Apart from losing weight, a diet low in calories is also likely to increase vigour and improve sexual drive, finds a new study.
The findings showed that a low calorie diet improved mood, reduced tension and improved general health and sexual drive and relationship after a period of two years.
The participants who showed bigger weight loss by the calorie restriction also exhibited increased vigour, less mood disturbance, improved general health and better quality of sleep.
A 25 percent calorie restriction over two years by adults who were not obese caused lead to better health and improved the quality of life.
“Calorie restriction among primarily overweight and obese persons has been found to improve quality of life, sleep and sexual function, and the results of the present study indicate that two years of calorie restriction is unlikely to negatively affect these factors in healthy adults; rather, calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement,” said Corby K. Martin, associate professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the US.
Studies have shown that calorie restriction can increase longevity in many species. But in humans calorie restriction was known to decrease libido, lower stamina, depress mood and increase irritability.
For the results, published online by JAMA Internal Medicine, the team analysed a group of non-obese individuals because beneficial effects of calorie restriction on health span (length of time free of disease) increase the possibility that more people will practice calorie restriction.
The analysis included 218 participants and self-report questionnaires were used to measure mood, quality of life, sleep and sexual function.
Data were collected at baseline, a year and two years. Of the 218 participants, the average age was nearly 38 and 70 percent were women.
The calorie restriction group lost an average of 16.7 pounds compared with less than a pound in the control group at year two.