Setting Goals

Always Set New Goals 

Not too long ago I was thinking that I hadn’t really challenged myself much lately or set goals for myself. Calorie Restriction can be a challenge at first, but eventually it does become routine for most of us. Some of us would spend a lot of time learning about nutrition by reading books and science articles to understand more about nutrition, health, and longevity. Although there’s a lot of new information come out all of the time about nutrition and the benefits of certain foods on disease and health, we learn learn plenty to be able to sustain ourselves on a calorie restriction diet and practice it safely. From that point we are essentially on autopilot. Many of us move onto other interests, while also maintaining this lifestyle.

Learning New Languages

So, back to what I was going to say: It’s normal that once we get comfortable with things how they are, we stay there and don’t take steps to move out of it. When we are children we have so much curiosity and are always exploring new things. Some people stay curiosity in life, while others stick to what they know and rarely venture outside of that for whatever reason. In life it’s important that we don’t get into a routine that makes us become stagnant and stops us from growing as a person. We should always explore new things, keep learning new skills, take up new hobbies, and meet new people. Ultimately it is up to us to make life the best it can be.




I was introduced to K-pop last year by a friend and instantly loved it. At first it’s a bit ‘sensory-overload’ – but after a while you get used to it. Then I started to watch popular Korean Dramas and loved those too! They were different than the one’s I’ve watched in the UK or from the US. In my opinion, the dramas I’ve watched so far, including “Shine or Go Crazy and “My Love From The Star” are very good. My love from the Stars was streamed 14.5 billion times.

I think the Korean dramas have a more authentic style, better connections between the characters, beautiful fashion and costumes, and they are just wonderful to watch. What they sometimes lack with special effects, they more than make up with very good plots. They are funny, cute, interesting, and can be addicting!

After a while of learning more about Korea I’ve started to learn more about the history of Korea and their culture. It’s all been a fascinating experience so far. It’s almost like a new world opening up. And I guess that’s one of the best part about learning a new language.

Now that I’ve fallen in love with South Korea, I’ve begun learning the language because I would love to be able to communicate with the people when I eventually visit the country. (I will also visit Japan on the same trip). So I’ve set myself a goal to become quite fluent by next April, which I think is more than enough time given how much time I spent actively studying. For now I’ll study at home and look for South Korean stores and places here where I live so I can practice the language, as well as using Skype to talk to Korean friends of course. I’ve been researching a few Korean places local to me, and luckily there’s a few! Most South Koreans that come to the UK reside in London, though.

My Plan

When I get a good handle on Korean I will then start to introduce another language. Right now I still have a good grasp on Spanish, so I will listen, read, and try to speak more so I can improve to where I can converse easily. When I was studying it before I never really spoke much, and speaking is much more difficult compared to just being able to understand what is being said.  But for now my most active language will be Korean. At some point over the next few months I will also start to learn Japanese, too. But I won’t stop there! I intend to learn many languages… So far the one’s that I plan to learn are as follows:




Chinese (Mandarin)

Why Learn All of These Languages? 

Firstly, why not? Once you’ve learned them you can enjoy all that these countries have to offer. By learning these languages I will be able to speak to people from these countries and create new opportunities. Here where I live we’ve also had so many university students from China in recent years, too! And language learning also helps you think differently. It improves your memory and keeps the brain young!

As I was trying to look for tips on learning new languages, I came across a guy who speaks 50 languages – not all fluently, but many of them he is exceptionally good at. He also has a love for Asian languages and culture. You can see him converse in them in the video below.

My experience in learning Korean has been great so far. I love every minute of it. It doesn’t even feel like I am studying because I enjoy it so much. And that’s the way language learning should be! 🙂 It feels amazing to just be able to understand suddenly a few verses in a song that you couldn’t a few weeks ago. Over time things that were just “noise” become clearer. It’s these little achievements that make me excited! But the real benefit for me would be able to speak to people in their native languages. This is my goal, and I will achieve it!

Okay, that’s all for now. There’s lots more to update you on with regards to new goals of mine, but I wanted to stay on the topic of language. 🙂

Supplements on Calorie Restriction

What Supplements to take on CR 

I had this question the other day and it’s been a while since I updated on my supplement regimen, so before I do, I’ll talk a little about my feeling towards taking supplements while practicing calorie restriction and what supplements I take and recommend for people practicing calorie restriction or on a raw food, vegan diet.

