The Longevity Diet Experiment, A Little Goofy

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by elastigirl, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I mentioned that I'd like to try the Longevity Diet in a post a while back. My idea went over like a lead balloon. However, I still wanted to try it. So I ordered the book, "The Longevity Diet," online.

    The first few days -- as expected -- were difficult, but this diet is not rigid. I expected it to be rigid, but in fact, it's not rigid at all. You won't find any menu plans in this book. This diet encourages you to customize it to your own personality and tastes.

    Basically, the authors (Brian Delaney & Lisa Walford) want you to pay more attention to the nutritional-density of your foods vs. calories. However, because I was used to calorie-tracking from former diets, I decided to go with calorie-counting again, while being mindful of the protein content, etc., of my foods.

    What makes the Longevity Diet different? This diet works on the principle that greatly-reduced caloric diets result in longer lifespans. This diet used to be called "Calorie Restriction" diet, a name which is a little too generic for my taste.

    I thought the concept sounded extreme at first. But then I found out that the authors encourage you to find the level of calories that you are comfortable with. For me, this varies between 750 and 1400 calories per day.

    Was I hungry? The first few days, yes. It was difficult getting used to fresh produce again, especially after a winter of canned and frozen. Meal preparation took a little longer, but not nearly as long as I expected.

    Within a few days, my stomach learned to speak.

    Stomach: "Okay, I really liked the homemade bruschetta with fresh tomatoes yesterday. Let's have that for lunch in 20 minutes."

    Me: "Fine." Luckily, the Longevity Diet authors don't frown upon repetition.

    Stomach (later that day): "I heard through the grapevine you're planning to run errands tonight. That's fine by me, but I'll need 300 calories before we go. Fruit with a little peanut butter is fine. But when we get home, I'll need 600 more calories. I will need those calories in the form of Spanish Rice and refried beans. Got it?"

    Me: "Got it." Luckily, the Longevity Diet encourages listening to your body's healthy desires.

    I soon learned that my stomach still does not like an early breakfast.

    Stomach: "Ugh! Get that away from me! I need coffee, on the double."

    Me: "You're the boss." Luckily, the Longevity Diet authors recommend working with your body's food-demand schedule.

    Stomach (30 minutes later): "Listen up.. I'm going to be hungry in 20 minutes. I just thought I'd give you a heads up."

    Me: "You mean, no jitters? No earthquake-style stomach rumblings? No dizzy spells? No threats of passing out if you are not fed instantly? You mean, you're just going to be plain Jane hungry?"

    Stomach: "Just hungry. Not very hungry, either. I'll have the eggs with veggie cheese, green peppers and salsa on flatbed this morning. Got it?"

    Me: "Got it."

    Well, I thought I'd really be craving my old snacks that I used to eat at night after my son had fallen asleep. But instead... I was falling asleep. I was actually tired -- at night! And drifted off quickly.

    I learned - you don't snack if you're actually sleeping! (No Ambien here, thank goodness.)

    But I attribute better sleep partly to the non-GMO soy shake I took this month, which seemed to be working wonders with my peri-menopause and low energy levels. However, the brand I started on was so expensive ($50/month) that I had to start rationing it out. There went my perfect sleep. (Obviously, the soy shake is worth it to me, but I'm looking for a less expensive version.)

    Most days, I'm not hungry. These days tend to be in the 800-1200 calorie range. Some days I wake up with a warning:

    Stomach: "Um... hate to break it to you, but today is going to be a 'hungry day.'"

    Me: "Fine by me." Luckily, the Longevity Diet does not discourage a high-calorie day. It just suggests following it by a low-calorie day. My stomach seems to agree with this.

    One day, my son had a little bag of Doritos. I just had to test myself. I took one chip, and found out my tongue had a voice too:

    Tongue: "What?! What IS this?! Get it OUTTA here! What are you trying to do to me? Puh! Puh! Am... Am I ... ORANGE?"

    Me: "Sorry."

    Tongue: "Don't EVER do that to me again."

    Me: "Um... Sure."

    I got really stressed because I'm supposed to spend a few days with my Mom* later this month (*Miss I Just Lost 15 Pounds on Weight Watchers a/k/a Miss If You Try to Lose Weight at the Same Time as I am, I will have to Sabotage You.) So I thought I'd better test the waters. I went two days without recording calories or protein grams, etc.

    I thought it went quite well. I wasn't that hungry. I didn't eat that much more than usual. Maybe 500 calories more, max. My stomach had a different opinion:

    Stomach: "More? More?! You're killing me! I don't wannn any muf... more!"

    Me: "Okay, okay, I'll put the soy chips away. But you won't turn on me and devour potato chips at Mom's, will you?"

    Stomach: "No way, girl! I'm on your side now!"

    I think I love my new talking stomach! Oh, and the 'baby' fat is disappearing, too. The amount of weight lost isn't as important to me as whether or not my health is improving (it is,) but I want to try to keep my weight loss to less than two pounds every seven days. So far, so good. I do have to force a few extra calories now and then, but I think in the long run, it'll give me the balance I need not to lose weight too rapidly.

    My best friends (besides Stomach): tomato juice, herbal tea and olive oil. Plus, you can't hate a diet that permits a little wine and dark chocolate now and then :)!

