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The Calorie Restriction Diet


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I used to think that dulce de leche Oreos was the next sign of the apocalypse. After reading this article, I think I'll add Quorn to the list.

I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks of this ... lifestyle

Click It And Weep

edited 'cuz I'm a knucklehead

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Two things I felt while I was reading this story:

1) Hungry

2) Stupefied--These people must have drunk the Kool-Aid if they have convinced themselves this is a Great! Idea! I believe the author was right when he got that cult-y feeling during their alleged dinner together.

Even the asparagus spears on the plate in the picture looked like they were starving.

A

"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ
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A really strange, but well-written article. From a stylistic standpoint you knew where it was going right from the get-go, but I still thought it drew the reader in. I personally was waiting for his culinary epiphany/binge circa page 7-8.

Does anyone else think that "Adam" is Adam Platt, NY Mag's food critic? It just would've been too perfect.

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They weigh their arugula?!! :blink:

It is an interesting article, but two questions kept looming in my mind. Either I missed what was said about them, or they were never mentioned:

1) Kids. Is there a "children's version" of the diet? If any of these people had kids, would they feed them on a kiddie equivalent of this diet? (And would that be cause for child abuse charges?)

2) Exercise. No mention of it. Can they possibly exercise on a restricted calorie diet? And if they do, do they then get to eat more?

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"Not anorexia because they balance their nutrients" blah de blah. Fun article, but the author has not branched out into any quick studies of so-called "lifestyle anorexics", because they do. They eat exactly like this, the measured portions and the tracking of macro- and micro-nutrients. Indeed, many of them are prone to throw out the calorie-restriction research as an argument for what they're doing.

Personally, having been down that road, I would have to say that starvation-induced euphoria or not, who wants to live to be 120 while measuring out one's arugula?

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They weigh their arugula?!!  :blink:

It is an interesting article, but two questions kept looming in my mind. Either I missed what was said about them, or they were never mentioned:

1) Kids. Is there a "children's version" of the diet? If any of these people had kids, would they feed them on a kiddie equivalent of this diet? (And would that be cause for child abuse charges?)

2) Exercise. No mention of it. Can they possibly exercise on a restricted calorie diet? And if they do, do they then get to eat more?

Kids: I didn't see anything about the kids, but someone in my family was told that her daughter had "thunder thighs," so she restricted her food for a while. (Said daughter was 3. I am not making this up.)

Exercise: Apparently, the guy with the orange hands runs 20miles a week.

***

Eh, so this diet makes you live longer. You'll definitely outlive those around you, because you'll bore them to death.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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There are dulce de leche Oreos? Where? Why have I not seen them?  :blush:

I think they were a test-market regional thing; there's a large Latino population here, so they were in our stores for a while. I doubt any of the people in that article would eat one ...

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Personally, having been down that road, I would have to say that starvation-induced euphoria or not, who wants to live to be 120 while measuring out one's arugula?

They shouldn't try and sell this on the euphoria -- I can get the same buzz from running after the Mister Softee truck.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Eh, so this diet makes you live longer. You'll definitely outlive those around you, because you'll bore them to death.

As the author touches on, the unspoken goal seems to be living to the point where technological advances allow one to live indefinitly, consuming, I would assume, whatever one chooses.

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Eh. They're just as crazy as the raw foodists. I'm sure they all have the same manic burning eyes.

And as much as they claim it isn't anorexia, their behavior sure is similar to every anorexic I have ever known. Like the girl I went to college with who was PROUD when she got a feeding tube. Said it made her feel "unique and virtuous." Whatever.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I've been seeing things about the CR diet for years and I'm still not convinced it's all too different from anorexia. In my most extreme days with my eating disorder, I weigh everything in a desparate attempt to make my pathetic meals "nutritionally balanced". Yeah, I've moved up from 700 calories to 1,300 calories a day but it still leaves you feeling misrable and preoccupied with food and calories... often dreaming of eating what everybody else is. Hopefully most people won't take the calorie restriction thing too seriously and enjoy life and food.

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And as much as they claim it isn't anorexia, their behavior sure is similar to every anorexic I have ever known.

Yes, but that's the thing. It doesn't matter how you get there; starvation induces chemical changes in the brain. Whatever your original reasons for restricting food, you become an anorexic (in the sense of having "anorexic" thought patterns and behaviour) after a certain point.

There's a study about -- it's easy to find on the Web -- of a bunch of guys who were kept on restricted diets, and very soon began to show the easily identifiable traits of anorexics.

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I had a problem with the writer's tone, as I couldn't quite tell if he was taking the subject seriously or if he was mostly mocking the whole movement. But that's the way it is with a lot of New York cover stories.

I thought Quorn sounded pretty good.

has anyone tried the peanut butter Oreos? Maybe i'll check the cookie thread...haven't in awhile.

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Well, the guy with the orange hands is 6' and 115 lbs; that is anorexic in my books. It seems that some people are willing to try absolutely anything to either lose weight, prolong life, etc. But I can't imagine wasting so much time weighing each item of food and ensuring that I was eating an exact number of calories per meal. These people have too much time on their hands!!!

Carla
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I don't get it. Sure maybe you could deprive your self and live longer, but why would you want to if you can't even enjoy a decent meal? Besides, it still wouldn't stop you from getting hit by a bus or something. When it's your time to go, it's your time to go. I say, enjoy your life, live it well and have that brownie, dammit!

