Secret no.11 One meal a day

41415099_e3de17b2ac_oDespite reaching 100 on June 22nd, Mary Williams has the enviable record of only having been to hospital once (after a fall on a bus when she was 94).

Mary lives alone in supported housing but her family flew in from as far away as Australia to celebrate her 100th birthday. She had what sounds like quite a tough live to begin with – born into a workhouse in County Galway, Ireland, and then raised by nuns until she was 16.

Despite this, she’s managed to get to 100. How? She partly puts this remarkable record down to her regime of drinking a pint of warm water, once in the morning and once in the evening. But Mary also says she has another secret, one that might have a bit more going for it: her habit of only eating one meal a day.

Could that really be a factor?

Plausibility rating: 6 out of 10. Keeping hydrated is important but probably not the key to longevity. More possible is the habit of eating just one meal a day: calorie restriction has been shown to increase longevity in mice and other animals, and a serious study on humans – Calerie – is underway. It involves eating 25% less calories, while maintaining adequate nutrition. There’s even a society dedicated to putting it into practice – CR Society International. It says its website is ‘the most important you’ll ever visit’, which is quite some claim.

It may not work of course but as that old joke goes: ‘It’ll probably feel like it’.

photo credit: lunch via photopin (license)


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