The Hilton Head Over-35 Diet


By Dr. Peter M. Miller

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD


ebook (Digital original)


ebook (Digital original) $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 29, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From the bestselling author of The Hilton Head Metabolism Diet comes the only complete diet system that addresses the special problems of age-related weight gain and helps everyone over 35 beat the “fat trap” for good.


Also by Dr. Peter M. Miller

If I'm So Smart, Why Do I Eat Like This?

(with Howard Rankin, Ph.D.)

The Hilton Head Executive Stamina Program

The Hilton Head Metabolism Diet

Selfwatching—Addictions, Habits, Compulsions:

What to Do About Them

(with Ray Hodgson, Ph.D.)

Personal Habit Control

Alternatives to Alcohol Abuse

(with Marie Mastria, Ph.D.)

Behavorial Treatment of Alcoholism


This book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his or her health and particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical treatment.

Copyright © 1989 by Dr. Peter M. Miller

All rights reserved.

Warner Books, Inc.

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at

First eBook Edition: November 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-57126-5


The program described in this book represents the product of years of effort and input from my staff at the Hilton Head Health Institute. I am greatly indebted to them for their continuing contributions to the content and development of the Hilton Head Over-35 Diet. I would especially like to acknowledge the assistance of Robert Wright, Dr. Howard Rankin, Tom Miller, Hunter Smith, Dr. Roger Sargent, and my wife, Gabrielle.

I am particularly grateful to all of the over-35 men and women who have participated in our programs at the Hilton Head Health Institute and who have so graciously shared their lives with us.


Weight Problems

While there certainly are those few people who age gracefully, eating anything and everything and not gaining an ounce, they are an exception to the rule. Fortunately for them they were born with an extremely high metabolism and are able to get away with eating whatever they want in spite of the bodily changes that take place with age. Don't you just hate them!

I have a friend who is in this category. He has been thin all of his life. At 42 years of age he is 6-foot-1 and weighs a total of 142 pounds. His weight hasn't changed one ounce in the past 20 years in spite of the fact that he eats like a glutton and never, ever exercises. He even gave up smoking last year with no associated weight gain.

Rather than be happy with his lot in life, my friend complains about his size, looking for ways to put on weight. A few months ago he had the "brilliant" idea of wanting to come to my Institute to give a talk on the personal trauma of being chronically thin. When I told a group of my clients about his suggestion, the response was unanimous—laughter followed by tongue-in-cheek threats to lynch him if he ever came near the place!

Obviously, my friend is an exception to the rule. Most people, like yourself, gain weight as the years go on. With what we know about the aging process and how it affects metabolism, weight gain with age is practically inevitable.

The Facts and Figures

Let me share some statistics with you to drive this point home. The following chart shows very clearly how weight problems increase with age. For each age category the numbers indicate the percentage of men and women who are 10 percent or more above their ideal weights.

  Age Women Men  
  20–29 23% 31%  
  30–39 41% 53%  
  40–49 59% 60%  
  50–59 67% 63%  
  60–69 68% 57%  

These figures are startling. Notice the marked increase in the prevalence of weight problems as people age. What is astonishing and what truly illustrates the major point of The Hilton Head Over-35 Diet is that the percentage of men and women who are overweight practically doubles from the mid-20s to the mid to late 30s.

Another impressive fact is related to the sheer number of over-35 adults who are overweight. By age 50 about two-thirds of the population of the United States weigh more than is healthy for them!

You'll also notice that, for men, prevalence of weight problems decreases after the 50-59 age category. Most experts feel that this is related to what is called the "survivor phenomenon." That is, percentages are no longer increasing simply because more of the overweight group is dying off and no longer included in the statistical sample. I'm sure that makes you feel a little uneasy. I know it does me. This is one type of study in which I wouldn't want to be considered a "dropout."

How Do We Compare with Other Countries?

Research conducted in other countries supports these conclusions and demonstrates that age-related weight problems are universal. This is not surprising since we all have the same physiology and our metabolisms deteriorate the same way whether we are British, Italian, or Chinese.

It is interesting to note, however, that, compared to Canada and Great Britain, the United States has a greater prevalence of weight problems especially in the upper age categories. Young women in our country (between the ages of 20 and 24) are actually in better physical shape than their British or Canadian counterparts. With age, however, these differences disappear, with American women in the 45–54 age group far surpassing both countries in percentage of the population who are overweight. American men are more overweight than men in the other countries in all age categories.

These cultural differences seem to be due to the fact that the British and Canadians remain more physically active throughout their lives. Physical activity is incorporated into their life-styles to a greater extent than is true in our country. For example, the British are less dependent on automobile transportation and are more likely to walk to shops, neighbors' homes, or even to the railroad station to commute to work. Physical activity in the United States is much more centered around structured exercise routines or athletics, both of which tend to diminish with age.

Is Age-Related Overweight Inevitable?

Your body will certainly try to make you fatter as you get older, but you don't have to put up with it. If you do nothing to fight the effects of age on your metabolism, I can guarantee you will gradually gain weight each year for the rest of your life.

Many people who consult me have the mistaken impression that as they age they are supposed to be fat. One woman said:

But, doctor, I'm 53 years old. I couldn't possibly weigh what I did when I was 25. I believe I'm at the right weight for my age.

These comments were made with serious intent in spite of the fact that this woman was 35 pounds over her ideal, healthy weight!

Remember: Getting older is no excuse for getting fatter.

There is no reason why you can't weigh the same at 60 as you did when you were 20. Saying it's not possible or not healthy is a cop-out. It's an excuse that's dangerous because it shows you are becoming complacent with yourself, your appearance, and, perhaps, even your life.

It is easy to fall into this frame of mind. It is easy to get discouraged. If this has happened to you, let's put all that in the past. I want to give you a new body, a more youthful appearance, and a new life.

