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Help a newbie

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Guest Popinjay

Hello everybody,

 

I was hoping some of you out there could help me. I am new at trying this, and I am not even sure it can be applied to me.

 

I guess I should start with some vitals.

 

I am about 5'5, weigh about 282 pounds, and am 40 years old. Relatively sedentary.

 

I have been dieting by cutting calories, and have gone down to 282 from about 300 lbs.

 

While looking up information on calories, I came across the information on prolonging life with calorie restriction. So here are my questions...

 

1. Can CR help obese people, or is the damage done? And does it start its effects right away (e.g. while you are losing weight), or only once you become thin?

2. Can CR help somebody like me who is starting this at age 48, and how probably won't reach his target weight for about 2 years--so 42? Does it have nearly as much benefit?

3. How can I figure out how many calories I should be eating? I hear 30% restriction sometimes. Sometimes I hear 25%. But even more difficult than knowing how much to restrict is knowing the proper number to start from. When I look up the proper calories from my height it gives me a fairly large range. If I assumed I was at the top of that range and cut 30% it might not be nearly enough. If I assumed I was at the bottom and cut 30% I might really get sick. Most of the frame calculators say I have a large frame type (wrist circ about 7 inches).

4. I also saw that suddenly doing CR can lower life expectancy---does that apply to somebody who is dieting, or only somebody who is at their optimum weight? I am trying to eat from 1200-1500 calories a day on this diet, though sometimes I hit 1600 and sometimes I do less. It is hard to tell perfectly because originally I wasn't counting veggies (I counted them as a "free food") and now I count them into that total. My diet feels like it is going well---I would hate to slow down, but if it will make it impossible to do CR, or be very dangerous I would want to know that.

5. It seems like the margin for error on calories is pretty small---a few hundred calories. How do you take into account things like variations in fruit sizes, sugar content by time of year grown, and differences in the amount of energy used for digestion depending on if the food is cooked or not?

6. Is there a certain percentage of body fat that tells you if you are doing CR correctly as opposed to just figuring out the calories? I am also concerned about muscle variation and activity variation. I want to make sure I am cutting the optimum number of calories, but don't know how to make sure of it.

 

Sheesh, I just realized I have dumped a ton of questions on you guys. I have been looking at information on this for about a week, but just can't find satisfactory answers to some of these questions, and even if I had guesses I would want to know from veteran CR dieters if I am doing it correctly and if it can have benefits given my particular case.

 

I know it will take time to answer these, so if anybody takes long enough to do so, I'd like to thank you in advance. I know this is a lot...

 

 

Popinjay

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>> My responses inline.

Hello everybody,

 

I was hoping some of you out there could help me. I am new at trying this, and I am not even sure it can be applied to me.

 

I guess I should start with some vitals.

 

I am about 5'5, weigh about 282 pounds, and am 40 years old. Relatively sedentary.

 

I have been dieting by cutting calories, and have gone down to 282 from about 300 lbs.

 

While looking up information on calories, I came across the information on prolonging life with calorie restriction. So here are my questions...

 

1. Can CR help obese people, or is the damage done?

>>You can reverse some of the damage like cardio blockage, but whatever aging damage has been done is already done. It will help obese people if they have the willpower to stick with the plan.

And does it start its effects right away (e.g. while you are losing weight), or only once you become thin?

>>Some of its effects start right away, but most start after about 8 weeks. No, you don't have to be thin to get benefits from CR. You just have to be a bit below your natural weight if you ate appropriately for your frame size.

2. Can CR help somebody like me who is starting this at age 48, and how probably won't reach his target weight for about 2 years--so 42?

>>Yes. I started at 43 and it worked wonders for me, so I expect that at 48 you won't have any problem if you try. When you try CR it must be implemented gradually. I suggest cutting your calories 5% per month until you hit your target calories.

Does it have nearly as much benefit?

>>It seems to have lots of benefit regardless of the age at which you start, as long as your age is below around 85 years. When you eat healthier you will live in good health.

3. How can I figure out how many calories I should be eating? I hear 30% restriction sometimes. Sometimes I hear 25%. But even more difficult than knowing how much to restrict is knowing the proper number to start from. When I look up the proper calories from my height it gives me a fairly large range. If I assumed I was at the top of that range and cut 30% it might not be nearly enough. If I assumed I was at the bottom and cut 30% I might really get sick. Most of the frame calculators say I have a large frame type (wrist circ about 7 inches).

>>I suggest you go to http://www.scientifi...alth/cron1.html and look at the 22 BMI calorie level and set that as an initial calorie target to gradually get to. Later on you may want to try for 20 or 18.5 as a BMI target, but it may not be possible for you. Everyone is a little different.

