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Five years of Calorie Restriction Diet

It has been a little over five years since I adopted a Calorie Restriction (CR) diet. I am always aiming to make it a CRON diet, i.e., CR plus Optimum Nutrition, but it is difficult to know what is Optimum Nutrition because scientists continue to argue about the ideal level of nutrients. Vitamin D, for example, has been in the news as a significant suppressor of cancer, but like any complex problem, it is not easy to establish the cause and effect, and it is much more difficult to quantify it. Just in case, I take 1000 IU of Vitamin D as a dietary supplement.

Many members of the Calorie Restriction Society argue that the optimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for a CR practitioner is between 18.5 and 21. Although I could cut down my calories to go down to a BMI of 21, I have decided that as long as I have good musculature, the best BMI for me is just below 23. At this BMI, my percent of body fat is 13 percent which keeps me in the "athlete" category, according to the American Council on Exercise. I weigh myself almost daily. If my average weight goes up by half a pound, I decrease what I eat. If my weight drops by one pound, I increase my food.

What I eat now is very different from what I ate before the CR way of life. Before, I would always have a sweet dessert, I baked pastries such as "Napoleon" (flaky puff pastry with butter cream), I did not read labels, and in ignorance, I ate hydrogenated fats. Today, I read labels, I eat large salads, and my dessert consists of fruits, nuts, or dark chocolate. I am not a vegetarian; I eat everything, but in moderation.

I recently watched a TV show which showed a researcher who studied more than 500 people over 90 years old. The researcher said that there was not a single vegetarian among them. He also pointed out that most of these old people were slightly overweight, but active. He concluded that genetics was the most important contributing factor to a long life. Like most research, this finding is likely to be contradicted by some future research project. I believe that a balanced diet, exercise, and weight management all contribute to longevity.
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