Avoid the Hype with Supplements

When I first started to read about supplements I was very excited to learn about all the amazing benefits and how they were little miracles in a bottle. Back then in 2005 the research on Resveratrol was only just starting to ramp up. Scientists had discovered that it was Sirtuin Activator and speculated that it might let one get the benefits of calorie restriction without having to actually do the diet. All one had to do was take a supplement or a pill that would be developed and be more powerful.  So as it turns out, resveratrol only benefits obese mice placed on a very bad diet. In mice on normal diets, the resveratrol had no effect on longevity.

This story with regards to supplements is repeated over and over again. At first everyone is excited that we might be on to something that works and will cure people of all their health problems, and then a well-designed study looks at the supplement in question and there is no effect. And what’s scary is that some supplements actually reduced lifespan in long lived mice and calorie restricted animals.

So given that I am skeptical about supplements, you would think that I skip them and not bother. Well, there are supplements that I think do have fairly good evidence, and also won’t do any harm in the long term. I mean, the last thing I want is to take something and then it blocks the life-extending effect of calorie restriction. So anyway, below is a list of the supplements that I feel are needed, safe, and most likely beneficial.

Calorie Restriction Supplements

Vitamin B12: If you are vegetarian or vegan I think that it is a very smart idea to take vitamin B12. It is water-soluble and you can take so much of this that you don’t really need to worry about getting into toxicity issues. As you know, I am a strict vegetarian and “mostly” vegan, so I take a Methylcobalamin (B12) supplement.

Magneisum Citrate: When I started calorie restriction I ran into problems with magnesium. Despite me getting plenty in my diet, I had magnesium deficiency symptoms that went on for almost a year before I figured out the cause. Within a very short period of supplements, the symptoms went away and have not returned in 8 years. Magnesium is also just calming and makes you feel relaxed.

Vitamin D3: I tend to do a lot of work indoors and go through periods where I am a night owl, and don’t get much sun, so taking a vitamin D3 supplement is important for me. I find that it helps improve my mood so much. Also, many people here in the UK don’t get enough even when they are outside often. Vitamin D3 is important for bones, immune system, and well-being. A few studies have also shown it to be very effective in preventing cancer and the recurrence of various cancers. I take at least 2000 IU a day.

Zinc: On a plant-based diet I get a lot of copper and not enough zinc. Since copper and zinc compete for the same pathway, it is crucial to get the correct ratio. It’s recommended that we have zinc-copper ratio of 8:1 to 10:1 — so at least 8 mg of zinc for every 1 mg of copper in your diet. I use CRON-O-METER to find out how much I am getting of each.

Allicin Max: The only stabilized allicin supplement out there and is one of my favourite supplements ever. I cannot tell you how many times I feel it has saved my from falling ill with colds. I take it every day now to protect myself, and I truly believe that it has helped me so much.

I had a bacterial infection years ago and nothing would work, no matter how many antibiotics I was given. I decided to try this supplement after a friend recommended it to me. Before I took it I decided to do some research and found that it acted synergistically with antibiotics to clear infections, by lowering the minimum inhibitory concentrate (MIC) and reversing resistance. In studies it worked on its own as a quorum sensing inhibitor and thus the bacteria cannot communicate well or create a strong biofilm, leaving them vulnerable to the immune system and antibiotics. I’ve had multiple bladder infections growing up and had to resort to antibiotics (they say once you get one, 50% of people have a recurrence), but eventually they became less effective. Trimethoprim stopped working, so I tried Doxycycline (sometimes long term low-dose) and it was great at first, but it was slowly losing its potency. E coli was the problem (causes 90% of UTI’s); and it was becoming resistant.

I was already taking other supplements like AHCC and/or Beta glucans to help with the immune system while taking those antibiotics. And I believe they did help clear it up fast, but for some reason it kept coming back. Ever since I added the Allicin to the mix, it wiped it out and has not returned in years! I’m sure Allicin helped me get rid of the problem for good.

Check out what others are saying about it also… It is available in creams and supplement form. (make sure you get Allicin Max if you’re in the UK and make sure the product contains allisure) It was also featured in the news a few years ago

Probiotics: I’ve taken probiotics for years because of my history with antibiotics. Although I’ve never felt any big negative side effects on my digestive system from taking antibiotics in the past, I’m sure things were out of balance because of other signs. I take at least one 30 billion CFU probiotic supplement every day, so this may have prevented the negative effects of antibiotics. Before I was vegan I would get much of my good bacteria from probiotics yogurts.

