Changing the frequency of your meals could help you cheat death

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Think being a keto warrior is the only way to eat? Or are you someone who swears by intermittent fasting? Well, although we are told that in today’s world we must have at least three square meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, with additional snacks for those looking to build muscle. – it might be possible to get all the calories and nutrients you need from just one meal a day.

Do you think we look crazy? Listen to us.

The controversial revelation was first brought to our attention during an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast (episode # 1670), which saw host Joe sit down with Australian biologist David Sinclair. David is Professor of Genetics and Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School.

Watch David Sinclair Talk About Intermittent Fasting

Speaking of longevity, which David says is not about living longer but rather “being healthier for longer,” he claims he “skips meals,” adding: “It’s no it’s not that difficult, now I feel weird if I have a meal for breakfast or lunch, and I try not to overeat.

“This idea of ​​nutritionists, three meals a day plus snacks, never to be hungry, is killing us.”

“We know that if you do these things to animals [restrict eating], in controlled environments, they live longer, much longer, sometimes 20-30% longer because they are healthier. They don’t have cancer, heart disease, or dementia.

“I don’t know why we don’t all do this, I think we just like to sit and eat.”

To better understand exactly what David is claiming, Joe asks him if eating one meal a day helps you live longer because it’s less tiring on your digestive system, or if there is some sort of mechanism that leads to decomposition. of the human body due to overconsumption?

David says it’s more the latter.

“Overconsumption, or just general consumption, makes your body complacent, and we know that in detail at the molecular level. There are genes that respond to how much and what you eat, and whether you exercise, and these are called longevity genes, and they give our bodies resilience.

Later in the podcast, Joe returns to the topic of one meal a day. He asks David, “Assuming you have your only meal that has 2,000 calories and you have that meal at 6 p.m. and fast for 24 hours until you eat again at 6 p.m., if you do. have this one meal a day, why is it better to do that, than to eat smaller 500 calorie meals several times a day? “

David replies, “6 million years ago our bodies were designed or evolved to respond to adversity, and we removed that from our lives because it feels good. “

“But we need adversity to be resilient and fight disease. So what I’m saying is that time of hunger – and it’s not even hunger these days, I’m not even hungry if I don’t eat – and it takes a few weeks, so if someone had to start, give it some time.

“But what’s going on in the body is you turn on these adversity hormesis response genes, we call them longevity genes. And they force the body to fight against aging and disease.

“So, by eating throughout the day – first of all, it is not true that you have to be full or fed to think clearly, it is clear that people who fast have such good mental capacities, even best – but if you’re still full, or fed, your body says ‘hey I just killed a mammoth, no problem, don’t need to worry about survival and screw up my long term survival’ It is a matter of long term survival, by making the body panic and making it believe that there are hard times.

“Believe me, the data is very clear that this is the way to go if you want to be healthy in the 80s and 90s.”

To find out if we should really take David’s advice and cut the majority of our daily meals altogether, DMARGE spoke exclusively with Jessica Spendlove, Sports Dietitian at Health & Performance Collective.

Jessica agrees that “millions of years ago our ancestors ate this way.”

“But it’s important to consider that a lot has changed since then, including life expectancy and the way we live our lives. Our ancestors hunted for food, for example, which was a necessity for survival. “

As to whether a meal can actually be beneficial, Jessica says that “different strategies can definitely work for different people.”

“While there is research supporting the benefits of fasting with certain health and aging results, it is also important to consider the individual, their medical history, their life, and what works for them, rather than have a general point of view or one size fits all. approach, which is why it is so important to work with individuals and take all factors into account.

If you are someone who is regularly active, be it an athlete or a gym enthusiast, we are always told that we need to keep eating in order to gain muscle and lose body fat. So how does the idea of ​​one meal a day come together here?

Jessica says, “With the types of clients I see and work with who are active individuals, I sit in the camp of regular feeding throughout life, but with intention.”

“The quality and quantity of nutrients is very important, it’s not just about sitting there and grabbing the whole day and the type of food really matters. “

“A predominantly plant-based complete diet, a high-fiber diet, with good quality protein that is minimally processed is a very different way of eating from the overprocessed, low-quality westernized diet that a lot of people eat. “

As for those who wish to build muscle, Jessica adds, “The research is very clear that to optimize muscle growth, the process of muscle protein synthesis requires frequent boluses of high quality protein in the range of 20 to 40 grams three. to five times a day. , in addition to resistance training.

“While in theory you could be getting the right amount of calories and nutrients in a single meal (potentially applying this can be difficult), the piece of the puzzle that wouldn’t solve is frequent and even distribution. “

And, as to whether fasting any time has its advantages over regular snacks, Jessica falls somewhere in the middle.

“It really depends on the person. If I look at the active person or athlete, there is so much research that supports the benefits of regular eating from a diet and recovery standpoint. Much research shows the role of nutrition in immune support and function, as well as injury prevention and management. “

“While there may be a place for fasting in some people, anyone training for results or performance should be very strategic about when they decide to fast. “

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