Vail Daily health story: Be ‘Thinner This Year’
Chris Crowley’s message for living well and maintaining a healthy weight is simple and age-old: move your body often and feed it well. This message is the cornerstone of Crowley’s latest book, co-authored with Jen Sacheck, Ph.D., “Thinner This Year.”According to Crowley, while Thinner’s message is simple, it is often overlooked in other diet books, where the message to exercise is often omitted completely and the nutritional advice is sub-par.”This isn’t a diet book – the title is a little misleading – it’s a whole life book,” said Crowley, who recently took a few minutes while waiting for his breakfast to arrive in an airport to talk about his book over the phone. “There’s so much baloney in this field. Jen and I talk a lot about nutrition and exercise in this book. Exercise is the flywheel of weight management. You have to commit to exercising five to six days a week for the rest of your life. Crowley, also co-author of the bestselling books “Younger Next Year” and “Younger Next Year for Women,” will be at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail this evening to kick off the Vail Symposium’s 2013 Living At Your Peak series and talk about “Thinner This Year.”Born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1934, Chris Crowley is a graduate of Exeter, Harvard and The University of Virginia Law School. He spent his 25-year professional career as a litigator at the New York City law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. He retired in 1990 to ski, sail, bike, play tennis, cook, write these books, and take his passion for them on the road.”I have known Chris since he first became a partner at David, Polk & Wardwell,” said Vail Symposium Board member Jay Huffard. “He has always been a great storyteller and lived life large with a passionate commitment to everything outdoors. After retirement, Chris realized that he had to figure out how to be fit to live better. That began the Younger Next Year book series. More recently, he realized that fitness was not the total solution to living at his peak and he turned his attention to nutrition and co-authored ‘Thinner This Year.’ I love the greater urgency in this title and Vail will love and learn from Chris.”The importance of movementWhere “Younger Next Year” taught readers why they should exercise, “Thinner This Year” gives instructions on exactly how to eat and exercise in order to delay aging and avoid serious illness and injury.In Thinner, Crowley and Sacheck, who is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist from Tufts University, spell out a weight-loss plan that will help readers lose up to 25 pounds in the first six months – and keep it off for life. The message is straightforward and based on the most up-to-date nutritional science: avoid nutrient-poor food, particularly the SOFAS (solid fats, added sugars), choices that comprise more than a third of our diet. Design your plate to be 50 percent vegetables and fruits, 25 percent whole grains, and 25 percent lean proteins. Skip the supplements. Never drink your calories. And exercise.While Sacheck’s chapters in Thinner explain the science behind proper nutrition, Crowley’s chapters summarize hers with personal anecdotes that demonstrate the benefits of heeding Sacheck’s nutritional advice.”I’m old and funny and Jen’s young and smart,” said Crowley. “She’s a serious scientist. You have to know how your body metabolizes food. You have to know what your body does so you eat less crap, and so you eat differently and eat less and exercise more.”Crowley says even folks who are healthy and well, and think they know a lot about how to stay that way, will learn something from his book and presentation; he even learned a new thing or two while writing it.”Many of us just think of fat as something that is quietly living in our bodies,” he said. “I learned that it is actually a huge cause of inflammation in the body. A pot belly is like an open sewer inside your body and at night the rats come out. Building muscle mass can counter that. Muscle is actually anti-inflammatory and strengthening your muscles makes a huge difference in the war between fat and your body.”Crowley’s book is for all people of all ages, and he particularly hopes his message resonates with people in their 20s.”The sooner you jump on this stuff the better your life will be,” he said. “When you get older you just have to. Sometimes, people in their 20s think they have so much time and just don’t get how important exercise is; I just can’t stress enough how important movement is.”Tracey Flower is the development and marketing associate for the Vail Symposium. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.