My Thoughts on Anti Ageing Supplements

Be careful. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that you want to avoid. Calorie restriction is still the most effective method to extend lifespan. You don’t need to take a huge stack of supplements. If we are to find something that mimics the effect of calorie restriction in extending lifespan, it is likely to come out of the science lab. The closest and most encouraging news lately is about something called Rapamycin. It is a TOR inhibitor and used to help people who have organ transplants. In animal experiments they’ve found that it extends lifespan, even when given late in life. And synthetic versions of this are being developed and tried in older people. There is  also a study in dogs to see if it extends  lifespan. Keep an eye out for news on Rapamycin!

1. Dietary supplementation with Lovaza and krill oil shortens the life span of long-lived F1 mice

2. Influence on Longevity of Blueberry, Cinnamon, Green and Black Tea, Pomegranate, Sesame, Curcumin, Morin, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, and Taxifolin Fed Iso-Calorically to Long-Lived, F1 Hybrid Mice

3. Lifespan effects of simple and complex nutraceutical combinations fed isocalorically to mice.

Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition

Calorie Restriction Diet

What I Eat: Day 1

CRON stands for Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition. Meaning that we have to get a lot of nutrition in less calories than we’d normally eat on an unrestricted or ad lib diet. So every day I am to eat high quality foods that will provide me with everything I need, and then if I still haven’t reached my calorie intake, I will eat whatever I want. This normally means something like dark chocolate or other healthy treat.

I’ve had a few people ask me over the last week about what I eat on my diet. So, my diet doesn’t change too much, as I’ve mentioned before. But I do tend to rotate my foods. When I first started calorie restriction I would eat the exact same meals every day and enjoy them. I never got bored of eating the same thing every single day. My family thought I was crazy and missing out, but I never felt like I was.  I really got a lot of variety packed into just 1550 k/cal. Now I have increased my caloric intake to between 1700 – 1800 k/cal per day.

What I Eat in a Day – Day one

Woke up and got a drink of my 2nd favourite drink – Pukka Lemon, Ginger & Manuka Honey Tea. It also has licorice root, elderflower, fennel seed, lemon verbena leaf, turmeric root, lemon essential oil flavour.

Lemon Ginger and Manuka Honey

For Breakfast I had a Green Smoothie! (it looks brown because of the blueberries). Ingredients were: 200 ml water, 2 Ripe Bananas, One Apple, 180 g Blueberries, 122 g Spinach, Teaspoon of Organic Golden Linseeds (flaxseed).



Green Smoothie

For Lunch I had: Spinach, one Sweet Potato, one Avocado, six Cherry Tomatoes (cooked to soften).  I put a bit of ketchup on there and a teaspoon of olive oil. Then I had a cup of green tea with ginger. 🙂

Sweet potaot with Avocado

A little later I had some strawberries! 🙂


For Dinner I had my usual mixed vegetables: Peas, Carrots, Corn, and Green beans with olive oil, wholemeal bread and a few raisins. (I forgot to take a picture, but you get the idea! 🙂 )

Below is the nutritional breakdown of my diet on CRON-O-METER – Google it and use it to track your diet! It’s very useful!

So, the things that I was low were Selenium, Calcium and Zinc. I supplement Zinc and usually get plenty of Selenium normally. It was a pretty good and satisfying day! 🙂


Calorie Restriction Day 1 meal plan

Nutritional breakdown

Oh and I mustn’t forget the many cups of green tea! I have at least 5 cups of green tea every day with two tea bags per cup.

See my earlier posts on what I ate earlier in my CR Diet.

CRON-O-METER is also now available as an app. Get it HERE 


 Calorie Restriction Diet

What I Eat: Day 2

As I promised, I here’s a log of what I eat on Sunday. Although this day wasn’t a particularly good CR day because I didn’t have much of an appetite most of the day and kept it simple. I ate a lot of fruit because a) it was easier to digest and b) I have so much fruit, I really don’t want it all to go to waste.

So I  woke up early, but was still quite tired after staying awake longer than I expected. I had to help a friend catch her flight back to LA and arrange transport for her to get to the airport in London by noon on Monday. Lucky for her she made it!

