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Would You Be Willing to Skip Eating If It Meant Living Longer?

karithina, flickr

We all want to live longer, but one way to do it may not sit well with you — it involves eating less. A lot less. In fact, on some days, you’ll eat almost nothing at all.

Calorie restriction has been shown to prolong the lives of animals by as much as 40 percent, and could even protect against common age-related diseases like cancer and diabetes.

New research on so-called alternate day fasting (ADF) indicates there are cardiovascular and weight-loss benefits to eating fewer than 600 calories every other day. In fact, if you can stand doing it, you almost get free rein to eat whatever you want on your non-restricted days.

But if that’s too much for you, a modified version in which you only “fast” two days a week might work, too. A BBC reporter who tried it for five weeks lost almost 14 pounds and saw his glucose and cholesterol numbers improve — and he said sticking to the plan was remarkably easy.

All that aside, though, until extensive research is done with humans, experts suggest fasting only in a clinical setting because severe caloric restriction could be dangerous for some individuals.


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