I was recently alerted to the video, “Eat, Fast, & Live Longer” through a newsletter I receive from VegSource. The concept of elongating lifespan through calorie restriction or intermittent fasting is fascinating.
“The CRON-diet (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition) is a nutrient-rich, very low calorie diet developed by Roy Walford, Lisa Walford, and Brian M. Delaney. The CRON-diet involves calorie restriction in the hope that the practice will improve health and retard aging, while still attempting to provide the recommended daily amounts of various nutrients. Other names include CR-diet, Longevity diet, and Anti-Aging Plan. Several people, including the Walfords and Delaney, founded the CR Society International to promote the CRON-diet.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water and sometimes low-calorie drinks such as black coffee) and non-fasting.
There is evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting may have beneficial effects on the health and longevity of animals—including humans—that are similar to the effects of caloric restriction (CR). There is currently no consensus as to the degree to which this is simply due to fasting or due to an (often) concomitant overall decrease in calories, but recent studies have shown support for the former. Alternate-day calorie restriction may prolong life span. Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction are forms of dietary restriction (DR), which is sometimes referred to as dietary energy restriction (DER).
Scientific study of intermittent fasting in rats (and anecdotally in humans) was carried out at least as early as 1943.
A specific form of intermittent fasting is alternate day fasting (ADF), also referred to as every other day fasting (EOD), or every other day feeding (EODF), a 48-hour routine typically composed of a 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour non-fasting period.” – Wikipedia
While this is not a short video (clocking-in at around 1 hour), it is a very intriguing watch.
Have any of you tried intermittent fasting? Any fasting experience?
17 responses to “CALORIE RESTRICTION”
Interesting. Thank you for sharing this.
I embarked on the 5-2 eating plan in March after watching the documentary. So inspirational. I’ve never dieted before but am convinced I need to do this for my health. It really does work. I like to think of it as mindful eating. Have been including posts on my experience in my blog.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I will have to check out your blog.
I question the benefits of fasting; it doesn’t seem much different then what used to be called crash dieting. Typically it’s followed by binging…I’m not sure this type of yo-yo cycle is really all it’s cracked up to be….
It would definitely take a lot of self control.
Yeah, I’ve tried it. It works OK for awhile, you realize your hunger signals.. but then after awhile I felt like when I ate it had to be as much as I could before time ran out, which led to bad decisions.. ect.. I forgot when to stop eating because I kind of squelched my hunger pangs (results can and will vary though).
I could definitely see that happening…people running out to eat junk on the “eat normal” days…possibly even worse than they were eating before.
I have extensive experience losing weight on an ad lib WFPN type diet. I lost 55 pounds over 30 weeks without nutritional deficiency verified by tests. Overall, I lost 1% of my body weight per week ad lib, the first 20 weeks. But as I approached a BMI of 23 my body got so efficient at processing calories I could not stay on track without incorporating alternate day fasting into my regimen. At BMI 21, I’ve executed a soft landing within the optimal range of 22 – 19, again without deficiency verified by testing.
Any experienced dieting reader knows this was not a walk in the park. It took focus and determination. But I accomplished a reduction of ⅓ of my body weight over six months that most successful dieters take a year to accomplish and the overwhelming majority never accomplish at all. And today, physically I’m hell on wheels.
For my next challenge I’m investigating optimizing body composition.
Wow, thank you for sharing your experiences, those who did! I am really motivated to do this. I have done IF in the past daily, usually a feeding window of 10am-6pm and fasting the rest of the day. But it can be really difficult depending on my stress level, schedule, etc. I could see myself having an easier time doing maybe 2 days eating normal (NOT binging on junk, but a nutritarian diet style) then one day of just breakfast then fast all day. So 2 days eating, 1 day fast. I would use that fasting day as a rest day from exercise as well. As I’m getting older (I’m 48) its getting much more difficult to get my body fat down, even eating healthier than I have in years and exercising 4-5 days/week. Guess its, well, aging. I would REALLY like to reverse that! Thanks again for sharing.
