Now I read there's a movement that advocates eating far less than usual in order to live a lot longer. It's called Calorie Restriction, and if a recent Slate article is any indication, it's a lot like anorexia, only most practitioners are middle-aged and male. One passage in the article, written by a recovered anorexic, stood out to me:
My starvation triggered the release of endorphins. In evolutionary terms, this is designed to give humans heightened coping powers in an emergency. In my case, it gave me a sense of well-being and made me feel sharp and energetic. This feeling became an addiction, so that I pursued it even as my tolerance level rose and the same amount of endorphins no longer produced the same effect, at which point I became quite depressed.
The same thing happens in people who practice CR seriously. Your body doesn't know whether you're eating only two-thirds of a normal caloric intake in order to lose weight, or to live forever, or because the crops have failed or the antelope died out.
I think I'll continue to get my endorphin fix with a steady diet of 10-milers.