Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Calorie Restriction for Extended Life

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The main reason why someone would restrict calories is to lose weight. You need to burn off more calories than you are taking in to produce weight loss. The word "restrict" doesn't sound very nice, but that is really what it is. Restricting yourself from eating too much.

Newer research is emerging on other reasons a person may restrict their calories. I read an interesting study recently published in the Journal of Proteome Research. Researchers were studying the effects of chronic caloric restriction on longevity. The found that proteins in the fat cells of humans change as people lose weight. These proteins are correlated with extending the lifespan of animals and are thought to also extend life for humans.

When I say chronic caloric restriction that is exactly what I mean: Always staying in a deficit of calories. You will lose weight to a certain point and the body adjusts metabolism to try to meet the amount of calories you are giving it. I find this really interesting but somehow I am not tempted to test it out for myself. I am simply not willing to pretty much go hungry all of the time in order to try to live a few years longer. Part of what is enjoyable in life to me is food. If I am working (and it would be work!) every day to restrict my calories I would not be happy. And I like to be happy. If you need to lose weight for health reasons, then I am all for caloric restriction. But once you get to a healthy weight you work to maintain that healthy weight with a normal amount of calories, not continue to restrict.

What do you think about chronic caloric restriction to extend lifespan in normal weight, healthy people?

For more information, check out this site I found: Caloric Restriction Society www.crsociety.org
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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