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Guidelines for Calorie Restriction


Updated May 19, 2005

One result of restricting calories is, of course, losing weight. People who follow strict caloric restriction guidelines end up being very thin to the point of looking gaunt, which we don't recommend. From the recent Joslin study that we cited above, it is clear that at least some of the benefits of CR come from the resultant low level of body fat. Our recommendation, therefore, is to practice a moderate form of CR, not as austere as the 35 percent reduction used in the animal experiments.

We suggest the following guidelines:

  • Eat a minimum of 12 calories per pound of your optimal weight. For example, a man with an optimal weight of 150 pounds should eat a minimum of about 1,800 calories per day; a woman with optimal weight of 125 pounds should eat at least 1,500 calories per day. Depending on your activity level, these figures are 10 percent to 33 percent lower than recommended in the above tables of maintenance calories.

  • Set your minimum weight at 95 percent of your optimal weight. For example, if your optimal weight is 200, your minimum weight would be 190 (200 times 0.95). If your weight falls below this minimum number, increase your calorie consumption.

  • Select foods low in caloric density. The best way to reduce calories is to eat low-starch vegetables such as broccoli and summer squash, which are filling and have relatively few calories, instead of potatoes and rice.

  • Focus on fiber. Another choice is foods rich in fiber, which provides bulk and texture with no digestible calories. Fiber also has health benefits by lowering cholesterol levels, improving regularity, and reducing the risks of colon cancer. Most vegetables are, of course, high in fiber. There are also many foods designed to be carbohydrate substitutes that use fiber (as well as vegetable protein) to replace the bulk and texture of starch, such as low-carbohydrate cereals and breads (see Fantastic-Voyage.net for recommendations of specific products).

Copyright 2004 Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D.


Ray Kurzweil is one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists. Called "the restless genius" by the Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes magazine. Kurzweil's ideas on the future have been touted by his many fans , who range from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton. Time magazine writes, "Kurzweil's eclectic career and propensity of combining science with practical -- often humanitarian -- applications have inspired comparisons with Thomas Edison." A recipient of the National Medal of Technology and an inductee in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, among many other honors, he is the author of three previous books: The Age of Spiritual Machines, The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, and The Age of Intelligent Machines.

Terry Grossman, M.D., is the founder and medical director of Frontier Medical Institute in Denver, Colorado, a leading longevity clinic. certified in anti-aging medicine, he lectures internationally on longevity and anti-aging strategies. In the words of Arline Brecher, coauthor of Forty Something Forever, "I've met good writers and good doctors, but seldom are they one and the same. Dr. Terry Grossman breaks the mold and sets a new standard for physicians." He is the author of The Baby Boomer's Guide to Living Forever.

For more information, visit www.fantastic-voyage.net

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