The Benefits Of Calorie Restriction:Truth Or Hype?

Calorie restriction means reducing the amount of food you eat Рwhich is typically at least 30% of your standard dietary intake Рwithout the effects of malnutrition.  If you eat fewer calories, you tend to lose weight in general or slow down the rate at which you gain weight. This is positive for a large number of people, but it is important to understand the facts and concepts of this practice before using it as an efficient way to diet.

Calorie restrictions should be followed healthily and safely.As a general rule, any type of diet involves calorie restriction. You keep track of the amount and frequency of what you eat and the calories you consume.

Benefits of Calorie Restriction

There are some main reasons for the longstanding belief that calorie restriction is beneficial to health.One of these is based on the specific testimonies of people who have been living extremely long lives or whose life expectancy is much higher than the average and whose diet is moderate in most cases.

The most well-known case is probably that of Okinawa Island in Japan (popularized by the famous Okinawa diet of the same name), where scientists have been curious for many years because, as a poor and under-resourced people, their life expectancy was the highest in Japan. There was also an unusually low incidence of diseases such as cancer. Seniors in Okinawa would consume 1,780 calories per day – about 11 percent to 15 percent less than the normal body weight recommendation.

A calorie-restricted diet may differ from individual to individual, depending on age, activity levels, sex, height, and weight. The amount of basal calories you need to maintain your current weight indicates the number of calories you need each day. Limiting calories refers to reducing the number of calories consumed as a measure of weight control or weight loss.

Having a calorie-restricted diet means that the person on the diet limits their daily caloric intake. When eating a low-calorie diet, your daily calorie intake ranges from 800 to 1,500 calories.

That average calorie reduction will be spread over the entire day, as opposed to cutting calories all at once. Nutritionists in many cases recommend that patients eat their meals on a 4-, 5-, or 6-times daily basis.

One of the main dietary recommendations of the American Diabetes Association is to ” work on diet, physical activity, and behavioral strategies to reach an overall energy deficit of 500-750 kcal/day “. Nutrition advice on “portion control” has been quite common since the 1970s for calorie reduction.

Calorie Restriction for Longevity

Research shows that people can delay aging and improve their lifespan much more by cutting their calorie intake. These effects have been seen in several species, ranging from worms and yeasts to rats and fish, and evidence suggests that caloric restriction may also have a similar effect on human life.

In most species, calorie restriction (CR) without malnutrition prolongs life and slows the occurrence of age-related disorders, although its repercussions in the case of non-human primates have been the object of controversy.

During two parallel studies, one by the National Institute on Aging and the other by the University of Wisconsin, researchers conducted an observational study on life extension and its effects on the health of rhesus monkeys, with a calorie-restricted diet, although the results were different. To address the disparity, researchers came together to share the information gathered and analyze how the evidence was developed.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) found that when rhesus monkeys were fed this calorie-restricted diet, with 30 percent fewer calories than those in the control group, they reached 28 years of age in males and 30 years of age in females, more than the average for these captive primates. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) study, on the other hand, found that calorie restriction does not significantly affect survival.

Both studies do not argue that the benefits of calorie-restricted diets can only result in longer life. The average lifespan in humans has been unpredictably influenced by many variations in behavior, individual biological make-up, and environment. According to the researchers, the aim is basically to keep our bodies in the healthiest shape of our lives longer.

Since the similarities between rhesus monkeys and humans are so close, many of the benefits to health and life expectancy effects of caloric restriction may be observed in humans as well, according to the researchers. Further research is needed, however, on how reducing calorie intake affects people over the course of their lives.

Several mechanisms have been suggested in an attempt to explain why calorie restriction leads to a longer lifespan. Scientifically, studies have shown that several sirtuin-class genes, including SIRT1, SIRT3, and SIRT4, create enzymes that boost mitochondrial activity and delay the cellular aging process

Is Calorie Restriction Healthy?

calorie-restricted diet

Getting regular fewer calories than your body needs can cause your metabolism to slow down. For long-term weight loss, patience is of the essence. You may want to avoid diets that require you to severely restrict your calories.

The need for calories also varies from person to person, making it difficult for you to pinpoint how many calories you will need to count in a diet. Starving your body by making a drastic cut in calories is not the key.

On the other hand, researchers have warned that what is effective for nematodes or rats may not work, and may even become a dangerous alternative, in humans, causing, for example, a decrease in muscle mass or bone density.

Limiting calories entails cutting your daily calories at each meal in some proportion. Hunger is, unfortunately, such a basic human impulse that you can’ t easily suppress, so it is pretty much a given that anyone attempting seriously to restrict calories will fail.

For a healthy lifestyle, you must consider eating foods from a range of different nutrient sources. Getting good nutrition on a low-calorie diet is difficult. And as few as 800 calories a day can keep you from getting the energy, you need for daily life and consistent body activity.

It is now suggested that restricting calories will only slow down the aging process if this is combined with good nutrition. Calorie restriction and poor nutrition alone can actually have adverse effects on the aging process.

Calorie restriction Vs. Intermittent Fasting

Thankfully, there is no need to deprive yourself, for most benefits of calorie restriction may come from intermittent fasting.Dietary management through constant calorie reduction and portion control is considered the dominant method recommended by nutritional authorities for type 2 diabetes and weight loss.

Proponents strongly recommend reducing daily calorie intake by 500 calories to reduce weight to an average of one pound of fat per week.On an empty stomach, we first use glycogen stored in the liver.After that, body fat is used. There is no reason for the basal metabolism to drop because supplies of fuel are plentiful.

While intermittent fasting alone does not necessarily mean weight loss, it has been shown to have beneficial health effects.Other intermittent fasting studies in the fields of life extension and the fight against cancer have shown many other benefits

This intermittent fasting unleashes hormone adaptations which are not achieved by a simple caloric reduction.Having 1 – 2 large meals and a long interval between meals, 16 – 22 hours is a good example of Intermittent Fasting.


It is not yet clear to scientists whether long-term calorie restriction is safe, effective, or practical for humans.Research on caloric restriction, however, reveals a new understanding of the aging process and biomechanisms that may affect healthy aging.

These findings may also shed light on ways to ward off or delay conditions that develop more frequently as we age and may also provide information on the development of treatments for these conditions.

It is important to remember that while research into these methods remains on track, studies already provide support for the value of a healthy, balanced diet and physical activity in preventing or delaying the onset of age-related health problems.


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