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FrederickSebastian

Starting my CR journey (yet again)

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Well, I know I've told you guys I am starting the CR diet multiple times before (after multiple failed fasting attempts) but I think this time I got it! Plus, it's the first day of a new year which is even more reason for me to stick to it. My question is: at a height of 5'2" and weight of 203, would starting weaning onto a CR diet at 2000 cals per day for a week and decreasing by 20 calories each week reap the benefits of CR? I never kept track of my calories before and know that going cold turkey will decrease lifespan, but does 2000 calories per day sound like a good starting point? Will I not reap the longevity benefits by staring possibly too low (at 2000 calories/day) when I may have very well been taking in 3000 calories per day (I am a heavy guy so I'm guessing I was eating more than 2000 calories per day but have no idea how much). I don't want to cut down to a number as low as 2000 calories per day if I will not reap the longevity benefit by going this low. Also, is cutting by twenty calories per week a good idea or is this too fast? too slow?

I would appreciate any help. I really want to live to be over 100 and don't want to be doing this for no reason. I hope to be less than 140lbs by the end of the year. I very much regret ever letting my weight get out of control.

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Sincerely Good luck Frederick!!

I can relate to your goals, and also to starting (CR) and stopping several times as well; it isn't easy (imho). 

I believe that you will certainly live a very long life (and likely over the age of 100) if you follow CR while ensuring that you are not low on any micronutrients AND also confine your eating to an 8-hr (or even shorter) window each day (supplement only what is necessary, etc.).  There is so much excellent nutritional advice on these forums, but I would summarize it with saying that you can't go wong with whole foods, plant-based eating.  My message here is that your efforts are not wasted or pointless.

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5 hours ago, Fernando Gabriel said:

Lose weight but always do iron, ferritin and red blood tests to see if everything is ok!

Thanks for the advice, F. Gabriel. I am supposed to take iron everyday anyway because I am mildly anemic but I always forget to take it 😕... I will think about getting my blood tested soon if it is free or inexpensive...

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3 hours ago, Clinton said:

Sincerely Good luck Frederick!!

I can relate to your goals, and also to starting (CR) and stopping several times as well; it isn't easy (imho). 

I believe that you will certainly live a very long life (and likely over the age of 100) if you follow CR while ensuring that you are not low on any micronutrients AND also confine your eating to an 8-hr (or even shorter) window each day (supplement only what is necessary, etc.).  There is so much excellent nutritional advice on these forums, but I would summarize it with saying that you can't go wong with whole foods, plant-based eating.  My message here is that your efforts are not wasted or pointless.

Thanks for wishing me good luck, @Clinton. By the way, I sent you a private message here which it says you never looked at. If you don't mind, could you tell me if you work out and practice CR at the same time. For the longest time, I was convinced that CRON dieters were always rather thin, but judging by your topless photo, that's not always the case. I like to be lean but a little bulky so I was wondering if you can maintain a body like that while on CR. Do you not have to eat a lot of protein? Just wondering...

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7 minutes ago, FrederickSebastian said:

Thanks for the advice, F. Gabriel. I am supposed to take iron everyday anyway because I am mildly anemic but I always forget to take it 😕... I will think about getting my blood tested soon if it is free or inexpensive...

One user said that survival mode is better for longevity I don't know if you are naturally fat but I think the survival level would be imc 15 for someone naturally fat and 11 for someone naturally thin like me

Edited by Fernando Gabriel

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1 minute ago, Fernando Gabriel said:

One user said that survival is better for longevity I don't know if you are naturally fat but I think the survival level would be imc 15 for someone naturally fat and 11 for someone naturally thin like me

I don't know what that means? What is survival level? Something in the blood? I am not naturally fat or thin, I am just average naturally. I just let my weight get out of control when I was an alcoholic about a decade ago and the alcohol gave me strong food cravings...

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4 minutes ago, FrederickSebastian said:

I don't know what that means? What is survival level? Something in the blood? I am not naturally fat or thin, I am just average naturally. I just let my weight get out of control when I was an alcoholic about a decade ago and the alcohol gave me strong food cravings...

Survival level is having the least amount of fat in the body and surviving!

