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Allan

What is your daily calorie target?

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Hi everyone.  I'm currently on the VLCD recommended by the NHS to mitigate T2D.

When that is complete in 8 weeks I want to go to CR to carry on with a healthy diet.

My question is for people here who are practicing CR - what is your calorie target per day?

When I look at meal plans for foods I like it seems I'd be eating 1,200 to 1,300 calories per day. Is this reasonable?

By way of background I'm 62 and 6' tall.

Thanks in advance for any feedback 😊 

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1250 average daily calories would be an extreme deficit for very rapid weight loss.  Maybe appropriate if you are obese to quickly get down to a safer weight.  But otherwise slower weight loss is generally a healthier approach making it easier to have a nutritionally complete diet supporting activity and the retention of muscle mass.

I'm 5'10' 132 lbs roughly weight stable eating between 1200 and 2500 calories most days probably averaging a bit under 2000 daily.

If you have diabetes track your blood sugar after meals and avoid foods that raise it.

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Thanks Todd.  I thought I would be eating enough food with what I had planned but I guess not.  I'll have to get back to the menu plan and add some healthy calories somewhere.

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Welcome Allan,

Todd beat me to it. I agree with him that 1200-1300 calories per day will be much too low for a six foot man. Some folks may disagree with me, but I think tracking calories is a very imperfect measure way to practice CR. According to a poll of CR folks we conducted a few years ago, only ~40% of long-term CR practitioners track calories. It may be useful in the beginning to make sure you aren't losing weight too quickly, but I would instead focus on eating enough so that:

  1. You cover all your nutritional needs. Use Cronometer for a while to make sure what you typically eat in a day provides adequate nutrition.
  2. You don't lose weight too quickly. You want to target weight loss of at most about one pound per week to avoid losing too much lean mass (bone, organs and muscle).
  3. You can support adequate physical activity. You should target 400-500 kcal per day of exercise as a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training. I wouldn't be afraid to do more if you enjoy it, just make sure to eat enough to avoid rapid weight loss.

I'm not familiar with the transition process between a low carb diet and a (IMO) healthier and more sustainable balanced diet that includes healthy carbs. As I understand it you want to make the transition slowly, particularly if you've got T2D since your body's ability to process glucose may be impaired (hopefully transiently) by the long hiatus from carbs.

Good luck!

--Dean

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I eat around 1500 K/cal per day. I eat the same thing almost all of the time as well 🙂

However, I'm only 5ft 7"...

I think 1200 is way too low, especially for your height and also just starting CR.

Edited by Matt
typo

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Thank you everyone for your replies.  The advice from those of you with more experience in this is much appreciated!

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On 8/25/2021 at 1:09 PM, Dean Pomerleau said:

Welcome Allan,

Todd beat me to it. I agree with him that 1200-1300 calories per day will be much too low for a six foot man. Some folks may disagree with me, but I think tracking calories is a very imperfect measure way to practice CR. According to a poll of CR folks we conducted a few years ago, only ~40% of long-term CR practitioners track calories. It may be useful in the beginning to make sure you aren't losing weight too quickly, but I would instead focus on eating enough so that:

  1. You cover all your nutritional needs. Use Cronometer for a while to make sure what you typically eat in a day provides adequate nutrition.
  2. You don't lose weight too quickly. You want to target weight loss of at most about one pound per week to avoid losing too much lean mass (bone, organs and muscle).
  3. You can support adequate physical activity. You should target 400-500 kcal per day of exercise as a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training. I wouldn't be afraid to do more if you enjoy it, just make sure to eat enough to avoid rapid weight loss.

I'm not familiar with the transition process between a low carb diet and a (IMO) healthier and more sustainable balanced diet that includes healthy carbs. As I understand it you want to make the transition slowly, particularly if you've got T2D since your body's ability to process glucose may be impaired (hopefully transiently) by the long hiatus from carbs.

Good luck!

--Dean

What a coincidence; I was just reading about you in my copy of The Longevity Diet.  I'm fascinated that you're so disciplined with your meal plan.  As for T2D my bloodwork last week showed no indications of T2D 🙂  Now I just need to remain diligent so the problem doesn't reoccur.  

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I"m 5'8.5, female, 32 and about 128lbs and I eat about 1500/day.  I exercise a lot though as well and have a pretty low bf%.

I maintained about 10 lbs less than this without trying for years when I wasn't exercising but now I actually get hungry, lol.   As much as it's harder now to not overeat than it was before it's probably better for health to have working hormones.... all that to say - even if you can maintain lower calories it doesn't mean that you should.

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I concur with the others that 1200 calories are too low, over the long run. But calorie restriction is beneficial for controlling T2D, notably when very low-fat, so for a limited period, it may be beneficial. But since you are T2D, I'd definitely consult with a physician who is versed in such treatment, to avoid making matters worse. You didn't say what your current weight is and it matters.

For what it's worth, I am 6'1" (186cm) and about 145 lbs (65 kg or so) and have averaged about 1800 calories per day over the last year, according to Chronometer. I do a 3-mile hill hike/run on most days and average a little over 85% muscle mass. 

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