The Midlife Method by Sam Rice

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend

People are motivated to change their behaviour

 when they understand the problems it causes.

 The above is a quote from the Introduction to The Midlife Method by Sam Rice.   And never was a truer word written.  If only some of us had somehow traveled to the future and experienced living as our older selves for a week or two then motivation to live responsibly would have been in abundance.  Unfortunately, ageing happens like the proverbial frog in increasingly hot water; before we know it, the risk factors associated with being overweight, and having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke, have become apparent.

Sam Rice’s message is that as we age our bodies’ change and so must we, should we want our later years to feel great, living and moving freely.  We need to understand those changes and how to manage them which requires a holistic approach rather than just targeting diet.

The strength of The Midlife Method is in the evidence-based research regarding how as we age the metabolism slows, hormones become depleted, and the digestion less efficient. Most importantly, Rice shows readers what can be done about it.  She details treatments such as the types of hormone replacement therapy.  And, I think most usefully, which foods naturally aid erratic hormones, sleepless nights, and reduce stress.   And, of course, Rice provides excellent meal plans and recipes that provide nutrient-dense foods delivering a balance of macronutrients: fat, protein and carbs.

But the first step is to focus on why you want to lose weight.  There are so many reasons more important than visual appearance that actually impact lives in a meaningful way – more years with your family, increased energy levels to tackle a new phase of life, or lowering your risk of an illness.

Knowing the reason should include what will happen if weight is not reduced.  Being motivated will help participants to follow the method set out by Rice.

The Midlife Method uses the combination of light and regular days, starting with a four-week meal plan of six light days, (800 calories) and one regular day  (1,600 for women and 2,000 for men).   The number of light days reduces by one day each week.  Rice makes following this method easy. ‘The Recipes’ section gives a list of all recipes, starting with breakfast, and the calorie count of each portion.

The recipes are really good and easy to prepare. (‘Power through porridges, Mexican breakfast bowl, quick smoked mackerel & butter bean fishcakes, broccoli bacon & cheddar burgers, and seafood stew with fennel & turmeric, to mention but a few.)  Rice has made following this regime as simple as possible.  Under ‘Tips & Tweaks’ she includes information about fridge life, if a recipe can be frozen and what can be made the day before.  I have not seen an easier to use or more precise calorie counting method.  A small criticism – a slightly bigger book with larger print and glossy paper would add to its ease of use and durability, given that it is a working reference book that will be used in a messy area.  Nevertheless, The Midlife Method holds really useful and needed information.




By Sam Rice

Hachette Australia

Paperback – ISBN: 9781472278937   $32.99; 306pp

E-BOOK  –  ISBN: 9781472278944   $15.99


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