Calorie Restriction For A Longer Life
Everybody knows that if you want to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than what you burn up in a day. For a lot of people, this is possible if you lower your calories and burn them through exercising as well. Exercising is important because it helps you to maintain the weight you lose and studies prove that those who lose weight and keep it off over a long period of time are the ones who continue with exercising. There are all sorts of creams, lotions, and potions on the market that will help you to look younger. A cheaper and healthier way is by restricting calories – you will probably look younger and live longer too, and still do it with vitality and bounce.
A low-calorie diet is one where food is restricted. For men, it is eating around 1200-1600 calories per day and for women, it’s about 1000-1200 calories per day. Many do calorie counting for weight loss; some people will go so far as to take in around 800 calories a day. Usually, the food for this type of dieting will include things like bars, shakes, and soups in order to replace the meals. When a diet is very low-calorie, it can help a person lose weight by as much as around 3-5 6pounds per week.
It has been more than a decade ago that researchers from a medical center in Baton Rouge recruited volunteers to be involved in an experiment – that of going hungry for 2 years. Apart from needing to cut their daily calorie intake by as much as 25%, the dozens who applied also had to agree to a round of weekly tests such as bone scans, blood tests and taking a pill that would measure their internal body temperatures. Look at the results.
In the late 1980s, there were two independent long-term trials completed from the University of Wisconsin – the experiment was on Rhesus monkeys who share 93% of the same DNA as humans – to see what calorie restrictions had on them. Sherman was one such monkey, living nearly 20 years longer than his average lifespan in captivity, on restricted calories. All the monkeys received the necessary nutrients and minerals that their bodies craved, except that half the monkeys had 30% less. (However, wild animals are not humans and are not designed for captivity – the results received, albeit positive, were taken from animals living in ‘unnatural’ captivity, and which did not appear to form part of the results). You decide.
Factors that come into play when calorie counting
- Getting back to humans, however, calorie restricting is a big challenge because we have access to such high-calorie meals today. There are companies such as UberEats or Deliveroo who cater for on-demand food – you don’t need to even walk to a restaurant any longer.
- Genes also play a role. It is actually harder for some people to stay trim than it is for others. We know there are some people who could literally eat a whole chocolate cake without putting on weight, whilst someone else will just walk past a cake and their clothes size goes up a size!
- In an ideal world, the type of food we eat and the amount should be tailored towards who each one of us is – we need to look at our genetic predisposition for gaining weight; how we store fat and how we metabolize sugars, and there are other physiological factors too that science hasn’t even discovered yet.
- Every day in the USA, there are thousands of people that turn 65, and the ‘competition’ to find science that supports healthy aging has never been as high. If you do decide to cut your daily intake of calories that you consume on a daily basis, you can profoundly affect your future life, and society has made many strides towards this goal – thanks to improvements in living conditions and medicine. Researchers worldwide are proving that the key to better old age and longevity is to reduce the amount of food that goes on your plate. This entails more than just cutting back on fat and sugars every now and then; it’s actually about being mindful about reducing the portions of food you eat daily, permanently.
It goes back in time
Hippocrates was one of the very first physicians to note that a lot of ailments that humans experienced were as a result of sheer gluttony. Fat Greeks, he noted, died younger than the slim ones. This was clear to him and he wrote it down on papyrus. And today, we have seen how the ancient ideas have been adopted and adapted into the corridors of time. Today, what you put in your trolley today literally can have a profound effect on the quality of your life, and the length of your days, period.
Cases in question prove abundant health through calorie restriction
- By the time the 15th Century rolled on, an aristocrat by the name of Alvise Cornaro, who was infirmed and living in a small village in Italy, turned the knowledge he had learned from the ancients, onto himself. If being gluttonous and indulgent were harmful to one’s health, he wanted to find out if diet could help. So at age 40, he decided to eat only 350 grams or 12 oz. of food each day. That is roughly 1000 calories a day. He consumed bread, panatela or broth, and eggs. For his meat, he opted for veal, beef, goat, or partridge and poultry if it was available. He ate fish that had been caught from the rivers near his home. His diet was not short of variety in the different types of food he ate, but it was restricted. Later, Cornaro was to claim that he had achieved “perfect health” right up to death at the ripe old age of 84 (very impressive in the 16th Century). His musings are to be found in his book ‘The Art of Living Long’. He had other advice too, to go with his new lifestyle – he said that in order to preserve himself, he had to rid himself of disorders, such as hatred, melancholy and other sad passions of the soul, of which he was convinced, greatly affected the body. How right he was!