Why Getting Fatter Will Make You Older

In this chapter I showed you the figures that indicate that getting older will make you fatter. Well, the reverse is also true. Getting fatter will make you look and feel older, perhaps as much as ten years older.

I'm sure you are fully aware of the toll that being overweight takes on your medical health, particularly after the age of 35. High blood pressure is 5.6 times more likely if you are overweight than if you are not. You are also more prone to cholesterol problems and diabetes. Overweight men are more likely to develop cancer of the colon and prostate while overweight women are more susceptible to cancer of the breast and uterus.

The good news is that once you lose your excess weight these health-risk factors disappear. At the Hilton Head Health Institute we regularly see significant reductions in blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and blood-sugar levels as our clients lose weight. And most of these improvements occur in as little as four weeks!

For men, there is even evidence to suggest that older-age impotence is caused by the same cardiovascular-disease risk factors associated with overweight. Losing weight and eating properly may, indeed, have the added benefit of improving your sex life!

While health issues frequently serve to motivate someone to go on a diet, they seldom help with the long-term commitment required to continue following a healthy lifestyle plan. The effect is very short-lived.

Are You a Candidate for the Over-35 Diet?

Check off each of the following characteristics that applies to you:

  1. I am between 35 and 75 years of age.

  2. I put on weight more easily now than when I was younger.

  3. As the years progress my body is flabbier and not as firm as it once was.

  4. I am not as physically active as I was during my youth.

  5. I don't lose weight as quickly on diets as I once did.

  6. Even when I lose weight on diets, I seem to gain it back more quickly than used to be the case.

  7. I have more trouble being consistent with dieting and exercise than I once did.

  8. I have a more difficult time motivating myself to start a diet than I did when I was younger (I keep putting it off).

  9. I feel older than I should for my age.

10. My body is not as energetic as it once was.

The more items you checked, the more you need my plan. So, let's get started before any more aging goes on!

Before you begin the actual diet I must first explain to you exactly what is happening to your body as you age and how that makes you fat. Then I'll set out a plan of action for you to allow you to reset your biological clock and start losing those excess pounds.


Your Aging Metabolism

The first basic fact I want you to understand is that your age-related weight problem is not simply a matter of overeating. One thing that really galls me is the supercilious attitude of spouses, friends, and physicians who tell you, "The solution to your weight problem is simple. Just put down your fork and push yourself away from the table." This is simpleminded advice given by people who don't know what they are talking about.

These remarks are likely to make you feel guilty and blame your lack of willpower for your weight problem. Well, I can tell you that gaining weight as you grow older has nothing to do with willpower or lack of it. Neither is it caused by psychological problems. Depression, lack of self-esteem, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy are the results of weight problems and not their cause.

The End of Your Guilt Trip

I'm going to put an end to your guilt trip right here and now. I never want you to feel guilty or self-conscious about your weight ever again. And don't listen to anyone who tells you that you should.

I'm not trying to provide you with excuses for your weight problem. I'm simply telling you that, as you get older, there are bodily factors at work that make it much more difficult for you to control your weight. Unless you understand what those factors are and how you can reverse their detrimental effects, you will remain overweight for the rest of your life. If you simply put the emphasis on "trying harder" to diet or removing the "psychological barriers" to weight loss, you will not only fail at permanently losing weight, you'll make yourself a nervous wreck in the process.

The main reason you have an age-related weight problem is because your metabolism is getting old. We must examine the reasons why it is aging and what we can do about it.

Metabolism and the 1949 Chevrolet

Let's first of all look at what is meant by the term metabolism. To understand this concept I want you to think of your body as an automobile and your metabolism as its engine.

Your metabolic engine works very hard. In fact, it never rests and is running 24 hours a day every day for your entire lifetime. When you are lying down or sleeping, your engine is idling. When you sit or stand, it's similar to pressing very lightly on your automobile's accelerator. When you walk around from one place to another you are pressing with more force. And there are times when you are jogging, cycling, or doing aerobic exercise that you are pressing your gas pedal all the way down to the floor.

The fuel or gasoline that your engine burns is analogous to the food that you eat. Gallons of gasoline can be compared to calories of food. In fact, a calorie is simply a unit measure of food energy.

Unlike your automobile engine, the more fuel your body's metabolic engine burns the better. You're not trying to conserve on caloric fuel, you're trying to burn up as much as possible, especially when your engine is idling.

Your engine burns calories in two ways. One is through resting metabolism, which refers to the amount of food energy your body uses just to keep your engine idling. In other words, this represents how many calories your body requires just to maintain life. The second is movement metabolism, which refers to how many calories your body uses through day-to-day activities and exercise.

It is important to realize that metabolism refers to a base rate of burning calories, as if your engine were idling all day long without your ever putting your foot down on the gas pedal. Think of this rate as the number of calories of food energy you would use up if you were lying down 24 hours a day without moving. In fact, it is this idling speed of your engine that we will be speeding up. As a result of the Hilton Head Over-35 Diet you will be burning more calories at rest, while you are lying down, sitting, and even while you are sleeping at night.

One other fact to consider is that if you were born in 1949, your body is like a 1949 Chevrolet. You were born as a 1949 Chevy and you will be driving that same car with that same engine for the rest of your life, perhaps until the year 2030 or later. As far as your body and its metabolism are concerned, you will never be able to trade it in for a new model.

You shouldn't be surprised that your metabolic engine will require an occasional tune-up during your lifetime. In fact, unless periodic maintenance is performed, you might expect that your engine will become sluggish, erratic, and unreliable.

What Is Your Normal Idling Speed?

The speed of your resting metabolism is defined as the number of calories your body burns at rest over a 24-hour period


On Sale
Nov 29, 2009
Page Count
212 pages