| Chris Crowley told readers how to be younger before the calendar ticks off a new year. His latest release promises to advise how to become thinner. Photo by Lucy Schaeffer
Author Chris Crowley is a walking advertisement for what he preaches.
The 78-year-old writer, who penned two New York Times bestsellers, “Younger Next Year,” and “Younger Next Year for Women,” will prove his message that one can indeed be “Thinner This Year,” merely by showing up and sharing his enthusiasm for the tips he compiled along with Tufts University professor of nutrition science Jen Sacheck.
When he was sent a few questions to answer regarding his upcoming lectures at the Wood River Y on Friday, Jan. 18, the email wasn’t hours old before he dove in and returned his responses. Grass clearly doesn’t brown under this health evangelist’s feet.
Sacheck provides 10 rules to start:
Make up your mind: Set your goal and go for it.
Exercise for 45 to 60 minutes a day, six days a week for the rest of your life.
Eat less food and be mindful.
Don’t eat dead food.
Eat plenty of produce—half your diet should be fruits and vegetables.
Eat healthy fats in moderation and avoid saturated and trans fats.
Eat less meat and make it lean.
Don’t drink your calories.
Don’t skip meals.
Embrace change—in your new body and health.
If those sound doable, knock off No. 1 and call the Y. Members can attend for $10 and non-members for $15, but space is limited and
reservations are required, so call 726-9622 if getting the inside track intrigues.
IME: Who should read this book?
I’d say anyone from 30 till death. Makes great sense all the way through. Earlier is better but starting anytime is a great idea. Jen is 38. I am 78. We talk to those people [in this age range.]
Your title promises a revolutionary system of diet and exercise for living strong, fit and sexy. How does this work?
First, the “Younger Next Year” books have had an astonishing impact. It’s just anecdotal but we have gotten a ton of mail from people talking about profound and lasting change. As for Thinner, we ran a “beta test” on some 80 people who reported that it had worked remarkably well. Some lost 50 pounds. Several lost 20 plus and the average was almost 13 pounds in six months. And they almost all said it changed their lives and they liked it.
The book is 342 pages, shouldn’t we be moving instead of reading?
As for how heavy it is, that is a deliberate chance we took. Our basic notion was to give readers a ton of rock-solid information. Knowing what is going on is the best motivator, we believe. As for their reading it, the hope is that my much lighter chapters—which summarize a lot of Jen’s science—will be the secret sauce for many. We’ll see.
Secret sauce, but still no magic pill, darn it.
Of course not. We have been into magic pills in this country almost from the beginning. Where I grew up, in Marblehead, Mass., the biggest house in town belonged to a woman named Lydia Pinkham, creator of Lydia Pinkham’s Pink Pills. The place was called Carcassone, after the French castle. Sucker was big. Lydia had sold a lot of pills. We were not wanting to give a quick guide. The good life is a three-legged stool: exercise, nutrition and social connection. Doing each sends serious signals inside your body, for good or ill. Be sane about all three and you will have a radically better life. Changes in behavior can have a far bigger impact on your health than medicine. Cheap, too.
Is it hard to get people motivated to do good in a depressed economy?
Dunno, but my optimistic view would be that it is MORE important to do all this stuff—which has a major positive impact on mood and optimism—when things are going to hell.
What’s the biggest takeway from the book?
The biggest takeaway (and the one most books in the field miss) is that exercise is the flywheel of weight loss as well as almost all other good things. It literally changes the way you metabolize food, among other things ... makes your body default to burning stored fat (which is seriously dangerous to you) rather than glucose. The second biggest: Lean muscle mass is the main regulator of signaling inside your body. And signaling—somewhat to my surprise—is what we are all about, more than anything else.
What should we do right now?
Read the book through and go for it. Even more urgent is to start a six-day-a-week exercise regimen. Of course, it’s hard to find the time and the will. But it is THE priority, right after family and job. Doing this stuff is the third most important thing in your life and it will be from here on out. So worth the time and effort. And you all live in paradise, too, so it’s easier for you. Just go for it.
Get the skinny
When: Friday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Where: Wood River Y in Ketchum.
Cost: $10 for members, $15
RSVP: Required by calling