The Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition Diet, CRON-diet for short, is a nutrient-rich, very low calorie diet developed by Roy Walford, Lisa Walford, and Brian M. Delaney. The CRON-diet is based on the belief that calorie restriction can improve health and retard aging, while still providing the recommended daily amounts of nutrients. Other names for this diet include CR-diet, Longevity diet, and Anti-Aging Plan. Several people, including the Walfords and Delaney, founded the CR Society International to promote the concept pf calorie restriction and the CRON-diet.
RoyWalford gained notoriety for developing the CRON-diet from data collected during his participation in Biosphere 2, a 3.14-acre structure originally built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona. The facility served as a center for research and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe.
Proponents of the CRON-diet believe that everyone has an ideal weight, called a set-point, specific to that individual, at which each naturally stays when they eat their usual daily diet. They claim that the set-point is determined through heredity and childhood eating habits. Adherents to the diet must remain 10–25% under their set-pointin order for the diet to be maximally effective.
The guideline used to determine an individual’s set-point is to measure that person’s body fat content. This figure should be 10–15% for females and 6–10% for males. Current weight and body fat content is then used to determine the goal weight (below the set point), and plan and follow a preliminary diet until the goal weight is reached.
Next, the level of caloric restriction for the person’s regular eating pattern is determined. Typically, a goal of restricting intake by 20% is recommended. The actual daily amount eaten will depend on the personl’s basal metabolic rate (BMR). A common daily calotic intake on the CRON-diet is 1,800.
Supplements and high-nutrition foods that calorie-lean are the mainstay of the CRFON-diet. Examples of nutrient dense food used on the diet include kombu, brewers yeast, wheat bran, wheat germ, shiitake mushrooms, non-fat dry milk, soybeans, and tofu.
Dieters generally eat three meals per day. The Walfords propose that adherents cook eight meals all at once and then freeze the meals for use during the rest of the week. There is computer software available to plan meals, including the official Dr. Walfords Interactive Diet Planner and the unofficial CRON-o-Meter.
Books on the CRON-diet include the following. To order the book on Amazon, click on the title below.
Beyond the 120 Year Diet: How to Double Your Vital Years by Roy Walford, New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2000.
The Longevity Diet by Brian M. Delaney, Lisa Walford, and Roy Walford, New York: Marlowe & Co., 2005.
Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2003.
The Anti-Aging Plan: Strategies and Recipes for Extending your Healthy years by Roy Walford and Lisa Walford, New York: A Four Walls Eight Windows, 1995.