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Frederick,

I've sent you a message - I hope you have received this time; I had actually sent a reply to your original message via my email and not sure why you never received this.

My BMI right now isn't very low - actually over 22.5 so I'm a bit dissapointed.  Like yourself I'm trying to actual follow some CR (again). 

My default position on health/longevity is that even if I don't actually follow CR, I try to

1-always ensure adequate RDA levels of all micronutrients

2-practice at least 16-8 Time-Restricted Feeding (4 or 6 hour feeding window is probably better than even 8 hours); and stopping feeding early in the day is more in-tune w circadian rythm and likely better (I try to not eat past 3pm)

3-enough resistance training to stay fairly strong

4-I decrease calories as much as I can manage in order to maintain low levels of visceral fat

I'd love to follow CR but I find that when my fat levels are very low my appetite becomes extremely high (probably due to the extra resistance training and muscle) - and then I end up binging on some less-than-healthy foods ;-)

 

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Maintaining a higher level of fat mass is actually a positive predictor of longevity within the CR group in animals. Strains of mice that had not adapted well to CR and lost too much fat had no longevity benefit or reduced lifespan.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21388497

Ideally, you'll want to restrict calories enough so that you're not losing more than 1 pound per week. Don't think of this as a race to get to the lowest weight possible, but a journey that you'll go along where your health will be improved by the dietary changes you make in addition to the (slow) weight loss from CR. 

So, my advice is just to look at how many calories you're currently consuming and factor in your activity level and then start restricting slowly and see how your body responds.

As I mentioned on here before, when I first started serious CR I could only just maintain a BMI of about 16 eating 1550 K/cal per day. Now at 35 I am able to maintain a BMI of close to 19 eating around 1500-1600 Calories per day.  My body is remarkably resistant to losing weight these days...

Look at biomarkers as you're doing CR and as long as you see the same pattern as people on CR, you're going in the right direction.

CR is not about getting skinny. CR is not about trying to maintain the lowest amount of muscle or fat to survive.

You do need a baseline of how many calories you're eating and keep track fairly often of how much you're eating in the early stages at the very least. 

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Of course, not all fat mass is created equal (and mice and men are somewhat different).

Here is an example of what fat mass may matter:

Visceral adipose tissue modulates mammalian longevity

"Our data clearly demonstrate that in mammals, VF removal and CR are associated with an increase in mean and maximum lifespan. The observation of lifespan extension with removal of VF is especially interesting as VF is a potent modulator of insulin action (Barzilai et al., 1999; Gabriely et al., 2002) and a source of harmful peptides such as resistin, Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and angiotensinogen (Einstein et al., 2005). Indeed, we have previously shown that surgical removal of VF improved insulin sensitivity in Sprague-Dawley rats (Barzilai et al., 1999) and delayed the onset of diabetes in Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats (Gabriely et al., 2002). Furthermore, VF responded to an increase in nutrient flux with a greater expression of harmful genes such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and PAI-1 than subcutaneous fat (Einstein et al., 2005). Therefore, in addition to improving insulin action, the benefits of VF removal may include a significant decrease in secretion of potentially harmful fat-derived peptides (Gabriely et al., 2002). While VF content was substantially lower in VF-removed rats as compared to AL-fed rats, total fat mass was not significantly different. This may be due to the fact that the amount of fat removed accounted for less than 10% of total fat, and some expansion of the subcutaneous fat depot may have occurred to compensate for lesser amounts of VF. However, we and other

The mean and maximum lifespan of CR rats was greater than that seen in VF-removed animals, suggesting that the life-prolonging benefit of CR is mediated in part by pathways other than those modulated by an attenuation of VF. By comparing median lifespans, we estimate that the contribution of CR to longevity in this model was 47 weeks, whereas VF removal was 9.5 weeks, as compared to AL-fed rats, suggesting that VF reduction offered approximately 20% of the effect of CR on longevity. Taken together, this preclinical study supports the notion that limiting VF accumulation in humans might have favorable effects on health span and, potentially, longevity."

A couple of points:

Losing 30% of your weight in a year doesn't sound healthy to me -- talk to your doctor before you do this.

