While the goal is always to consume a normocaloric pattern of nutrition (i.e., for your calories taken in to match your personalized metabolic needs), there are some things to keep in mind. For instance, when caloric intake regularly exceeds needs, this can result in energy balance being off kilter.
When it comes to striking energy balance, I don't have to tell you that our current food environment is working against us. In the last few decades, we've experienced a major one-two-punch: Portion sizes have drastically increased, while nutritional quality of our food has plummeted.
What's more, we know from rodents and primates, to Homo sapiens ourselves—conserving calories not only helps one achieve and maintain a healthy weight but more importantly, results in positive changes in body composition, namely less excess adiposity (fat mass) and more lean muscle tissue (fat-free mass).
On the flipside, excess calories, fat storage, insulin resistance, and shorter lifespan are intertwined. Not a fun web to be tangled in. For example, we know that elevated insulin levels are clearly tied to accelerated aging, a relationship that’s conserved across many species.
Consuming fewer calories from food is directly related to cardiometabolic health gains in the realm of insulin sensitivity, heart physiology, and even liver health. What's more, clinical studies indicate that being thrifty with calories leads to biomarker improvements that indicate the "pace of aging is delayed.”
Is anyone else's mind blown that we have the ability to quite literally pace ourselves, for our well-being and fullness of life? I personally find it very empowering.