    Experiment Notes: I started the Longevity Diet on March 1st. As of today, I have lost 6.5lbs. A 20 gram soy shake was consumed two days on, one day off.

    I also stopped all supplements and prescriptions (allergy med & sleep aid; BTW, this action was not recommended in the book) on March 1st.

    -- On March 7th, I re-added my favorite supplement, Calcium Pyruvate 750mg 1x per day. I now take this with lunch. Gives me energy and improves strength
    -- On March 14th, I re-added Drinkables Noni Juice, about 1 oz per day. Reduces anxiety. I take this before driving or when irritable.
    --On March 21st, I added a new multi-vitamin with herbs (Total Woman, but not the new cereal vitamin) purchased by my father. I'm not sure yet if this agreeing with me. Am going to try taking this at night.

    I chose to start at a low level of calories. The book does not recommend this. Instead, it recommends starting slowly, cutting back, getting used to the new level, then cutting back some more.

    I have not re-added my prescriptions. I seem to be doing okay without out them now.

    There is quite a bit more information in the book, which can be found at a local libraries. Just a note that I am not endorsing this diet for anyone here; I just wanted to share my experience :).
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I don't know Storm. We eat a lot of raw or lightly steamed foods here, but it is in no way restrictive and also has plenty of calories.


    I think a normal calorie diet is about 1,500 a day isn't it, unless you want to lose weight. I am nervous about a drop like that to 750, that couold cause your body to start rebelling and do the yo yo thing.

    Just eat healthy food, lots of fruit and veggies if you eat breads make sure they are low yeast and whole grains or sprouted grains/no yeast. Organic when you can. This way you will be munching all day and still be very healthy.

    Also we derive a lot of liquid from our foods, and some diets are dry.


    Well, just my two cents.


    Love Anne C
  3. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    Even though I didn't really mention it, this diet really emphasizes raw foods :). Processed foods are discouraged (though I still have a couple of natural versions, like Spanish Rice, that are healthy and satisfying.) I'm integrating fresh foods as much as I can. I really love fresh, tasty 'in-season' produce. (That's why it's a little tougher for me in the winter months.)

    But we have apples, bananas and oranges year round. Now we have cucumbers, green peppers, chives, carrots and tomatoes. We'll be adding more through the spring. Even though fresh is best, I don't always have the energy to prepare fresh stuff into meals. I do drink diluted blended juices to get a few more colors from the rainbow each day that way.

    I don't think anyone should really have to drop as low as I did calorically speaking. Plus this diet emphasizes analyzing components of food vs. calories. We all need enough protein, carbs, omega oils, etc., every day to function well.

    The book explains it much more clearly. Thank goodness there are no microwave boxed foods! Those diets get so expensive. Plus, a lot of those prepackaged food diets are loaded with Splenda now. I'm sensitive to artificial sweeteners.

    I think I dropped so low calorically simply because I lost my appetite for non-nutritional foods. And when I ate nutritional foods, I felt full. Thus, I was surprised at the end of the day when I read a total of 800 or a 1000 calories.

    Recently, I'm finding I don't really have to log calories. It's just a compulsion. My body and appetite have already adjusted to a healthy diet. That's why I wasn't really worried about missing a couple of days of 'tracking' calories.

    Today, I have a bad cold. Ugh. ZERO appetite. But I'm forcing myself to eat some healthy, nutritionally-dense foods any way. I liked the beginning and the middle of the month, when I was feeling so great. Hopefully, after this bug goes away, I can get back there.

    I think even if a person lands at 1600-2000 calories per day, the point of the Longevity is to stay there. Not to up yourself to a 'mainenance' point as with many diets.

    However, as I mentioned above, the Longevity diet is really more about nutritional components than actual calories :).

    I hope to be able to use their intended system of nutritional component tracking someday, but for now, I'm just using calorie-tracking because I have calorie-charts memorized in my head from way-back :).
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2006]
  4. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    No we don't rely on calorie counting it was that the poster mentioned that 750 cals a day may be normal some days.

    No matter how healthily one eats, there is a certain amount of heat(energy) we need to consume to allow the correct functioning of our bodies.

    So say, if I say, well I am eating heakthily I am eating four apples and two pears and one carrot today, about the same tomorrow-then you see where I am leading.

    I find eating just a variety of healthy fruits and veggies,raw or lightly steamed, with some good sources of protein and grains and of course, liquid, can be achieved without following some staged diet. I could not agree more that those packaged deals are the worse. For starters they are very high in sodium.


    It was not that I was approving of calorie counting but rather just a bit alarmed that 750 may be thought OK. because that book did start out as a very low calorie diet.

    That was all. Hope that clears what I meant to say up.

    Love Anne C
  5. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    Well, I overdid it a little. I lost 9 pounds this month. I didn't want to lose more than 2 pounds per week, but I blame the last three pounds last on this bad cold (still have it.) Just had no appetite at all.

    When I cut back what I was eating in the month of February in preparation for this diet, I lost five pounds.

    So adding February's loss to March's loss: 14 pounds lost so far :).
  6. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    good for you,so you lost a little bit more weight than expected...you'll be fine..

    jodie