4. I also saw that suddenly doing CR can lower life expectancy---does that apply to somebody who is dieting, or only somebody who is at their optimum weight? I am trying to eat from 1200-1500 calories a day on this diet, though sometimes I hit 1600 and sometimes I do less. It is hard to tell perfectly because originally I wasn't counting veggies (I counted them as a "free food") and now I count them into that total. My diet feels like it is going well---I would hate to slow down, but if it will make it impossible to do CR, or be very dangerous I would want to know that.

>>Gradually is best. Eat lots and lots of vegetables and probably want to skip the starchy ones at first for best normalization of your health.

5. It seems like the margin for error on calories is pretty small---a few hundred calories. How do you take into account things like variations in fruit sizes, sugar content by time of year grown, and differences in the amount of energy used for digestion depending on if the food is cooked or not?

>>CRON-O-Meter has cooked/raw foods. Generally buy a scale and measure everything you eat to the gram. I mean everything including water. If you don't know what you're eating, then you don't know anything really.

6. Is there a certain percentage of body fat that tells you if you are doing CR correctly as opposed to just figuring out the calories? I am also concerned about muscle variation and activity variation. I want to make sure I am cutting the optimum number of calories, but don't know how to make sure of it.

>>Single digit body fat is pretty normal for men doing CR after a couple of years. Usually we increase calories after we hit BMI around 18.5 just to keep it in the normal range.

 

Sheesh, I just realized I have dumped a ton of questions on you guys. I have been looking at information on this for about a week, but just can't find satisfactory answers to some of these questions, and even if I had guesses I would want to know from veteran CR dieters if I am doing it correctly and if it can have benefits given my particular case.

 

I know it will take time to answer these, so if anybody takes long enough to do so, I'd like to thank you in advance. I know this is a lot...

 

 

Popinjay

 

>>Popinjay,

1) Get medical tests done as a baseline so that you know where you started from. That way when you are doing CR, you will know for sure that you're doing CR.

2) Record your diet before you make any modifications. You can't figure out where you are going if you don't know where you are right now.

3) Record your diet even when you screw up and eat badly. Don't lie to yourself.

 

4) Do some exercise even if you only start out with walking and taking the stairs. Never take an elevator. Do everything you can do without mechanical assistance. Walk to the store for shopping. Eventually when you get below 200, you may even want to start running.

 

You really need to read some books on this. Here are 3 favorites:

ISBN-10: 0061370983 The CR Way: Using the Secrets of Calorie Restriction for a Longer, Healthier Life

http://www.amazon.com/CR-Way-Secrets-Restriction-Healthier/dp/B003GAN3LY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322865026&sr=8-1

 

ISBN-10: 1568581572

ISBN-13: 978-1568581576 Beyond the 120 Year Diet : How to Double Your Vital Years

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-120-Year-Diet-Double/dp/1568581572/ref=pd_sim_b_3

 

ISBN-10: 1568583095 The Longevity Diet: Discover Calorie Restriction-the Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality

http://www.amazon.com/Longevity-Diet-Discover-Restriction-Maintain/dp/B003STCPOE/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

 

Best of luck to you.

Edited by keithsct

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Guest Popinjay

Thank you to taking the time and effort required to give me such detailed answers. Lots of times helping people out online is thankless, and I want to at least let you know how much I appreciate it.

 

I did go to that CR calculator page before, but I wasn't sure how accurate it would be since it didn't seem to take into account frame size.

 

I am also not sure if my diet to lose weight is considered the harmful kind of "too fast" calorie restriction or not. Most of what I read says to shoot for losing about 2 lbs a week, which is what I have been doing. Maybe I have been pressing a little bit harder than that. Once I feel a bit better I plan to add in some exercise. I have already noticed that my knees do not hurt as much when I walk across campus, and that I get less winded. I really didn't think that 20 pounds would make that much of a difference since I probably carry around that much weight in books/materials anyway.

 

Anyway, thank you again for taking the significant amount of time I know it must have taken to answer those questions. I will most likely order one of those books off of amazon this week.

 

Popinjay

 

 

>> My responses inline.

Hello everybody,

 

I was hoping some of you out there could help me. I am new at trying this, and I am not even sure it can be applied to me.

 

I guess I should start with some vitals.

 

I am about 5'5, weigh about 282 pounds, and am 40 years old. Relatively sedentary.

 

I have been dieting by cutting calories, and have gone down to 282 from about 300 lbs.

 

While looking up information on calories, I came across the information on prolonging life with calorie restriction. So here are my questions...

 

1. Can CR help obese people, or is the damage done?

>>You can reverse some of the damage like cardio blockage, but whatever aging damage has been done is already done. It will help obese people if they have the willpower to stick with the plan.

And does it start its effects right away (e.g. while you are losing weight), or only once you become thin?

>>Some of its effects start right away, but most start after about 8 weeks. No, you don't have to be thin to get benefits from CR. You just have to be a bit below your natural weight if you ate appropriately for your frame size.

2. Can CR help somebody like me who is starting this at age 48, and how probably won't reach his target weight for about 2 years--so 42?

