How Active Phase Calorie Restriction Can Increase Life Span

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Now that you're familiar with everything we covered in Can Active Phase Calorie Restriction Increase Life Span? it's time to explore the science behind it...

According to Dr. Takahashi, previous research done in the 1930s had shown that cutting calorie intake by 30% could extend life span in addition to health span -- the amount of time before age-associated diseases such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes develop. This has been shown in research in many different species. Recent research indicates that bouts of fasting and limiting calorie intake to active hours also improves health. 

As mice are nocturnal and the majority of calorie-restriction studies have been done on mice during the daytime schedule, the UTSW group used automatic feeders to mimic normal sleep-wake cycles.

The life span and health of the six groups of mice were followed for four years to evaluate the impact of calorie restriction, fasting, and meal timing. 

What tips about active phase calorie restriction can you pass on to your clients?

  • Remove the focus on weight and redirect it to healthy habits.
  • Cut unwanted calories by reducing portion sizes at meals.
  • Reduce mindless snacking while working, driving, or using screens.
  • Limit calories from sugary drinks and alcohol.
  • Reduce intake of desserts, fried snacks, and ultra-processed food.
  • Consume the majority of meals earlier in the day when you’re more active.
  • Pay attention to hunger over habit. 
  • Refer clients for help with emotional or boredom eating

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

Reference: Circadian alignment of early onset caloric restriction promotes longevity in male C57BL/6J mice (

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