The secret to a long and healthy life?

Brian Beckcom
2 min readJun 15, 2017

Over the past decade, researchers have looked carefully at what we can do to live longer and also to live better while we age. (After all, there’s no point living a long life if you’re not healthy also.)

Many researchers believe there is one change you can make right now that will almost guarantee you live longer and also that you’re more healthy as you age.

The change? Eat less.

For instance, Julie Mattison from the National Institute on Aging envisions a time when our chronological age ticks by every year, but our biological age gets set to a different timer, such that you don’t feel as old as you are.

Mattison, and others like her, are convinced that restricting the amount of calories we consume is linked to longer, more active lives reduces the ravages of aging.

The idea that calorie restriction improves health isn’t new. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, one of the world’s first “doctors,” observed and wrote about a connection between disease and gluttony. In the 15th Century, Alvise Cornaro, an Italian aristocrat, was fat and unhealthy. He decided to severely restrict the amount of calories he consumed. He claimed afterwards to have achieved “perfect health,” and given that he lived another 40 years (he died in his 90s) in the 15th Century, it’s probably worth at least listening to his story.

More recently, a 1935 science found that white rates who ate a restricted calorie diet extended their lifespan, delayed death from age-related disorders, and were healthier overall.

So how do you restrict calories when there’s a McDonald on every corner?

Eating less is easy for lab rats and other captive animals, because they don’t get a choice.

How about for human beings? Cutting overall calories is harder for us, particularly when there’s a McDonald’s on every single street corner in the United States and the giant food conglomerates employee Ph.D. scientists who use their education to addict us to garbage masquerading as food.

Not to mention, everyone is different, both in terms of genetics, body composition, size, average physical activity, etc etc.

I don’t have any easy answers for you on how to eat less. For me personally, I’ve tried BulletProof Coffee, which works great for me, along with Intermittent Fasting, which also works great. I’ve also found that when I eat less, I condition my body and brain to expect less food, thus creating a cycle that makes eating less easier and easier. And I almost never eat three full meals a day, as I think three full meals is totally unnatural (especially when you sit behind a desk for long stretches at a time like I do).

None of this may work for you. But something will work. And if you want to be healthier, live longer, and enjoy your later years more, then you should eat less. It’s that simple.



Brian Beckcom

Trial Lawyer, Computer Scientist, & Philosopher. Podcast host for Lessons from Leaders. &