Leading on from my previous post, I want to give some further example of what I eat as part of my calorie restriction diet.
First of all, I don’t eat 5 lbs of food anymore because I’d rather feel lighter and less full during the day. I also feel that it’s beneficial to induce a bit of hunger before meal times to increase the benefits of the diet.
It has been found that the hormone Ghrelin might be responsible in part for the beneficial effects of calorie restriction. This is the hormone which increases when you feel a little bit of hunger. One of the things I’ve mentioned before is that I like to take a scientific approach to my diet and supplement regimen.
To understand what is involved in a CR diet plan, I highly recommend reading “Beyond The 120 Year Diet” by Dr. Roy Walford. It’s still a book which I recommend to those interested in starting CR, as it goes into the history of CR, the research, and has lots of tips on and recipes. It’s a bit older than some CR books now available, but still a good read. I also recommend checking out my new blog post on how to start a calorie restriction diet.
What To Eat On A Calorie Restriction Diet
A calorie restriction diet can vary from person to person. The focus should be primarily on reducing your calorie intake and be meeting 100% of the nutritional needs for the day.
Since fruits and vegetables offer the most nutrition for the fewest calories, it’s better to focus on these foods first. A calorie restriction diet can be either vegan, vegetarian, or paleo. It really doesn’t matter too much as long as you’re eating a varied and nutritious diet and that you don’t become deficient in important vitamins and minerals.
There isn’t one way to practice a CR diet, you just have to experiment with what works for you and take into consideration the evidence if you’re doing the diet to extend lifespan.
The science of calorie restriction has taught us that sometimes animal experiments don’t always translate well to humans either. We learned this when it was discovered that humans have to reduce protein intake as well as calorie intake to reduce IGF-1 levels This is important for the anti-cancer effect of CR.
Calorie Restriction Diet – How Many Calories a Day?
This entirely depends on what you’re comfortable with: some people are not too worried about appearance and therefore opt for a more severe diet, while others simply reduce calories by 200 Calories a day.
Calorie restriction should never be about starving yourself, the purpose of the diet is to become healthy and increase your longevity.
Most people I know who practice calorie restriction try for a moderate approach and restrict calories by around 15-25%. People find it easier to maintain this level of restriction over the long term.
Reduce calories gradually
For for the first 2-3 months, you should only restrict calorie intake by about 5-10% and then restrict by another 5 – 10%.
You don’t want to shock your body into severe restriction and do more harm than good. CR in animals works best when CR is imposed gradually, not suddenly.
If you find yourself losing weight too quickly, increase your calorie intake slightly or decrease the amount of exercise that you’re doing.
What To Eat On A Calorie Restriction Diet?
Some people will eat the same thing every single day, and some people will vary there diet.
When I was younger I was perfectly happy to just eat the same food every day, but later on, I started to add some variety to my diet. But I would advise for you to include some staple foods in your diet.
What I’ve found is that it’s best to focus on meeting most of your nutritional targets earlier on in the day. Later in the day, if you want to snack or something, you can, and not have to worry too much about the nutrient density.
A calorie restriction diet is very simple when it comes down to it. Keep your calorie intake low and keep the nutritional content of the diet high.
Eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Aim to have a variety of colors in your diet, as these can have different health benefits. Once you get used to the diet, it’s pretty easy from there. It does require a little planning at first, but then after a while, it’s autopilot for most of us.
Keep it fun!
Make sure that you’re always experimenting on the diet. Try out new kinds of recipes and foods. If you keep the diet interesting and fun, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Don’t just eat bland foods, but uses spices, herbs, sauces, and other ingredients.
Example of what I ate today on CR
When the oatmeal has almost been cooked, I throw in the fruit and stir and then eat. I typically have 10-20 grams of dark chocolate placed on top of the oatmeal at the end. It tastes delicious!
Lunch (green smoothie):
Adding some fat to the smoothie is good to help absorb the nutrients. Try adding walnuts, avocado, or whatever you prefer. Green smoothies are great for times when you’re in a rush. In the summer I’ll usually have a smoothie every day. I’ll make it and pop it in the freezer for a bit until it’s nice and cold and then drink slowly.
Tip: Adding blueberries to the green smoothie will slow the absorption of sugar which will help prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar. This is great for those of you who are at risk of blood sugar problems or if you already have type 2 diabetes.
A pretty simple and filling meal. It’s not something that I eat every day, but calorie restriction doesn’t have to be complicated either.
Remember, it’s not all about what you eat, it’s also about what you don’t eat
For more information on how to go on a calorie restriction diet or learn more about the diet, I highly recommend checking out the books I’ve listed below.
“The CR Way” was written by Paul McGlothin & Meredith Averill. Paul and Meredith have been featured on many of the major TV networks, sharing their experience of practicing long-term calorie restriction.
They have continued to pursue the understanding and implementation of calorie restriction in humans and have contributed greatly over the years in helping us understand how calorie restriction benefits human health.
The diet they propose focuses a lot on glucose control, which is important to control if you are to get the full benefits of the diet.
Type 2 Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in the world, but it doesn’t have to be. By adopting the kind of diet that “The CR Way” advocates, you’ll be protecting yourself against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other age-related conditions.
The CR Way is one of the latest books on the calorie restriction diet and I recommend checking it out!
Article reviewed and updated: February 2019.