Turning back time isn’t possible, but changing the way you eat, sleep, and deal with stress could make you feel like you’re getting younger — at least according to a new book. It all started when a doctor became a mom at 50 and set out to find a way to stay healthier for her daughter. Now, her Younger You program can reverse biological age in just eight weeks.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is the author of Younger You: Reduce Your Bio Age and Live Longer, Better (Buy from Amazon, $21.49), and her Younger You program uses genes to detect biological age. Curious what yours is? You can take a fun quiz on her website right now to approximate your own biological age by answering just a few lifestyle questions. Fitzgerald tells us it’s important to understand the difference between the two types of ages — biological and chronological.
“Chronological age is the number of birthdays we’ve had, which obviously, we can’t do anything about, try as we might. Biological age is how fast our bodies are physically aging, and we can measure biological age reliably by looking at gene expression,” she tells FIRST.
And for Fitzgerald, the fight against biological age is deeply personal. “I became a mom at 50, so I started my parenting journey late. I think about preserving my biological age with every fiber of my being. I do not want to spend the last 16 years sick and have my daughter’s inheritance go to hospital or pharmacy bills to keep me alive.”
How can you reverse biological age?
Fitzgerald’s program tracked DNA to see if making changes to your diet and lifestyle would impact aging. According to their results, it did. Participants were “younger” at the end of the eight-week program. Their biological ages had decreased by three years, and their DNA reflected that. It all hinges on balancing DNA methylation, a biological process that basically makes changes to DNA segments without changing the sequence. The process doesn’t alter our DNA, it just changes the activity.
“Aging and the diseases of aging, they take over our gene expression and they’ll push it towards disease,” Fitzgerald explains, adding that, on average, Americans spend the last 16 years of their life dealing with chronic illnesses. “We need to get into the driver’s seat of our gene expression. And we can do that with simple tweaks that take over.”
What is the Younger You Program?
The eight-week treatment, dubbed the Younger You program, includes diet, sleep, exercise, and relaxation guidance. It also features supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients, which are the natural compounds we get from plant foods. The program specifically targets the methylation patterns that predict biological age, and according to Fitzgerald, that’s the key to their success.
Fitzgerald highlighted some parts of the program, like a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. And you don’t even have to work out that hard — the program only calls for 60 percent exertion (“Exercise is a gene whisperer,” says Fitzgerald). Other parts of the program include eating five to ten eggs a week, two cups of dark leafy greens, and two cups of cruciferous (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts) vegetables every day.
Staying healthy matters, and reversing biological age could be one of the best ways you can fight aging!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.