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Turn Back the Clock with This Calorie Trick

Turn Back the Clock with This Calorie Trick

If you'd like to be one of those people who looks and feels better with each passing year, here's how to do it.

Leave a spoonful here and there. Switch to low-cal this and that. Skip a snack now and then. And just eat a little lighter. Research suggests that a diet with roughly 30 percent fewer calories than a typical Western diet could reduce certain signs of aging.

Light(ish) Eaters Live Longer
No one is advocating that people starve themselves, but we all know that the typical Western diet has ballooned out of control, with massive portion sizes becoming the norm. Now, research on calorie restriction suggests that, to live longer, we need to head back in the other direction. When researchers compared a group of light eaters with a group of heavier eaters, the light eaters came out ahead on important markers of aging. Their blood work showed less triiodothyronine (T3) -- a hormone linked to damaging free radicals -- and less tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) -- molecules linked to body-aging inflammation. Find out how exercise can help curb your appetite.

How Much Is Enough?
The light eaters in the study averaged roughly 1,800 calories a day, but that calorie count isn't for everyone. (Find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.) And perhaps as important as not stuffing yourself is making sure you get the right amount of nutrients. The light eaters routinely got 100 percent of the recommended intake of all essential vitamins and nutrients every day.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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