If you want to live to a ripe old age, you might want to put down that snack. Research has shown that restricting your calorie intake can extend your life, reduce belly fat, and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) have been studying what happens when people restrict their calorie intake and eat foods that trick the human body into thinking it's fasting.
The process, known as "fasting mimicry," is believed to make the body shut down and go into "standby mode" - during which process it kills bad cells and regenerates new ones that are more functional.
So how much (or little) should you eat? On the study, volunteers consumed 1,000 calories on day one and 725 calories for the remaining four days. However, it's not just how many calories you eat, but what you eat. Volunteers were given a healthy diet with specific percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
"The human fasting mimicking diet (FMD) program is a plant-based diet program designed to attain fasting-like effects while providing micronutrient nourishment (vitamins, minerals, etc.) and minimize the burden of fasting," Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology at USC Davis, said in the study.
Unlike the popular 5-2 diet, which requires two days of low calories, Longo's diet requires you to fast for five consecutive days. The benefits were impressive. After three months, volunteers had lost weight and had fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Three kitchen gadgets that can help you to eat healthier:
Bella BEJU01 Whole Fruit Juicer, £59.99
Russell Hobbs 21140 3 Tier Steamer, £19.99