Calorie-restricted diet makes me prone to catching colds, experiencing fever, and having a weakened immune system

I’ve been practicing a calorie-restricted diet for the past five months in pursuit of longevity, as it has been proven to be beneficial. However, I’ve noticed that it has weakened my body, leading to frequent colds and a poor mental state. I’ve decided to give it up. Are there any friends in the forum who have had a similar experience?To be honest, I haven’t started using rapamycin yet because I wanted to give calorie restriction a try first. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to embark on the rapamycin journey


I’ve tried Caloric Restriction years ago… the issues I experienced was that I was always cold (not sick, just cold, and very little body fat, so always had to wear jackets or sweaters, etc.). Also - libido went down to zero, hungry all the time…

Yes - its very hard to do for a long period of time and it very negatively impacts quality of life.

I’ve not found any of those issues with rapamycin, which I’ve taken for almost 4 years now.


What is your CR?
I have been practicing CR(ON) most pf the time since two years. I was pretty lean and active before COVID but with that my job changed and I mostly sit every day for hours and with less time and access during pandemic to gym I packed few kg of mostly fat tissue. I started body recomposition with 30% CR and daily exercise some two years ago for few months. I was always hungry and felt really restricted so I upped calories to 20% CR and last few months to 10-15%, I still exercise daily. I feel really well on 10-15% CR, I eat enough, my weigh is stable (I did in what bro call a mini bulk for 8 weeks to pack some muscle lately) but other than that I am CR most of the time (there are few exceptions like holidays or when I go out with friends, like once every 3-4 weeks).

I really feel great on CR, I have more energy and did not experience any weakness in the process. I experienced one cold in two years. First few months were tough, mostly mentally since you start thinking about what and when are you eating, but in few months I got into the groove and now even without counting the calories I know where I am at. And i must say that doing that mini bulk and eating at surplus was really hard for me and I did not feel good at all.

Am I cold most of the time? Don’t think so, especially when outside I feel ok even when it is cold. I ride my bike to work and back and I try to do it every day, regardless of weather.
My libido is ok, but I am not a teenager :sweat_smile: My total T was on the lower side before starting CR, it is now around 400 ng/dl and when I was doing the mini bulk with caloric surplus it went to around 450 ng/dl, so not much of a difference. My body fat stabilized at about 10-11%, my weight stabilized too even if CR.

I believe CR is great for your metabolic health and the intervention is really simple. I can’t imagine your metabolic health could stay optimal into the old age without CR or without medical interventions (polypharmacy). But saying all this I wouldn’t ever go more than 10-20% CR. With that I can still eat three times a day, three normal meals and I can indulge in occasional slice of cake or morning croissant. Without this small indulgences I don’t think it would be psychologically viable for me in the long run.


I’ve been on CR for 40+ years. It doesn’t even feel anymore like CR - it became my lifestyle. I’m almost 69, so I started when I was pretty young. I eat no sugar or deserts and very low salt. All my life I keep the same weight (+ - 5lb). I have low fat and can easily get cold if I don’t wear proper clothes. My energy is good. My waist is the same as it was when I was 20. My skin has been very healthy, almost no wrinkles or jowls. All my girlfriends of the same age had face lifts done 10-15 years ago. I don’t have extra skin hanging, so no facelift for me. I have no arthritis or pains. My limbs still work the same way and body is flexible. My health is good, even though I had kidney transplant (due to an accident, not diabetes). I attribute all that to CR, low dose rapamycin for almost 14 years, and plant based diet.


@LaraPo, you are a true inspiration for us all.


Calorie restriction sucks for me too. No energy, zero libido and general lethargy despite only having a deficit around 500-600 calories.


The key is to have an intense daily craving for food, enduring through the inability to satisfy it.


It could be that CR works better for females than for males.


It’s a shame you haven’t been able to get on with CR. Like most of the other respondents on this thread, my experience (about a year now) has been very positive. Not that I was overweight but I have lost about 25 lbs and my weight appears to have stabilised at approx 124 lbs. In the same period I have added around 7 lbs of muscle mass according to the Samsung Galaxy Watch (supposedly 97% as accurate as a DEXA scan but who knows!). Again according to the watch my body fat now fluctuates between 11.5 to 14%. Prior to the CR it was about 22 to 25%.

