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.

Comments (8)

  1. wallym says:

    Excellent article. I am kinda in the same boat. I had surgery on my foot and I weighed 250 pounds when I had the cast taken off. I did the ultra-CR stuff. It wore me out. A word of warning, the side-effects mentioned are true. I quit it but I keep exercising and I don’t stuff all all kinds of food into my mouth anymore. I am down to about 200-205 pounds. I exercise every day at least 30 machine minutes at a high intensity. I do 45 minutes to an hour when I am not out of town. I look better and feel better now than at any other time in my life.


  2. Hello, just wondering if anyone has the recipe for Michael Sherman’s nutrition packed mega muffins. I would love to try them.



  3. Greg Eisen says:

    Hi, I’ve embarked on a plan to reduce my weight via calorie control, and I found a pretty nifty software program to track calorie count. It also can track other nutrient counts, including protein which I am personally focused on. The product is called "Balance log" and and it can be found at

    I think I paid $60 for it. I had been trying to control calorie intake, but I had no efficient way of tracking it; this seems to do the job, and it can be done on both a pc and a pda, and it says it allows you to download the pda info into the pc though I haven’t tried that yet. It gives nice graphics/pie charts (no pun intended) etc.

  4. Cameron Reilly says:

    Thanks Greg. I’ll take a look at it. I basically built my own spreadsheet to track my progress, but it would be great to have an application which helped you along the way. I recently had a look at one that a nutritionist recommended to me but it was $850!

Skip to main content