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New Member Seeks Advice

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Greetings! I'm a new member and looking forward to joining a group to exchange information and encouragement. Through The Longevity Diet, a wonderful book, I learned about this website. Here is a little information about me with a few questions at the end. I appreciate any comments, suggestions and advice. Thank you.

 

In May 1989, after reading The 120 Year Diet and Maximum Life Span and motivated by the upcoming birth of my daughter, I started CR at the age of 43. Dr. Walford's admonition to lose weight over 4 to 6 years made a deep impression and for the next six years I lost 3 to 4 pounds a year, dropping from 170 to 150. Since I'm 6'2" I thought 150 pounds was sufficient and stayed at that weight for approximately 5 years.

 

Further improvements to my diet after reading The Anti-Aging Plan by father-daughter Walford caused me to lose an additional four pounds and then to stay at 146 pounds until 2010. In 2010 I spent two weeks at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami and learned more about cooking, eating and disease prevention which motivated me to lose an additional six pounds. Currently I weigh 140 pounds and my BMI is 18. Based upon my weight throughout my 20's and 30's my original set point was 175 pounds so I am 20% below my set point.

 

Questions: If I make another incremental improvement to my eating it will cause me to lose a few more pounds and drop below an 18 BMI. Is it safe to be below 18, taking into account that I will be 67 years old in a few months? Are there any online groups that function like Alcoholics Anonymous, members you can call or email when you are facing temptation? I remember reading a few years back that Mark Mattson was following-up on preliminary studies that periodic fasting with moderate CR yielded better results than more intense CR; anything further on that theory? Thank you to all who respond!

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While it can be safe to be < 18 BMI, I would caution against losing too much muscle mass at your age. After all, it's harder and harder to get it back as you get older because the stem cells stop working vigorously to rebuild muscle tissue. 20 or 30 years down the road you may wish that you hadn't dropped quite so much muscle tissue (I'm pretty sure most of your fat is long gone :) As for the periodic fasting, the longevity and health benefits are similar to a calorie equivalent CR lifestyle. There may be some benefits in terms of lower overall blood sugar with IF.

 

The only other thing I'll mention is that I've seen many more health problems being discussed in people who have gone down in BMI to 17,16,15 etc. on this list. The silent majority seem to keep their BMI in the low end of normal range (18.5 - 22 or so) and seem to report fewer problems. More CR might be better for the lab rats, but in the real world for humans, I think a little moderation is perhaps suggested.

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Keith, thank you for your insight and information. I think you are absolutely right and will follow your suggestion. Your observations about muscle mass was very encouraging because I had been slacking off on weight training and need to get going again. Also I have been reading your responses to other posts and have learned a lot. So thanks for those too. Aloha!...........Eben

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

While it can be safe to be < 18 BMI, I would caution against losing too much muscle mass at your age. After all, it's harder and harder to get it back as you get older because the stem cells stop working vigorously to rebuild muscle tissue. 20 or 30 years down the road you may wish that you hadn't dropped quite so much muscle tissue (I'm pretty sure most of your fat is long gone :) As for the periodic fasting, the longevity and health benefits are similar to a calorie equivalent CR lifestyle. There may be some benefits in terms of lower overall blood sugar with IF.

 

The only other thing I'll mention is that I've seen many more health problems being discussed in people who have gone down in BMI to 17,16,15 etc. on this list. The silent majority seem to keep their BMI in the low end of normal range (18.5 - 22 or so) and seem to report fewer problems. More CR might be better for the lab rats, but in the real world for humans, I think a little moderation is perhaps suggested.

 

 

Yet Michael R's BMI is 13, and he's "one of the healthiest 35-year-olds on the planet."

 

:huh:

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

Not 13, but somewhere around 15 reportedly?

 

And Michael you're what...42 now?

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Guest Lauraaaa

Hi, I want to ask a similar question. My BMI is 18 and I maintain this on about 2200 calories a day at the moment, if I did calorie restriction I would drop below this, should I carry on eating what I'm eating or should I restrict it? Thanks.

When I restricted to 1000 a day I ended up with a BMI of 12 and I was put in an eating disorder unit for 6 months, but I just feel what I'm eating at the moment is too much.

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Yet Michael R's BMI is 13, and he's "one of the healthiest 35-year-olds on the planet."

 

:huh:

First, my BMI is certainly not 13! But it's significantly below 18.5, yes. I was already slim and small-framed before I got on CR; practice CR, and you lose weight.

 

In any event, your quote contains the key: I am (or hope I am!) "one of the healthiest 35-year-olds on the planet." Keith was pretty clear in saying that his comments were in the context of the original poster's age of 67. I, too, would advise extreme caution in taking up CR at all at that age, advise slower and less weight loss, less severe CR, and more protein than I would in a younger person.

 

Hi, I want to ask a similar question. My BMI is 18 and I maintain this on about 2200 calories a day at the moment, if I did calorie restriction I would drop below this, should I carry on eating what I'm eating or should I restrict it? Thanks.

When I restricted to 1000 a day I ended up with a BMI of 12 and I was put in an eating disorder unit for 6 months, but I just feel what I'm eating at the moment is too much.

First: Lauraaaa, please register with the Forums so that you can't be impersonated and so that people can find your previous comments and questions.

 

Second: do I have it right that when you say that "My BMI is 18 and I maintain this on about 2200 calories a day at the moment," you're saying that's your ad libitum weight: you're eating a reasonably healthy diet, not consciously restricting Calories, and are physically active? If so: while only you can actually decide whether you want to practice CR or not, there can be no blanket rule to say that a person shouldn't do it just based on their AL weight. However, if you decide to practice, you more than others need to have your physician involved, lose weight slowly, do plenty of weight-bearing exercise, and carefully monitor your health and your bloodwork.

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When facing temptation I would recommend Overeaters Anonymous (www.oa.org). The name is a bit of a misnomer -- though it's mainly overeaters who go, the community is for all with eating disorders or disordered eating. Anorexics and chronic dieters included. It's a great program and you can drop in at any point.

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Hi, I want to ask a similar question. My BMI is 18 and I maintain this on about 2200 calories a day at the moment, if I did calorie restriction I would drop below this, should I carry on eating what I'm eating or should I restrict it? Thanks.

When I restricted to 1000 a day I ended up with a BMI of 12 and I was put in an eating disorder unit for 6 months, but I just feel what I'm eating at the moment is too much.

 

I'd consider a diet / lifestyle that leads to a BMI of 18 is fine already, if you're looking to be healthy.

 

As long as you're getting your daily essential nutrients.

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