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Is intermittent CR as effective as long-term CR?


Tom E
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Is it possible to get some of the benefits of CR without doing it long-term? For example, let's say a person periodically restricts calories by 25% for one month followed by consuming enough calories for maintenance for 3 months, then repeats. Would this be similar to the fasting mimicking diet, which cuts calories by about 50% (according to specific macro nutrient ratios) for one week, couple of times a year?   

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I'm skeptical about the FMD, and much more skeptical about significant benefits for the diet you suggest.  What is much more likely to beneficial is alternate day fasting.

IMO, the more rigorously you restrict calories (while maintaining adequate nutrition) the more you're likely to benefit from your diet.

  --  Saul

 

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2 hours ago, Tom E said:

Is it possible to get some of the benefits of CR without doing it long-term? For example, let's say a person periodically restricts calories by 25% for one month followed by consuming enough calories for maintenance for 3 months, then repeats. Would this be similar to the fasting mimicking diet, which cuts calories by about 50% (according to specific macro nutrient ratios) for one week, couple of times a year?   

Luigi Fontana in this podcast suggest that FMD is less effective for those who eat pescatarian diets, exercise and maintain healthy BMI. SEE MY POST IN “IS DAVID SINCLAIR A HYPSTER” 

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I recall some mice or rat study were they alternating between periods of CR and normal caloric intake and the effect on lifespan was pretty significant but I think they were changing them every few months so in human terms it would be like few years for each phase. Naturally the amount and diversity of studies in support of such diet is much smaller than for lifelong CR and so probability that it's going to work in humans

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It might be hard to answer your question from a strict scientific perspective, but my best guess is that one would still experience a number of health benefits from intermittent periods of low energy intake. This probably mimics how our ancestors lived for millions of years. What one does outside of your proposed eating pattern matters though (and perhaps more so than just scheduled periods of reduced food intake). For example, continuing to eat a broad variety of plants (and getting most of your calories from unrefined whole plant foods) is key, along with adequate exercise, sleep, stress reduction, sunshine, and so forth. 
 

My only caution with the reduction you are suggesting is that it could lead to a bit more yo-yo dieting than is preferable. Then again, in the context of how most people on this website engage with food, it might not have a negative impact (I.e. for those eating the Standard American Diet, yo-yo-ing is linked with negative health outcomes but that might not matter for those eating healthy). 

There is also something to be said for the idea that if this is something you can stick with, than it may be beneficial for you. 

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