View Full Version : Caloric restriction

Robert Wolf
05-01-2003, 08:53 AM

The standard crossfit protocol entails caloric restriction but how might one try something like what is mentioned in the NewScientist article? As simple as skip a day, eat a day? If this approach is taken it sounds like more calories should be eaten on the "eat" days.

BTW- Id love to hear your thoughts on this:


BTW2- I will call this weekend!!

Mike Minium
05-01-2003, 12:13 PM

To which NewScientist article are you referring? I did a keyword search on newscientist.com using "nutrition" but it didn't return anything resembling a "skip a day" nutrition article. Do you have a link? Or is it in the print version only?



Robert Wolf
05-01-2003, 03:32 PM
the WOD has a link to the article.

David Werner
05-01-2003, 10:32 PM
How have you been? After our many discussions on this topic I have been doing some thinking, and today had an epiphany. We have been making this too hard.

It's not the calory restriction that leads to improved health markers and age extention, it's being quite lean.

Consider, There are many recent references to studies that show that ANY exess weight leads to degraded health. I saw an article that talked about findings that even hidden abdominal fat around the internal organs increased the rate of cancer and heart disease in the group of white men being studied. The New Scientist article hints at this. The "control" population of rats is allowed to eat all they want and are considerably heavier than either the calorie restricted population or the group that alternates. Further, they mention that the group that alternated calorie restricion with unrestricted eating, was no heavier than the calorie restricted group.

The answer jumps out at us; it's not how you get there , it's the leanness.

I can hear the howls of protest: What about concentration camp survivors and marathon runners? They clearly don't have elongated lifespans. So lets stipulate that being lean is only good for you if; 1)nutrition is adequate, 2)physical stress (exercise or work) is demanding but not destructive 3)drugs or other crazy schemes are not employed to achieve leanness and 4)sleep is sufficient.

How does this theory sound to you?


Peter Lundell
05-02-2003, 05:31 AM
I searched around and found this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1 2543978&dopt=Abstract (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12543978&dopt=Abstract)

It seems to support your idea about leanness David.


Robert Wolf
05-02-2003, 12:23 PM
That certianly jives with Art devanys thoughts on this. Body fat potentiates the aramatazation of testosterone to estrogen and is a source of free radical damage. There is however the issue of decreasing oxidative stress due to decreased food intake....and the issue of immune modulation from intermitant fasting. My sense on this is to (like you and I have jabbered about for hours before) maximize performance on the bare minimum of calories while maximizing nutrition. I think the intermitant fasting actually makes the body more thrifty with calories thus requiring less energy to accomplish the same thing.
Ill call you this weekend.

Michael Rutherford
05-02-2003, 01:34 PM
This is heavy stuff. Robert, your understanding of nutrition is clearly above many others.

I have been reading a lot lately on caloric restriction and longevity. From my digging, it appears as if this is the only clear way to minimize damage and aging of the brain.

I have also found around 170 different articles on the adverse effects of excess protein intake on neurological aging and tumor proliferation.

As a side bar I believe it is understood that tumors grow nicely in the hormones estrogen and testoterone.

I'm not trying to kill anyone's buzz here just interested in what you might have to add here.

Have you uncovered any of this?

Robert Wolf
05-02-2003, 05:38 PM

Most of the sources I have read seem to indicate that the greater the relative amount of protein in the diet the LESS the likelyhood of these issues. Many of these studies look at "high protein" at levels of 20% of calories with as much as 65% of calories comming from carbs. AGE (advanced glycatation endproducts) which occurs due to the non enzymatic glycosolation of proteins with glucose is a major factor here. I would have to again fall back to populations like the Inuit of the arctic and Ache of south america...VERY high protein intake, very low carb intake and virtually no neuro degenerative disease in any of the folks living into advanced age.

The interesting thing about the article is that is demonstrates life extension and all of the biomarkers commonly associated with CR but from an intermitant fasting protocol.

If you have some key papers you could direct me to Id love to give them a read!
Great topic!

David Werner
05-02-2003, 10:38 PM
Yes, the oxidative stress of "excess" weight whether fat or muscle represents an extra load on the metabolic system.
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long....and you have burned so very, very brightly," Rob. LOL

Immune system modulation through intermittent fasting would be a subject I'd love to read more about.


Michael Rutherford
05-04-2003, 11:20 AM

Read Chapter 8 of THE DIGITAL MANTRAP by James Autio. Available from Amazon.com.

Here you will find the documentation regarding excessive protein ingestion and premature aging, cancer and dementia.

Parth Shah
05-04-2003, 11:40 AM
The Newscientist article kind of reminds me of this guy who pasted for a year, or something, or 400 days, or something. He was an old guy, but extremely fit. He didn't workout. Instead, he stood barefoot on the grass, and meditated, taking in the rays of the sun, and using that as energy, like a plant.

Last time I checked, we weren't plants, what say everyone?

Is this the same as the underfeading and overfeading articled I read on T-mag?

Robert Wolf
05-05-2003, 08:19 AM
Likely some similar underpinnings.

Roger Harrell
05-05-2003, 10:57 AM
What do you guys think about us with hypermetabolisms "naturally". I've got a pretty scary hyper metabolism. I eat quite a bit, but stay pretty lean naturally. I definately don't like hearing about caloric restriction leading to better health, cause I don't do well without plenty of food. I get weak and feel sick very quickly without ample food intake. Just wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts in this arena.

Robert Wolf
05-05-2003, 05:41 PM

Im like you on this count...deprive me of food for a day or two and I really get a dip in strength. Here is another interesting article along this line:


Art Devany talked at length about the need to live at a high energy flux to maximize health...ie. lots of exercise and lots of food. I talked about this in the article I wrote for girevik but Ive been mulling it about again.

Some of the characteristics seen in the neuroendocrine response are similar to those seen in an over fed state specificly elevated IGF, Insulin, and sex hormones. High carb intake exacerbates this in that it down regulates the production of Insulin Like Growth Factor Binding Protein (IGF-BP)...among other things. Unlike the overfed state however neuro-endocrine responses are pulsitile and in response to what i could only call an "appropriate" stimuli.

Features of CRAN (caloric restriction adequate nutrition) which are favorable include immune modulation and acute adrenal cortical response. Long term Cran typically reduces body mass and produces a level of leanness but at the expense of muscle tissue.

Art has said this for years and the research is really starting to support him: Intermitant acute fasting combined with a high energy flux and a training protocol which elicits a profound neuroendocrine response is the ticket to optimizing health, performance and longevity....Imagine if he had publiched his damn book in '94!

For me I have noticed that I need to really bring in the calories but if I can get a stretch of time in a minifast things go well...even if that means finishing my last meal at 6pm...bed by 10pm...train at 7am and eat at 8am I am getting almost a 15 hr fast. I am still intrigued by the on/off diet....I have no doubt one can become lean but I am wondering if the performance would be as good if energy intake is at sufficiet levels on feeding days.


Roger Harrell
05-08-2003, 09:15 AM
A day or two? I can't go 8 hours without eating :-P. I don't know that I have ever gone 24 hrs without food. I wouldn't do well in a survival situation where food wasn't abundant.

Thanks for the info. I'm still not sure about caloric restriction. I'm more focused on just making sure the quality of my intake is good. Quantity wise I eat what I need to eat.