by Mike Howard
At 113 years of age, Walter Breuning has seen a lot (and I mean A LOT) of fad diets come and go. So what's the dietary secret to his longevity?
Eating less... yup, that's pretty much it!
Breuning was born in 1896. Before we get into how he defies father time, let that sink in for a minute... eighteen freaking ninety-six! Here's what was going on around the time Walter was born:
* The first modern Olympics took place.
* The X-Ray was invented.
* A man was fined for breaking the speed limit of 2mph.
* George Burns was born that same year--that guy was OLD and he's been dead for a while now!
Now obviously old Walt has some pretty good genes to have lived to supercentenarian-hood. But, here is some advice Breuning offers to help explain his impressive mileage:
"I think you should push back from the table when you're still hungry."
At 5 foot 8 and 125 pounds, Breuning limits himself to a big breakfast and lunch every day and no supper. Breakfast usually consists of eggs, toast or pancakes.
"You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell people not to eat so darn much."
Breuning also eats a lot of fruit every day and takes a low dose aspirin, the only medication of any kind he takes.
Don't forget the water:
"I drink water all the time and just a bit of coffee. I drink a cup and a half of coffee for breakfast and a cup with lunch."
And, the wisdom of having lived through the great depression...
"Everybody was poor years ago... When we were kids, we ate what was on the table. Crusts of bread or whatever it was. You ate what they put on your plate, and that's all you got."
Breuning also believes that hard work is beneficial, holding down two jobs for most of his life, and carrying on a single job until the age of 99.
He also keeps his mind sharp by interacting with people who visit him at his retirement home, and he listens to the radio, as his vision does not allow him to read anymore.
Breuning celebrated his 113th birthday with not one but two cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla. And, for his birthday lunch he got his favorite, liver and onions.
I have to say this is an incredible story. It is always fascinating to see how people keep spry in their elder years. The eating less mantra certainly corresponds well with the literature which shows calorie restriction to lengthen life.
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