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I don't get it. Sure maybe you could deprive your self and live longer, but why would you want to if you can't even enjoy a decent meal? Besides, it still wouldn't stop you from getting hit by a bus or something. When it's your time to go, it's your time to go. I say, enjoy your life, live it well and have that brownie, dammit!

Word. Lack of libido and living on freaking Quorn? I can't imagine wanting to live like that, never mind live longer than normal!

My grandparents, who grew up with healthcare that wasn't as good as mine, lived to be 80-ish without too many physical problems, so I'll probably live even longer. That is a long ass time! I kind of don't understand the urge to live as long as possible. The planet is overpopulated as it is, I have no desire to outstay my welcome, especially as some crazed, anorexic, Quorn-eating cult member. Sheesh.

I predicted the binge/epiphany part would come a little earlier, too. SO unexpected, bravo! (where's that sarcasm emoticon...)

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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Word.  Lack of libido and living on freaking Quorn? 

I read the story to say that libido was dramatically increased -- though the thought of an anorexic guy with orange hands . ::: the horror ::: (where is that gouging-my-eyes-out emoticon when you need it?)

What I've seen here and often elsewhere, is that severely restricted diets seem to go along with an attitude of moral superiority. I live in an area where women starve themselves regularly to stay in a size 2 (some smoke crank to do it), and are horrified when a fatso size 8 walks by ("she's eating ice cream! My god, the woman is out of control!"). And yeah, we have lots of fat kids around here, too.

Anyway. Keep your quorn. My laboratory foods will be restricted to Circus Peanuts, and the occasional Twinkie. Kidding about the Twinkie.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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If I seriously thought a calorie restricted diet would help me live longer *and feel better,* I might give it a shot. They would have to show me real scientific proof though. I agree, as it is it sounds a lot like anorexia.

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An article today in the New York Times offers more insight on this diet ...

Dr. McCay’s experiment has been successfully duplicated in a variety of species. In almost every instance, the subjects on low-calorie diets have proven to be not just longer lived, but also more resistant to age-related ailments.

“In mice, calorie restriction doesn’t just extend life span,” said Leonard P. Guarente, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It mitigates many diseases of aging: cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease. The gain is just enormous.”

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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It's not surprizing that the Calorie Restriction diet isn't finding too many fans among the members of a culinary society. Still... a lifetime of constantly hunger, seriously reduced libido and meals of salad and quorn doesn't sound like something that would be worth another 10 years.

One thing to clarify: what makes the Calorie Restriction diet different from eating disorders like anorexia is that a) it doesn't fit several of the key diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, such as "intense fear of gaining weight" and "disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experience"; and b) although the diet is predicated upon around 30% fewer calories than normal, there is a central focus on getting adequate amounts of all the required nutrients, fiber, etc.

Today's NY Times, perhaps influenced by the NY Magazine article, ran an article on Calorie Restriction in today's Science Times. Two "elderly" monkeys are compared: Rudy, who was raised on Calorie Restriction and is actually slightly older, appears to be the picture of health and vitality, with a shiny coat, upright posture, attentive demeanor and smooth skin. Matthias, who was raised on a normal diet, is stooped and lethargic, with a paunch, sagging skin and thinning hair.

Experts theorize that limited access to energy alarms the body, so to speak, activating a cascade of biochemical signals that tell each cell to direct energy away from reproductive functions, toward repair and maintenance. The calorie-restricted organism is stronger, according to this hypothesis, because individual cells are more efficiently repairing mutations, using energy, defending themselves and mopping up harmful byproducts like free radicals.

"The stressed cell is really pulling out all the stops" to preserve itself, said Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco. "This system could have evolved as a way of letting animals take a timeout from reproduction when times are harsh."

But many experts are unsettled by the prospect, however unlikely, of Americans adopting a draconian diet in hopes of living longer. Even the current epidemiological data, they note, do not consistently show that those who are thinnest live longest. After analyzing decades of national mortality statistics, federal researchers reported last year that exceptional thinness, a logical consequence of calorie restriction, was associated with an increased risk of death. This controversial study did not attempt to assess the number of calories the subjects had been consuming, or the quality of their diets, which may have had an effect on mortality rates.

--

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I really don't know about this one... My grandfather is 84 years old, and still works every single day. He's about 5'9", 200 lbs, and strong as an ox (and in better medical shape than most middle aged folks). Eats a ton too (eats a typical Ukrainian diet). I've had many ancestors live past 90, and they were all decent sized people, I really don't buy into this calorie restriction stuff...

When I was younger, I used to be really skinny (6'1, 145 lbs or so). In the last couple years, I've bulked up a ton (190 lbs now @ 9 percent body fat), and I must say, I feel alot better. More energy, stronger, better posture, etc... And honestly, even if this did cost me 10 years of life (although I don't think it will), I'd rather live well but shorter, than live a long life of starvation.

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:blink:

What I'm dying to know is who lives for them? Who does the cleaning and laundry, watches the children, works the jobs does the yardwork? Because at that level of starvation, how long could you keep up any semblance of normal activity?\

I'm a single mom with my own home and yard, I'm not overweight in the least, yet I quite often find myself eating like the proverbial horse just to stay afloat, and have the energy to get through another grueling day!

Happy halloween to all!

Edited by christine007 (log)

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