Add 20 Years to your life!

Symbol of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Image via Wikipedia

“Keeping yourself on the edge of hunger will add 20 years to your lifespan …”
Toronto Star, November 21, 2010
Article by Vivian Song

Okinawa and the Shimaine Prefecture in Japan are the two places in the world with the highest number of centenarians per capita. Researchers feel  that it’s not just genetics that counts. From 50 to 70 percent of aging gracefully and healthfully is based on lifestyle. The lifestyle of these leaders in lifespan is primarily based on moderation. They stop eating when they are 80% full! In addition, their diet focuses on fruit, vegetables, soy and fish.

So calorie reduction is important and has led to a new term or concept – “calorie restriction” and new resources that I plan to investigate:

  1. The New York Times bestseller “The Okinawa Program“, by Craig Willcox, and
  2. The Calorie Restriction Society International.

According to the article, experts categorize how the body’s energy and resources are needed into maintenance, repair, growth and metabolism processes. Extra calories and weight put more pressure on the growth and metabolism categories. Otherwise more energy is available for maintenance and repair, which should lead to fewer age-related chronic diseases.

The lifestyle of centenarians in Okinawa is also described as “uncommonly austere” and active. This report substantiates my nutrition strategy and confirms that my next priority should be an effective exercise program.

There’s always something new to learn. Two other ideas are important and need to be developed as habits:

  • How do you recognize when you are full or 80% full?
  • Is a simpler lifestyle healthier?
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