Caroline Apovian begins her new book, “The Age-Defying Diet” with a quiz to help you calculate your “metabolic age.”
Let’s say you’re a woman of 60 who’s 5-foot-4 and 155 pounds. First go to a chart at the back of the book and find you have a BMI of 27: Add 2 years. Shaped like a pear, with waist narrower than hips? Subtract 1. High blood pressure or cholesterol? Add 3 for each. Drink fewer than five glasses of water or zero-calorie beverages a day? Add 4. Eat protein at almost all meals? Subtract 4. Etc. Once you’ve calculated that your metabolism is functioning at the level of a 69-year-old, according to Apovian – a professor of medicine and director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston University Medical Center – you might be unnerved enough to try her diet and exercise program.
That’s what Apovian lays out in “The Age-Defying Diet: Outsmart Your Metabolism to Lose Weight.” The key to revving up your metabolism, she writes, is consuming enough protein (which does not mean skipping fruits and vegetables). So she begins the program with a seven-day “reboot” cycle involving lots of high-protein foods plus fruit and vegetable smoothies enhanced with protein powder; she recommends various powders, including her own trademarked brand. The book is packed with illustrated menu plans and strength-training exercise routines, plus a lot of recipes. Apovian maintains you can cut years off that scary metabolic age in three weeks.