The pain of losing someone, especially via death is one of the most unbearable pain we all face at some point of time. Keeping aside the unnatural cases, what if we had a way to elongate the lifespan! Here comes Calorie Restriction.
Before we delve deeper, lets see what wikipedia has to say:
It says, the only widely recognized method of extending maximum lifespan is Calorie Restriction!
What do we mean by Calorie Restriction ?
It means consuming the required amounts of essential nutrients required by the body, so that it doesn’t feel malnourished. With the amount of rampant obesity around us, it simply means that we are consuming more as compared to what we burn everyday (no offense to people who are suffering from certain medical conditions).
Studies till Now
- Rodents: It has been proved since 1930’s that the life expectancy of mice and rats increased by 30-40% by restricting their calories for a period of 19 months +. [Average age of a rat is 2 years]
- Yeast : Some strains of yeast responded positively to calorie restriction with increased lifespan.
- Humans: Studies are still going on. The human environment is very complex. The major causes which contribute in decreasing lifespan are: bad lifestyle, poor eating habits, smoking, stress, lack of activity etc. Calorie restriction has shown some benefits in alleviating inflammation, controlling lifestyle diseases like diabetes etc. However any long term effects are unknown. Intermittent fasting has been quite beneficial for a number of subjects.
Interesting Observation : Diet Restriction had also had similar effects as compared to Calorie Restriction. Diet restriction means, changing the nutrient quality without changing the calories. So, if we consume a balanced diet, it is possible to eat more !
Suppose Mr Nishant’s TDEE is around 2500. Calorie restriction means he will not eat more than his TDEE (it changes with age, change in weight , change in physical activity etc.)
Weight Loss and Calorie Restriction
However taking this restricting protocol a bit farther, if he creates a deficit of a larger magnitude, he might end up losing weight too. That would be called a state of calorie deficit. [ 3500 cals deficit means losing 1 pound of weight ]
How to Restrict Calories?
- Count your calories. Yes, its that simple. Know your TDEE and eat below it.
- Prepare your diet in accordance with your calories to be consumed.
- Prioritize protein, as it keeps us satiated for a long time and help suppress hunger pangs.
- Try Intermittent Fasting.
There are so many ways to do it, but the fundamental remains the same. Eat below your TDEE !
Am I doing it Right?
Elongating lifespan might not be only dependent on eating pattern, but it is a very good starting point. So how can you know if you are doing it right or not?
Answer the following questions.
- Are you eating around/below TDEE?
- Are you eating a balanced diet?
- Do you think you have habits which might be detrimental for your life? If yes are you doing something about it?
- Are you engaging in any form of physical activity daily? (4-5 days/week is good enough).
- Is your sleep quality good?
If any of the answer is No, you know what you have to do!
If you are trying to gain weight, Calorie Restriction might not help you in achieving your goal. We recommend you to read our exhaustive article on Gaining Muscles.