Calorie Restriction – is the process of restricting the number of calories eaten daily to approximately 70% of a “normal” diet. To give this some perspective & to understand what this means by making it “personal”, the “quick & dirty” way to calculate this is to take your body weight, multiply it by 10, and multiply that by 0.7 – to get the number of calories you could eat, if you were eating calorie restricted. So if you weigh 150 lbs. a calorie restricted diet would be 150 x 10 x 0.7 = 1050 calories a day. This is difficult to do but is possible.
In species spanning the animal kingdom studies have shown that eating this way for most of their lives has increased the animals life span and their health. In some species the increased life span was profound. Because mammals already live a long time, it is difficult to test. A study just published at the University of Wisconson – Madison tested this in rhesus monkeys. They started by determining how much food rhesus monkeys normally eat and then started feeding the calorie restricted group 70% of that. They started this diet at a very young age. At the same time they started feeding another group of very young rhesus monkeys a diet with the normal amount of calories. After 25 years, the 2 groups were compared. The monkeys that ate the calorie restricted diet had 2.9 times (290%) less risk of disease – or conversely, 290% improvement in health & wellness! They also had a 3 fold (300%) decreased risk of premature death meaning they had a 300% improved opportunity to live longer!
So, to recap: a 30% less food intake (from a young age) leads to a 290% improvement in health, wellness & quality of life, with a 300% improved opportunity to live longer. Nice!
Watch this space for more on this topic and some less stringent alternatives!