Calorie restriction diets

WARNING! WARNING! Not technology related!!




okay. so for those of you still tuned in...

I just read this MSNBC story on calorie restriction diets and thought it was worth blogging. I've had so many people come up to me over the last 12 months and ask me how I dropped so much weight... well here's my dirty little secret.

Calorie Restriction (or “CR” as it's known to those of us who are down with the lingo) is about surviving on an ultra-low daily caloric intake and is getting more and more positive press these days. I started re-training my eating habits around CR about 2 years ago and have dropped about 23 kg (about 50 pounds) in that time (and it's still dropping). I've gone from about 110 kg (240 pounds) to 87 kg (190). The guy they quote at the beginning of this article lives on a diet of about 1800 calories a day. I'm currently on about 700 - 1000 calories a day. I believe the average American male (and Aussies wouldn't be much different) consumes about 3000 - 4000 calories a day. That's certainly what I was doing a couple of years ago.

Why go to the trouble? Well, apart from losing weight, there is mounting evidence that a reduced calorie diet has all sorts of positive health effects. The article mentions benefits such as slowing metabolism (which in turns supposedly slows oxidation and therefore one of the causes of aging), lower blood pressure, heart rate, lower stress, and extended life span. The negative side effects? Well not the ones you'd expect. I'm honestly not usually hungry. I still eat plenty - I just eat different things to what I ate before. I got quite hardcore for a while about tracking everything I put into my mouth - how many calories it had, how much fat, etc. I whacked it all into a spreadsheet which I kept on my PDA (see - I got a technology angle in there!). It became apparent pretty quickly which foods were high in calories and I just found ways to substitute those for other, lower calorie foods.

The other negative side effects they mention in this article (loss of libido, feeling cold)... well let's just say I haven't experienced those yet!

Lots of good info at the CR Society website.