Would you believe that starving can actually help you live longer and healthier? Maybe starving is a strong word. Many low-calorie diets fail. However, when you balance the nutritional content of a lower calorie diet, you end up with some very good health perks.
There is a term used to describe a low-calorie diet with balanced nutrition – Caloric Restriction (CR). Most nutritionists tell us that we need fifteen calories per pound to maintain our body weight. If you weigh one hundred pounds, then you need 1500 calories daily to stay at that same weight. CR levels are generally 30 percent less than those prescribed by nutritionists – a one-hundred-pound person would live on 1000 calories a day.
The thought that lowering our food intake to barely sustainable levels was documented in the 16th century by Louis Caranaro in his book, ‘La Vita Sobria’ – The Temperate Life. It is sometimes titled, How to Live 100 Years. Please note that he lived to 102 years of age.
He wrote an anti-aging book espousing eating only the minimum food needed to stay alive. The book was written in four sections. He completed each section when he was 83, 86, 91 and 95 years of age respectively. Louis Caranaro lived a reckless life. He was dying when he entered his 40s. He developed a CR lifestyle, and lived it, for another 60 years of his life.
Benjamin Franklin was an advocate of food abstinence to live a healthier and longer life. Benjamin Franklin was eighty-five years old when he passed away. He is known for saying, “The best medicines are rest and fasting.” We see pictures of Benjamin Franklin portraying him a bit on the ‘heavy’ side. In reality, he was lean and trim up into his 60s. He advised his peers to pay attention to your weight. If you were overweight, eat less. If you were underweight, eat more. If you were in good health, continue doing what you were doing. He lived 30-40 years past the expected age of his time.