- Although Cornaro was a very interesting man; however, his findings are not being taken as fact by any branches of science today. He is considered as only one case study and apparently not representative of humans as a whole.
Dr. Oz’s cases in question to spur you on
- What Joe says:
- With such technological advances in technology over recent years, much research gets carried out as to how our diets affect our aging processes. Look at Joe Cordell – he is one of the thousands of people across the world that believes the key to long life is calorie restriction. Joe monitors every bit of food that passes through his body. Every day, for the last 7 years, Joe doesn’t have more than around 1950 calories in a day. He says that by eating less and restricting calorie intake, you actually trigger a genetic switch, and this is what slows the aging process. And he doesn’t deprive himself of food either. He fills up on a lot of natural fruit, veggies, and plenty of lean protein. These foods are literally packed with the essential nutrients and vitamins to keep the body in peak health and condition. When you contemplate calorie restriction, it is important to get the most nutrition out of the calories.
- Look at his diet. Every day, Joe starts his morning eating the peels of 3 apples. He claims all the fiber is to be found in the peel, but also most of the nutrients too. Then he adds to the peels some wild blueberries, some raspberries and walnuts, around 2 ounces. He says that it is important that you have nuts with your breakfast so that you have some fat in your diet; healthy fat. He believes it helps with absorption of the nutrients, and because nuts are extremely filling. For lunch, he will eat a large salad, packed with all kinds of vegetables. At dinner time, he enjoys fish or lean meat and even some more vegetables.
- At the start of his calorie restriction diet, Joe weighed in at 175 pounds. Since starting the calorie restriction diet, he has lost 45 pounds. Aside from that benefit, he also claims not to have had a cold in the past 7 years, even though he says he’s in his autumn years. Researchers who have studied Joe say he has the body of an athlete of 20 years old. He attests to the fact that his blood pressure has dropped substantially, his heartbeat is not as rapid and he has amazing energy too.
- Dr. Oz claims that when you restrict calories, your body straight away understands that it has no resources to waste. He claims that the body becomes highly efficient because you are turning on a chemical pathway that people don’t even know exists; the sirtuin pathway. Like Joe, your body no longer holds toxic waste products anymore. Read about the sirtuin pathway here.
- What Paul and Meredith say:
- Paul and Meredith have been cutting calories for the past 15 years already – he consumes about 1900 calories a day and she consumes about 1600-1700 a day. They say they like to eat a big breakfast and then eat a small lunch and have no dinner. They claim to start their day’s breakfast with fruit, vegetables, and grains, and they love to throw in a sweet potato for ‘sweetness’. They say their good sized breakfast gives them a good base for energy needed for the day, claiming their dieting has not restricted them at all, in fact, it’s given them more vitality and energy than they had 10 years previously. They both claim to work better and to play better; claiming they feel kinder to people because they feel so good – “Everything is just completely different” they say.
- Dr. Oz is also quick to add that you need proper research, as well as medical advice because some people will choose the wrong kinds of foods to use on their calorie-restricted diet and then be vitamin deficient. You will develop health problems if you opt for burgers and sweets, for instance. And if you don’t get the right amounts of calcium your bones can weaken. People who adopt this healthy type of eating plan and follow the principles of the program will see a difference over time – younger arteries, younger hearts. Sounding good?
- About David
- David Murdock was on the Oprah Winfrey show. He told her his goal was to live to be 125 years old. How? – By cutting calories. It all started for him when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Being desperate to save her life, he went everywhere across the world, trying to find ways to save her. Wherever he went, he realized that he and his wife had not been eating right. He went on to open a center called the North Carolina Research Center – a USA premier life extension research lab. When Oprah visited his home, she noticed how he ate a diet of only natural foods and was committed to exercising.
