Calorie Restriction

I have been reading about calorie restriction for some time now.  It is a fascinating field of study, and one that is showing something that has for a long time been simply called a myth – that if you restrict the amount of calories that you intake your body goes into survival mode and you actually extend your life and decrease the chances of heart disease and cancers.

This comes after lots of tests of lab rats and the tests on members of the Calorie Restriction Society here in the USA.   It’s a really cool, but also seems a bit ascetical.  Why would you want to eat nothing all day?

Well, I guess if you are somebody that likes the idea of living into the 22nd century, or living without heart disease, or colon cancer, or dying at the age of 55 – then you’d be into it.  So what’s a lifetime feeling hungry all the time worth to you is the question essentially.

Personally I think I’m going to try it out for a few days and see how it affects my mind, body, sleep, work, and daily habits.

I also believe that it definetly makes you live longer.  Perhaps the best examples of this is the extreme asceticism of Syrian monks in the 4th and 5th centuries.  Such hermits like Simeon Stylites and others went on extreme calorie restriction diets.  Simeon for example started his diet off at a young age, at first only eating once a day, then moving onto eating only lentils once a day – not cooked lentils but those that have been soaking in water for some time.  Then he would go on his horrendous fasts during Lent, that is not eating or drinking for the duration of 40 days – at first he almost died, but then as years progressed and he did it every year, his body became accustomed to the rigors of such a fast.   After this he only ate on Sundays and gave whatever food was given to him during the week to the poor.

Many ascetics lived on small diets.  Antony of the desert only survived on what he found in the desert.  Peter of the desert survived apparently on water and bread for some 70 years.   All of these hermits, who lived under brutal torturous conditions (of their own devices), lived to very old ages, most past 70 and many past 90.

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~ by alexmalina on January 28, 2009.

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