Scientists have long been studying how diet and meal frequency affect the aging process. They have observed that when an animal consumes fewer calories, it lives longer. Researchers have tested the relationship between aging and caloric restriction on a variety of animals, even humans.
They have concluded that restricting calories by 20-25% can help a person to live longer. The exact reason for this is not fully known yet. However, it is believed that caloric restriction helps to minimize the wear and tear of cells. It also reduces the risk of cancer and other obesity-related diseases.
Reducing caloric intake by 25% is not as difficult as it seems. If you eliminate processed foods from your diet and stick to just natural foods, it is actually quite difficult to consume 2,000 calories a day.
For example: 100 grams of chicken breast contains only 110 calories. You could easily eat 700-800 grams of chicken per day and still have room for:
- A kilogram of veggies (200 to 400 calories)
- A handful of nuts (150 calories)
- A couple of fruits (200 calories)
- A cup of cooked beans (150 calories)
- 2 tablespoons of oil (100 calories)
- Spices and a lot more.
That’s a LOT of food and it barely amounts to 2,000 calories! It is very easy to restrict calories if you’re not gorging on junk food.
The virtues of eating less are ingrained in ancient wisdom across many cultures. For example, there is a Mongolian saying which roughly goes like this: if you want to live long, then eat half, walk double and laugh as much as you can.
As a child, your grandparents probably told you not to eat until your stomach was totally full. They advised you to keep it a little bit empty. Unfortunately, overeating is rampant among humans and obesity has become the number one cause of preventable death in many countries. It is almost as if people are hell bent on digging their own graves using forks, knives and spoons!
According to science, WHEN you eat is as important as WHAT and HOW MUCH you eat. People today are used to having 3 to 4 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, tea (evening) and dinner.
This is not conducive to a long life. If you want to live long, you must follow the principle of fasting and feasting. Intermittent Fasting (IF) helps to release growth hormones and helps in regulating blood-sugar levels. IF is very easy to implement: eat only within an 8-hour window, and fast for 16 hours. This is as simple as having breakfast a little late and dinner a little early.
Let’s turn our attention to hormones.