>>Yes. I started at 43 and it worked wonders for me, so I expect that at 48 you won't have any problem if you try. When you try CR it must be implemented gradually. I suggest cutting your calories 5% per month until you hit your target calories.

Does it have nearly as much benefit?

>>It seems to have lots of benefit regardless of the age at which you start, as long as your age is below around 85 years. When you eat healthier you will live in good health.

3. How can I figure out how many calories I should be eating? I hear 30% restriction sometimes. Sometimes I hear 25%. But even more difficult than knowing how much to restrict is knowing the proper number to start from. When I look up the proper calories from my height it gives me a fairly large range. If I assumed I was at the top of that range and cut 30% it might not be nearly enough. If I assumed I was at the bottom and cut 30% I might really get sick. Most of the frame calculators say I have a large frame type (wrist circ about 7 inches).

>>I suggest you go to http://www.scientifi...alth/cron1.html and look at the 22 BMI calorie level and set that as an initial calorie target to gradually get to. Later on you may want to try for 20 or 18.5 as a BMI target, but it may not be possible for you. Everyone is a little different.

4. I also saw that suddenly doing CR can lower life expectancy---does that apply to somebody who is dieting, or only somebody who is at their optimum weight? I am trying to eat from 1200-1500 calories a day on this diet, though sometimes I hit 1600 and sometimes I do less. It is hard to tell perfectly because originally I wasn't counting veggies (I counted them as a "free food") and now I count them into that total. My diet feels like it is going well---I would hate to slow down, but if it will make it impossible to do CR, or be very dangerous I would want to know that.

>>Gradually is best. Eat lots and lots of vegetables and probably want to skip the starchy ones at first for best normalization of your health.

5. It seems like the margin for error on calories is pretty small---a few hundred calories. How do you take into account things like variations in fruit sizes, sugar content by time of year grown, and differences in the amount of energy used for digestion depending on if the food is cooked or not?

>>CRON-O-Meter has cooked/raw foods. Generally buy a scale and measure everything you eat to the gram. I mean everything including water. If you don't know what you're eating, then you don't know anything really.

6. Is there a certain percentage of body fat that tells you if you are doing CR correctly as opposed to just figuring out the calories? I am also concerned about muscle variation and activity variation. I want to make sure I am cutting the optimum number of calories, but don't know how to make sure of it.

>>Single digit body fat is pretty normal for men doing CR after a couple of years. Usually we increase calories after we hit BMI around 18.5 just to keep it in the normal range.

 

Sheesh, I just realized I have dumped a ton of questions on you guys. I have been looking at information on this for about a week, but just can't find satisfactory answers to some of these questions, and even if I had guesses I would want to know from veteran CR dieters if I am doing it correctly and if it can have benefits given my particular case.

 

I know it will take time to answer these, so if anybody takes long enough to do so, I'd like to thank you in advance. I know this is a lot...

 

 

Popinjay

 

>>Popinjay,

1) Get medical tests done as a baseline so that you know where you started from. That way when you are doing CR, you will know for sure that you're doing CR.

2) Record your diet before you make any modifications. You can't figure out where you are going if you don't know where you are right now.

3) Record your diet even when you screw up and eat badly. Don't lie to yourself.

 

4) Do some exercise even if you only start out with walking and taking the stairs. Never take an elevator. Do everything you can do without mechanical assistance. Walk to the store for shopping. Eventually when you get below 200, you may even want to start running.

 

You really need to read some books on this. Here are 3 favorites:

ISBN-10: 0061370983 The CR Way: Using the Secrets of Calorie Restriction for a Longer, Healthier Life

http://www.amazon.com/CR-Way-Secrets-Restriction-Healthier/dp/B003GAN3LY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322865026&sr=8-1

 

ISBN-10: 1568581572

ISBN-13: 978-1568581576 Beyond the 120 Year Diet : How to Double Your Vital Years

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-120-Year-Diet-Double/dp/1568581572/ref=pd_sim_b_3

 

ISBN-10: 1568583095 The Longevity Diet: Discover Calorie Restriction-the Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality

http://www.amazon.com/Longevity-Diet-Discover-Restriction-Maintain/dp/B003STCPOE/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

 

Best of luck to you.

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Guest bob cavanaugh

Yep...too many questions. You need to read a good CR book. Take a look at our Resources section under CR Guide and check out recommended reading. Here's a link: http://www.crsociety.org/resources/cr_guide

 

No...you are not too old or too fat. Just go slow on weight loss....about a pound a week is health. More than that is unhealthy. Took you years and years to get as plump as you are, so don't rush the reversal. Your daily calorie intake should facilitate weight loss of about a pound a week....you'll have to experiment with this for a few weeks to get it right... until you reach your target weight. Make sure you are eating all your essential nutrients in wholesome foods rather than from a pill.

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