Eat Less, Live Longer? Really And Be Happy? - Smitten Kitchen Blog at - 112636

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Eat Less, Live Longer? Really and be happy? 
Jul. 10, 2009 6:33 pm 
Updated: Jul. 17, 2009 6:27 pm
I caught a report tonight on the CBS Evening News with the title Eat Less, Live Longer.  A group of scientist took monkeys and put half on a calorie restricted diet.  They wanted to see if they would live longer.  That they did.  50% died on the unrestricted diet verses the 20% who died on the calorie restricted diet.  It is also felt that you are 3 times LESS pron to cancer, diabetes and heart disease on a calorie restricted diet.  I'm not advicating restricting your calories I just thought this information was interesting especially in light of the fact that there are over 200,000,000 people (2/3 of us) overweight.

I believe in moderation.  I have learned that eating healthy plus moving my body at least 3 times a week allows me the freedom to eat what I want when I want within moderation.  I want an ice cream, I have one, but not every night.  I want a rare steak with a baked potato?  OK, I have that maybe once a month.  I don't buy any food with high fructose corn syrup in it or hydrogenated oil- both things extremely bad for your body.  I make most of my own bread and cookies and if I do buy them at the market I read the labels. I make my dinners from scratch.

The most interesting thing that the CBS report stated was that by reducing your caloric intake by 10% -30% you would jump start your metabolism!  That is not a lot and I think a doable number. 