Living to over 100 is subject to genetics, chance and lifestyle, among other things. I'd focul on eating right, exercising sufficiently and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Which may increase the odds of a healthier, and perhaps longer, lifespan.

Since most of us have a rather inaccurate sense of our caloric intake, methinks it's of great importance to get Cronometer and track your food intake religiously, adjusting nutrient intake as needed. Make it a routine, and do the same with exercise.

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@Clinton, Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. @Matt, You say that it's good to have some fat. What percent body fat would you recommend is lowest on a CR dieter for longevity. I had to get mine under 8% back in my 20s to get six-pack abs and one of my goals is to get one again -- if at all possible while extending longevity.

Thanks for the help guys!

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9 hours ago, Fernando Gabriel said:

One user said that survival mode is better for longevity I don't know if you are naturally fat but I think the survival level would be imc 15 for someone naturally fat and 11 for someone naturally thin like me

@Fernando Gabriel, Can you provide me of any proof of why low body fat percentage is beneficial in humans? I'm curious

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9 hours ago, FrederickSebastian said:

@Fernando Gabriel, Can you provide me of any proof of why low body fat percentage is beneficial in humans? I'm curious

It was user Zeta who wrote this but I don't know where he came up with this hypothesis.

Edited by Fernando Gabriel

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On 1/2/2020 at 6:51 AM, FrederickSebastian said:

would starting weaning onto a CR diet at 2000 cals per day for a week and decreasing by 20 calories each week reap the benefits of CR?

2000 kcals per day for a guy your size does not sound a small amount.

What I would do, is to use the cronometer tools to calculare the foreseen average BMR for guys in your height/weight group, add to it an estimate burned kcals by exercise, so obtaining your steady-state energy input (the estimate of the calories which will keep you with the same bodyweight).

To start out with, follow 2 weeks of this caloric regimen and weigh yourself every day, you can input it in cronometer together with the eaten food.

At the end of the 2 weeks you check if you lost weight, mantained it, gained it.

So you have the initial data to create your own individualized strategy. If you report back, I can tell you what I would do. In general:

  1. If the weight increases, cut it by 500 kcals, repeat the weight-monitoring procedure for one month, and check it is no more increasing, otherwise cut 3000 more kcals every time.
  2. If the weight is steady, cut it by 300 kcals, repeat the weight-monitoring procedure for one month, if it is still steady, cut 300 more kcals
  3. If the weight decreases, leave the calories as they are, repeat the weight-monitoring procedure for two months until weight stabilizes, then GOTO 2.

Other rules to loose weight:

  • always cut calories very, very gradually
  • Always have a cheat day once a week, where you can eat 500-1000 kcals more than usual.
  • Increase the % of protein, which satiate more and are dissipated in thermogenesis for the 25% of their calories.
  • Increase the amount of fibers, which satiate
  • Choose a regimen which you can follow and mantain for a long time.

 

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21 hours ago, Matt said:

Maintaining a higher level of fat mass is actually a positive predictor of longevity within the CR group in animals. Strains of mice that had not adapted well to CR and lost too much fat had no longevity benefit or reduced lifespan.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21388497

Ideally, you'll want to restrict calories enough so that you're not losing more than 1 pound per week. Don't think of this as a race to get to the lowest weight possible, but a journey that you'll go along where your health will be improved by the dietary changes you make in addition to the (slow) weight loss from CR. 

So, my advice is just to look at how many calories you're currently consuming and factor in your activity level and then start restricting slowly and see how your body responds.

As I mentioned on here before, when I first started serious CR I could only just maintain a BMI of about 16 eating 1550 K/cal per day. Now at 35 I am able to maintain a BMI of close to 19 eating around 1500-1600 Calories per day.  My body is remarkably resistant to losing weight these days...

Look at biomarkers as you're doing CR and as long as you see the same pattern as people on CR, you're going in the right direction.

CR is not about getting skinny. CR is not about trying to maintain the lowest amount of muscle or fat to survive.

You do need a baseline of how many calories you're eating and keep track fairly often of how much you're eating in the early stages at the very least. 

Matt, I agree with you.

  --  Saul

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