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How late to start CR?


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I recently had a discussion with member @Matt (Matthew Lake) about CR practice at age 50. I am currently 36 and want to start CR as soon as possible, but have spent the past decade being overweight (220lbs 5'2") but should be down to 120 by mid year next year. I told him I wanted to start CR at age 50 for longevity because I want to spend a decade being muscular (which is hard to maintain on CR) since I've spent a decade being overweight and have missed out on years with a nice physique that I could show off at the beach... My question is: could I possibly be muscular for a few years, say age 36-40 eating 2000 calories per day of so with a little high protein, then start CR at age 40 (rather than age 50 discussed with Matt) and reap the benefits of longevity? I know 40 and 50 are only 10 years apart but Matt tells me 36 is a young enough age to start CR and 50 is a late age. Any thoughts about being RIPPED for a few years then going CRON at age 40? Do you think I'll have any luck, longevity-wise that is? Do you think it will be a lot more helpful at age 40 than 50? I would have asked Matt again online, but he's off and I figured I'd get a post on here to see if I get mixed opinion. Happy dieting and live long and healthy!

Thanks in advance for your help,

Fred Sebastian.

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  • 1 month later...

Doing CR theoretically should extend your life, but not just instead of living to 80 you will live to 90.

It will also extend your younger years as well, you can extend your youth.

For example, if you do CR from age 30 to 40, those years will be extended, so instead of aging 10 years, if you do CR you will age only 8 years. 

This means that biologically you will stay 30 to 40 years old for maybe 12 years if you CR.

If you try and stay muscular from 36 to 40, which means you will have to consume much more calories, you will accelerate your aging during that period. So instead of prolonging those years you will accelerate them.  You will have to decide if its worth it or not. If you can pick up some hot girls then it may be worth it to be muscular. Compare that to sitting inside on your computer depressed and skinny.

I also believe that calorie restriction probably gets more important as you get older. When younger, your body is more resilient. When you are older, the added stress of a higher diet will age you quicker. 







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Edward has put the issue well: assuming it translates, you enter into a slower-aging mode on CR, so the earlier you start, the biologically younger you'll be at any age going forward. If CR slows your aging rate 20% and you start at 36, then at age 86 chronologically you'll be 76 biologically; if you wait until age 50, you'll be biological 79 at chronological 86 — three years older, and three years closer to age-related death (and have 3 years less to benefit from any real anti-aging therapies that are developed late in the game).

This figure is now rather old and thus omits some of the newer and better studies, but:


Merry BJ. Molecular mechanisms linking calorie restriction and longevity. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2002 Nov;34(11):1340-54. Review. PMID: 12200030 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. Data are derived from 24 rodent lifespan studies.

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