Item description for Strong Women Stay Slim by Miriam Nelson & Sarah Wernick...
Overview The authors of Strong Women Stay Young offer a medically tested weight-loss program based on speeding up one's metabolism through strength training, a healthy diet, and the motivational secrets of sports psychology. Reprint.
Publishers Description From the bestselling authors of Strong Women Stay Young, an exciting, medically sound program to help you boost your metabolism and melt away fat!
Scientific research has shown that strength training increases metabolism--a key to permanent weight loss--by as much as 15 percent. In fact, a Tufts University study comparing women on identical diet plans found that the strength-training group lost 44 percent more fat than the diet-only group.
Strong Women Stay Slim has everything you need to shape up and feel great--no matter what your age or fitness level:
Fully illustrated exercises especially designed for weight loss Up-to-the-minute information about weight, appetite, nutrition, and fitness--explaining why this program works A hunger-free food plan, including menus and delicious recipes from award-winning cookbook author Steven Raichlen Progress logs and extra guidance for the first ten weeks Motivational secrets...and more
"This book is a gem...thoroughly based in science, yet written to help women get started immediately to make their lives better today. It's jam-packed with ready-to-go tools for success." --Barbara Harris, editor in chief, Shape magazine
"Practical, easy-to-follow, and medically sound...This program combines the essentials for living a long, healthy, and physically active life." --Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., author of The Aerobics Program for Total Well-Being
Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., is Associate Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and Assistant Professor at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College.
Steven Raichlen is the author of fifteen cookbooks and the winner of a Julia Child/IACP Award and two James Beard Awards for his High-Flavor, Low-Fat series.
Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., is an award-winning freelance health writer.
I'm a scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. For the past ten years, our laboratory has studied the health benefits of strength training. My particular research has shown that strengthening exercise can prevent the loss of muscle and bone that debilitates so many women later in life. Along the way, I've become increasingly excited by another discovery: that strength training is also a remarkably effective aid to weight loss.
You may have read my first book, Strong Women Stay Young, which explains the benefits of weight lifting. The book was based on my research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showing that strengthening exercise not only makes women stronger, but also builds bone, improves balance and flexibility, and increases energy. I had recruited forty women who were at risk for muscle and bone loss: they were postmenopausal, sedentary, and not taking hormones. Before they started, I warned the volunteers that they'd have to avoid changes that could confuse our findings: for the next year they could not lose weight or begin aerobic exercise.
The women were very conscientious. But they changed anyway--they couldn't help it:
Dorothy, who had been wearing size 16, was careful to maintain her weight. But after a few months of strength training, she noticed that her clothing was becoming loose. "I knew I needed a smaller size, so I bought 14s," she says. "Then I had to take them back because I needed 12s and sometimes 10s. My legs and hips became trimmer, and my arms got much more firm."
Verna was shapelier, thanks to strength training. "My weight was never out of control, but there was fat in the wrong places," she says. "My inner thigh flab trimmed up, my upper arms got firmer, and I lost my tummy."
Flora kept her promise not to start aerobics. But her new strength gave her so much extra energy that she took up ballroom dancing. Says Flora, "My girlfriend kept asking me to come with her, but I used to think the muscles in my calves would bother me. Now I can dance all night."
While this project was going on, my colleagues and I began a pilot study to see if strength training could prevent muscle and bone loss in another especially vulnerable group: women who were losing weight. Many women are shocked to learn that this is an at-risk category. They assume that when they lose weight, the only thing their body burns up is unwanted excess fat. Until recently that's what doctors and scientists believed too. But researchers have taken a closer look and discovered something disturbing: When women diet, at least 25 to 30 percent of the weight they shed isn't fat, but water, muscle, bone, and other lean tissue. This is true no matter how much protein and calcium their food plan includes. And the faster they lose weight, the larger the proportion that isn't fat.
I had been greatly encouraged by research from the University of Michigan showing that strength training could help women preserve muscle while they lost weight, and I wanted to explore this further. For our pilot study, my colleagues and I put ten overweight women on individually customized food plans designed for slow but steady weight loss. Half of them came to our laboratory twice a week and did strength training; the others just followed the diet.
