The Benefits of Calorie Restriction for Longevity

Though a bane for dieters, a slower metabolism may actually be a good thing.

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This is part of my video series on calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, and time-restricted eating. Next up is Potential Pitfalls of Calorie Restriction (

The rest coming out over the next few months are:
• Benefits of Fasting for Weight Loss Put to the Test (
• Is Fasting Beneficial for Weight Loss? (
• Is Fasting for Weight Loss Safe? (
• Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Put to the Test (
• Is Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Safe? (
• Does Intermittent Fasting Increase Human Life Expectancy? (
• The 5:2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test (
• Time-Restricted Eating Put to the Test (
• The Benefits of Early Time-Restricted Eating (

If you don’t want to wait you can watch them all now on a digital download (

If you’re watching this the day it comes out, there are two days left to register for my 3rd and final fasting webinar, Fasting and Cancer, here (

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgments for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Image credit: Matthew Bennett / unsplash

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50 thoughts on “The Benefits of Calorie Restriction for Longevity

  1. If you’re watching this the day it comes out, there are two days left to register for my 3rd and final fasting webinar, Fasting and Cancer, at

  2. I feel like this video ended early? How much should we reduce our calories by? Too little and we gain it all back? 50% is a little much 😂

  3. I am very surprised you cited the conscientious objector study. I thought there was a generally accepted convention against using data from unethical research.

  4. ⭐️ I started eating a good salad before I ordered any fast food or ate processed food. Slowly, I reduced the size of those meals and became hungrier for veggies and fruit over the course of 4 weeks. Now I'm actually cooking 2 to 3 times per day instead of 0 or 1 and I'm craving the veggies! Soda is tough, but I'm reducing it the best I can. Sugar in my coffee is next. Gotta find a nice flavored drink I like (I'm a drink lover) that is wfpb like most of what I eat now 🙂 All I know is over the course of this past month I've become happier, more energetic, I have less inflammation, my focus and memory are better, and I can breathe better. I don't even want much of the processed stuff now but even when I do I can have a little. But, binge eating is something I gotta watch out for so I do try to keep that stuff out of the house and just binge on my huge salads LOL!

  5. Woooooooo!!!

    Soooooo today was the day people. Today was the day!!

    6 months I been on keto. Drank wine and had a few cheat days but not many.

    I have lost more than 50lbs. 10 inches off my waist. 2 shirt sizes. Went from 38% to 19% bodyfat and dropping. It's been life changing.

    But everyone talks smack and says wait till you get your bloodwork after eating bacon and eggs for 6 months. I ate other things but that is usually the insult thrown at me by the ignorant.


    Doctor called me today. Had a complete panel done.

    My LDL, cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides, blood pressure, organ function, and vitamin and mineral levels were all excellent not even normal. Excellent.

    She said I could add a little more folic acid to my diet was her only comment. Rest was excellent.

    Loosing 50lbs is 1 thing but the proof for me was going to be what my bloodwork was like 6 months later after eating a high fat high cholesterol diet.

    Ans, excellent. Actually better levels now than when I was a vegan and I am 50lbs lighter as a bonus.

    Now I have the concrete data to show my insides are as healthy as my outside 6 months into keto.

    Life changing back by data.

  6. Contrary to what this video is telling you… Animals with 17% higher metabolic rates lived 36% longer in the Study 'Uncoupled and Surviving'.

  7. But how many of the benefits of caloric restriction are just due to the benefits of eating less junk? If most of what people eat is bad for them, then it seems that eating less is a good thing. But if you eat nothing but healthy food, would it really be beneficial to restrict calories as opposed to maximizing nutrient intake?

  8. Hello doctor and greetings from Bulgaria
    You are the only doctors I’ve ever trusted and followed. Unfortunately I’m still a vegetarian but a lot less dairy consumption (mainly goat products) and I love the different topics that you present to us.
    But would you please do a video about vaccinations 💉, because I’m so confused with everything around social media these days..
    Please help me with some real evidence for what I should do when I become a mother one day.

