Eating less has been known from antiquity to enhance longevity. Many religions have fasting rituals that were passed from the wisdom of ancestors. Due to the rise of modern fast food and easy food, everyone is overeating to the point of obesity.
We are eating more calories than we need for functioning which is being stored as visceral fat and causing immense damage to our health. Now there have been lots of studies that have found that a calorie-restricted diet and eating less are related to longevity.
Calorie-restricted diets may help you improve your mood and defend against age-related illnesses that affect the body. People can use this strategy to potentially increase their life.
A study published in Cell Metabolism journal concluded that cutting calorie intake by 15% for two years slows aging and reduces the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
The low-calorie diet works by helping to slow your metabolic rate and reducing free radicals linked to many chronic diseases.
How low calorie helps longevity
Researchers concluded that low-calorie diets can be a powerful anti-aging weapon. It was discovered that even if you are healthy and lean can benefit from calorie-restricted diets.
According to the study, many biomarkers for age were reduced, among people on a low-calorie diet and health improved. There is an old saying that age only numbers, which is true in so many ways. Some people who regularly exercise and eat clean not only live longer and healthy life but are also happier than people who follow an unhealthy lifestyle.
An unhealthy lifestyle may be tempting to look like it’s better like drinking excess alcohol, eating too much fast food or food in general, sleeping all day or not doing any physical activity. You have two choices either do very high physical activity to burn those extra calories or don’t eat extra calories.
This is a proven fact that if you eat less and weigh less, you will live a longer, happier, and healthier life. If you are not convinced read more and find out why many healthy people eat less.
Calorie-restricted diets work for all because you’re cleaning the garbage out of your cells. The more calories you eat, the more free radicals you generate that cause damage to cells. Excess free radicals will cause oxidative damage to the cells causing many dangerous diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, brain damage, etc.
A study published in Nature showed that calorie-restricted diets improved the health of monkeys. The study concluded that monkeys with 25% fewer calories lived 40 % more than the average life of such primates in captivity.
The diets even if introduced in midlife increased longevity, according to researchers. Since many monkeys on the diet were actually in midlife and were overweight due to eating high-calorie foods provided to them in captivity. Those monkeys not only improved their health but were also able to jump and hang on branches like before.
Count each calorie you eat
Like engines, bodies do need fuel.
So some experts worry that if you drastically cut back on calories too much, it could result in a reduction in muscle mass and bone density.
However, restricting calorie intake by 15% is ideal, But a 25 percent calorie cutback is not healthy. Eating a balanced nutrient-rich diet is the key to longevity.
So if you cut back on calories without getting good vital nutrients needed by your body, it may not give you the required results.
Counting calories is hard when you have so many processed foods and enticing sugar-loaded treats. But experts insist that calorie-restricted diets will not only help you live longer but also be healthy since processed food is the number one cause of diseases.
Since calorie restriction causes your body to metabolic adaptation which is only expected from weight loss. Thus calorie restriction is associated with longevity.
Eating a calorie restricted diet may sound like a fad diet, but there is a lot of research to back up this conclusion.
So if you eat a child-size portion for every meal, it will gain you an extra few decades of life, which is fair trade.
Research has shown that calorie restriction reduces age-related chronic illnesses in many species, including mice, fish, worms, and yeast. However, these creatures are not human so it can be argued that results may not be replicated in humans.
So researchers then turn to rhesus monkeys, which are similar to humans, and are prone to developing cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
As published in Nature, researchers concluded that monkeys who were given a 30 % calorie-restricted diet lived longer than others.
Researchers also found that calorie restriction benefitted older monkeys more than younger ones.
Let’s find out about the study in humans about the calorie-restricted diet.
In a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, researchers divided people into calorie restriction and a regular diet.
The calorie restriction group reduced the calorie by 12 percent in two years of study.
After 1 year, the biological age of the calorie-restricted group increased by 0.11 years, compared with 0.71 years for the other group.
Researchers calculated biological age using biomarkers like the cardiovascular and immune system, total cholesterol, and hemoglobin levels.
Results in humans showed you can really benefit from a calorie-restricted diet.
How does calorie restriction, an anti-aging agent?
Scientists think that free radicals could be one of the reasons for longevity since calorie restriction reduces it.
DNA damage is the number 1 cause of aging in humans. DNA damage causes cells to mutate, stop dividing, and abnormal gene expressions.
Free radicals damage the important parts of our body cells, like DNA and the cell’s membrane. So cutting back on calories may decrease the number of free radicals in the body.
Insulin also plays an important role in aging. As you age, your body can become resistant to insulin, which can lead to excess glucose in the blood. Increased glucose damages vital organs, blood vessels, and nerves.
Some researchers also believe calorie restriction increases longevity by reversing the biological clock.
If you think feeling hungry to gain a few extra years of life doesn’t sound good enough, you can choose other options for living a healthier and longer life span.
On the fasting-mimicking diet, you are expected to eat about 750 to 1,100 calories per day, for five days per month, over three months.
The food you will eat contains an exact amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
People on this diet experienced reduced blood pressure, blood glucose, and inflammation, compared to others on a normal diet.
Those who were on this diet also lost weight but not muscle mass, which is a concern within a calorie-restricted diet.
This diet doesn’t didn’t show that cutting back on calories increased lifespan, However, It may reduce risk factors for the disease which obviously boosts longevity.
Breaking Old Habit
I know it’s not easy to break the old habit of eating high-calorie fast food and sugary treats. But our body and mind are very adaptable, they can be taught new habits quickly if we make efforts in the right direction.
Remember eating more is not the need of your body, it’s mostly a habit. Remember when you were a kid you eat healthily. Make conscious efforts in the right direction like reading healthy blogs, healthy food, healthy relationship, healthy habits, etc.
So breaking that habit is crucial for longevity since it’s not a brainer that being obese increases mortality and quality of life.
What can be done?
Follow a few of the tips provided above and follow new habits slowly, maybe cutting dairy, then processed food ultimately leading to cutting in sugary beverages.
Making a proper plan is more important, keeping a journal and writing about the food you are eating, removing the high-calorie foods from your pantry, eating more salads, water, fiber rich foods, and reading and learning about low-calorie foods so that your mind is more conditioned about it.
You can benefit from the calorie restriction as concluded by researchers. Increase the quality of sex life, overall mood, and happiness in long term.
Remember once you are on the low-calorie diet you will have lost weight, regained your energy, and will defeat the chronic conditions caused by eating high-calorie fast foods and sugary treats.
Eating less will not only improve your energy levels but also improve your overall quality of life and help you enjoy life.
If you eat fewer calories you will be much younger than your peer group and will be more attractive too. Being obese and with chronic diseases due to a love of stupid fast food is not worth the benefits it offers which are negligible. Eating less calories should be your goal and if you add some physical activity to it its a deadly combo against all sort chronic conditions.
As a healthy living evangelist I hope you should be convinced that all the research on calorie restriction is not only true but crucial for your health. Do it for self and loved ones since they need you.