Muscle Loss vs Fat Loss As We Age

August 22, 2021

On many Dishing Up Nutrition shows, we have discussed how sugar and processed carbs make body fat, how nutrition or lack of nutrition affects your brain, how food affects menopause symptoms and digestion. Today, the question is what should I eat to maintain or make muscle? This is an important topic for whatever life stage you are in, but especially as we age. Carolyn and Melanie share research that reports eating sufficient amounts of protein is critical to prevent muscle loss and to promote muscle gain. Tune in for ideas and tricks that we have found to add more protein into your diet for more fat loss and less muscle loss.

Podcast Powered by Podbean

Similar Podcast Episodes

Print Transcript


MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I’d like to start this morning, this show by asking you a question. As you have grown older, do you ever ask yourself, “What should I eat to keep muscle on my body? And not that darn excess fat.” For older adults, one health goal really should be to eat to maintain muscle. On many Dishing Up Nutrition shows we've discussed how sugar and processed carbs make body fat. But the question is what should I eat to maintain or make muscle? Well today, Carolyn and I would like to share some research with you that reports eating sufficient amount of protein is critical to prevent muscle loss and to promote muscle gain. I don't know about you, Carolyn, but I get asked that in clinic, you know, all the time. “I want to maintain my muscle. I feel like I'm losing my muscles. What should I eat to gain muscle?” And it's not just the young athletic men.

CAROLYN: No, not at all.

MELANIE: I mean, we, women are really interested in that as well.

CAROLYN: Especially as we get older.

MELANIE: Well, we want to share some ideas and tricks that we found to add more protein to your diet. We both have discovered that as people grow older, their taste buds change and their interest in protein declines. Can anyone out there relate to us?

CAROLYN: For sure.

MELANIE: So we need creative ideas to make sure that we're eating sufficient amounts of protein daily. When I'm talking about protein, I'm talking about animal protein; anything with a face, right?

CAROLYN: Right, exactly. So beyond sharing some of the ways to include protein several times a day, not just once a day, which I often hear from my clients, right; we're going to share some of our favorite recipes that will surely increase your protein intake.

MELANIE: I think our listeners are busy. We're busy.

CAROLYN: Everyone's busy, aren’t they?

MELANIE: So we end up at the end of the day, we have that dinner and that dinner includes the protein. But you think about what you ate yesterday, listeners. Did you wake up in the morning and have protein? Did you have protein in the afternoon or did you kind of fly through with a “protein bar”? Maybe you grab a couple pieces of fruit, candy bar, coffee, and then you think, boy, I only really had real protein at dinner. So think about what you ate yesterday. So we'll be spending this hour with you today. So I think it is appropriate that we introduce ourselves, Carolyn. I'm, Melanie Beasley, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. I've been working individually in classes with clients for over 30 years. And I love every minute of teaching clients the health benefits of eating real. Personally, it's what has healed me through many a health crisis.

CAROLYN: Exactly. So good morning, everyone. I'm Carolyn Hudson and I'm also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with well over 30 years of working with clients in a variety of different settings. I personally appreciate the importance of eating real food, especially real protein to maintain my muscle mass. And I want to tell you a little bit about an older adult who has maintained her muscles for many, many decades. This is my mother. So this fall she's going to be celebrating her 94th birthday.

MELANIE: Does she listen to the show, Carolyn?

CAROLYN: Sometimes. It's early for her. She does tend to sleep in a little bit, so, and she loves to read her morning paper. So, I would say she doesn’t always get to it on Saturday morning, but anyway, one of her favorite hobbies includes hiking around our cabin, which is on Lake Superior. But her absolute favorite thing to do is kayaking.

MELANIE: Wonderful.

CAROLYN: Kayaking on Lake Superior; she does it on the shores of Lake Superior. We, we bought her, her children; there's many of us; we bought her a kayak on her 70th birthday or for her 70th birthday.

MELANIE: That’s fantastic.

CAROLYN: She's been kayaking now for a long time, you know, 24 years.

MELANIE: How does she get that kayak down to the water?

CAROLYN: We do have a little hoist for her, but, you know, she'll drag that thing. She's got to still drag it up a little ways and, and hook it up. And she also has to get it down there to the water and it's actually pretty steep. So I can't even believe she can still do that. There were times I can't do that I feel like. It's just really, really awkward.

MELANIE: This woman is amazing.

CAROLYN: She really is. So typically what she'll have for breakfast, again, she's 94. She probably doesn't quite weigh a hundred pounds. She'll have one or two eggs in the morning and some toast and butter, you know, so that's great. She might have a little bit of Greek yogurt with a few berries and topped with a few nuts or something.


