Book:  Thinner This Year

Author:  Chris Crowley & Jen Sacheck

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Crowley, C. & Sacheck, J. (2013). Thinner this year : a younger next year book. New York: Workman Publishing.

Three Big Takeaways:​​

  • Exercise, six days a week, for the rest of your life. (pg. 8)

  • You can eat almost anything once in a while and get away with it, especially if you’re exercising on a regular basis.  What you cannot do is eat bad stuff all the time. (pg. 69)

  • The iron rule of weight gain and loss reads like this, in its entirety: Eat more calories than you burn and you will gain weight.  Burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight. That’s it. Anything else is smoke and mirrors. (pg. 125)

Other Key Ideas:

  • Movement, all the time, is the single, great key to keeping your body from going completely to hell after age thirty or forty or fifty.  Which is it absolutely guaranteed to do, in idleness. (pg. 3)

  • There are three keys to permanent weight loss and a great life: exercise like crazy, eat right, and eat less. (pg. 5)

  • Suddenly, when you’re about thirty-two, the default signal in your body flips over to decay.  Every year, for the rest of your life, you get a bit weaker, less coordinated, sicker, more pain-wracked, grumpier, and so-on. (pg. 7)

  • In the end, weight loss is mostly a matter of calories in (what you eat), over calories out (the amount you burn), running your body, exercising, and so on. (pg. 11)

  • Take fifteen pounds of your hip joints, off your knees, and your ankles and it will mean that your joints will last much, much longer without pain.  Lugging fat around is very hard on your body. (pg. 14)

  • Stored fat sends out a terrifying cascade of signals that promote inflammation and disease.  Lean, active muscle mass sends out an overwhelming cascade of signals that fight inflammation and disease. (pg. 15)

  • Stored fat is actually toxic.  First, it will sap your energy, your mood, and your strength as it interferes with the workings of your body. (pg. 18)

  • Do no exercise after age thirty and you will lose about one percent of your muscle mass per year. (pg. 29)

  • Exercisers tend to burn more stored fat during and after exercise, whereas non-exercisers are much better at burning carbohydrates. (pg. 30)

  • Muscle is more metabolically active at rest than fat.  Each pound of muscle burns approximately six calories per day, whereas fat burns about two calories per day per pound. (pg. 30)

  • It is both unrealistic and wrong to put forward a regimen that takes the fun out of eating. (pg. 31)

  • Nutritious food is much less calorie dense than junk food, so you can eat more of it in terms of volume.  Nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits and whole grains are slower to digest than the simple carbs found in white breads and pastas, and junk and processed foods, and these powerhouses keep you feeling fuller longer, a huge double blessing. (pg. 32)

  • You must embark on or continue a serious exercise program, six days a week, at least forty-five minutes a day, for the rest of your life. (pg. 32)

  • The harder the food is to digest, the more calories you use in the process.  Protein-rich foods have the greatest thermic effect, with almost 30 percent of your calories from a protein source burned just from metabolizing it.  Fiber-rich carbs, like whole grains, require work to digest too. On the other hand, white flour, and sugar, are easily digested and have a low thermic effect.  Fat basically has zero thermic effect, it takes no calories to digest. That same is true for most fast foods. (pg. 37)

  • Most of us get plenty of protein simply by eating a balanced diet.  Adding in extra in the form of shakes or pills or large portions of animal protein does no good.  The excess is simply wasted because it’s converted and stored as fat. (pg. 55)

  • The idea that a detox can purge certain toxins that have invaded your body through a near starvation diet for a few days or even longer, lightened with a magical combination of juices and herbs, defies logic.  We have cleansing machinery in our bodies, especially in the kidney and liver. How do cleanses supplement the operation of those systems? They don’t. If you want to do a real “detox”, cut the real toxins you feast on: fast food, alcohol, too much caffeine,  (pg. 85)

  • Have a fixed plan about what you do and don’t eat.  Write it down. What you do not want is to be making fresh decisions, at every mealtime. (pg. 87)

  • If you want to stop gaining weight - the one or two pounds a year you put on after age twenty-five that is the American norm today - you have to cut back roughly 20 percent from what you’ve probably been eating.  The most successful weight losers - the ones who both lose weight and keep it off - have cut calories by 500 to 700 calories a day. That seems to be the sweet spot for long-term permanent weight loss if you pair it with a 300-500 calorie-worth of exercise.  (pg. 97)

  • Say you begin go eat ten calories a day more than you burned.  You are only adding ten calories a day so it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But watch, that ten calories extra a day adds up to 3500 extra calories a year, which is an additional pound.  Keep it up for ten years and that is ten extra pounds. Tiny changes, over time, make a huge difference. Gradual, steady change - plus time - is the key. And it works in both directions: for weight gain and for weight loss. (pg. 125)

  • When you have a really bad cheat day/cheat meal and are paralyzed with guilt, what do you do? First, take a long shower. Second, get over it. This happens to everyone. The most weight you can gain in a day is, say, two pounds.  In three days you might gain four, if you were a real hound. And it is an “unstable” four pounds too: easy on, easy off. If you act fact enough, it can be off as fast as it went on. So get back on the horse, no matter how wretched you feel. (pg. 153)

  • Not only do you burn calories during exercise, but there is substantial evidence showing that an additional calorie burn on top of your usual metabolic rate persists for the 24 hours or so after an intensive exercise bout. (pg. 164)

  • It’s a great idea to have a high-calorie-with-some-protein snack within thirty minutes to an hour after exercise.  This is the critical window when your muscles are best able to take up circulating glucose to store as muscle glycogen.  Fueling your body after an hour or so is less efficient - it happens more slowly and not to the same capacity. (pg. 187)

  • You lose muscle mass at 1 percent per year starting as early as age thirty, and the loss escalates from there after age sixty.  But there are counteractive forces: 1) maintaining a vigorous level of physical activity, 2) eating healthfully, and 3) reducing the amount of fat you’re carrying around.  These factors are within your control. (pg. 220)

  • In the normal course of life, people lose 10 percent of their muscle mass a decade after age forty...and it gets worse after seventy.  You lose muscle mass and suffer a serious accretion of fat into the muscles. But here’s the great news: They took a look at serious athletes in their forties up to their eighties.  The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor if any fat infiltration. (pg. 226)

  • About 80 percent of the people in the United States have back pain bad enough to have sought medical help.  Your back is designed to tolerate remarkable loads when it is aligned properly, when you have good posture. You have to stand up straight. You have to sit up straight. You have to do exercises with a neutral spine. Stability is a matter of having your core strong and engaged.  Engaging or activating them is a simple matter of tensing your core muscles slightly before you use them. The real magic is doing exercises with a neutral spine and an engaged one. (pg. 243)

  • Your head with good posture weights about twelve pound on your neck and spine.  Your head, when you slouch, weights about 37 pounds on your neck and spine. Over decades, carrying your head in a slouch is almost guaranteed to cause serious pain. In vigorous movement, such as heavy lifting, with rotten posture, pressure on your lower back can be as much as two to four thousand pounds.  Ruinous. Exercising with bad posture and a weak or engaged core is much worse than not exercising at all. (pg. 245)

  • The very best way to lose weight may be to do whole-body strength exercises with a focus on resistance, some speed, and short rest periods.  Use enough weight to make it a real challenge, with short (thirty-second) pause between sets. (pg. 314)

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