How would you like to look and feel ten years younger in just ten weeks time? Studies show that Americans on the whole are aging faster than ever with conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease occurring increasingly earlier on in life—along with everyday age indicators like wrinkles and love handles. Now, Dr. Steven Masley, former medical director of the prestigious Pritikin Longevity Center® and a pioneer in anti-aging medicine, delivers a breakthrough plan to turn back the clock, inside and out—no matter what your age!
Originally featured on the Discovery Channel, the Ten Years Younger Program is designed to combat the roots of accelerated aging. Poor nutrition, toxins in the environment, stress, and exposure to free radicals all make us old before our time, along with a little-known aging culprit: low- and no-carb diets. As Dr. Masley shows, low-carb diets deprive the body of anti-aging phytonutrients and fiber, accelerate osteoporosis, and damage brain cells. So the first secret of turning back time is: Eat your carbs!
Each week, Ten Years Younger guides you through an age-busting combination of cutting-edge nutritional choices, relaxation techniques to reduce the aging effects of stress, and simple workouts designed to build lean muscle and trim and tone your body from head to toe. By following the plan for just ten weeks, you will:
Achieve significant weight loss—up to twenty-five pounds
Boost your energy levels
Rejuvenate your skin
Enhance brain function
Prevent and reverse the onset of diabetes and heart disease
Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure
Improve sexual vitality
With tools to help you assess how your body is really aging, weekly shopping lists and meal plans, and over 100 delicious recipes packed with antioxidants and anti-aging nutrients, Ten Years Younger is the healthiest, safest, and fastest way to take off the years—no surgery required!
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Steven Masley, M.D., is a physician, a nutritionist, and the former medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center® in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently medical director of the acclaimed Carillon Executive Health Program at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, he is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of South Florida.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The Accelerated Aging Epidemic
Today, nearly half of all Americans are getting old before their time, suffering all kinds of age-related symptoms at alarmingly younger ages. I call this Accelerated Aging Syndrome, and it is fast becoming an epidemic in this country. Quite simply, accelerated aging is a faster-than-normal deterioration in the functioning of your body and mind. In my practice, I’ve seen it begin with a subtle shift in body shape–an expanding waistline or shrinking muscles–caused by indulgent eating, lack of exercise, and yo-yo dieting. Your energy decreases while your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels climb. You’re tired and achy all the time. Your libido dwindles, your muscles sag, and your skin looks dull. You just don’t feel like you can keep up with your job, your kids, and your routine the way you used to. Perhaps most upsetting are symptoms of memory loss, which only add to your level of discouragement and distress. You realize that you feel old–even if you’re not!
So why is this happening to so many of us these days? Unfortunately, changes in the American diet and lifestyle have conspired to make us age more rapidly. Before we can begin the process of becoming ten years younger, we need to understand these aging enemies–what I call aging accelerators–and how they impact our daily lives.
Aging Accelerator #1: Oxidative Stress
Catherine, a 36-year-old woman living in Olympia, Washington, seemed to be sick all the time. If she wasn’t fighting upper respiratory infections, she was in my office complaining of sinus headaches or intestinal cramping. She couldn’t think clearly; she seemed depressed; she ached all over. I saw her once every three weeks for a whole year for one issue or another.
“It’s because of that darned office building,” she told me. “It’s one of those sick buildings–you know, the kind that has no windows. We’re all breathing the same air all the time. We’re constantly passing colds on to each other.” It never occurred to Catherine that the fact that she never exercised and ate poorly could be the source of her illnesses. She was always looking for a quick fix for her problems, requesting prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Although I could appreciate her frustration, I believed Catherine’s workplace had nothing to do with her situation. She was suffering from a disorder that often lies hidden and goes undiagnosed–a condition called oxidative stress. At first she resisted my suggestions that a healthier lifestyle might be her ticket to a better life. But after a frustrating year of illness, Catherine finally agreed to try the Ten Years Younger Diet for a month and to work out at the local gym at least four days a week.
A month went by, and to my surprise, Catherine hadn’t called once. After about two months of silence, I became concerned. I called her, to be sure nothing terrible had happened.
“How have you been?” I asked Catherine. “I haven’t seen you for a while, and I was worried.”
Fortunately, my fears proved unfounded. “Oh, Dr. Masley, I feel wonderful,” Catherine responded. “I haven’t felt this well in ten years!”
What is oxidative stress–the mysterious ailment that laid Catherine so low for so long? It’s a natural process in our bodies that underlies much of what ages us. In fact, many of the suggestions I’ve included in the Ten Years Younger Program are meant to fight this thief that robs you of your energy, good health, and longevity.