Our diet-only volunteers lost an average of 13.0 pounds during the study. The women who strength trained lost about the same amount--13.2 pounds. But the scale didn't tell the whole story. A dramatic difference emerged when we looked at body composition. Women in the diet-only group had lost an average 2.8 pounds of lean tissue--mainly muscle--along with the fat. In contrast, the women who'd done strength training actually gained 1.4 pounds of lean tissue. So every ounce they lost was fat. Indeed, since the new muscle replaced fat, their total fat loss was 14.6 pounds. They lost 44 percent more fat than the diet-only group.
Our volunteers were thrilled to find an exercise at which they could excel. They became stronger, fitter, healthier, much more physically active--and were filled with self-confidence. Pat, who lost twenty-nine pounds:
Strength training helped the weight loss a lot. My metabolic rate went up, so I can eat more. I wear a smaller size than if I'd just lost weight and didn't build muscle. My doctor was very happy because my cholesterol and blood pressure went down. I have so much more energy--I feel invigorated. It gives you more self esteem, a more positive feeling about anything you want to do.
After Strong Women Stay Young was published, I received hundreds of letters, faxes, phone calls, and e-mail messages from readers all over the world. Many of these women found, to their great delight, that strength training had helped them lose weight. Inches, as well as pounds, had vanished. They looked better, felt healthier. Becoming strong had boosted their energy and vitality. Letter after letter spoke of new happiness and self-confidence.
Diana: I've only lost ten pounds, but people are saying, "You are losing so fast!"
Bobbie: I'm now 42, but I feel like I'm in my twenties! Two years ago I was ten pounds heavier, had constant back pain, and felt slightly depressed. I was walking four miles a day, and thought this was all I should be doing. Then I started weight training, and everything changed. I wish I had discovered this ten years ago. If feel so good! I ski, and I do in-line skating--they were easy to master once I was strong.
Along with the progress reports came questions:
Should I be doing aerobics too--and if so, how much? What food should I eat? Do I need to take a vitamin supplement if I'm losing weight?
I have the great privilege to work at Tufts University, along with dozens of other scientists involved in exciting new research on nutrition, exercise, and health. I discussed the readers' concerns with my colleagues, as well as with some of the many experts from other institutions who visit our laboratories to exchange information. I began to realize how much different specialists have learned about what works for healthy long-term weight loss. What was needed, I became convinced, was a comprehensive program that would pull together the essential pieces. I wanted to combine new findings about strength training with up-to-date information on nutrition and physical activity. My aim was to come up with a practical program that would not only help women lose weight permanently, but would also become the foundation for a long, healthy, vibrant life. That's why I decided to write Strong Women Stay Slim.
* * *
Over and over, I've seen strength training open the door for weight loss. Dianne, one of the women in the group that helped me refine the program for this book, isn't sure exactly how much she weighed when she started because her scale doesn't register above 300 pounds. "I figure it was about 340," she says. Aerobic exercise was out of the question for her--even five minutes of walking left her winded and made her legs ache unbearably. "I wanted to exercise, but how could I? I was a ball of jelly," says Dianne. "Then I read about strength training. Boing! A light went off in my head. Here was something that would bring me to a point where I could be more active."
Dianne became the star of our test group, rapidly graduating from 3-pound dumbbells, to 5-pound, then 8-, 10-, and even 15-pound dumbbells for some exercises. Other changes followed. "Strength training gave me an overall sense of wellness, and it snowballed," says Dianne. "I started to eat better within two weeks. I could see myself getting more involved in my own life, being better to myself. I became more active in little ways--instead of sending my daughter upstairs to get my earrings or my watch, I'd go myself. I frequently parked at the far end of parking lots."
By the end of ten weeks, Dianne had lost more than 35 pounds--and she glowed with vitality. The woman who could barely manage a five-minute walk when she started had joined a gym and was regularly walking thirty minutes on a treadmill. Says Dianne, "It's been a great uplift--I feel so much more positive." I'm thrilled with Dianne's progress so far and look forward to watching her continue.
Citations And Professional Reviews Strong Women Stay Slim by Miriam Nelson & Sarah Wernick has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
USA Today - 01/08/2003 page 1
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 1999
ISBN 0553379453 ISBN13 9780553379457
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More About Miriam Nelson & Sarah Wernick
Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., is Associate Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and Assistant Professor at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College. Steven Raichlen is the author of fifteen cookbooks and the winner of a Julia Child/IACP Award and two James Beard Awards for his High-Flavor, Low-Fat series. Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., is an award-winning freelance health writer.
