Revealed... the age-defying diet: 23 tips to help you shed pounds

PUBLISHED:Oct 10, 2015 | UPDATED:10:17 AM, Oct 10, 2015

Are you finding it harder to lose weight as you age? 
If you’re still using the same diet techniques you did in your 20s you need to stop. 
In your 20s and early 30s weight loss can, for some, be the same foolproof routine. 
By exercising more and eating less, shifting those few pounds can always be done with a little determination. 
But what happens when your go-to diet regime stops working? 
In your late 30s, 40s and 50s, hormone changes and the onset of menopause mean weight loss can seem nearly impossible. 
In her new book, The Age-Defying Diet, Dr Caroline Apovian tells Healthista how you can outsmart your metabolism and lose up to 20lbs in just 21 days.

The age-defying diet, by Dr Caroline Apovian, claims to help women shed 20lbs in just 21 days



Ageing and hormonal changes particularly from menopause can lead to complete metabolic meltdown. 
Feeling constantly sluggish, forgetful, easily distracted or over emotional? 
These can all cause your metabolism to age. 
Here are six simple steps you can take to revitalise your metabolism, rejuvenate your body and brain and kickstart your weight loss.

1. Eat more protein, vegetables and fruit
Not eating enough protein, cutting carbs, and shunning specific food groups to lose weight can massively backfire on your metabolism. 
A lack of health-promoting (good) carbs such as fruit, veg and wholegrains will slow down your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.

2. Eat your amino acids
The building blocks of protein these acids are responsible for generating, regenerating and repairing all cells. 
Get your aminos from meat, fish, eggs and other protein rich food.

3. Eat to maintain hormonal balance
Some foods can help ward off the symptoms associated with age-related hormonal changes, while others worsen any changes taking place. 
Check out the list of foods for hormone balance below.

4. Eat the right foods to fill you up
If you’re eating the same amount of food you ate in your 20’s, you’re eating too much. 
With the natural decline in muscle mass, hormone levels and metabolism you need fewer calories as you get older. 
The super-charged smoothies, soups and whole-food meals in the age-defying diet will keep you satisfied and prevent cravings.


Ageing and the hormonal changes that come with your advancing years - particularly around the menopause - can cause your metabolism to age and slow down, making it harder to lose weight

5. Exercise properly to lose weight
Doing hours of cardio to burn fat can actually cause your metabolism to slow down. 
Strength training using weights burns more fat and calories than any other exercise and drastically increases your metabolic rate. 
You even carry on burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout.
More muscle equals more weight lost, as muscle burns seven times more calories than fat.

6. Get more quality sleep
Not getting enough zzz’s disrupts the natural muscle repair and regeneration process. 
This contributes to even more muscle loss and more fat gain. 
Also did you know your appetite hormones are primarily regulated while you sleep? 
Just one night of tossing and turning can turn your hunger hormones up and lead you to consumer more calories.



If you’re a woman in right in the pit of mid-life hormonal changes, you know how much harder it is to get a good nights sleep. 
A staggering 40 per cent of pre-menopausal women and 61 per cent of post-menopausal women say they have trouble sleeping.  
Being tired actually does make you more likely to snack and overeat as it affects your hunger hormones that are regulated when you sleep. 
The hunger hormone ghrelin actually increases with lack of sleep and this pesky chemical alerts your brain your hungry. 
So more ghrelin, more hunger and more food. 
To get the maximum fat burning and muscle building effects of sleep you need at least seven-eight hours uninterrupted.


Sleep is vital in the battle to lose weight. The hunger hormone ghrelin increases with a lack of sleep, and alerts the brain telling it the body is hungry



1. Avoid excess alcohol within six hours of sleep
Although alcohol does see to send you to sleep, it turns on its head and will disrupt the second half of your night.

2. Set the mood
Get a pink noise machine or white noise app on your phone and use low wattage light bulbs in the bedroom.

3. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex
Don’t watch TV, eat or spend the evening in your bed. 
By reserving it for just sleep and sex, your mind will only associate your bedroom with sleep.

4. Turn off technology two hours before getting into bed
Bright artificial light shining into your eyes from your favourite devices makes your body think it's day time and it's harder to sleep.

5. Have a small bedtime snack of foods high in tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that has been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, increase sleep time and reduce those super annoying middle of the night wakings. 
Foods high in tryptophan can help you sleep and improve your quality of sleep.
Low-fat yoghurt is an example of a snack that is full of tryptophan.

6. Create the perfect sleep environment

To boost your sleep, and in turn your metabolism, make sure you fill up on wholegrains, including quinoa

Make your bed irresistible with soft luxurious bedding and try keep the bedroom at a temperature of 15-20 degrees Celsius. 
The body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level during deep sleep. 
The sooner you get to that level, the sooner you’ll get to that stage.

7. Eat and drink foods that will enhance sleep quality
Protein induces the release of various gut hormones such as CCK (cholecystokinin), gherlin and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine, which have been found to have a huge effect on sleep. 
Eat foods that contain L-Tryptophan. This wonder chemical increases melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. 
Foods to eat are poultry, red meat, fish, eggs and low-fat yoghurt and cottage cheese. Cows milk also contains melatonin.

8. Fill up on wholegrains 
Make sure to eat wholegrains. 
Just a small amount of wholegrains at dinner may increase your brains ability to absorb L-Trytophan and increase levels of sleep promoting serotonin. 
Tart cherry juice concentrate is also one of the worlds best sources of melatonin - add two tablespoons to evening smoothies or in water before bedtime. 
And herbal teas are also a total go to. 
Many patients say that that drinking a cup of chamomile or passionflower tea in the evening helps them relax, unwind and fight off the temptation to snack.



Eat asparagus, melons and watercress to help beat the dreaded bloat, which can leave you feeling heavier


1. Poultry, fatty fish, and soya proteins
Research has found that pre-menopausal women lose more weight when most of their protein comes from these foods. 
Soya foods can also alleviate hot flushes and reduce your risk of breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

2. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and pak choi may fight excess estrogen and lower the risk for breast cancer. 
Excess estrogen occurs in pre-menopausal women who are overweight.

3. Wholegrains
Lacking vitamin B van cause feelings of anxiety and depression. 
Eat wholegrains – and think quinoa, oats, rye and brown rice – and lean beef to keep emotions (and emotional eating) at bay.

4. Asparagus, melons and watercress
These foods combat one of life’s annoying middle aged symptoms… the dreaded bloat.



1. Sugar
Brown, white, golden, syrups - they're all bad.
Sugar actually exaggerates hormonal symptoms in women. 
Not a good idea for the already super hormonal pre- or post-menopause.


Bad news, like caffeine alcohol can also spark the dreaded hot flushes that come with age, and if you're hoping to lose weight you need to cut your booze intake


2. Caffeinated beverages
You can drink your coffee and tea with a tablespoon of non fat or low fat milk, calories free energy drinks and diet sodas. 
But remember caffeinated beverages can trigger hot flushes and sweats.

3. Alcohol
Bad news, I know, but like caffeine alcohol can spark the dreaded hot flushes. 
If you really can’t do without, drink one glass of wine or beer with your whole food dinner in place of dessert.

4. High fat foods
An Australian study of 6,000 women found that those eating high amounts of bad fat foods such as bacon, french fries, ice cream and cheese also experienced higher rates of hot flushes.

5. Spicy foods
Hold the hot sauce to hold off hot flushes. Stick with herbs and mild spices for flavour.



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