- Every morning David starts his day with 60 minutes of weight training and cardio exercises. He is 85 already! Then he has breakfast. He claims that this is his real secret to his vitality – what he eats. He says he tries to eat veggies and fruits exclusively, never touching saturated fats. He doesn’t necessarily restrict his calories, but he does choose wisely what he eats. He eats natural oatmeal for his breakfast, followed by an omelet made only with egg whites and veggies for his lunch and fish and veggies for his dinner. Two to three times a day he has a smoothie made from a huge variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Thanks to his new diet, he claims not to have seen a cold or flu in the past 20 years!
- Dr. Oz says that if you eat natural foods and do exercises, you can extend your life by 20 years – as simple as that! He also says that if you want to give your cells that added boost, add a resveratrol supplement. This acts like antioxidants, protecting your body from high-risk diseases like heart disease and cancer, prolonging life as well. But you need the supplement because you will not get adequate amounts of resveratrol unless you drink a lot of wine, more than you could handle.
Advice for men and women from Dr. Oz
1. Eat meat only on weekends
Research shows that to prevent disease you need to eat plant-based diets. Research also shows that vegetarians live longer than those who eat meat. Any diet that foregoes meat in favor of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes generally contains fewer calories and lower levels of cholesterol and fat.
2. Drink one glass of light beer daily
Studies from Italy reveal that just a little bit of beer each day can lower risks to your heart by at least 33%. Beer also contains vitamin B6 which is beneficial to the heart. Drinking beer in moderation, i.e. one glass a day has been known to increase bone density too.
3. Take 2 low-dose aspirin a day
Aspirin, as we all know, is known for preventing heart attacks. New research, however, finds that aspirin has even more benefits. A study from the American Cancer Society shows that aspirin helps prevent the risk of dying from certain cancers by a huge 40%! It prevents healthy cells from converting to cancer.
4. Get on the go for around 15 minutes a day before 7 a.m.
Exercise is absolutely vital for any kind of lifestyle, but one study finds that a mere 15 minutes of exercising a day can add 3 extra years to your life. New research from the Appalachian State University shows that people who exercise in the morning before they do anything else get a better night’s sleep.
5. Stand for 6 minutes every hour
Kansas State University has found that those who sit for longer than 4 hours a day are at risk for many chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Stand 5 minutes every hour to reduce your risk.
So what are the benefits of calorie restriction and will it suit you?
- One experiences higher levels of physical activity
- Cancer rates are lowered
- Age-related degeneration of the brain is lowered
- Better reproductive performance
If you are obese and overweight, this is a simple choice. Then weight loss is a very important lifestyle choice which will automatically improve your health and lower the risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, premature joint disease, cancer and high blood pressure, and cancer. Lowering the risks is only part of the benefit of cutting calories. There are many other benefits which can improve the quality of your life and your daily functioning. Here’s a good way to start cutting calories:
- Keep a diary of what you eat for 1-2 weeks.
- Count your calories each day to determine what you eat.
- Plan on restricting your calorie intake by 25% during the course of the next month.
- Make a menu each week to include the healthy foods you love.
- A real easy way to cut calories is to increase taking in of veggies and fruit which are more filling and less calories dense. As you start to experience a better life and therefore better sleep, the calorie restrictive diet will soon became a way of life for you. Cut your calories healthily; cut your visits to the cardiologists.
Look at these foods to avoid while you are calorie counting and that you thought were so healthy. Avoid them if you can:
1. Farm-raised fish
2. Store-bought granola bars
3. Processed juices
4. Diet snacks
5. Artificial sweeteners
Being as old as you feel
Yes, the power to live longer lives is in your hands. One-third of your longevity is based on your genes, but the other two-thirds depend on the lifestyle you lead and the foods you eat. You need to be smart and make healthy choices. Popeye was perfectly right about eating his vegetables, particularly spinach. Each calorie is packed with nutrition to help you live longer, full of strength and full of quality.