Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together.
This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!
A few years ago I had a series on radio called Turning Back the Clock, which I wrote in response to listeners in their 50’s and 60’s looking for rejuvenation and tips on staying young. Like me they were exasperated by the claims of the cosmetic industry that the various ingredients in their products could knock ten years off their age. I was asked to design a diet that would help reverse the signs of aging and this developed into a ten week challenge that was undertaken by nearly 100 listeners.
The answer to turning back the clock by several years is to consider and address a number of factors which include physical, emotional and mental age markers.
We have all met people in their 30’s who already seem staid and middle aged and it has nothing to do with the wrinkles on their faces. A positive attitude to life is key if you are to beat the clock and how you interact with the rest of the human race will determine your real age.
Certainly our diet plays a part in the health and fitness of our bodies but it is also about our emotional health and how we feel about ourselves that can make all the difference when looking in the mirror. A smile can knock years off as people are deflected from any lines you might have around your eyes.
CHAPTER ONE – WHY DO WE ALL WANT TO STOP THE AGING PROCESS?
It is not just about the way we look. Most of us will develop grey hair, expanding waistlines, wrinkles and a somewhat world weary appearance. Of course this is important but at the end of the day no-one is unique and everyone will face this process one day.
I don’t believe that we can stop the aging process, and unfortunately in this modern world, that aging process is accompanied in most cases with degenerative diseases of the body and the mind. Poor quality of life and a dependence on prescription drugs to get us through the last 10, 20 or even 30 years of our lives. However, I do believe that we can slow the process down and ensure that we are as pain free and as vital as possible to the very end.
I decided that I would like to grab back the last 10 years. They were great but there were many things that I could have done better. I cannot change the past but what I would like to do is have another go at it. We often say ‘If only I knew then, what I know now’. Well with a body that is 10 years younger I can go ahead with the knowledge that I have today and use that to do some things differently. I want more out of life not less and to do that I have to be fit and healthy.
What is the aging process and how is it accelerated?
That is a much debated question and there are number of reasonable and not so reasonable explanations. The more scientific have a certain amount of merit. In the following chapters I will be covering some of these areas in more detail.
FREE RADICAL DAMAGE.
As energy is generated in one cell, waste is produced. Waste products consist of unstable molecules, which are called free radicals. Some of these free radicals are quite helpful in fighting certain infections but they can also get out of control and start damaging healthy cells around them, which leads to serious disease.
In a nutshell progressive damage by free radicals leads to aging and age related diseases. Our lifespan is dependent on the damage caused throughout our lifetime and our own efforts to repair that damage by living a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, eating healthily etc.
Anti-oxidants are the vacuum cleaners of the human body and their job is to kill these harmful free radicals. The good news is that a diet rich in anti-oxidants (brightly coloured vegetables) is part of the solution.
TOXICITY DAMAGE TO ORGANS.
Every day we are trying to cope with the toxins in our food, that we breathe in or we touch. It is very difficult to control our environment completely and to a degree our bodies are very efficient in dealing with low to moderate levels of toxicity. Organs and systems will either react very quickly as in Anaphylactic shock for example or slower such as with a daily ingestion of a food that we react intolerantly to.
Toxicity builds up when we eat high fat, sugar and stimulants to excess and the organs are in overload and are unable to cope. They become damaged and worn out, the cells die and so do we.
Our hormones govern many of the aspects of aging. There is some genetic connection with hormone profiles within families; particularly mother to daughters but research is showing that hormone stimulation and their effect on our bodies can be managed with diet and natural supplementation. I am not an advocate of artificial hormonal replacement although for some people it alleviates very distressing symptoms. In some cases it is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of a woman. I am very lucky in as much as I managed my own menopause with diet and nutrient supplementation and I found that to be perfect for me. Hair loss, menopause, lack of testosterone are all age related but although levels do drop this should not mean that we become old before our time.
ALKALINE AND ACID BALANCE
This is one of the areas that we are going to be focusing on in the first chapter as the more I have researched this particular area, and the more I have applied the principles to my own diet, the more impressed I have become.
This theory has worldwide recognition. Doctors and scientists in the US, Japan, China and Europe are beginning to appreciate the damage that acid has on our bodies. It is also one of the few theories of aging that is definitely manageable with healthy eating and some everyday normal supplementation of vitamins and minerals. One of the most caustic acids that we consume daily is sugar.
This book is not a weight loss guide although if you follow the food guidelines at the back of the book and eat unprocessed fresh produce and prepare from scratch, the reduction in refined sugars will help you regain a healthy weight. This does not mean skinny. Research is indicating that if you are carrying a few pounds more than the weight charts recommend it is no bad thing! Thank goodness for that. However, carrying two stone or more of additional weight is going to put a strain on your skeleton, muscle strength and the accumulated fat will also be surrounding your major organs.
There is a lot of information now on anti-aging being weight related – is that true?
This is obviously an area very close to my heart. I had so many age related illnesses at 43 when I suffered from obesity. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, thin hair, fatigue etc.
It is now 20 years later and because I made some lifestyle and diet changes in my overall health is considerably better now than it was then.
There is bound to be general wear and tear but it will help enormously if you can get down to a reasonable weight that enables you to eat healthily, exercise comfortably, put less stress on the infrastructure and makes you feel more confident about yourself.
We do not need as many calories when we get older but we certainly need to take in far more nutrients which is why if you consume a diet that is high in a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruits, nuts and seeds that will give you a really healthy boost of nutrients in a smaller package.
There is a great deal of information about ideal weights, but some of it is confusing – What is an easy way to calculate where you should be?
One of the easiest ways to calculate your optimum weight I have come across is this.
- For medium framed women as a base use 100lbs up to 5 foot and then 5lbs for every inch over that height. Modify by 5% either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
- For medium framed men as a base use 106lbs up to 5 foot and then 6lbs for every inch over that height. Modify either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
- For example a woman who is a heavy frame and 5foot 6 inches would have an optimal weight of 100lbs + 30lbs = 130lbs x 5% = 6.5lbs giving an optimum weight of 136.5lbs or 60.2Kilos
- A light framed man of 5foot 10 inches would be 106lbs + 60lbs = 166lbs less 5% = 8lbs = 158lbs or 72Kilos.
- This is not exact but it gives you an approximate idea of where you should be. To be honest I have met people who are fantastically healthy, fit and full of energy who are a stone or even two stone heavier. But there is no doubt that if we are talking about anti-aging, being a healthy weight for your age and size is important.
Intermittent Fasting to lose weight and increase health.
For the last two years I have been following the Intermittent Fasting eating programme. I eat within an 8 hour window each day and have found that I have more energy. I also follow my own advice and eat at least 80% of my food from natural and unprocessed sources. My husband does likewise and it is a form of eating that suits us. If you are interested in losing weight you will find an excellent guide to Intermittent Fasting in The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer or go to their website www.thefastdiet.co.uk/. If you are severely overweight and would like to explore the emotional, mental and physical aspects and a complete weight reduction programme then you might like to read one of my previous books. Size Matters is the story of my weight gain and loss and the programme I designed to help me lose my weight and those of my clients in the following years. You can find it in E-versions at www.moyhill.com/sm
Next week: CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.
I hope you will enjoy the series and look forward to your feedback.. Sally