What do nurses think of calorie restricted diets?

  1. I have heard that they increase lifespan. Even if this is true, at what cost? Your thoughts appreciated.
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    You're asking an extremely broad question.

    Calorie-restricted to what degree?

    Something like an ADA 1800-calorie diet?

    1200 calories?

    800?

    What is the nutritional makeup of the calories?

    1200 calories of veggies or 1200 calories of Snickers bars?

    It might be beneficial to you to google this or look up the literature to find the study or studies that purported to demonstrate that calorie restriction correlates with increased lifespan. Judge the quality of the research for yourself.
  4. by   Alpha13
    I was talking about these diets IN GENERAL as they are touted (not some snickers bar diet)
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 28, '07 : Reason: unnecessary input
  5. by   canoehead
    I understand what you meant Alpha.

    I think they probably DO increase lifespan because any artery clogging fat is being burned for energy, and heart disease is the most common cause of death. What I found most convincing was that it would be total torture, and rip the pleasure out of most meals- and anything that was that bad would have to be good for you.
  6. by   RN1989
    The U.S. has a HUGE problem with portion control and excess calorie consumption in proportion to our activity. I personally find it difficult to go against the norm and follow a healthy diet while working crazy hours, not getting lunch breaks etc. and know that most people also have this problem. I believe that if we all were following the diets intended for our bodies, we would feel better, live longer, and have lower health/life insurance rates.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I worked with an MD who believed that being 10% UNDER his IBW would lead to a longer lifespan. He ate once per day and then very small portions. However, he didn't look healthy - he was pale and very, very thin, almost gaunt.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Personally, I've been following a calorie-restricted diet since August of this year. I've restricted myself to 1,500 calories per day, and have lost 30 pounds of excess body weight to date. If the person is overweight, not in the process of healing, or has the genetic potential to become portly, I think that calorie restrictions might be beneficial.
  9. by   caliotter3
    I'm working with someone now who is on one of these diets and I believe they need to modify their diet because it seems to be affecting their behavior in a negative way. Also worked with people in the past who were on restricted diets who were also this way. And I have to admit that I've been this way myself. When I'm on any kind of diet, all I can concentrate on is how hungry I am and if my stomach is going to growl and embarass me. It is one thing to be on a diet, but another to bite off the head of everyone around you because you're hungry or to be so edgy and nervous that everyone around you gets nervous having the "hungry lion" around.
  10. by   jmking
    I think diet restrictions depend on what population you are dealing with. I work at a psych boarding house. We have several patients who are diebetic. I try my best to make healthier options avaiable in the house but sometimes you can not win. Very few of our patients have insight into their illnesses. They can walk down to the market and buy candy bars with their money. As one doctor pointed out, why deny them the simple pleasure of food.
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    It is a well known, well established and thoroughly researched fact (though not necessarily in nursing) that individuals who are a little bit lean, a little bit hungry, have healthier CV systems and live longer healthier lives.

    Being a little bit hungry has never appealed to me, which is probably why I am wearing about 60 lb more than I should be.

    As for patients, if the patient is overweight, and if the overweight is an issue, and if the patient wants that managed, and if the patient is compliant with and agreeable to a restricted calorie diet, then great.

    If the patient "needs" calorie restriction but doesn't want calorie restriction, then like any other intervention, the patient has rejected it and it should not be imposed.

    Ta-da.
  12. by   Alpha13
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    It is a well known, well established and thoroughly researched fact (though not necessarily in nursing) that individuals who are a little bit lean, a little bit hungry, have healthier CV systems and live longer healthier lives.
    I could not stand to be hungry all day either! I do the (relatively) normal exercise/healthy diet routine right now. Maybe one day they'll be saying that extra mass is bad!
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    The diet you're talking about was the one "discovered" when the folks in the Bio-dome (no, not Pauly Shore) miscalculated how much food they'd be able to grow and lived on semi-starvation rations until the end of the experiment.

    Your teleomeres - the bits on the ends of the cells that regulate mitosis - slow down, as does your cell regenderation, ergo your time increases.

    And even if it doesn't you'll be ready to die. The people I've seen on that diet are weak, cranky, and look awful.

    Please pass the chocolate.

  14. by   happydays352
    I was on one for a few months my intake was about 1500 calories and I lost 25 lbs. I'm skinner then I was in high school! I think that eating the right things can keep you feeling full all day, I wasn't cranky or hungry on my "diet". Obesity is a huge problem if calorie restricted diets can help people lose weight with a minimum of side effects I'm all for it.

    Which is worse diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of cancer, high bp, and possible death? Or maybe being a little hungry and cranky. JMHO

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