Q: I am an attorney who is 44 (soon to be 45) and who just came across your blog.  Currently I am reasonably athletic but quite heavy (6’2” and about 260 pounds).  Considering doing caloric restriction, not because of any immanent issue but just wanting to get this part of my life under control.  I am trying to figure out how to navigate this undertaking given my rather hectic lifestyle of little sleep and lots of crappy food.  Since it looks like you were probably in a similar place, I was curious if you had any advice or tips on how to start – did you get into a routine slowly and ratchet it up over time (I saw your analogy to mountain climbers and oxygen)?  Did you just go “cold turkey” one day?  Things I should look out for?  I’d be grateful for any advice you might have, since I expect your experiences and mine are likely to be similar.

- Bill


A: Great to hear you are considering CR. I moved along quickly in my enthusiasm when I started. But I still lost weight at a pound or less a week. Studied show it's very important to lose slowly Animals/people actually show diminished lifespans with CR that's too precipitously implemented- probably relates to toxins otherwise benignly stored in fat tissues that are released too quickly and copiously for adequate elimination. Furthermore, this is not a sprint; it's the ultimate marathon. Those that endure proceed at the right pace. In fact, it's the best indicator, in my experience, of success.

Regarding a hectic schedule, you have to plan. Buy raw salads at your local grocery store or make at home at the first of the week; carry them with you. Have no inhibition about bringing your raw veggies (with some subtlety) into elegant or other restaurants to add to their likely corrupted or meager salads. Explain to your dinner companions or others concerned that you are confined to a special diet.

Because CR is about less food and less exercise, with planning it should require less time.

Hang in there!