For my breakfast I had a bowl of fruit: 1 Banana, 1 Apple, Blueberries, and Raisins. And a cup of Green Tea with Ginger. I was thinking about adding in a mango too, but I didn’t want my blood sugar spiking through the roof first thing in the morning! If I was going for a run in the cold on this morning, then maybe I would have considered it. The mango is getting a bit too overripe as well, so I better eat it soon!

Calorie Restriction Breakfast

A few hours later I saw a lovely ripe avocado in the fridge! Not sure I am going to finish them all off in time before they start going bad. They are already quite ripe and i have too many to eat. Although, I suppose I could eat a couple a day for a few days.

Wholemeal bread and one medium sized avocado with ketchup. Simplicity! Healthy Fast food! 🙂

Avocado on bread

Afternoon Smoothie! 🙂 Spinach, Mango, Apple, Banana. This was really nice! 🙂 I love Mangoes! It’s my favourite fruit…


My final meal of the day was quite a filling one. I had whole wheat pasta and Bolognese.

Ingredients: Dolmio Bolognese Original Sauce, white button mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, 2 cloves of garlic, pinch of cumin, a few flakes of mixed chillies. and cinnamon.

dinner cooking


This wasn’t really a typical day for me. I’m trying to use up much of the food that I have in the fridge before they go bad. I hope that I’ve shown so far that calorie restriction meals don’t have to be tiny, like a carrot stick or a celery stick. You can still enjoy nice meals and that really satisfy you. The last meal of the day was so delicious. I normally have this maybe once a week or once every two weeks.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you what I ate today (Monday). 🙂 Sorry for the posts being a day late, I have to work around things and find time to write these posts.

How to Grow Long Hair Fast Naturally

Growing Long Hair Fast Naturally

Do you want to grow long hair fast? Or at the very least, you want strong healthy hair? Growing long hair can take a bit of effort, but it’s not impossible to speed things up a bit.  I’m going to go through some tips on how to grow long hair fast naturally. Below I will include a list of foods that you should consider including in your diet to help you on your way!

When growing long hair we first have to make sure that you are healthy and not deficient in any nutrients. When you are properly nourished your body is in a happy state and it can allocate resources for the growth of hair on your head. By not getting enough nutrients, the last thing your body wants to do is support the growth something that is not vital to staying alive.  So when practicing calorie restriction we must maintain good nutrition if we want to keep our hair! Pretty simple!

Growing really long hair can take years for some people. For me it took me only two years to see my hair grow from my neck to my waist! Hair typically grows about half an inch per month, but this can vary from person to person. The length a person can attain is genetically determined. If your hair tends to stop at a certain length and never goes further, this is your terminal length and at the moment there’s really not a lot you can do.


June 2013

Matthew lake long hair vegetarian

Grow Long Hair Fast with these Foods!

1. Leafy Greens – Spinach and Kale are packed with nutrition. In fact, Kale is one of the most nutritious greens you can eat! Throw some Spinach or Kale into the blender and make a green smoothie to get the most out of them. Blending can increase the availability of nutrients for your body to absorb, especially beta carotene. They also are high in iron which is very important for hair growth.

2. Nuts – A great snack and  great for your hair too! Eating a handful of walnuts each day will increase oil production in your scalp and help keep your hair strong and less prone to split ends and breakage. My second suggestion is to eat one Brazil nut each day for Selenium. It’s important not to get too little or too much of this important mineral. And finally, eat a few almonds for some biotin.

3Beans and Lentils – Your hair is made up of protein! So of course these foods are perfect to include in your diet. Beans contain significant amounts of zinc which can often be lacking in a vegetarian or vegan diet. You might want to add some garlic as well. Garlic significantly increases the absorption of Zinc.

4. Sweet potatoes – These orange potatoes are loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This pro-vitamin increases oil product and fights against dandruff. Dry scalp and dry hair is not good. Eat up! And don’t forget to add some extra virgin olive oil when eating them to increase absorption of beta carotene.

5. Oats – Eat your oatmeal. Silica is an overlooked mineral when it comes to health. It’s important for both skin and hair. Oatmeal contains up to 500 mg of Silica and will surely help you grow beautiful long hair in no time!

Grow Long Hair Fast with these Drinks!

