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From obese to CRON


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Hi all,

Newbie here.

I was just wondering, has anyone here gone from being obese to sustaining a CRON lifestyle? Can you share your experiences, advice etc.?

(I'm defining obese as BMI over 30. I'd be happy to hear from people who were merely very overweight though ūüėÄ)


Edited by elatedsquirrel
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Most here are very thin and have been thin a long time.  I'm a relative newcomer and 4 years ago I was obese by body fat percentage, >40%, although my BMI was 25.  I think the definition of a CRON lifestyle is somewhat fuzzy but I probably don't qualify at least not for more than a few months at a time, definitely not something I've sustained.  But I'm enjoying my body again and expect tomorrow will be better than today for a long time to come.   And since no one else has spoken up I'll offer a few things I think might be helpful.

A CRON lifestyle might  be the ultimate anti-obesity approach.  But only if it is sustainable.  I'd focus first on the lifestyle changes you can make that can be sustained without intense effort before trying to tackle aggressive caloric restriction.  You will be better off losing a few pounds a year in a way you can sustain indefinitely than making an extreme effort to lose weight fast for a few months but returning to old habits when it becomes too hard to continue.  I wouldn't strive for "optimal nutrition" immediately as "good nutrition" will get you far.  It's debatable what is optimal but most agree minimally processed foods should be the core of ones diet.  Sticking to foods that don't have ingredient labels is a great first step.  Some things are a bit less obvious for instance seed oils such as soy and corn are highly processed as it is hard to extract their oils while olives, avocados and coconut yield oil readily without damaging heat and solvents.  It is more important to find the best approach for you than what is considered the best approach for others and you'll only figure that out by experimenting.  So take your time, try any and all approaches that appeal to you while tracking your results.  And don't obsess over diet to the exclusion of other factors.  Things like stress management, good sleep practices, morning routines, evening routines and any activities or habits that reduce the urge to eat and the time spent eating can all make a big difference.

Edited by Todd Allen
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Thanks Todd. Much to think about there.

Certainly the "optimal" bit seems difficult to work out. There seems to be a lot of "holy wars" that its difficult for a lay person to parse. "Eat whole food vegan!", "Eat keto!", "No, don't, keto leads to loss of muscle!", "Eat mediterranean!", "Do intermittent fasting!", "Fat causes heart disease!", "No it doesn't, the 7 countries study was funded by the sugar industry!", "Eat nuts, they are healthy and filling!", "No, nuts contain loads of omega 6 and western diets have a high omega 6:3 ratio!" etc. etc.

The only things that seem certain to me are:

  • Avoid "free sugars"
  • Avoid processed food
  • Eat lots of fibre and vegetables

But that leaves a lot unclear.

Edited by elatedsquirrel
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Use cron o meter and be certain that all your nutrients are adequate and yes eat mostly plant based WHOLE foods and not too much. Also try to not eat for at least 12 hours a day. I wouldn’t get to much more complicated about it than that. Choose foods you like from that definition. Tasty matters

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Also, avoid decreasing calories too much on a regular basis. It is a known fact, that may actually jeopardize your efforts to lose weight. As advised above, I would concentrate on the following points:

  • Adopt a healthier lifestyle with some moderate exercise (whatever you like) and enough sleep
  • Adopt a diet based on whole plant foods especially vegetables, no junk foods, nuts, legumes and so on. Fish, lowfat dairy products, lean meat if occasionally, are all right.
  • Check your calories on cronometer for a week, eating in a way which will take your weight more or less constant
  • To the above amount subtract 300 calories and check it on¬†cronometer¬† for at least 2-3 weeks, until you stop loosing weight, or else subtract 200 more calories. Repeat¬† in such a way that you keep loosing weight very progressively.
  • Do not go below 1200-1500 kcal on a regular basis.
  • Do not eat more than 3 times per day, 2 is optimal, one depends on people.
  • Check cronometer for micronutrients, if some are lower than RDA, then supplement the specific micronutrients.¬†
  • If after 1-2 years of the above you have not lost significant weight, then special strategies must be undertaken, like a low-carb or keto diet, OMAD keto, or others. But probably not before you have experimented with a less drastic regimen.
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