Restricting calories, without skipping any nutrients, could be the solution for living longer and healthier. Recently, University of Wisconsin researchers found that monkeys on a calorie-restriction diet were half as likely to get cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A reduction of disease certainly translates into living longer and healthier.
“There is no question that calorie-restriction dieting increases the life span of any species,” says Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Louisiana State University. Calorie-restriction dieting is about decreasing calories while making sure to maximize nutrients.
So you want to commence a calorie- restriction diet? The first step is finding out how many calories you need to ingest, to maintain your body’s normal weight. For example, if you don’t gain weight or lose weight by eating 2,400 calories a day, then this is your set point. Once you know your set point you may decrease the calories consumed by 25% to 40%. While 40% is the optimum level of calorie reduction, it is difficult for most people to maintain; realistically you should only expect to cut your calories by 25%.
The next step for engaging in calorie-restriction is good nutrition. Avoid all nutrient-void, low calorie snacks and instead replace them for fruits and vegetables. Small servings of nutrient rich, high-energy foods, such as nuts, lean protein and avocado, provide healthy fats and protein.
The third step may be the most difficult, stick to it. This diet has compelling proof that it works wonders in humans, but only when followed rigorously. It’s all about sacrificing the short-term pleasure for the long-term gains in health. Those who can stick to this diet, may find that their heart functions much more efficiently and that they often times avoid cancer.
With so many beneficial results, it may be wise to ditch the chocolate cake.