Oxidative stress is the result of your body’s inability to process free radicals, which are a by-product of your body’s natural energy production. Every process that creates energy also makes waste products. Take your car, for example. It burns gas and oxygen to make energy, and exhaust is created as a by-product. These pollutants must be removed from the engine so that it can run well; that’s what the tailpipe is for. The exhaust that comes out of the tailpipe is packed with pollutants– you certainly wouldn’t want to breathe it in.
Your body is no different, only in this case free radicals are the chemical exhaust. These biochemical compounds damage your living cells. But in addition to the free radicals you produce naturally, you also encounter others from outside sources: pesticides, drugs, pollutants, cigarettes, fumes, smog, tobacco smoke, lead, mercury, and cadmium. Every cell in your body takes between 10,000 and 100,000 aging hits from free radicals every day, and these micro-attacks injure your cells.
If your lifestyle doesn’t protect you against the onslaught of free rad-icals–oxidative stress–you’ll almost certainly suffer premature aging. Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance: You generate or encounter too many free radicals without taking in enough antioxidants, anti-aging biochemical compounds that are found in foods. They turn off free radicals the way a fire extinguisher puts out little fires, thus slowing aging and enhancing your health. These essential nutrients counteract the harmful free radicals your body encounters, and play a critical role in promoting a long and healthy life.
So how do free radicals make you age? They attack not only your cell membranes–the outer walls of each cell in your body–but also your DNA, causing mutations that impact the function of your cells. This assault may even transform a normal cell into one that is cancerous. In fact, most cancers develop from normal cells whose DNA has been damaged by free radicals and oxidative stress. Free radicals will also age your skin by destroying its structure and speeding the creation of wrinkles. In fact, many of the aging scenarios I’ll cover in Chapter 2 are due directly to the effects of oxidative stress. If you’re healthy, however, you will have enough antioxidants to extinguish free radicals, and the limited DNA damage that does occur can be easily repaired.
The Ten Years Younger Program will help you change and/or reverse the damage caused by oxidative stress and will continue to protect you in the future so that you remain healthy as the years go by. In Chapter 4, I provide a list of Vitality Foods with high antioxidant activity, and The Ten Years Younger Diet and recipes in Part III are rich in antioxidants as well. The Age-Busting Fitness regimen and the Relaxation Routine will also decrease your level of chronic oxidative stress. It is possible to overcome it, and I’ll show you how.
Aging Accelerator #2:
Low-Carb, High-Protein, High-Fat Diets
Sharon had been on a popular low-carb diet for three months. The first month, she was delighted to find that, after giving up her cookies, coffee cake, and other high-carb treats, she had lost about 6 pounds. “Only 24 pounds to go,” she told herself, happily pulling on a size 12 dress for the first time in a year.
Her delight turned to disappointment two months later when she’d lost only another 7 pounds. “You’re on a plateau,” a fellow dieter reassured her, but try as she might, she couldn’t shed another pound. What she did notice, though, was that her energy was flagging and she wasn’t thinking as clearly as she used to. Then, to add insult to injury, her boyfriend, Teddy, complained that she had terrible breath. Even worse, once Teddy started his own low-carb diet program, he lost all interest in sex. Sharon didn’t know why. Was it because she was tired all the time? Was it the bad breath? Maybe he didn’t find her attractive anymore. Or was it him? Had the low-carb diet diminished his libido?
Soon, given all the unpleasant changes in her life, Sharon’s favorite doughnuts were calling her name. And one day, discouraged, she answered. From that moment on, her low-carb diet was history. Sharon went on to regain all the weight she’d lost, plus an extra 5 pounds.
For the past few years, we’ve been living in the “Age of Atkins,” and low-carb consciousness has become a way of life for dieters and non-dieters alike. Many of you will be aware of two studies conducted by Frederick Samaha, M.D., and Gary Foster, Ph.D., that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 and showed that an Atkins-like diet did in fact yield short-term modest weight loss in obese patients, but only when compared against an average American diet that was rich in refined sugar, low in fiber, and lacking in healthy fats. And within the year the results of the conventional diet and the Atkins diet were about the same. Furthermore, the fact that the Atkins diet did not succeed in achieving even a 10 percent weight loss in obese patients in either study suggests that this type of dietary intervention is a failure. To top it all off, the dropout rate in the studies was extremely high, as most people find it next to impossible to sustain this type of eating over the long haul.
But the effects of the low-carb diet are even more serious than most people realize, because it’s not just pounds we’re talking about. The truth is that yo-yo dieting (on one day, off the next) strongly contributes to accelerated aging. Not only are these diets difficult to tolerate, but they are actually dangerous and will make you old before your time. Rather than melting away the pounds, these regimens are melting the years from your life! Here’s why:
· Low-carb diets lack the fiber necessary to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Low-carb diets are notorious for pushing high-fat meats and cheeses, which have no fiber at all! Every day your body needs at least 30 gr...
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