By Patricia F. Danflous
For Danna Demetre, calories in versus calories out works.
For Robyn Thomson, not so much.
They’ve both found a way to maintain a healthy weight, feel great, look younger and help other women with a lifestyle plan to rev up midlife metabolism. It works.
Take a look at the photo on the cover. Demetre, the brunette, is 67. Thomson, the blonde, is 53. No way, you think, right? They will tell you it takes some work and a daily commitment to healthy habits, but the nutritional and lifestyle experts defy the midlife weight-gain crisis while slowing down the aging clock.
The authors of one of the top-selling women’s general health books, “Eat, Live, Thrive Diet: A Lifestyle Plan to Rev Up Your Midlife Metabolism,” connected more than 20 years ago in a San Diego-based woman’s Christian ministry. “We became friends with a high level of respect for each other,” Demetre said. “Danna moved overseas for a bit and we lost contact,” Thomson added.
The business partnership came as an answer to prayers about six years ago. “I had been praying for a woman to come into my life who had the same mindset and could be a mentor for me in developing a business,” explained Thomson. “Danna reached out to me and we reconnected. When I told her I had been making major changes in my diet and lifestyle, she invited me to come onto a podcast she was producing. From there we decided to do a cooking video with one of my recipes. We had so much fun together we decided to do more videos which eventually led to weekly shows.”
The two created Lean Healthy Ageless. The California-based company has expanded to include a wealth of nutrition and lifestyle resources on an increasingly popular website, the publication of the “Eat, Live, Thrive Diet” and the development of Eat Live Thrive Academy, an affordable membership program offering weekly virtual coaching sessions and personalized solutions for a customized diet and lifestyle. Their goal – to answer the consuming mid-life question: What if there was a way to turn back the scale and the clock with an inspiring lifestyle plan designed to help women rev up their midlife metabolisms and achieve physical and emotional freedom no matter what one’s age?
Based on personal experiences of weight gain, emotional eating and the aging process and building on professional expertise with scientific research, Demetre and Thomson’s individualized plan helps women keep off extra pounds, stimulate midlife metabolism, look younger and recharge emotional and physical energy.
A former bulimic, who binged and purged repeatedly throughout nursing school, Demetre remembers living in fear and shame with intense panic attacks. After reaching out to a friend following a severe panic episode, she began a slow healing process by following a God-focused life.
If you called Thomson “chubby” as a child, you wouldn’t be wrong. That baby fat fell off one summer thanks to a growth spurt. She maintained a lean body until she entered her forties. The advanced clinical weight-loss practitioner struggles with an insatiable appetite and food sensitivities that she controls with healthy choices and spiritual faith.
Recognizing their different life experiences, understanding their different weight gain challenges and knowing that every woman has a unique story is central to the Eat, Live, Thrive concept.
“It’s turning what most people would call dieting into a lifestyle,” Demetre said. “Revving up your metabolism is not about just doing something for the short-term. While we know the bottom-line principles for approaching a healthy lifestyle, our individual body responses and life events bring a varied perspective emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all. There’s no perfect eating plan for everybody.”
“I think most of us have learned over the years that if I eat a little less, if I exercise more, I should be able to make a shift in my weight,” Thomson said. “But the truth of the matter is, that doesn’t work for many people for a few key reasons. First, as we age, our carbohydrate threshold diminishes and we get better and better at storing carbs as fat. Second, many of us have developed hidden food sensitivities that are causing weight gain or preventing weight loss. Last, we experience significant loss of muscle mass year after year. It’s not necessarily just about calories in versus calories out anymore. We’re asking ourselves, ‘what am I doing wrong? This is what I’ve always done.’ Think back to your 20s, you could shift your diet for a week and lose five pounds. It was so easy. But all of a sudden, that doesn’t work and you’re like, ‘uh-oh’.”
What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I lose weight? Why am I gaining weight so much faster and more easily? “Mature women are asking those questions,” Demetre said. “We thought we knew the answer, but it doesn’t work so well as we age. With a few changes, however, it is possible for those in mid-life and beyond to lose weight and keep it off.”
The Eat, Live, Thrive diet addresses body, soul and spirit with a multifaceted approach to total transformation. “Our diet allows women to customize a long-term eating plan to address food sensitivities and carbohydrate thresholds with personal likes and dislikes,” Thomson said.
The Eat, Live, Diet is a three-phased roadmap beginning with The Elimination Phase, a temporary elimination of key foods such as sugar and grains which both promote insulin resistance and cause potential food allergies and sensitivities, as well as inflammation. The Discovery Phase determines your personal and specific “food culprits.” The Lifestyle Phase helps in designing a long term eating plan while still enjoying your life. In their book, Demetre and Thomson include reflections for renewing the mind with God-centered principles to assist with long-lasting physical and spiritual change. A wide range of recipes along with tips and healthy shortcuts are also available.
Emphasizing the personalized approach to diet and lifestyle, Demetre and Thomson recommend elimination as the place to start revving up metabolism, with suggestions for jumping in feet first or taking it slow. More importantly, they want women to build a foundation of healthy thinking which helps change habits from the inside out. “We teach them how to establish a new lifestyle mindset because we know most women tend to gain weight back after they lose it,” Demetre said. “From the get-go, we want to help them realize that it is the little stuff that adds up. You don’t have to be perfect.”
“Neither of us are perfectionists,” laughed Demetre. “We do very different things in our daily lifestyle. I am the unique calories-in versus-calories out gal and can get away with a lot more than Robyn who has tons of food sensitivities. There are things that motivate me more now that are far from just weight, looking good and feeling good. I do believe there’s a journey for all of us where we move from intentional choosing and self-discipline to something that becomes natural.”
“For me, it’s always been about making a choice to be healthy, lean and fit,” said Thomson. “I want a long, quality life. That means exercise is part of my life. It’s just what I do. I get up in the morning, I put on my workout clothes and work out. I don’t want to feel sluggish. I don’t want to feel tired. I don’t want to have digestive upsets. I figured out the foods that have consequences for me in our discovery phase. Now it’s just so much easier to eat the way that I know is best for me because I’m motivated by feeling really, really good and really energetic.”
“You don’t have to put super-healthy foods in your mouth all the time, but we want you to realize that you have a choice,” they cautioned. “Just as you cannot build a brick house out of straw, you cannot build a healthy body out of chocolate chip cookies and potato chips.”
For more information about revving up your midlife metabolism with tips for losing weight and looking younger, visit eatlivethrivediet.com or leanhealthyageless.com.