1. Green Tea – High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Sometimes when we’re stressed out we can increase the level of inflammation i the body as well as stress hormones and this is not good for hair growth. Green tea also contains l-theanine which is an amino acid that is calming and lowers cortisol. Add some fresh grounded ginger for a more powerful drink.

2. Hot Chocolate – Find a chocolate drink with at least 60% Cocoa. Chocolate increases circulation in the body and increases blood flow to the scalp. Also is high in magnesium, zinc, copper and iron which are important for hair. And who doesn’t love chocolate? really? … 🙂

 December 2013

growing long hair on a vegan diet

Growing Long Hair on a vegan diet is easy

Yes, we can grow long hair on a vegan diet if we are good with pay attention to our diet and health, and have a little bit of patience. Some people can grow their hair very fast, and some grow it more slowly. The most important thing is that your hair is maintained in a healthy condition so that it looks healthy and shines!

Rather than focusing on just the length of your hair, and achieving a goal length, make sure you keep every inch of your hair in the best condition, and this will naturally enable you to reach longer lengths. And if you have split ends, make sure you cut them. Taking care of your hair on a vegan diet is not really much different from everyone else. It’s still made of the same thing.

Growing long hair is not just about diet, but it’s also how you treat your hair, what products you use. In my other post on growing long hair on a vegan diet, I give tips on how to manage and treat your hair so that it stays healthy.

Growing long hair requires a lot of patience. Your hair can only grow so much every month, so just enjoy the process of styling it and going through different looks as it gets longer.

If you would like to see more about hair, please go over and visit my site at MakeMyHairGrowFast

To see how long my hair got by the summer of 2014How to grow long hair on a vegan diet




Supercentenarian Misao Okawa (大川 ミサヲ)

Misao Okawa (大川 ミサヲ), 116 Years Old, is the Oldest Person in the World!

The last time a person reached the age of 116 years, 347 days was back in 2006 when María Capovilla held the title of the world’s oldest person. Misao Okawa was born on 5 March 1898, and currently resides in Osaka in Japan. She is one of five women alive who are all from the 1800s, a time when life was far different from today’s world. She also has a daughter and a son who are in their early to mid 90s.

Although Japanese people are generally long-lived, she is quite exceptional. She says that good food, relaxation and good sleep are all contributors to her health. And when asked on her 116th birthday whether or not she thought she’d live such a long life, she said that she didn’t expect it. She was then asked if her time living felt long or short, and she replied: “It was kind of short.”

I’ve talked a lot about the Longevity of Okinawan’s and how they live most of their lives disease, but Japan as a whole has an incredibly high number of centenarians. Right now there are over 50,000 Japanese centenarians. More people in Japan get to see 100 than anywhere else in the world. And in Okinawa, the chance of becoming a centenarian is much higher still. People over there stay slimmer, they eat better, and they look after the elderly much better too. All these things contribute to the longevity records attained in Japan.

Misao Okawa turns 117 on the 5th March 2015. She still has some way to go to beat Marie-Louise Meilleur’s record of 117 years, 230 days. Maria-Louise died back in April 1998. So it has taken many years for these longevity records to be broken. Once a person reaches 115, it’s like there is a barrier they are up against — it is the upper limit of human lifespan. People like Misao on the other hand are outliers and it takes something extra and maybe a bit of luck to allow them to reach such an age.

The only way that we are going to be able to push longevity even further is to fundamentally slow down the ageing process. Jean Calment reached 122, and I predict that it will be some years before we see anyone break that record. But who knows? Sometime in the 2020s we could see it happen – especially given how fast medicine is progressing. Calorie restriction might be one way to break this barrier, but long before any of us practicing calorie restriction reaches such an old age, we’ll likely have true anti-ageing which are more powerful anyway.

Personally, I would love to reach such an age. Here in where I live, people often say that it would be horrible to live so long. But why? Imagine all the things that one could see in one life time. As long as we have good health, we should appreciate every day that we have. Life is precious and we should hold onto it as long as we can.

I hope that Misao Okawa reaches her 117th birthday. Although she is not in the best of health and seems quite frail, she is doing well. She still has a good mind and doesn’t seem to be giving up just yet!

