;  it's hard to be certain.)

 

2) There is no guarantee that 600 IU/day will get a person to even 20 ng/mL.

The IOM Miscalculated Its RDA For Vitamin D

Robert P. Heaney, M.D.

http://blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/2015/02/13/the-iom-miscalculated-its-rda-for-vitamin-d/

 

3) If a person is well below optimal level,  strong evidence suggests that it may take  some 2000-5000 IU/day or more  to  optimize.

 

Since there are other threads where vitamin D is discussed, I won't go into details here.  

 

I remained convinced that there is no substitute for  testing when it comes to vitamin D,  and quite possibly other essential and non-essential nutrients.

Edited by Sibiriak

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Mccoy: we may extrapolate the poor energy absortpion to a likewise poor absortpion of other nutrients (but this is only my reasonable belief, I have looked no literature up).

 

That's an interesting hypothesis.   I have my doubts, though.

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Sibiriak: yes, I concur that D3 is a case by itself, uncertainty rules supreme and supplements or sun radiation is almost always mandatory.

Even as B12 supplementation is mandatory for vegans and for those who have impaired gastric digestion. No other way to meet the requirement (aside from eating food or drinking water contaminated by E. Colii)

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Re: energy absortpion.

 

I've been searching some articles but not much shows up.

 

Digestibility is defined as the proportion of food absorbed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, ranging usually from 90 to 95% accordign to the dictionary of nutrition, 2005.

 

Apparent digestibility is greater than digestibility because there is no correction for material extraneous from foodstuff. In an n=8 controoled trial, it turned out to be about 97% ± 2% (that 2% is the range). As we see, variability in absorption is pretty little, at least, I expected much more.

 

So the greater source of variability must lay in metabolic expenditure (BMR) and other outputs (exercise, thermogenesis).

 

Inter-individuals BMR variations seem to be higher, COV (standard deviation/average) in the range of 8 to 18% and correlated to bodyweight, becoming about 12% COV when similar weights are evaluated.

Of course, uncertainties add up in a quadratic fashion, but if we take the above 2% variation in digestibility as the COV, then BRM variability overwhelms the variability in absortpion.

 

http://archive.unu.edu/unupress/food2/UID01E/UID01E05.HTM

 

Bottom line, I was mainly wrong, since energy absorption seems to vary reltively little,  so metabolism must governs in inter-individual nutrients requirements. Randall's et al. COV in the daily protein requirement is 12%, far higher than the COV in digestibility. Please note that a 12% COV in protein requirements implies a mean+2*sigma value to reach the RDA 97.55 point estimate which is +24% from average. That's a significant value for protein.

 

Probably, every specific micronutrient displays a behaviour on its own, so my simple observations do not stand perfectly true in the complexity of the real world. 

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