Is this a brittle diet that I must follow carefully; what harm will result if, for example, I drop off the diet for a weekend or a week?

Aside from a trivial weight gain if you “fall off the wagon” for a number of consecutive days, there should be no meaningful long-term adverse consequences to your weight or your health from occasional short-term lapses. In fact, even if your standard practice is to do a CC diet only several days a week, this likely will aid your weight control and improve your risk factors, even if you won’t gain the calorie-restriction and lifespan extension benefits achieved by more dedicated adherents. Realistically, because of travel or social commitments, most people will depart from their dietary ideals now and then — don’t be too hard on yourself. Lapsing for a few days or even weeks won’t reverse the health benefits earned by previous months or years of dedication. Bear in mind that elderly Okinawans are still enjoying significant lifespan extension, even though most of them haven’t been calorie restricted since the 1970s.

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