Reviews - What do customers think about Strong Women Stay Slim?
Strong Women Stay Slim Aug 23, 2007
This is the second copy of the book I have purchased, having lost my first one while traveling. I have found this book to be extreamly helpful as it does not require a lot of equipment and it is written so you can adjust your exercise routine and diet to your age group. I am 75 and go to a fitness center to use a tread mill and bike but cannot use the weight machines because of back problems. By following must of the exercises in the book I feel I get a very good workout even when traveling.
Good read - can be very useful :-) Jul 19, 2006
If you are someone who is super fit and exercise on a very regular basis, then this book may not be for you. If you are coming back from injury or just want to change your life, then pick up a copy and take a read. I bought this when my back wouldn't allow me to go for long walks anymore, and started to put on a little weight. I knew about weight lifting, but this motivated me to actually do more than what I already was doing and it brought about some changes in my slowly increasing weight (which now has gone thanks to this). The information in here isn't exceptionally new, but it explains to you why you need to do what you have to do. People who have tried this and got results have written little comments in here which makes it motivating because you can hear from people who have acheived a lot. There is also a strength training program, menus and recipes, questions, and full on explanations about how weight training increases your metabolism. I really like this, and still refer back to it on occasion when I find myself in a bit of a rut. I even go back to it just for the recipes to get my diet back into gear. I recommend this to people who want to know where and how to start a better course of health for yourselves.
No Diet Fitness Book Jun 24, 2005
An energizing book whose focus is not just on weight loss. The book has exercise plans with no diet restrictions thus making it much easy to follow. This well written book talks of how to loose weight while gaining strength. Miriam Nelson stresses on slow weight loss which is healthier and easier. This book is clear and easy to understand, and does not require to avoids particular food groups.
Weight training for those intimidated by other programs Jun 12, 2005
I'm an out-of-condition, fiftyish female who does not want HRT but needs to do something to maintain bone density, strength, etc. I got this book after reading Jane Brody's positive discussion of it in the New York Times a few years ago. I've been doing the exercises for about a month now and am beginning to see the results predicted by the author. I feel more active, grocery bags are easier to carry, and I'm seeing definition in my arms and legs.
The program may seem too basic for some people (as several earlier reviewers have said), but for me that's one of its good points. It's not designed to be fancy, but to be non-intimidating to people who equate strength training with going to the gym and getting buff on exercise machines. These exercises can be done at home, with a minimum of equipment and a maximum of reassurance by the authors. With any exercise program, the big problem is getting people to commit. If a simple program make it easier to do this than fancier, more challenging programs, then go with the simple. Nothing says you can't go beyond the basics when you get comfortable with them and the authors suggest how to do this.
Not for athletes, but a good place to start Jul 24, 2003
This book is written for those who are sedentary to at most moderately active, and want to change their behavior so as to accomplish long-term weight loss. It is a good motivator for getting started with strength training and keeping track of what you eat. It is definitely not intended for athletes, but rather the 75% of American women (so it says) that don't get regular exercise 3 days per week.
The strength training part focuses on 6 exercises, most of which usedumbbells. This is not a whole lot, but for the intended audience it is helpful in keeping the program from being overwhelming. For more intense exercise, you will have to look elsewhere. There are a few illustrations; it would be better if they showed the exercises step-by-step, but the written directions are acceptable and it's easy enough to figure things out by just trying it. One nice touch is that a variety of people are shown doing the exercises -- they don't all look like young fitness instructors. This section also explains the importance of strength training for strengthening bones, raising basal metabolism, and making other exercise easier.
The book discusses a variety of different aerobic exercises, but points out that the most important thing is to find something convenient enough that you can do it several times a week, and to make sure it's intense enough to get results -- it describes how to tell when this is happening.
The food plan part is probably the most complex and largest section, but it is based just on the food pyramid. It's nothing new, but it provides a good way of keeping track of how balanced your diet really is. This food plan allows 25% fat, which is probably going to feel low to anyone who's been eating a Western diet and not thought about fat much.
If you want a short-term diet, this is not the book for you. If you're not active and want to change, this is a very useful book. If you already do strength training, it seems likely that you're already doing much of what this book says, so try to borrow it and have a look before you decide to buy.