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edmundsj

Hello from a new member

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Hello from California!

I'm Jordan, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley. Also a bit (ok, more than a bit) of a health nerd. I recently found this forum from a paper I was reading (Most 2017, attached), which had a section on "CRONies". I was like "WOW! There are actually humans on the internet crazy enough to practice caloric restriction? How do I join?!". I've been interested in CR since I first heard about some of the 1950 studies in rats a few years ago, and over the last few years have been slowly improving my lifestyle via diet and exercise (I'm also a follower of Michael Greger's work, provides great evidence-based nutrition guidelines). My diet is now plant-based with relatively little meat (this from the starting point of an average of ~2 burgers/day a couple years ago), I'm meeting or close to meeting all the RDIs I have data for, and my BMI is now down to 24 from 27. More recently I started reviewing the CR literature in humans and primates and the evidence base is much larger than I had previously known.

I've been hesitant to pull the CR trigger primarily because 1) It seems really really difficult (see CALERIE-1 and CALERIE-2 compliance, CALERIE-2 targeted 25% CR and by year 2 was down to ~9%) and 2) I'm moderately concerned about side-effects, including weakness, fatigue, and cold sensitivity. I'm fairly active and would like to stay that way, and not turn into a sedentary mole rat.

Hoping to meet and get to know people also interested in CR, make some friends, and benefit from the practical wisdom of people who actually practice it. I'm open to suggestions about how to start and will be poking around the forum in the coming weeks. Nice to meet you all!

Most_2017_Caloric-restriction-update.pdf

Fontana_2014_Optimal-body-weight-caloric-restriction.pdf

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Hi Edmundsj!

I suggest that before you start, you get some bloodwork done.  Go to the CR Society homepage to find a link to recommended bloodwork.  That will give you a baseline.

Next, slowly reduce the amount of food that you eat daily.  Try to limit meals to breakfast, lunch and dinner -- with no snacks in between.  Do not reduce your daily calorie intake by too much -- you should not lose more weight than, say, 2lbs per week.

Add the free (or gold) Cron-O-Meter app to your smartphone.  Cronometer also runs on all computers.  Use cronometer to track your absorption of nutrients; modify your diet as needed to get adequate amounts of each nutrient (known about).  Of course, most of your daily food should be vegetables.  I would discourage eating grains, including whole grains; they're high in calories, with little benefit.  I also personally am an olive oil disbeliever -- I avoid unnecessary consumption of olive and most other oils.  Of course, there are the essential oils, that you're body cannot manufacture itself -- especially Omega 3's.  Of course, eat mostly vegetables and fruits -- especially raw vegetables.

Also be SURE to continue exercising -- IMO, one should do aerobic exercise, at least 30min, almost every day.  There should also be some strengthening exercise -- but not so much as to be anything near being a body builder.  CR will eat up your muscles (while enough food isn't available, your body will turn on your muscles and burn much of them for energy).  so you need to do SOME strengthening exercise.  However, if you overdo strengthening exercises and develop large muscles (which can be done even in old age), they burn a lot of calories -- not a good thing.  You can't do CR and serious bodybuilding at the same time.

My own personal exercise is on an elliptical cross trainer with hand motion -- I exercise at the highest resistance level of the elliptical (that does some muscle strengthening), and maintain a fast speed.  As with CR, I built up the level of my exercise gradually, to my current levels.

Good luck, and welcome to the Forums!

  --  Saul

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Welcome!  The best advice I can give you is to do a ton of research before you adopt any course of action, and hold all your beliefs lightly. I’ve been on this health nut kick for over twenty years now, and I still am regularly compelled to change my opinion about pretty major things. Best of luck!

Oh, also: read the various threads here as far back as you can, and see how the tides of opinion change... very educational and humbling. Again, hold all your convictions lightly. YMMV.

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Seeing that you already linked to a Fontana resource in your post above, you should also review this: 

We have more info now on "how much is too much" as well as what biomarkers likely indicate you are doing things well (or not).

Edited by Gordo

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Good to hear from everyone!

On 11/11/2020 at 5:20 PM, Saul said:

I suggest that before you start, you get some bloodwork done.  Go to the CR Society homepage to find a link to recommended bloodwork.  That will give you a baseline.

I don't see any such links on recommended bloodwork on the homepage. I'm pretty uneducated in this regard, any papers you can provide on which biomarkers / bloodwork to get done would be helpful. Academic papers are the key to my heart. From watching Fontana's lecture it looks like CRP / TNF1-alpha, IL6, as well as a lipid profile. Also blood pressure and DEXA for body composition (already got one of those). Anything else? On a practical note, how do I go about getting this type of bloodwork? My understanding is that usually doctors need to order bloodwork for a specific reason and are hesitant to prescribe this type of prophylactic bloodwork.

On 11/11/2020 at 5:20 PM, Saul said:

Add the free (or gold) Cron-O-Meter app to your smartphone.  Cronometer also runs on all computers.  Use cronometer to track your absorption of nutrients; modify your diet as needed to get adequate amounts of each nutrient (known about).  Of course, most of your daily food should be vegetables.  I would discourage eating grains, including whole grains; they're high in calories, with little benefit. 