If you want to emulate the Japanese diet, I recommend The Okinawa Program.  The book is based on decades of research into the lives of elderly Okinawan’s. A fascinating read, and was actually my first real introduction into understanding the Japanese diet and way of life. The researchers looked at the lives of these people over a 25 year period to find out what it was that made them live so long. Calorie restriction was only just a part of the reason for their incredible longevity. Okinawa is a place I would love to visit one day!

The five oldest people in the world

Misao Okawa – 116
Gertrude Weaver – 116
Jeralean Talley – 115
Susannah Mushatt Jones – 115
Emma Morano-Martinuzzi – 115

A video of Misao Okawa when she turned 116 years old.


Also seeHealth and Longevity: The longer you live, the healthier you’ve been


What to Eat on Calorie Restriction

Calorie Restriction Diet Plan

Leading on from my previous post, some of you might be wondering on what I actually eat. Well, I don’t eat 5 lbs of food anymore because I’d rather feel “lighter” and less full during the day. I also feel that it’s beneficial to induce a bit of hunger before meal times to increase the health benefits of the diet.

A calorie restriction diet can really vary from person to person. The focus is mainly on calories and meeting 100% of our nutrition for the day. Since fruits and vegetables offer the most nutrition with the fewest calories, we tend to focus on these groups food. In principle, a calorie restriction diet plan can be vegan, vegetarian or paleo. There really isn’t one way to do the diet, you just have to experiment with what works for you and take into considering the evidence if you’re doing the diet to extend lifespan. If you’re not trying to dramatically extend lifespan but just want to enjoy the health prolonging effect of CR, then I think you can be a bit less strict.

Some people will eat the same thing every single day, and some people will vary there diet from day to day. I used to eat the same thing every day, and even though I was happy with that, I felt that I should rotate my foods a bit more. So now I’ll eat different things during the week, but have staples in my diet (a particular meal which I will consume daily).

It’s best to focus on meeting most of your nutritional targets earlier on in the day and then later on if you want to snack or something, you can, and not have to worry too much about the nutrient density. If you go over on your calorie intake on one day, don’t worry, just decrease your calorie intake on the next day. What matters is the average number of calories that you take in.

A calorie restriction diet plan allows for people to really make their diet their own. It requires a bit of effort and planning at first, but then after a while you’re pretty much on autopilot and don’t have to think too much about it. You can just enjoy the food and experimenting new ideas.

Below is an example of what I ate yesterday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, frozen Blueberries, Strawberries, and a Banana. When the oatmeal has almost been cooked, I throw in the fruit and stir, and then serve. Lastly, I typically have 10-20 grams of dark chocolate placed on top of the oatmeal at the end. It tastes delicious!

Oatmeal with Banana, Blueberries, and Strawberries

Lunch: Banana, Mango, Apple, Baby Spinach Smoothie! (I also had a bit of wholemeal bread and 9g olive oil to absorb the nutrients in green smoothie.

raw food green smoothie

Dinner: Carrots, Peas, Corn, Green beans, Raisins. Tablespoon of Olive oil, low salt and sugar ketchup. I also put some chillie flakes on there too.

Mixed vegetables

These were my main meals. Later I snacked on walnuts, almonds. Also wholemeal bread with avocado spread on top, and a bit of ketchup.


A Calorie Restriction Diet is NOT a Starvation Diet

What is a Calorie Restriction Diet?

When you hear someone utter the words “calorie restriction”, you might feel as if this involves starving yourself day after day and forgoing all of the foods that you really enjoy. This couldn’t be further from the truth in my experience. When you practice a calorie restriction diet you must include a wide range of foods in your diet so that you meet all the nutrient requirements that you body needs to thrive. It’s not simply about just eating less of everything, but it’s about eating more quality foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, which will naturally lead to you consuming fewer calories overall. In fact, many people that start calorie restriction quickly realize that they find it hard to consume enough calories and some end up losing more weight than they thought they would.

A calorie restriction diet is about providing your body with the best nutrients so that you can live your life to its full potential. You know, the body adapts in various ways depending on the environment we live in and how we live our lives. So while it may not be the best idea to embark on a calorie restriction plan if you are a marathon runner, rock climber, or serious martial artist, but calorie restriction can be good for the vast majority of people who live more sedentary lifestyle or only exercise moderately to keep themselves fit and in shape.

In some places like Japan, it’s not uncommon to see skinny people everywhere. It’s normal that people have portion sizes that are much smaller than people in the west. In the west, people consume way too much food and this is why we see the obesity crisis. It’s not enough to try and exercise away that burger or fries. Health first starts with what you put in your body; it really is the most important thing and it’s where we must focus most of our efforts if we want to be healthy.

Jack Lalanne “What you eat today, you will wear tomorrow!”

Remember, everything you put into your body determines how you feel and look. We are complex and resilient machines that can really take a lot of insults and damage before we notice the physical effects of a bad diet. Heart attacks don’t just appear suddenly, but the damage gradually builds up over time.  And then sometimes we can quickly see the effects of bad dietary choices because they show up on our waistlines, skin, hair, teeth etc. Every choice you make can make a difference.

Calorie restriction is about making the best choices and packing the most nutrition into our diets. When you do this the results will come! You lose weight, have more energy, and start to look healthier. A common mistake when starting the diet will be as I mentioned above: people eat too little and feel tired all of the time. This diet is not about eating a a lettuce leaf, a carrot stick, and a celery stick for dinner. On a calorie restriction diet you can have a lot of food! On an average day when I first started this diet, it was normal for me to consume around 5 lbs of vegetables and fruits every day! Not even any of my friends or family go through this amount of food.

Don’t eat too little; but also don’t eat too much!

I’ve seen many posts by well-known Youtubers who are recommending 30 Bananas a day and unlimited amount of calories. It all looks good on the surface and it’s what some people want to hear isn’t it?  Unlimited calories and be able to stay lean with no short term or long term negative effects? Well, I’m sorry to say, but I believe this is wrong. Everything we know about nutrition, health and longevity says that calories do matter. Excessive intake of sugar is detrimental to health in the long run. It’s such a convenient idea to live off of bananas because they taste great and are quite cheap to buy. And although they may be able to provide all of the nutrients we need if we consume a lot of them, they still miss out on lots of valuable nutrients in the diet that are only found in vegetables and other fruits. Eating 30 Bananas a day is probably one of the worst diets out there at the moment. Perhaps it’s better than eating an all meat diet, but it’s misguided on the notion that just because the proponents of this diet are skinny, it must therefore be healthy. It’s simply wrong.

They also equate doing calorie restriction with a messed up metabolism. Again, this is not the true! We do calorie restriction and show extremely good metabolic health. The studies are there to back us up too. I feel that they are either unaware of them or are being ignorant to promote their lifestyle.

So, I’m not totally against fruits! I actually eat many different types of fruits every day… but the vast majority of my calories come from vegetables, olive oil, and legumes, and maybe some wholegrain foods. Calorie restriction is not about starving yourself as I’ve already said. It’s not about trying to get really thin either. It’s first and foremost about health. Longevity to many people on this diet is simply a bonus. If people doing calorie restriction for the last 20 years or more felt bad, they would not still be doing it. If on the other hand you are feeling bad, then maybe you really do need to eat a bit more food. Maybe you need to focus on your nutrition more and make sure you are getting everything. Look at your diet using CRON-O-Meter and track it to see what you fall short on or perhaps are getting too much of.

For me CR is simply a tool that I use to enable me to live long enough to benefit from the advances in science and technology to extend lifespan. If calorie restriction was not working for me and my blood work was off and I felt horrible, I would simply change what it is that I was doing – even if that meant upping my calorie intake or changing various parts of my diet. Practicing calorie restriction has improved my health in numerous ways and over the years – I’ve learned so much about nutrition and health. I’ve also significantly broadened my diet! I eat so many different foods now compared to when I was eating a standard diet. And the best part is that I really enjoy the foods I eat, so it is easy to stick to.

We cannot afford to be delusional and develop biases that lead us to make bad decisions. We must think rationally and act accordingly to new information. We must be open minded, use our intuition, experiences, and also use science to guide our decisions.

Calorie restriction is not a starvation diet. Starvation typically leads to ill health, frailty, and death. Calorie restriction leads to a much healthier and much longer life. It’s backed up by 80 years of good studies and thousands of experiments. The diet works to slow ageing and improve health in every species tested. As long as you’re sensible and take the right approach, the diet can work for you. You will add years onto your life. Not bad years, but very good years. You will also feel and look younger for longer. And since it’s not “all or nothing” either! Even milder forms of CR offers some protection against disease and lengthens life.