I’ve been doing some reading on fasting mimicking as I thought it sounds very much like my preferred diet and lifestyle (albeit somewhat altered by Covid lockdowns and working from home snacking and baking) and might explain why at 51 I feel healthier, fitter and stronger than my younger self. The benefits to your health and longevity from a lower calorie diet are said to be immense.
So I’d been looking for information on the Longevity diet which is very much based on research not fads. In a nutshell it suggests to fast for 12 hours a day eg. between 8pm and 8am. I had heard of the notion of not eating after 8 pm which it recommends and to fast for 12 hours daily so I’d already done that very often so it seems achievable. The diet calls for a very simple diet, I don’t eat beef, lamb or pork and mainly eat veggies, fruit, grains, seeds, nuts, beans, legumes and a bit of fish and chicken (we won’t talk about my snacks and chocolate) so it aligns quite well with my eating philosophy. So when I read about the recommended meals in the Longevity diet it’s not a big stretch for me to try it. It also suggests walking fast for an hour a day which I do and taking the stairs which I do because I hate lifts anyway.
The creator of the Longevity Diet Voltor Longo was a student of Roy Walford in the 80’s at UCLA and he was famous for something called calorie restriction and credited with significantly furthering aging research. Calorie restriction was a very simple intervention that was to eat less, as it turned out calorie restriction is extremely powerful but extremely detrimental at the same time. It prevents diabetes and cuts cancer and cardiology diseases but at the same time can make you anorexic and can give you lots of problems to do with infectious diseases, wound healing etc. so then research effort was shifted to establish how do they get these incredible benefits without having the detrimental effects.
Dr. Longo says “When you are fasting incredible things happen. The body starts looking for things that are not working properly. We know this happens for example during development before we are born there are very clear mechanisms to get rid of bad cells and keep the good ones like the stem cells that generate organs. So when you’re fasting the normal cells, the good cells are saved and they go into a protected mode, the ones that don’t behave, the cancer cells, auto immune cells those are the ones that are targeted and they start to die at a much faster rate. There is a reset button that all organisms push and that reset button makes the organism younger, healthier and live longer.”
You can read more about the Longevity Diet here. It certainly looks achievable and the benefits are immense.