According to a recent study coming out of Baton Rouge, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center to be exact, calorie restriction might be the secret to improving one’s mood, having better sex, and of course, getting more sleep.
The study team gathered over 200, healthy males and females aged 20 to 50. All participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of about 22 to 28; so no one was considered obese, or even over weight. The two-year study separated individuals into two groups: one that was placed on a diet, that reduced caloric intake by 25 percent, and another group that could eat whatever they pleased.
The results revealed that the group that was placed on a calorie-restricted diet reported less stress, overall better moods, an increase in sex drive, and the group slept better; versus the other group that was not on a diet. The team believes this is the first type of research to indicate that calorie restriction, as it relates to individuals of normal weight, can have psychological and physical benefits.
CNN reported that the positive results do not end there. Those individuals that did count their calories also lost, on average, approximately 16 lbs; while there was no indication of weight change for the other group. While the goal was to restrict calories by 25 percent, the average that was achieved was a little over 11 percent; so it is unsure if the actual goal would have equaled to more positive results, or negative (i.e. malnutrition, or lack of vital nutrients).
Corby Martin, lead author, noted that the key findings from the study was that a 12 percent reduction in calories over a span of two years could mean a 10 percent loss of body weight, and a positive effect on an individual’s mood, sexual function, and overall quality of life.
One thing to note, was that the males in the group who were allowed to eat anything they wanted, did report an increase in sexual arousal levels, versus those males within the calorie-restricted group. However, when the researchers analyzed quality of sex, the team took sexual fantasy and cognition, sexual experience and behavior, as well as sex drive, relationships and orgasms, into consideration. Despite this, overall, the group that had calorie restrictions scored higher.
The limitations within the study included: females dominating the participant groups at three-quarters; over three-quarters of the participants were white, making it difficult to look at the results when viewing a broader public population.