I've heard a new theory to "improve longevity" called caloric restriction (CR).
You really think I could come up with this shit, day after day after day? Nope. I stumble across it, on the great wide Internet.
The sad part is that this is true stuff.
I'm sure you can see the news feeds along the right side of my blog. They're there for your viewing pleasure. They're also there because I'm too lazy to search the web for news every single day. I found this article on Slate.com: Eating for Less than One: Is caloric restriction any different than anorexia? by Kate Taylor.
There is apparently much research done on the theory (basically fewer calories=longer life). You can lose weight! Live longer! Go completely NUTS!
Gee, that sounds like fun.
The author, herself recovered from anorexia, points out the following:
Although we don't know yet whether the longevity benefits extend to humans, a number of people—probably at least several hundred—have put themselves on draconian diets in the hope of living longer. They refer to their regimen as CR (calorie restriction) or CRON (calorie restriction with optimal nutrition), and they call themselves CRONies. They eat obsessively, measure every calorie, and lose huge amounts of weight. Except for the fact that most of them are men, they look a lot like anorexics. And, on closer examination, it turns out they are a lot like anorexics. Many are trying to jolt themselves out of a midlife crisis, much as many anorexics are seeking relief from adolescent unhappiness. Like anorexics, CRONies discover in starvation an apparent solution to their problems: a source of energy (at least at first), a sense of purpose, and relief from stress.
No kidding. So..let me get this straight. You eat less and then you...become obsessed about food. This isn't about "optimal nutrition." This isn't about weight loss. This is about malnutrition! It's your body's way of saying "FEED ME!" I've been there. I have different names for hunger. That's anorexia. That's also caloric restriction.
And here's the absolutely most absurd part: some physicians have touted caloric restriction as a key to health, yet also saying that anorexia is a killer, blame your mom, there ya go. Anorexia has a rough mortality rate of 15%. And if that's the same as caloric restriction...it seems a much more likely way to die than to live. Besides, how can you get "optimal nutrition" on a calorie-restricted diet?
Here's the incredibly fascinating part- how CRONies act just like anorexics. Just like researcher Ancel Keys found out almost 60 years ago when he cut the calories of a group of men by half and then observed their behavior. One participant said something along the lines of, "When I watched a movie, I was more interested in the food than the sex scenes." As much as a film of the 1940s had, I suppose. Unless it's sex in the kitchen, then all eyes ahead, sailor!
Again, quoting the wonderful Junkfood Science blog: "Researchers recently cautioned that current clinical guidelines for weight management put mature adults at greater risk of dying."
Well, it can't be both. Obviously, we're all gonna die. There's no escaping that. Personally, I don't really want to live forever. But I'd also like to stay here as long as possible. So either we're going to die of obesity or of anorexia.
Um, hello? Can't there be a middle ground here? If anorexia kills, then so does caloric restriction. Malnutrition causes virtually ALL of the symptoms of anorexia. You don't die directly from anorexia; you die of starvation or suicide.
Nice options, there. Also please note the extremely strong correlation between malnutrition, starvation, and, oh, death.
Frankly, even if restricting my food prolongs my life, it's not a life I want to live.
Death by chocolate, baby. Death by chocolate.