    Thanks a lot!

  9. So not being over weight is good for your health but restricting calories when you are slim and healthy is bad. Groundbreaking stuff. 😂

  10. But we’re they healthier just because the food they were eating was unhealthy and so the less the better? What if they were on a near perfect diet vs the same diet but restricted calories? This seems unfinished.

  11. studies say that the vegan diet is deficient in a handful of nutrients.. im pretty sure thats enough restriction.. if people want to loose weight they should eat more fruit and less of everything else, i was getting thin on a fruitarian diet, now that im eating normal again im putting on some weight, must be the coconuts, love my coconuts, ay fhuuck you main

  12. Would love to know your opinion on the research:
    Does drinking cow's milk help children grow taller?

    Thank you!

  13. Fasting is what creates longevity in the body and kills cancer cells the same time not calorie restriction especially for a vegan diet.

  14. Here's my thing: I eat when I'm hungry. Not when I want to eat, not when my stomach is empty, but when I'm hungry. It goes like this: I eat a bunch of calories in the morning, the majority of my day's worth. Then I go to work. I don't stop working (or running errands or what have you) until I feel this driving force in my belly that interrupts my focus and says (via a feeling) something like 'Ooh, hey there man, it's time to eat. Whatever this is, isn't as important as food anymore.' This feeling will naturally go away and fade to comfortability if I allow it, and I can take my fast pretty deeply depending on how excellent my health is at the time or how far I would like to take it. For the sake of normal circumstances, when I feel that compelling sort of gnawing ache in the stomach that drives me to decide to eat, I go ahead and prepare more food. I try not to snack or add calories in between meals in order to cleanse the system and keep it fresh (try it). When I feel tiny hunger urges that aren't very compelling, I acknowledge them and move on. My body will interrupt me if I'm truly hungry for a meal. This is based on synthesis of all information I've come across thusfar, much of it in alignment with yoga/ayurveda.

  15. Benefits of Calorie restriction for longevity can be easily mimicked by reducing inflammatory amino acids (methionine, cystine, etc) or "balancing them out" and by reduced endotoxin level.

  16. I wish I could do this. I know its ridiculous how much I eat. I only eat whole food plant based but can still manage to keep an extra 20-25 lbs of unnecessary weight on me. It might be all the dates with nut butters smeared on them or just the fact that I always have a meal or two a day, in which I get overly full. I guess it food addiction as I had heard that we also produce dopamine from getting a full feeling in the stomach.

  17. I've always wondered whether the calorie restriction = longevity argument is a reason to be cautions with exercising too much, especially since oxidative stress (also caused by exercise) seems to be a causal factor.

  18. holy crap this is the golden information we've been waiting for!! can't wait for the IF videos, I know they are coming, I believe with all my vegan heart!!!

  19. I have been reading and studying caloric restriction for maximizing my functional longevity for many years, first learning of the concept in a Scientific American article. I do eat much less than I used to when younger, but I do not count calories to reach certain percentages less than a standard caloric load. I enjoy eating, as most humans do, but I do moderate what I eat so that I maintain a healthy bodyfat level and BMI levels. It has become an ingrained lifestyle for me at this point of my life, so I would imagine that I am experiencing some of those positive health and longevity effects that SA magazine mentioned, such as the free radical reduction. Being fully herbivorous for nearly twenty years now has definitely made it easier to maintain a reduction in daily caloric load when compared to my earlier years as a highly carnivorous eater. Thanks for the talk doc!
    calorie restricted but still lovin' eating

  20. Were the participants eating the standard American diet? If so reduced oxidative stress may just be because of reduced junk food intake. Would love to see a study like this done on wfpb eaters.

  21. I am 31 and I am vegan for almost 11 years. I have tried to gain weight since… ever! So, I always try to eat as much as I can, but I don't have any success in gaining weight. And each time I hear that calorie restriction is beneficial for longevity, I get jealous of all the other girls. Meanwhile, they are jealous of me because I'm a freak of nature who can eat anything, anytime, and a lot.

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