God bless this app, this is so much easier than the Excel spreadsheet I was using.

On 11/11/2020 at 5:20 PM, Saul said:

I also personally am an olive oil disbeliever -- I avoid unnecessary consumption of olive and most other oils.  Of course, there are the essential oils, that you're body cannot manufacture itself -- especially Omega 3's.  Of course, eat mostly vegetables and fruits -- especially raw vegetables.

There's not much to "believe", as far as I know it's just empty calories. My understanding is that it just so happens that people who eat a bunch of other healthy foods (i.e. the Mediterranian diet) also eat olive oil, so it gets associated with health outcomes. Michael Greger also isn't a fan.

On 11/11/2020 at 5:20 PM, Saul said:

Also be SURE to continue exercising -- IMO, one should do aerobic exercise, at least 30min, almost every day.  There should also be some strengthening exercise -- but not so much as to be anything near being a body builder.  CR will eat up your muscles (while enough food isn't available, your body will turn on your muscles and burn much of them for energy).  so you need to do SOME strengthening exercise.  However, if you overdo strengthening exercises and develop large muscles (which can be done even in old age), they burn a lot of calories -- not a good thing.  You can't do CR and serious bodybuilding at the same time.

My own personal exercise is on an elliptical cross trainer with hand motion -- I exercise at the highest resistance level of the elliptical (that does some muscle strengthening), and maintain a fast speed.  As with CR, I built up the level of my exercise gradually, to my current levels.

Yeah, there's not a snowball's chance in hell I'll stop exercising. The literature base is so old and large it's going to start rivaling physics for the #sigma we are certain exercise promotes longevity. I prefer walks / hikes, but I get in my MET-hours. I do some strength training, mostly right now to keep myself sane. 

 

On 11/11/2020 at 6:03 PM, TomBAvoider said:

Welcome!  The best advice I can give you is to do a ton of research before you adopt any course of action, and hold all your beliefs lightly. I’ve been on this health nut kick for over twenty years now, and I still am regularly compelled to change my opinion about pretty major things. Best of luck!

 Oh, also: read the various threads here as far back as you can, and see how the tides of opinion change... very educational and humbling. Again, hold all your convictions lightly. YMMV.

You, sir, sound like a true academic! xD I'll be trolling the forums in my free time over the next few weeks. Thanks, and nice to meet you!

7 hours ago, Gordo said:

Seeing that you already linked to a Fontana resource in your post above, you should also review this: 

We have more info now on "how much is too much" as well as what biomarkers likely indicate you are doing things well (or not).

Very helpful! About halfway through watching it now.

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On 11/13/2020 at 3:20 AM, edmundsj said:

There's not much to "believe", as far as I know it's just empty calories. My understanding is that it just so happens that people who eat a bunch of other healthy foods (i.e. the Mediterranian diet) also eat olive oil, so it gets associated with health outcomes. Michael Greger also isn't a fan.

There are a few threads on EVOO in this forum, literature on it is discussed, most guys here believe (after pondering the present research and evidence) that EVOO is much more than empty calories, the secoiridoids in it being active protective molecules. Literature just seems overwhelming in favor. 

Nutrition is a realm where gut feelings and misconceptions often prevail, instead of results of food biochemistry and scientific evidence.

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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On 11/28/2020 at 9:51 AM, mccoy said:

There are a few threads on EVOO in this forum, literature on it is discussed, most guys here believe (after pondering the present research and evidence) that EVOO is much more than empty calories, the secoiridoids in it being active protective molecules. Literature just seems overwhelming in favor. 

 Nutrition is a realm where gut feelings and misconceptions often prevail, instead of results of food biochemistry and scientific evidence.

Your fancy words don't scare me [insert tasteful joke regarding your mother or your intelligence]. I'll reply directly on the EVOO thread.

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2 minutes ago, edmundsj said:

Your fancy words don't scare me [insert tasteful joke regarding your mother or your intelligence]. I'll reply directly on the EVOO thread.

You may perhaps cool down, I don't think I ever meant to scare you Edmundsj; I don't even manage to scare my small-breed dogs at home.

 

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3 minutes ago, mccoy said:

You may perhaps cool down, I don't think I ever meant to scare you Edmundsj; I don't even manage to scare my small-breed dogs at home.

  

The line was meant in jest 🙂 Thought the yo mamma insertion would have made that clear. Apologies :)p

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No apologies needed, my bad I didn't catch it sooner, but these grounds are sometimes trodden by some 'unusual' users. 

Really, all things considered,  probably the arguments about EVOO are futile. In moderation it probably is beneficial, but those who think it's detrimental can eat just a tablespoon or avoid it altogether and eat some other healthy fats. The vegetable kingdom abounds with all manners of health-promoting phytochemicals. 

The recent podcast from Peter Attia also put in a new light the intramyiocellular lipids theory, and some people may be sensitive to oils, but this deserves a new thread.

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