She lost her belly at age 66!
Duke University’s protein breakthrough reverses the # 1 cause of age-related weight gain— and melts 9 lbs of ab flab a week!
Want a faster metabolism, a tinier midsection and a whole lot more stamina? “Then give your muscles some TLC,” urges University of Maryland’s Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Body-for- LIFE for Women. “Research shows that most of us lose half our muscle between age 30 and 80. Take small steps to reverse this, and you’ll be amazed by how great you look and feel.” Just ask Alabama grandmother Gail Lind. “In my mid- 60s, I was in the early stages of osteoporosis and so weak that it was hard to get on the floor to play with my grandson,” she recalls. Then she started learning toning moves and getting tips on foods that boost muscle. “Now I’m 71 years old, I can flip a tractor tire, no osteoporosis, energy for days and I’ve lost 10 inches off my waist,” she cheers. The best part: “Nothing I did felt hard!”
Experts say muscle loss— scientific term: sarcopenia— impacts nearly every woman over 50. And it’s not just about strength. Muscle constantly burns blood sugar, so losing it sets us up for weight gain, diabetes and inflammation caused by higher blood sugar. Less muscle supporting bones, joints and organs also strains the entire body, raising the risk of osteoporosis,
arthritis, heart disease and more. Dr. Peeke asserts, “The more muscle you lose, the lower your odds of remaining healthy long-term.”
Why does muscle loss happen? “As we age, we make fewer hormones to promote muscle growth,” Dr. Peeke explains. “And since the body is programmed to tear down and rebuild cells that may be damaged, when muscle becomes
inflamed— due to injury or because your whole body is inflamed—tissue is torn down but may not be rebuilt.” Luckily, there are easy solutions…
Make muscle magic
In one study, eight weeks of toning moves helped 90-year-olds increase strength by 174% and walking speed by 48%. Meanwhile, Wake Forest University research on dieters over 60 found those who added resistance training ended up strongest and slimmest. “Just a few short bouts of strength training a week will make a huge difference,” promises Dr. Peeke, a fan of free videos at AARP.COM and Fitnessblender.com. You can also try the moves Gail demonstrates on the next page.
Bonus: Easy diet tweaks can also restore muscle even if you don’t exercise. “Hormonal changes reduce our ability to turn protein we eat into new muscle,” notes Dr. Peeke. “But we can compensate by eating extra protein.” In fact, when scientists at Duke University had volunteers over the age of 60 use either a traditional diet or a protein-rich one (with 30 grams of protein per meal and 15 grams per snack), the protein group significantly increased muscle strength and overall health while doubling their weight loss. On top of that, they experienced a big spike in the flat-belly hormone adiponectin, helping waists and tummies cinch in as muscles got firm. No wonder readers who’ve tried the approach report shedding up to 9 pounds in a week, with much of it coming from their middle!
“Before my husband passed, he made me promise to look after my health,’” recalls Kathy Watkins, 71. Offered a free gym membership through her insurance, she met Gail Lind, who’s now a certified fitness trainer. “I figured if she could do it, why not me?” says Kathy, who found she loves strength machines. Meanwhile, a nutritionist taught her to nix processed junk and boost protein and veggie intake. “I was eating a lot of food—1,900 calories a day.” Even so, “I lost 46 pounds and got much stronger. My joints and balance are 100% better. My triglycerides dropped 86 points, and my blood pressure dropped 46 points. My doctor said my progress is incredible.”
Kathy credits Gail. “She got me to see we can do so much more than we realize— and even enjoy it! It’s hard to put into words how energized and alive I feel!”
Chicago singer Lynne Jordan, 57, agrees. Not long ago, she couldn’t make the bed without collapsing. Then she read Choosing the Strongpath about age-related muscle loss. “I began using tiny pink dumbbells and switched to a proteinrich diet. In two weeks, I was already stronger!” Today Lynne is unstoppable— and a whole lot slimmer. “I shed 100 pounds without dieting. Older women often feel it’s too late. I’m here to say, No, it’s not! ”