Multiple studies have shown that restricting calories can have a positive impact on lifespan and overall health. Yet, most of us find it pretty tough to actually do it.
In the well-known “Minnesota Starvation Study,” volunteers experienced obsession with food, constant hunger, psychological and emotional challenges, and bingeing. It should give us cause to stop and think when we learn that even the researchers who study the benefits of restricting calories rarely do so themselves.
How about you? Have you ever tried to lose weight by restricting your calorie intake? How did that work for you?
I’m betting we’d all like to know if there’s a less psychologically damaging way to lose weight and thrive in a sexy, slim body. Researchers wondered the same thing…
The big breakthrough came when researchers realized that test subjects could obtain the same positive results as they had from restricting calories, simply by restricting protein.
Let’s look at the first big, comparative analysis of dietary restrictions. From these results it appears that protein intake has a greater impact on weight loss than calories. What’s more, switching to a low-protein diet, without changing one’s calories at all, seems to offer comparable life and health benefits to those of restricting calories.
And that’s a great thing, because a low-protein, healthy calorie diet is exactly what I recommend to you—and I can tell you from experience that this kind of diet is delicious, energizing, and so easy to maintain! I’ve told you before, and I’ll tell you again: You can have the slender, beautiful body you desire, and all the answers are in your kitchen!
Not only that, this low-protein diet inhibits TOR (aging enzymes) and IGF-1 —which in turn improves health and lengthens lifespan dramatically.
You may be surprised to hear, however, that not all protein was created equal. Some proteins—namely, those derived from animal products—are much, much worse for us. How do we know? A certain amino acid called leucine seems to have the greatest impact on TOR levels. Leucine, incidentally, is found in dairy, all meat, eggs and other animal products. Fruits, veggies, legumes and grains, on the other hand, contain extremely low amounts of it.
To reduce our leucine intake—and thus to improve our lifespan and overall health, if you’re following—we must limit (or ideally stop) our consumption of animal proteins and focus on consuming a low-protein, healthy calorie diet.
Let me just put this into perspective: to consume the same quantity of leucine that we’d get from a serving of dairy or meat, we’d need to eat 4 large heads of cabbage or 8 dozen apples! Even I can’t eat that much fruit!
All this could explain why certain groups of people, like the Okinawa Japanese, have such extraordinarily long lives and slim, healthy bodies. Traditional diets in these cultures consist of just 10% protein, are practically cholesterol-free and more or less plant-based, and consist of less than 1% fish, dairy, meat or eggs. (That’s about one serving of an animal product every month or two.)
We’re getting closer to understanding the science behind why plant-based populations live so long…wouldn’t you like to know how this low-protein diet feels, too?
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This article originally appeared on donnawild.com and has been republished with permission.
About the Author
Donna, revolutionary Vegan Nutritionist and Australian Latin Dance Champion, is a popular plant-based health and lifestyle author who offers a fresh and knowledgeable approach to veganism in forums such as Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Elephant Journal and others.
For more information, visit donnawild.com
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