I hear you and empathize completely. On the theory that it is better to receive a reality check than suffer mistakes I offer these insights from my experience:
I find fault with the documentary in that, while it assembles excellent support for a CR diet and alternate day fasting, it then ignores the findings and proposes a diet without any scientific support – 5/2 with several hundred calories consumed on “fasting days”. That is NOT fasting which is NO calories. And 5/2 is NOT an alternate day scenario. In effect the host has watered down scientific findings making them ineffectual. He does so solely by claiming he could not follow a strict regimen without even trying (or he may find selling the findings to his audience challenging). What a wimp. I suggest you listen to the scientific findings in the film, follow them and ignore the host wimp.
Your idea of relegating your fasting days to your days off is excellent. Fasting experts recommend you keep mental and physical demands on fasting days to a minimum to allow your whole being to focus on burning fat without distraction . I like leisurely walking and skimming trashy novels.
Priorities rule. If you fully appreciate you are trying to avoid premature death then answering the question, what is more important – my job or my life? is obvious. So you’ll arrange your job around alternate day fasting to a 3 or 4 day work week. Being 48 years old you should be able to find one or two schoolmates who are already DEAD, an excellent motivator.
Thanks for clarifying those points. I was surprised when at the end he seemed to “sneak” in that he eats 600 calories on “fasting days.” I was like, “where was that in the scientific discussion?” He apparently still gets good results that way it seems. But I can see NOT eating on the fasting day is probably truly the most effective way to do this.
I can’t, unfortunately, not work on fasting days. But I could for sure relax as much as possible at all other times of the day. Also, yes, eating out of control on non-fasting days seems completely counter productive to the health improving intentions of IF, but I’ve heard it been said that the fasting days make binging on crap less appetizing.
I think you are right, its watered down to make an easier “sell.” I am a holistic healthcare practitioner, 18 years in private practice, and I have to say that client non-compliance with the guidance given that they need to follow to heal their health issues is totally frustrating. People will jump from practitioner to practitioner, to find one who will sell them overpriced supplements and not push diet changes, because hardly anyone has the maturity and discipline to do it.
I see people all the time, as well as family and friends, decline into infirmity because they just do not want to take responsibility for their health. As Lorraine Day, M.D., said in one of her dvds I saw MANY years ago (she healed herself from breast cancer on a raw food diet and a very strong Christian faith and prayer-which I share), when mentioning that she hears from people about changing their diet and detoxing, “I don’t like how the food tastes,” she said, “What does THAT have to do with anything?!?” That made me laugh out loud. Truly. What does “not liking it” in terms of doing what needs to be done to be healthy have anything to do anything?
Thanks again for sharing! Looking down the barrel of the “aging gun” seems to have a highly effective motivational impact on me, thank God! 🙂
Frustration with those who think they can buy or pill pop their way to good health must be very painful. So vetting your patients to find the motivated ones must be very important for your sanity. Setting a good example is great for you and your patients. However you can lead a horse to water but ….
There is lots of good science for average folks like us to target an OPTIMAL BMI range of 22 to 19. As I’ve said, alternate day fasting can play a part in the effort to get there. When you arrive within this range if you’re game to tackle the next health and longevity challenge – body composition – I can offer some insights.
Excellent, thank you very much!
I do a 24 hour fast twice a week (no food, only water and green tea). It was hard at first, but when I got used to it, it was a breeze. I was worried fasting would impair my performance or productivity at work but it didn’t – felt like any other day, just a little bit hungrier. On the day before I fast, I have my last meal, usually packed with protein, at 7pm. My next meal would be dinner the following day at 7pm. I haven’t lost weight (didn’t need to), but my belly has gotten smaller, which is a good sign. I also tend to drink more (water, tea, not alcohol!) when I am fasting to compensate. 🙂
I am curious to know if your body composition has changed? I know you haven’t lost weight, but has your body fat percentage decreased?
Thats a great question. I am going to do the same thing. Two days a week, NO food. I’m excited more for the health benefits than even the weight loss!
Body fat % has decreased slightly and my waist has gotten trimmer – though I can’t attribute 100% to IF, as I also made some other changes to my lifestyle along the way – I became pescetarian (from vegetarian) to increase my protein intake, and I go to the gym 3-4 days a week (up from 0-1). IF was just a part of my lifestyle overhaul.