Why I Practice Calorie Restriction

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I’ve talked a little about what makes people able to do calorie restriction for many years successfully and a study published in April confirms what I believed.

People who maintain CR for very long periods of time have psychological distinct profiles compared to the average person. When a person starts a diet, it is not long before they fall off and return to their previous habits.

When most people think of a diet, it’s not usually to improve their health either, it’s to lose weight and get thinner in the short term, so people will usually rely on drastic diets that are very unhealthy and potentially damaging to their health.

I know a number of successful long-term calorie restrictors who’ve been on the diet for more 10 years, and some more than 20 years!

This is without showing any signs of disordered eating as well. When a person typically starts a calorie restriction diet to improve their longevity, their weight is secondary to their primary goal, which is to improve their health and live longer.

The reason I started calorie restriction was to improve my health, but it was also part of a long-term goal to stay alive as long as possible to take advantage of the technology that is coming in the next few decades which would be able to extend my life further.

One of the things found in the study is that we are more future orientated. And from talking to people on CR, this is something that was pretty obvious.

“Results indicated the CR group averaged 10 years of CR but scored lower than comparison groups on measures of disordered eating (p < .001) and psychopathology (p < .001). Particularly against overweight/obese participants, CR participants scored lower on neuroticism (p < .04) and hostility (p < .01), and were stronger in future time orientation (p < .05). Overall, CR profiles reflected high self-control and well being, except for having few close relationships. This study suggests a potential predisposition for successful long-term CR without disordered eating.”

I never took part in this study, but I have been on CRON for about 10 years now. And I’ve been eating very healthy for close to 12 years. I would say that the profile describes me pretty well. Calorie Restriction has always been very easy for me to do, but I realize that this is not the case for everyone.

This is why I try to get the point across that even mild CR can have significant benefits. If you combine that with a high-quality vegan diet, then the pay off is going be huge. Perhaps the study that I quoted above should reassure people that living this way does not predispose or cause anyone to develop disordered eating habits.

“To infinity and beyond!”

Okay, if you hadn’t guessed already. I never want to die. I love life so much and would love to explore the universe in the future. To go and see other planets and look for alien life out there. This is why living the way I do is so easy for me!

I look up at the stars often and wonder what else is out there? I said the reason why I started CR was for health, right?

But I also love astronomy and space. I knew in my mind that space exploration is slow and it really wasn’t moving fast. Certainly not fast enough for me to see the colonization of our solar system and beyond.

So for me, it was only logical to get more involved in the life extension community to make this dream become a reality. And why not dream big? When people are asked about living longer, many say that it would be too boring. No way, I say just the opposite!

We are headed towards a fantastic future and we should be excited and proud of our achievements so far. The best part of our journey is not behind us, it’s ahead of us. So really, I’m not too bothered about restricting my calories, when the pay off is potentially so huge.

It’s amazing to be connected to so many inspirational people and people that are working on projects that will change the world.

Open your eyes a little to see the bigger picture, and look for the good, it’s all around us. Find what interests you and makes you feel alive and grow. Find your passion! Live your dreams!

Will We Make It?

Aubrey De Grey uses the term ‘escape velocity’ which basically means that we’ll be able to rejuvenate people and keep them alive long enough to take advantage of the more refined and advanced medical procedures that would be more effective in reversing the molecular damage that accumulates over time in the body with age.

So if you are 80 years old, the first generation of these technologies will be able to take you back 30 years and you would function and look like a 50-year-old.

Then since it would take you another 30 years to become biologically 80 again (110 chronologically), the second generation of treatments could take you back another 40 years, so this time you are biologically 40 even though you are 110+ years old.

In the near future, we could literally be adding one year to our remaining life expectancy with each year that passes! There are many exciting technologies that are starting to mature and slowly becoming more effective.

In the near future, we can expect to be able to regenerate new organs and tissues inside the body using stem cells and gene therapy.

Also, 3D printing is a very exciting technology! If you want to be part of the future and be alive when these technologies are perfected, then no matter what your age is, you should begin eating a very healthy calorie restricted diet now.

RECOMMENDED READING

Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime By Aubrey De Grey Ph.D. and Michael Rae.

This is a few years old, but still remains the objective of SENS Foundation. It details all the types of damage that need to be repaired in the human body to reverse aging and live longer.

Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever By Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman. Ray sent me this book many years ago and I loved it!

It takes you through all the things which you can do to extend your life and live to a time when we have full control of disease and aging. He focuses mainly on the Biotech, Information tech, and the Nanotech revolution.

In his book, he describes what we can do with our diet to be healthier and also recommends supplements.

Although I am less enthusiastic about supplements extending the lifespan of healthy people, there are many good recommendations in the book which could help people who are not as fortunate and need to target specific problems.

1. Angela C. Incollingo Belskya, Elissa S. Epelb, A. Janet Tomiyama.  Clues to maintaining calorie restriction? Psychosocial profiles of successful long-term restrictors. Appetite. 2014 Apr 18;79C:106-112. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.006.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666314001718

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2 Comments

  • Hi Matt,

    I’d be interested in hearing your stance on mitochondrial enhancers like C60. Do they play a role in your longevity strategy?

    • HI Brian! I have read one study about C60, but have been waiting for the results on lifespan extension to be replicated. So I’m not using it at the moment as part of my life extension strategy. I could talk about this and other potential candidates in a future post. Thanks!

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