Other than eating less (with CR and an eating window of around 4 to 6 hours per day) my diet has remained exactly the same - vegan, mostly healthy whole foods but with the occasional naughty item like a Beyond Burger and fries. I probably have one to two beers or glasses of wine per week. I have been taking Rapamycin for about 5 months, Acarbose for 7 months and Metformin for 12 months. I also started being strict about going to the gym 3 to 4 times per week just over 6 months ago.

It’s certainly not for everyone though. My wife tried CR for around nine months but didn’t really see any benefits and felt lousy most of the time.


That must be a 30% CR? I could not do it longterm, but 10-20% which is in my case around 350 kcal is my sweet spot. And maybe it is not for everyone too. Might be also psychological effect or even psychosomatic.

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I would say my CR averages about 20% but with significant variance from day to day. When at home I have breakfast around 12-1pm (a half cup mix of flax seeds, chia seeds, amaranth, rolled oats and cinnamon with 1 cup of water, soaked and then cooked on the hob like regular porridge) which I top with walnuts, raw cacao nibs, goji berries and soy yoghurt. And then my other meal around 5pm-6pm which will be different every day. Between meals I might drink Kombucha or coconut water, all other times I just drink either water, black coffee or matcha tea.

However, I’m not a slave to the above if we’re out or seeing friends, etc. If we’re out for the day I’ll probably skip the breakfast and just have one meal and some drinks while out. I think the pure act of cutting one meal out and squashing down the eating window is what has done most of the heavy lifting. Yes, the first few months I felt hungry much of the time but I got over that. Now I find it much better to exercise in the morning on an empty stomach. I agree with RapAdmin that feeling the cold can be an issue but to be honest I’ve always felt the cold more than anyone else I know and I’m not sure it’s really any worse for me than before.


I am fascinated by your comment. “I wanna be you ou ou ou” (imagine Ballou from Jungle Book singing).

My issue is I’m an older female and worry about sarcopenia, Have you ever done a Dexa Scan to figure out muscle mass

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Thank you Jane :blush:Believe me, you don’t want to be me. It’s not fun at all to live with transplanted kidneys. I haven’t done DEXA for muscle mass. I do not restrict calories much, may be 10%. I’m 5’3” with weight 109-111 lb, so 1600 calories should be enough. I eat approx 1500 cal or a little less.

I could never understand how increasing calories (mtor goes up) and taking rapamycin (for mtor to go down) go together. We cannot have it both ways at the same time. However, some believe that they can.


I have been doing CRON for 25 years. Some periods I have frequently cheated and increased in weight. I don’t like that. I feel better with no downsides and with a sense of control when sticking rigourosly to the diet. I don’t know the percentage CR or how many calories I eat. But since I only eat the right foods in a 4-5 hour food window and have a low weight it must be CR. I am in a long stretch of no cheating and feel great.


The issue as I see it is, trying assess calorie intake is almost impossible, what do I mean by this? Simply this, not all calories are equal, 1000 calories of steak with have a different effect in your body than a 1000 calories from boiled potatoes.
Also, food producers are allowed 20% leeway on their labels so, you cannot rely on the calorie count on food labels to be 100% accurate.
If you’re restricting calories you must make sure you consume enough protein, as we age our requirement for protein goes up not down as most people think, hope this helps.
Warmest Regards
John Walker.

Are you also using Rapamycin? It may be that and not the.CR.

Indeed, calories are not equal. I can only get the needed nutrition by getting the bulk of my carb calories from veggies, plus berries and a little fruit.

Right, we seniors need a lot of protein. I really pile that in in my one meal a day (+ a berry/nut/one fruit sallad later). Thanks to your post I will recheck my protein intake.

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Unfortunatetely I have had to pause rapamycin since it hit my lymphocytes so hard.

I’m confused to hear people say they practice 10%-15% caloric restriction on a permanent/longterm basis while maintaining weight.
That sounds like a “miracle” to me (=violating the laws of physics)
If you “burn” more calories than you “consume” (by CR definition) where are those “missing” calories coming from if not from burning your fat, musscle… which must necessarily lead to weight loss as long as CR is maintained.
I’m guessing longterm CR (calorie restriction) must lead the “body” to CA (calorie adaptation) with lower equilibrium weight, metabolic rate, blood flow, body temperature…
but i’m also guessing that the “mind” is evolutionary programmed not to quite follow that adaptation by keeping you hungry, cold, unhappy… so that you have a permanent incentive to consume more?
I wonder how “happy” Brian Johnson really is in his new equilibrium especially if he plans on doing staying there for another 60 or more years