CAROLYN: For lunch it’s probably closer to like a half of a sandwich. And sometimes not, maybe not quite enough protein, but she does try to have, you know, at least two to three ounces of protein with her, with her sandwich and she'll have her lettuce and tomato and all of that and a healthy mayonnaise and probably a little bit of butter on, on that as well. And dinner, she's really a traditionalist. It's a piece of meat and her potato, you know, she loves a little potato and of course a nice green vegetable usually for, and some butter on her, on her broccoli or whatever it happens to be. So she's, she's a really healthy eater. So, and I think everyone in my family pretty much is too.

MELANIE: How many of you are there?

CAROLYN: There are eight children at this point. There were nine of us. My oldest brother has passed away. But yeah, so we're, there are a lot of us.

MELANIE: You're a tribe. Well, in addition to working individually with clients, Carolyn and I also both teach a variety of nutrition classes to small groups of clients who want to lose weight. So we always teach life changing nutrition education to large groups of people for various businesses and community groups; always trying to spread that healthy eating message. I think it’s a passion for both of us, wouldn’t you say?

CAROLYN: Yes, absolutely; a real passion. So we teach real food nutrition to middle age adults and to seniors who want to have better health as they age. And I believe that people generally know that what they eat affects every aspect of their life. Without question, your nutrition certainly affects your body and your brain.

MELANIE: So today we want to discuss how nutrition affects your muscles. And if you go to the gym, you may be told it's all about the exercise. Well, yes, exercise definitely helps, but you, you really need nutrition to support what you're doing in the gym. We especially need to eat sufficient amounts of protein to build and maintain the muscle.

CAROLYN: Yeah. You know, when I was preparing for this class today or this, this radio studio event today, I found out that 10% of adults over 50 years of age lose muscle mass. And this is called, when we're losing muscle mass, it's called sarcopenia. And why is that important? Well, it's important because it decreases your life expectancy and your overall quality of your life. And after middle age, we adults lose 3% of our muscle strength every year on average.

MELANIE: Wow, say that again, Carolyn. That is really important.

CAROLYN: Yeah. After middle age, adults lose 3% of muscle strength every year on average. And you were telling me before we came in studio today about your experience as a trainer. What, what were you saying about that?

MELANIE: Well, I used to teach fitness and I've learned from, you know, the research is that we are either losing muscle or gaining muscle. Muscle is not static. It never stays the same. So while you're sitting there, you're either losing muscle or gaining muscle. So it's important that if you know the old message, if you don't use it, you lose it.


MELANIE: There's truth.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So, you know, as your body ages, it becomes more resistant to those growth signals for your muscles. And that's going to result in the muscle loss. So not only is this balanced diet that we're going to be talking a lot about today with adequate protein and calories, right; necessary for maintaining that muscle. But you must also keep your muscles active. Like you were just saying, it's not all about exercise, but it is very important to keep those muscles active. And resistance training has been shown to probably be the best, but you can get a lot of benefits just from walking.

MELANIE: You know, and a small point about that is if you don't fuel your body with the adequate protein, you can work out, but it doesn't have the, what it needs and necessary ingredients to make the muscle.

CAROLYN: Right. So you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. In past shows, we've discussed how nutrition or lack of nutrition affects your brain. And on other shows, we've discussed how nutrition affects menopause symptoms and digestion. So today we're discussing how nutrition affects our muscles. Stay tuned and learn what is the most important macronutrient to prevent muscle mass. And we'll be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. For the remainder of August we invite you to take one or more of our one hour nutrition classes. You have 15 different classes to choose from, and they're all prerecorded. So you can take any class when it's convenient for you as kind of a, it's a great deal. My favorite class is Building a Better Working Memory and a very popular class with our clients is Immune Building Foods and Nutrients right now, especially with the COVID that we're dealing with. Take one or several classes of these classes because they're only $10.

CAROLYN: That's a great deal, isn't it?

MELANIE: $10 for an hour of education is amazing. You can call 651-699-3438 or register online at

CAROLYN: So to prepare for this radio show on Dishing Up Nutrition, we typically read current research and past articles and books about the subject. So for this show, we picked a very well-respected book and an article published by the National Institute of Health. First we will talk about the book, The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating Foods You Were Designed to Eat. That's by Dr. Loren Cordain, who is one of the world's leading experts on Paleolithic Stone Age people who were very fit, slender, very active and free, like no heart disease, no cancer or other diseases of modern man.

