Eat Less, Live More

“Man lives on one quarter of what he eats. On the other three quarters his physician lives.” This observation, carved into an Egyptian pyramid almost 5000 years ago, should be chiseled into the brain of everyone serious about wanting to live longer and stay well. This truth—that when people or animals eat less they live longer and remain healthier—is literally thousands of years old. Of course, way back then, this was common knowledge. And nobody needed highfalutin lab experiments to prove it.


eat less live more
Dietary restriction has long been shown to extend lifespan in organisms from fruit flies to human beings and all creatures in between. This is the case even if an eat-less program is put into practice when an animal is already middle-aged. In 1973, at Michigan State University, E.D. Schienker and his research team published the results of an interesting investigation into a group of 97 women, middle aged and older, whose histories they had followed since 1948. At the beginning of the study, each woman provided the researchers with a list of the foods and quantities she ate during one day, as well as her health and nutritional history. All women who took part were rated in good, fair or poor health following the qualitative index of aging set out by the American Journal of Public Health.

Then in 1972—25 years down the road—the women still living were examined once again. Researchers found that those who looked younger than their years and were far healthier ate less than their counterparts. These healthier women were also found to have consumed substantially more vitamins—especially B1, A and C—than their older looking counterparts. The name of the game they were playing is known as “undernutrition without malnutrition”, although this phrase had not even been coined until long after this study had begun.


beautiful older women
Not only is avoiding obesity a major means of preparing for a good-looking and healthy old age. Avoiding excessive food intake is equally important. For eating more than your body needs is a major cause of oxystress—free radical damage to cells, and crosslinking of collagen fibers. When animals are underfed yet provided with optimal quantities of all essential vitamins and minerals, they not only live longer. They remain free of chronic infections and degenerative diseases including cancer, arteriosclerosis and arthritis. Eat less while increasing the quality of the foods you eat, and you can dramatically decelerate the rate at which your body ages. This is just as true for humans as it is for our animal friends.


ask any rat - eat less live more
As far back as the 1930s, researcher Clive McCay at Cornell University became famous for a series of experiments in which he severely restricted calories in rats yet supplied them with vitamin and mineral supplements from the time of weaning. These animals lived twice as long as his control group which were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Not only that, their longer lives were far healthier. McCay fed all his rats every day. To his longevity rats, he gave only 60% of the amount he gave the control group. He also supplemented their diet with enough vitamins and minerals to make up for the 40% deficit in their food intake. By day 1000 of the experiment, all of the normally fed rats were dead, while most of the underfed animals were not only alive and well—they were sexually active and showed little sign of aging or degeneration.

McCay’s work was also validated by other investigators in a number of laboratories. Morris Ross at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia reported that he was able to extend the maximum lifespan of rats by 50 to 60% using similar methods. In human terms, this would correspond to our being able to live for around 170 years. Other researchers found they could extend an animal’s lifespan by fasting them every second, third or fourth day. This method brought about a 20 to 30% extension to the creature’s life. And, as with McCay’s calorie-restricted animals, not only was lifespan increased: The rate at which they aged was dramatically slowed. This was determined by what are known as “the biomarkers of aging.”


lynx in winter
Biomarkers are measurements designed to determine how old any mammal is—not chronologically, but functionally and biochemically. You can have a chronological age of 75, yet your skin may be as smooth as someone 20 years younger. Your heart and lungs may have the fitness of someone much younger, and your immune system may work as well as a 40 year old’s. In this case, your biomarkers would indicate that you are much younger physiologically than your chronological age implies.

Other biomarkers include the degree of skin dryness, the graying of hair, patterns of blood cholesterol, the function of liver enzymes, the incidence and time of cataract onset and so forth. Researchers testing calorie restricted animals say that, by all known biomarkers, they are significantly younger than they should be according to their chronological age. Like us in similar circumstances, these animals are highly resistant to degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease and kidney disease. According to one study where 50% of the well fed group of mice developed cancer, a mere 13% of the restricted food mice did. In another research project carried out on rats in Australia, these figures were 64% and 15% respectively. Similar results were shown in regard to other chronic illnesses.


arctic seal
By now it’s generally accepted that such findings can be translated into human applications. There is a high degree of probability that, even started in adulthood, such dietary restrictions can bring the same benefits to people. Aging, like growth and development, is a general process—in fact one of the most general of all biological phenomena. Biologists agree that such a general anti-aging practice as undernutrition without malnutrition, which works on mice and rats, is likely to work for humans as well. The prospects offered by such findings are exciting indeed to anyone wanting to initiate an ageless aging life. For what they have brought to light is a method of age retardation, life extension and prevention from degeneration which is not only effective but safe, simple, inexpensive and available to any man or woman with enough initiative and motivation to put it into practice.


