Recently, a friend asked us about the difference between calorie restriction and anorexia. That question comes up now and then and is easy to answer. Anorexia is a psychological disorder, far from being sanctioned by credible medical professionals. Many anorexics have low levels of serotonin – which is often associated with eating disorders as well as depression and suicide.
If left unchecked, anorexia leads to muscle wasting and eventually heart damage and death as the body cannibalizes its own tissue to make up for too few calories to power cellular function.
In contrast, calorie restriction, as recommended by the CR Way, begins with a trip to your doctor who does a full physical to see what your health issues are. Then you decide together how best to focus your CR Way lifestyle. If you have a BMI between 18.5 and 23, we do not recommend that you lose any weight at all. In fact, if your BMI is below 18.5, we recommend that you gain weight: Although weight loss can and often does occur, the CR Way’s focus is optimal health, which makes your cells more energy-efficient as they shift from energy usage to energy production.
Thanks to great research, the days have long past when people could go on an endless downward weight-loss spiral and call it CR. It is anything but. The CR Way approach, which omits the word restriction altogether, helps people find the balance between calorie intake and healthy weight. Take a look at media reports – All the centenarians we have ever seen arrive at their advanced health naturally or intentionally on a good energy intake for their bodies, as illustrated by the CR Way All Stars who have made it to very advanced ages with phenomenal functionality.
Interested readers can find out more about the CR Way and the cell signaling that supports the great health effects in Essential Cell Signaling.
Access is available free for registering as a Healthy Start Member.
One of the most difficult problems we have encountered is not among anorexics but among very intelligent, motivated high achievers who are seduced by the energetic lightness-of-being that losing weight though a nutrient-dense, CR diet produces. These people show no signs of depression, but rather than stop at a reasonable weight, they let their weight drop lower and lower until they are at risk for osteoporosis, muscle-wasting, and other problems – no matter what their age. So we advise CR Way practitioners to choose a BMI set point, below which they will not go. For more about the risks and what to do about it see:
Part of the problem is some tabloid media reports, which feed on sensationalism and portray CR folk as extreme and their totally delightful diet as severe. In a conversation among friends, we pointed out that such behavior harkens back to Stalinist times when those who disagreed with the state were characterized as “psychologically confused” and sent away for “counseling.” Sad to see, a society gone mad with harmful food may consider healthful living as extreme or severe. Only after disinformation such as this is exposed, can people rediscover simple, natural, delicious ways of eating and living that can make the difference between enjoying life and spending the rest of a) your days racked with pain and b) your money for medicines to treat it.