Yet another nail in the fat people’s coffins. Today, in the BBC, there is yet another report of the calorie restricted diet prolonging life. In this case a more than 20 year study of rhesus monkeys has shown what has long been proven in mice, worms and yeast, that eating a minimal diet gives a more vigorous life and a longer one than eating a maximal diet.
Most of the people of the world have now been eating very well ever since the green revolution led to a period of food abundance and this has led to better overall health of humanity. It has also led to an epidemic of obesity which will soon lead to an epidemic of diabetes which will bring on an expensive debilitating and expensive early death. Many things have been blamed for this epidemic of obesity and probably all of them have contributed to it but there seems to be one inescapable fact, if you eat more calories than you use, for more than three days, you will begin to gain weight. If you use more calories than you eat for three days you will begin to lose weight. The three days seems to be how long the human body needs to reset its weight stabilization set points. Any substantial calorie shortfall or excess for less than three days will simply be made up for with the next access to food but if there is too little or too much for more than three days the body takes a longer term reaction with a new set point adjustment.
The rhesus monkeys were divided into two groups: one had unlimited access to food like most modern people and the other group was artificially limited in their access to an otherwise excellent diet—not a famine diet. Very few modern people have something artificially limiting their access to food. We humans may know that we should eat less but when eating is so pleasurable and there is plenty of food available it is near impossible not to eat just a little more. We may want to lose weight and we may want to eat less but we just can’t resist eating a little bit more. It feels good so we do it.
Once we are really committed to dieting we may be able to do it for a while, perhaps even a few weeks but one of the worst problems with dieting is maintaining an interest in doing it. I observed I could diet for a while but would soon lose interest after a few days so I created what is called The Probaway Ten Day Diet. The general idea is that anyone can maintain interest in a diet for ten days—so change the diet on a scheduled basis. I was able to do this for a whole year.