Index ScientificPsychic.com - Expand your mind, improve your body, have fun

The CR Diet
Tools and Resources for the Calorie Restriction Diet

The CR Diet
The basic idea of the Calorie Restriction (CR) Diet is to reduce the amount of food consumed while maintaining adequate levels of essential nutrients. The CR Diet is the only medical intervention that has been shown to extend the lifespan of many species of experimental animals. Calorie Restriction appears to slow down the aging process and decreases the incidence of diseases such as cancer. The benefits of Calorie Restriction seem to apply to humans also, and there are many practitioners of CR worldwide.

  

How do you start a CRON diet?
Although Caloric Restriction with Optimum Nutrition (CRON) has been shown to extend the maximum life span of many species, the diet has to be started cautiously. People who start calorie restriction with great zeal often worsen their health instead of increasing their longevity. A high degree of calorie restriction without adequate monitoring of nutrition can result in nutritional deficiencies, loss of bone mass or osteoporosis. Here are some general recommendations about how to start a Calorie Restriction diet:

  1. Read Dr. Roy Walford's book Beyond the 120-year diet - How to double your vital years. This book describes the scientific principles of the CRON diet, including how to select nutrient-dense, low calorie foods.
  2. Schedule a medical exam. Get some lab tests to establish a medical baseline including lipid panel, CBC, blood pressure, bone density, etc.
  3. Join the Calorie Restriction Society. This will give you access to support from many members who can answer your specific questions.
  4. Start using nutrition software to analyze your food so that you can learn to optimize what you eat. You don't have to start a diet, but you have to start measuring and weighing what you eat. By tracking your nutrition you will learn how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis, and you will identify any nutritional deficiencies.
  5. Concentrate on Optimum Nutrition. Try to devise daily menus that meet 100% of the RDA of all vitamins and minerals. Get your nutrition from foods rather than supplements.
  6. Exercise 30 minutes per day with emphasis on strength-building exercises, but don't overdo it to avoid getting injured.
  7. Use the Calorie Restriction Calculator to determine the number of calories required to achieve 5% Calorie Restriction. Start with a 5% CR diet, but make sure that you still achieve Optimum Nutrition.
  8. Once you are familiar with measuring your food and optimum nutrition, you can gradually reduce your calories, but you should probably not go below 16% CR.

Risks of CR
The amount of food in rodent experiments is usually restricted by 30% or 40% starting shortly after weaning. At maturity, animals restricted by 40% weigh only half as much as the unrestricted controls, but they live approximately 30% longer. Several studies have determined that sudden implementation of severe calorie restriction shortens life instead of extending it. Humans usually start CR in adulthood after achieving a normal height. Humans who practice CR are usually thin because CR does not reduce the size of the bones or the height. Low calorie diets, unless properly implemented, may not contain sufficient nutrients to maintain a healthy body. Some human practitioners of CR have reported decreased bone density and osteoporosis.

Calorie Restriction should not be confused with anorexia nervosa which is a psychological eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight. A few CR practitioners allow their Body Mass Index (BMI) to decrease into the range typical for anorexia, but they monitor their nutrition carefully. Most people practicing CR have a Body Mass Index in the lower half of the normal range (18.5 to 24.9). White blood cell levels usually decrease during CR, and medical professionals unfamiliar with the effects of CR may assume that this is a pathological condition. It should be obvious that extreme CR without adequate safeguards can result in malnutrition or death by starvation.

Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition (CRON)
Calorie Restriction involves only the reduction of calories. Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition (CRON) requires selecting low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that contain 100% of the Required Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Since the number of calories depends on the activity level, active persons need to consume more calories than sedentary persons. The implementation of a CRON diet requires accurately measuring and weighing foods, and using nutrition software to assure that the diet contains 100% of all nutrients. Learn how to count calories.

Books about Calorie Restriction

Nutrition Software
There is a variety of software for tracking nutrition. Some programs reside in your own computer and offer privacy but little portability, whereas other programs are available online and make the data available at home, in the office, or while traveling. What you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the features that you find most useful.

Calorie Restriction Calculator
Whereas nutrition software is used to determine the proportions and kinds of foods needed to achieve 100% of all nutrients for a specific caloric intake, the Calorie Restriction Calculator is used to estimate the number of calories required to achieve a specific level of Calorie Restriction. The CR Calculator calculates the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) for a person identical to you but with a Body Mass Index in the middle of the normal range. Since there are no experimental controls for human CR, the CR Calculator provides an objective method for estimating a reference value to determine the percentage of Caloric Restriction.

Other diet calculators and web pages:

  1. Body Fat Calculator - Calculates percent body fat using the Navy circumference method.
  2. Macronutrient Calculator - Helps to calculate the weights and percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, including fiber, for a diet.
  3. How to Count Calories - Explains how to measure food and how to use nutrition labels to count calories.
  4. USDA National Nutrient Database - Search the USDA database to get nutrition information about food items.

CR Community
These are organizations and online groups that discuss Calorie Restriction.

CR Supplies
Warren Taylor's store - Features artificial sweeteners (sucralose, neotame), bulking agents/fiber (guar gum, konjac powder, baker's micronized cellulose), flavoring oils, defatted cocoa. The fiber products are used to provide satiety for low calorie diets and diminish hunger.

CR Blogs and Web Sites

Learn more about Calorie Restriction


© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora