Numerous animal studies have shown that restricting calories promotes a longer lifespan. But chronic caloric restriction lowers your muscle mass, and increased muscle mass is also tied to longevity (discussed in a previous thread). So if I want to live a long time, should I restrict my calories, or should I attempt to increase my muscle mass?
http://www.pnas.org/content/100/10/6216.abstract was the major paper that broke the news that Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake.
You can get the longevity boost of caloric restriction with intermittent fasting and careful picking of food types with out starving yourself down to a less functional state.
If you are here at paleohacks, you are more likely to be eating right than most of the populace.
I personally suspect that it's lack of overeating that promotes longevity. You can do that by starving yourself or you can do that by eating healthy foods that give you all needed nutrients in a more condensed form and that do not prompt you to overeat calories.
I keep thinking of how starvation was found to help those with epileptic siezures. But starvation being obviously unpleasant and hard to sustain, someone eventually wisely figured out that he could mimic a similar enough metabolic state to starvation simply by using a ketogenic diet. Epileptic patients were then able to reap the same benefits of starvation, ie less siezures, while not starving at all.
The lesson here is that its not necesarily starvation that gives the benefit, but most likely starvation yields a metabolic condition that is conducive to longevity. That condition may be as simple as a depressed and slower metabolic state, in which case, you may live longer but you won't be living better. Or there could be other aspects not well understood but that can still be achieved through other means besides starvation. It's way too simplistic to assume the only solution is actual starvation. Also up for consideration is that I have not heard of any evidence that this has been shown to work for larger creatures like humans. All of the studies I have seen have been on rats or insects.
Agreeing with Todd. Listen to the Robb Wolf interview on the Livin la Vida Low Carb show. He discusses how these calorie restriction trials produced rats with incredible lifespans, but they had low body temp and were generally sickly.
Wolf believes that IF creates similar good effects of calorie restriction without actual calorie restriction. He also points out that super high calorie diets that athletes tend to follow can lead to signs of premature aging. I would never follow calorie restriction, I'll take a high quality life over an unnaturally long one.
yep, as @todd already mentioned, there is reason to believe that intermittent fasting + fasted training + a compressed feeding window after training has similar benefits as CR, but without actually restricting total calories. and as a bonus, you even can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
I would say find the happy medium between the two, have your proverbial cake, and eat it too. I think chronically restricting calories would be detrimental to overall health. You could replicate the idea through IF, and cycling your calories. I personally think having a solid base of lean muscle mass is critical for optimal health and longevity.
Caloric restriction only appears to extend life in strains of obese mice: http://www.physorg.com/news151928423.html
Did people really think that wasting away was going to make them live longer? If it does, it's only compared to the really terrible SAD that the average person eats.
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