Smaller Hips, Bigger Brains?
Turns out your hips are not the only thing benefiting when you say no to a bunch of extra calories.
In a recent study, women performed significantly better on memory tests after spending several months on a lower-calorie diet. Yep, that sound you hear when you take a pass on the chip bowl? It's your brain and your hips high-fiving.
Less Food for Thought
In the study, the women who chopped about 30 percent of the calories in their diets for 3 months had better improvements on verbal memory tests compared with women who stuck to their normal diets during that time. Not too surprisingly, the women who ate less lost a few pounds in the process, too. Need to lose a few? Set yourself up for success with this easy-to-follow RealAge program that includes e-mail reminders.
Improvements in Plastics
At the end of the study, the calorie cutters also experienced drops in their blood levels of insulin and an inflammatory marker known as C-reactive protein. This could explain the brain benefits, since lower levels of inflammation and better sensitivity to insulin may help speed up the brain's signaling powers and improve its plasticity. Yep, you want a plastic brain. Here's why.
Ready to downsize some of your meals and snacks? It's not hard with these easy trimming tricks:
- Play mind games. Get more satisfaction from fewer bites by maintaining this mental mantra.
- Start smart. Having this appetizer helps stop you from overdoing it at dinner.
- Go ahead, eat a big breakfast. Here's what to eat -- and how it will help you eat less later.
- Rework your recipes. This simple swap can easily cut hundreds of calories from a single meal.
Caloric restriction improves memory in elderly humans. Witte, A. V. et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America 2009 Jan 27;106(4):1255-1260.