leopard eating
It is only possible to achieve undernutrition without malnutrition by choosing the foods you eat very carefully, and completely eliminating all the highly processed, nutritionally empty foods which make up the lion’s share of most people’s meals—from sugars, cereals and grains to margarines, soft drinks and potato crisps. In truth, it means cutting out all packaged convenience foods and focusing your eating on organically grown, non-starchy green vegetables, non-sugary fruits, and good quality proteins including meat, fish, and eggs. The other essential ingredient in this remarkable approach to age retardation is making sure you get a good supply of extra nutrients from the right kind of nutritional supplements. This requires a top quality, food-state multi vitamin and mineral supplement which also contains important plant factors, amino acids and power foods, taken daily. These can be hard to find, as can a genuinely clean omega-3 supplement.

You see, most vitamins sold in stores and online are synthetic chemicals that have been produced in the laboratory in an attempt to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins. Avoid them. Our bodies can absorb with ease the vitamins and minerals that we take in from our foods. But the body does not absorb man-made vitamins easily, simply because they are foreign to it. You may be taking some high potency artificially made vitamin which comes highly recommended, yet your body is unable to make use of the chemical vitamins it contains.


honour your worth
To most people, the idea of restricting the amount of food they consume and leaving the sticky buns and chocolate bars out of their lives seems like a terrible deprivation—an action which can only be carried out by a gargantuan effort of the will. But this is only the point of view of somebody who has not yet experienced the vast rewards that come with dietary temperance. My own greatest health fault is my tendency to eat far more than my body needs. Why? First, I think I’m a hedonist by nature. Second, I was taught early on by my grandmother (who raised me as a very young child) that if anything goes wrong, or you feel tired or tense or confused, FOOD is the antidote. Recently, I’ve begun my own experiments in undernutrition without malnutrition. So far I can report that the rewards far outweigh what I expected to be the sacrifices. I look better, feel better and have more energy. I enjoy food more than I ever have before. Such a way of eating helps keep your mind clear and your senses heightened. It is also a brilliant experiment anyone can make in learning to honor your own values, instead of just going along with the way most people treat their body and their health.

Of course, there are other bonuses in store from such a foodstyle as well. It can markedly increase resistance to infection, delay arthritic changes in the spine, prevent the graying of hair and curtail many other age signs. Animals on such a regime are active and energetic well into old age. They retain sexual interest and energy long after their fully fed brothers and sisters have fallen by the wayside. Undernutrition without malnutrition improves vision, hearing, and mental acuity as well.

The Greek poet Hesiod some 2700 years ago had this to say on the subject:

“Fools not to know that half exceeds the whole,
How blest the sparing meal and temperate bowl.”

Note from Leslie:

After a long search for the best food-state supplement available, I ended up trying many. At the same time, I researched the best source of omega-3 oils checking out the purity and lack of contamination of each product. So far these are the best I have found.

Omega 3 fish oil


Carlson Labs, MedOmega Fish Oil 2800, Norwegian, Lemon-Lime Flavor, 3.3 fl oz (100 ml)

From Norway: The finest fish oil from deep, cold ocean-water fish. Concentrated to supply 2800 mg. (2.8 grams) of total omega-3s per teaspoonful. Bottled in Norway to ensure maximum freshness. Refreshing natural lemon-lime taste.
Balanced Concentrate
DHA 1200 mg & EPA 1200 mg
Professional Strength
Promotes Heart, Brain & Joint Health

Order MedOmega Fish Oil from iherb

food state vitamins


Dr. Mercola, Whole Food Multivitamin Plus

As a dietary supplement, adults take 4 tablets two times daily with food or as directed by your healthcare professional. This product is best taken once in the morning and once at night.

Order Whole Food Multivitamin Plus from iherb



  • Lara October 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

    How little do we need to eat in order to get the benefits? Roughly how many calories would it take for a women of around 30 y/o?

    Is even less better or should one stick to a minimum amount of food?

    What about the side effects of low calorie intake for example period loss or hair loss?

    Do the food-state vitamins help to alleviate perceived hunger?

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    • Leslie Kenton October 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Dear Lara,

      You’ve asked a lot of very complex questions. First, you do not need to go hungry at all. Second I suggest you Google to learn more. Try “eat less live longer” for instance and read what you find there. Third, I suggest you read the three blogs on intermittent fasting on the Cura Romana website which are certainly related to eating less and living more as well as the Fast to End Cellulite blog. This is what I suggest if you want to know more about the effects of what is known as “undernutrition without malnutrition.” Finally, food-state vitamins do not in any way alleviate hunger but the very best food state vitamins can be useful to make sure that you get the very best nutritional support no matter what kind of healthy eating you choose to follow.

      Warmest wishes,


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