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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Restricting - It's good for you!

As I have, I'm sure most of you have gotten grief on days even when you eat. You worry that if you ever told someone how many calories you had, they'd be horrified. Not because it's so much, but because it's so little.
But a recent study done on primates, has proven that, when two test groups are put onto the same diet (of healthy foods), but one group has their caloric instake systematically restricted to under what is seen as "ideal, healthy levels", their life spans are lengthened with a statistical significance.

You read that right.

They have shown caloric restriction is (according to current studies) good for you.

Two sets of the same species, eating the same foods, all healthy, but one group is eating less of it.

As quoted in the study:

"The new study shows the effects of calorie restriction in primates that are closely related to humans," says lead researcher Ricki Colman, Ph.D., an associate scientist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, in Madison. "Monkeys in the calorie-restricted group are more likely to live healthier, longer." The oldest monkey in the study is now 29. This species has an average lifespan of 27 when in captivity.

"We don't know about ultimate longevity yet, but the monkeys in the calorie-restricted group are unencumbered by age-related diseases and brain atrophy, which is linked to cognitive ability," says Colman.

For those of you interested in reading the rest of it (and I hope you do) the article can be found here on
Now keep in mind, their "restriction" is under 2000 calories (as one person states he himself lives), but it also says the number varies from person to person.
This is not comparing a starvation diet, but have you ever felt, personally, like you've starved yourself when you're eating 800 calories? I always feel very satisfied and like I've stuffed myself, generally.

So I think it's all about knowing yourself, and eating healthy, even if you're not eating a lot.

Now keep in mind, there are some cases in which results can be skewed to prove a certain point. These seem pretty legit, but I haven't had a chance to look at the data myself. Generally, you can manipulate the wording of an outcome to make it appear to be in favor of a certain thing when it's not, but this does not strike me as such.
This is because Restriction is currently seen as "disordered" and not popular (therefor this does not seem as if it would be influenced by a strong promising of money from the psychiatric industry, food-based corporations, pharmaceutical industry, etc.), and it was done as a private study (from what I can see).
I'd need to read it more myself, but I think this is exciting!

I love science ♥


  1. I think it just matters what you eat. As long as you're getting all your vitamins/minerals/nutrients your good to go and who cares about how little calories. (okay, 200 EVERY single day probley wouldn't cut it but...ya know)

    I think disordered is more the mind obsession as opposed to the actual calorie intake, I see the calorie intake as a symptom of the actual disorder.

    Or maybe that's just me but whatever. Me and Denial are friends!!

  2. I love this study - I always bring it up :), my friends hate it

  3. ive heard of this before!
    some scientist dude restricts to 1400 calories a day and believes ultimately it will help him live longer! yay.

    im going to be ancient! <3

  4. I'm amazed every day by how few calories one really needs. I compare what I'm eating now to what I used to eat and, sure, I've lost 12ish pounds since I started keeping track (and a lot more than that from my all-time high weight), but I'm certainly not unhealthy. In fact, I think I'm far healthier than I was.

    I still think the CRONies are a bunch of smug, sexist jerks, though. I keep meaning to blog about them because they're so annoying, but I never seem to get around to it.