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What is a diet with calorie restriction like?

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Quick Answer

A diet with calorie restriction means the dieter sets a daily limit on caloric intake. Typically, an individual may be limited to 1,600 to 1,900 calories per day that she derives from natural foods, while avoiding carbohydrates and saturated fats. Vitamins and supplements may be used to compensate for lost nutrients.

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Full Answer

A variety of approaches to a diet with calorie restriction are available, depending on personal preference. Some dieters prefer to eat five small meals per day that contain fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Other dieters prefer to eat a large meal in the morning and a small meal in the afternoon and to cease eating early in the evening.

In order to achieve results, dieters research the vitamins and nutrients needed from their daily diet and eat foods that are most beneficial. Their doctors may advise them to take particular supplements, such as iron and calcium.

Calorie-restricted diets have been found to greatly extend life expectancy in a variety of animals, including mice, rats, and fruit flies. In 2014, a study by the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research found that lowering caloric intake helps prevent dementia in mice.

In humans, a diet that restricts calories reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. As of 2015, it has not been scientifically proven to extend life span and improve cognitive function, but many proponents of calorie restriction believe that it does. They cite anecdotal evidence of improved health and energy levels.

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