I liked to eat (who doesn't) I like a glass of wine or two and I like a good cocktail.  I try to eat healthy and excercise on a regular basis.  Will I live to be 80 or 100?  Who knows, but I'll enjoy myself every step of the way with good food, friends and family.
Jul. 10, 2009 10:09 pm
SWEETJAM I saw that news article too and thought "hmmmmm...worth a try". If I would just cut out the bread I'd probably be fine, no, I know I"d be fine. Maybe, just maybe I can do this.
Rani S 
Jul. 11, 2009 3:28 am
Very interesting.
Jul. 11, 2009 7:25 pm
I think a lot has to do with genetics & hormones. At my age & with my family history, even being at my ideal weight has not affected my high blood pressure & cholesterol.
Jul. 12, 2009 8:42 am
VM, thank you! I worked with a lady who at the age of 62 went with a group of us to a health fair. She had her cholesterol checked and while strolling among the many venues, her name was called out on the PA system and she went back, thinking the test must have come back (we all went at various times to get our "readouts"). They wanted to do hers again. The second time it came back it was the same as the first time, over 400! The doctor in charge of the health fair contacted our supervisor and told her to dismiss this lady for the remainder of the day so she could go to her personal physician and get her cholesterol levels checked yet again and possibly medication to bring it down to more normal levels. Her doctor laughed and said, "But your mother's cholesterol is as high as yours and she's 88 years old"!! Genetically predisposed?
Jul. 13, 2009 6:52 pm
Great blog! There's definitely truth behind the program you saw on TV. I did all raw for awhile and I felt AMAZING! Too bad I love bread and cheese and cooking so much. :) It's all about eating when you actually "feel" hungry. Thanks for sharing this!
Jul. 14, 2009 6:12 am
I definitely agree with you about everything in moderation...that reminds me- I haven't been to the gym since my deep fried cheesecake the other night!
Jul. 14, 2009 7:45 am
Good blog. ABC had a similar story. It was amazing how different the monkeys looked. But then they interviewed a couple who follows a very restrictive restrictive that they welcome hunger pains, they get a high from feeling hungry. The thing is these people looked awful, gaunt in fact. The showed the man running, it was hard to watch. I agree with a healthy eating plan and everything in moderations and moving. I, however, am an equal opportunity eater. The older I get the harder I have to make sure I eat better and move more. But there is a happy medium in there somewhere.
Jul. 14, 2009 10:59 am
My healhy weight is 135 lbs. I went from 212lbs. to 137lbs. doing just that, eating less. Did I eat my pizza slice with everything on it? Yep! Cheesecake, ice cream, yep and yep! And my ultimate favorite CHOCOLATE! Oh yeah there was no way I was letting that go! When my grandmother saw me after two years. She was like."OMG, are you throwing up your food? You look sick!" Yeah, not the reaction I was looking for. I was at my "ideal weight" but looked like something from "Schindler's List". So staying on a restricted diet is okay but we shouldn't make it our only goal in life to lose weight. Let's enjoy food, but just as everyone has agreed to...everything in moderation! PS: eventually I decided to stick to 145lbs. I continue eating in moderation but still look good too! LOL
Jul. 14, 2009 4:53 pm
I definitely agree that in moderation you can have everything,just not everyday and tons of it. I have lost 55 lbs on WW, and love the program. I saw that on the news the other night too, but, the man they had on there looked truly anorexic... a little scary..
Jul. 14, 2009 6:34 pm
I might not be the best one to say this, but I think moderation is the key to a happy and healthy life. If you want a darn piece of cake, HAVE IT.. have a lighter meal if you are planning on having a big dessert.. and once a month have eat your favorite meal plus dessert.. whatever works for you, as long as your not obsessing. Being healthy is very important, and I know obesity is a HUGE issue in the US, but there is so much pressure to be "thin" and now young girls relate being thin to being happy, which is not true. Happiness begins when you start loving yourself, and both starving and binging is not a sign of a healthy self estime.. just my 2 cents :).
Jul. 15, 2009 1:51 am
I agree that eating healthy is important but it can be taken too far. For several years I ate almost nothing but salad and got my weight down to 110 lbs and I am 5ft 10 (which by the way is the average weight and height of a model- sick). My hair fell out and I'm still fixing the damage I did to my teeth. In moderation is the key word. Too much either way and you won't be living very long at all.
Jul. 15, 2009 7:00 am
I saw a similar group of calorie restricted folks on Oprah. They looked gaunt and weak, and were obsessive about food. It seemed unhealthy to me to be weighing every ounce of food you eat. I think that taken too far you have a medical disorder called anorexia. One of the diagnosing points of it is an unhealthy obsession with calories and food. hmmm, balance is a key to happiness.
Jul. 15, 2009 9:20 am
Good blog, & thanks. Your vantage seems important, serious considerations for us all, and I agree with you, Chocochip plus others: *Everything in moderation.* About enjoying food vs. worrying & counting each & every bite, here's a short piece which seems a great adjunct to yours, Sweetjam:
Elaine H 
Jul. 15, 2009 1:33 pm
Thanks for all the comments. I, my husband, and our two children (both teenagers) are overweight/obese. We are changing our eating habits and exercising more. We are trying to be conscience of reasonable portion sizes and healthier choices one day at a time.
Jul. 15, 2009 3:13 pm
Well, I think it's obvious that you won't live as long on a no-restriction sort of diet. I mean, if you consume too many calories, you're also getting too many other unhealthy things, like trans fats. Calorie restriction doesn't necessarily mean you are going to live longer unless you combine it with eating healthy food. I hate those reports because they don't advocate healthiness, they advocate being a calorie-counting anorexic, it seems. Yes, count calories, but don't forget to watch for the unhealthy foods and try to bulk up on the healthy ones, no matter their calorie content.
Jul. 16, 2009 2:18 pm
I have found that motto eat less move more worked for me. I ended up going from 188 to 145 in about 8 months. I look and feel better then I did pre children. The big things I had to look out for were booze, sweets, and bread. It's amazing how many calories you can find in a bottle of good irish stout!
Jul. 16, 2009 5:45 pm
I'd rather live for the day, thanks. With my family genetics, I'll be lucky to get to 70. So why not live like I want? Which means eating stuff without worrying all the time about what I look like on the outside. As long as I feel good, I don't care if something is 400 calories!
Jul. 17, 2009 6:27 pm
WOW!! I just got home from a week long meeting and I'm just reading a lot of comments now. Interesting enough I have a very good friend that I work with that is taking dieting to the extreme right now- in my opinion. She wants to loose 135 lbs and is doing it with the help of topomax- a high blood pressure med with the added side effect of weight loss. I'm worried. Kelly, I have to agree that you should live in the here and now, but be smart about it so you don't end up at the end of your life with any regrets. Mama Lisa- yes, I think the pitfalls you mention are real- those are things I also have to watch- It is hard! Ljones- your right- I'm not sure the calorie restriction thing is healthy? They do look SOOO thin to me, but maybe they are happy? I just wouldn't know. What I know is that I wouldn't be happy. Elaine- good luck to you and your family. I really admire folks who diet and do it successfully. I think it is HARD!! Tifer14- my daughters bff just got out of an eating disorder center. Very sad what it did to her. She was really "lost" for a year, but she is on the road to recovery and we are so happy and proud of her! My daughter is also 5'10" and weighs 145. I can not imagine her at 110!
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About Me
I love to cook and have often thought I should have gone to culinary school. My biggest cooking influence is my mother she is really a good cook, but I look up to my brother who has never used a recipe in his life....he cooks by taste; a little of this and that and it is always amazing. I cook almost every night for my family. My true passion is entertaining. I secretly want to be Martha Stewart...he he!!
My favorite things to cook
I like good soup and hearty meals. I also love to come across a good apetizer recipe. I recently purchased a bread machine and have really enjoyed using it. I'm not baking so much now that my daughter is doing a lot of it around here.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Baklava every Christmas. It looks like you spent all day in the kitchen, but it is a snap! My dad made stuffing every holiday. It is still the best I have ever tasted with apples and raisons. YUMMY!
My cooking triumphs
I will try anything, once! I made that italian dish they always talk about on Everybody Loves Raymond. It was time consuming, but interesting to make. I always say if you can follow a recipe you can be a good cook. Teaching my daughter the love of cooking and baking. When I'm out of town she actually gets a hot meal on the table and can even make home made bread. I'm so proud of her. She will be making all the pies for Thanksgiving dinner this year.
My cooking tragedies
The biggest one is a recipe for brussel sprouts that you steamed than cooked in a jelly of some sort. I didn't think I was steaming them long enough. They were raw! Very dissapointing side dish to a Thanksgiving meal!
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