Eat less, live longer? Can reducing our calorie intake really increase our lifespan? Posted on May 29, 2017 by , 0 comments

Calorie Restriction (CR) diets and their usefulness have been debatable for some time. While one camp will have you believe that greatly restricting your calories will damage your metabolism, another may say that it is the only way to effectively manage your weight. Still others tout occasional fasting, as opposed to prolonged calorie restriction diets, as a means of promoting and sustaining good health as well as weight management. So which is right? What does the science behind all of this have to say?

2017 has seen quite a few studies on long-term calorie restriction diets and their relation to aging. In a study published in Nature Communications earlier this year, researchers concluded that calorie restriction diets can increase the lifespan of primates. Another study published in Science Translational Medicine concluded that short-term calorie restriction diets provided greater benefits than long-term calorie restriction diets on what they called a “fasting-mimicking diet”. And yet another study conducted in April of 2017 at Oxford concluded that long-term calorie restriction diets had a positive impact on healthy lifespan in non-human primates.

However, there are researchers who say that subjecting oneself to a calorie restriction diet could be potentially dangerous. A calorie restriction diet, which is anywhere from 30-50 percent less than your normal daily calorie intake, restricts not just calories but essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Those that are not in favor of a calorie restriction diet insist that getting the same benefits that are produced in the studies in favor of calorie restriction diets can be achieved simply through a balanced diet and moderate exercise.

The conclusion is that not every diet is right for every body. You have to know your goals, your willpower, and your health well before attempting any type of diet, let alone a calorie restriction diet.

If you do choose to experiment with either a long-term or a short-term calorie restriction diet, check in with your healthcare provider first. They may have some guidance as to whether or not this type of dieting is right for you and your weight management and health goals.

Have you ever tried a long or short-term calorie restriction diet? What about fasting? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!