Want to live to be 120? No problem! Just cut your calories by at least half (maybe 3/4), eliminate wheat, sugar, dairy, meat, and stop cooking at high heat.
Suddenly, I’m okay with checking out at 82.
Devotees of caloric restriction (CR) are banking on their restrictive lifestyle in hopes that father time will cut them the same deal as Dick Clark. Animal research is somewhat promising, but at what point does a few extra years become, well… not worth it?The Daily Mail profiled a couple who are strict adherents of the CR way. Elvira and Claus Bonrich believe they can live longer than anyone in the world by monitoring every single mouthful of food. (Source)
We think about every single morsel of food we put in our bodies… We’ve been following the programme for two-and-a-half years…We do not eat wheat, gluten, dairy, sugar, meat or even drink tap water. I take nutrient supplements and I go to the gym at least three times a week and run nearly every day.”
As the theory goes; eating less will bring about metabolic changes that slow aging and improve health.
One of the CR gurus is researcher Roy Walford, who authored the book “Beyond The 120 Year Diet: How To Double Your Vital Years”. Walford is a pathologist at the University of California, who took part in an experiment in 1991 in which eight bioscientists were sealed in an airtight atrium in the Arizona desert for two years. They essentially subsisted on whatever they could grow (they consumed about 1,500 calories/day). When they emerged, tests suggested they were healthier in every organ function than anyone of their biological age.
CR: Is there a Sensible Middle?
There is no doubt that most of us should eat less food – period. The idea of eating less has become sacrilegious in pop diet book culture, Government dietary recommendations and society in general. It is not “pro anorexic” to suggest somebody eat less food, but how far should this pendulum swing?
In my opinion, the Bonrich’s lifestyle is orthorexic. Where the line is drawn on the healthy/orthorexic continuum varies based on the individual, but when you don’t travel or socialize with others for fear of not adhering to your diet (as quoted by the Bonrich’s), I would say this crosses the line of rational dietary practices.
What do you think? Is CR a sensible lifestyle practice, or an unnecessarily extreme measure in hopes of living longer?