So, and what he says in his book is, “Our ancestors were genetically programmed to thrive on lean meats, fish, fresh fruits, and non-starchy vegetables that they would hunt and gather.” Dr. Cordain reported that the people of today are still genetically programmed that way.

MELANIE: You know, I thought it was interesting that he said lean meats, because if you buy free range chicken, turkey, or grass fed beef, it's much leaner, because they are allowed to roam and eat the grass and the foods that they're meant to. So it's a leaner product versus a corn fed or caged animal.

CAROLYN: I remember the very first time I had my very first grass fed steak. I wasn't all that impressed at first.

MELANIE: It's a little tougher. You have to be aware.

CAROLYN: I didn't expect that. You know, I mean, this was many years ago, but I, you know, it was like, oh, this is very, this doesn't have as much fat or marbling in it. So it was a little drier and a little tougher.

MELANIE: We have to learn how to cook it low and slow.

CAROLYN: Yeah, that probably was my mistake. I probably wasn't cooking it correctly, but I've learned.

MELANIE: And I've learned that when I have a grass fed roast, they're wonderful in the Crock-Pot or the Instant Pot and they just fall apart. They're wonderful. And they're fantastic. So when you feel a little righteous when you're eating those foods now. So you might be wondering what does the Paleolithic people or the Stone Age people have to do with us today? Especially as we talk about nutrition to build muscle mass.

Dr. Loren Cordain says lots about it. “DNA evidence shows that genetically humans have hardly changed in 40,000 years, meaning that the genetic makeup of the Paleolithic people is virtually identical to our own.” I like the statement he made. “Literally we are Stone-Agers living in the space age. Our dietary needs are the same as theirs.” But I would like to add, I think our fashion has improved.

CAROLYN: Oh, yes; good point, Melanie. Yeah, absolutely. This is really interesting. So our genetics, but he's saying here is our genetics just haven't changed, right? We are still…

MELANIE: Or our nutritional needs, right?

CAROLYN: We still need what we needed then.


CAROLYN: You know, but yet our diet really isn't the same at all.

MELANIE: No, I'm pretty sure that cavemen didn't run around eating Cheetos or protein bars.

CAROLYN: Right. And if you think of it this way, you know, like most cars are designed to run on gasoline, but if you, by mistake, fill it up with diesel, what happens? You will ruin your engine. That's kind of like the standard American diet, you know, that includes cereal and refined sugars and processed foods. It’s very much like that diesel fuel in your body's metabolic machinery. So Dr. Cordain said that “The paleo diet is based on 19 to 35% protein, 22 to 40% vegetable carbs and 28 to 47% natural fats.” And he wrote that, “Protein in the paleo diet increases our metabolism and helps us actually kind of shrink our appetite.”

MELANIE: And we see that in classes. When we start getting our clients eating adequate protein, their appetite and their cravings go way. And suddenly they are more alert. They feel good. Well, when we, you examine the percent of protein, carbs and fat in the Weight and Wellness eating plan, it matches up with the Paleolithic percentages. The Weight and Wellness plan is based on 30% protein, 40% vegetable carbs and 30% natural fats.

It's what we teach. And it's what we live. To build muscle mass we suggest eating these amounts every three to four hours, three to four ounces of protein, two to three cups of vegetables. Yes. I said two to three cups of vegetables every three to four hours, half a cup of fruit and one tablespoon of natural fats to build muscle. It's necessary to nourish your body with adequate protein, especially your muscles. Eating the correct foods can really help you build that muscle and maintain a good energy level. So you do work out and recover from those athletic events you may be involved in. I think now's a good time to share a couple of my favorite recipes that include protein, vegetable carbs, and good fats, which will surely increase your protein intake. So grab a pen and paper. I love sheet pan meals because they're so easy and a complete meal.

The sheet pan meal, the fajita recipe is on our website. It's fantastic. It's easy. It feeds a family. And on our website: it's amazing. I also love, and I make regularly the Meat and Veggie Sheet Pan “Pizza. So it's a crowd pleaser. It's very filling. I get lots of protein in that dish. So I'm very satisfied. And my all time favorite from our cookbook is that White Chicken Chili. So those are my favorites. You can find these recipes online at You can also find our cookbook.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Well, what was your first one that you said?

MELANIE: I really love, and I know that we love the same one, but I do love the fajita.

CAROLYN: I put that down as one of my favorites too. Yeah, it is one of my all time favorites. I love it. Yeah. It's so versatile. Right? So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. It's already time for our second break. So to build muscle, you need protein.

An easy and excellent way to include protein in your diet is to add the Nutrikey protein powder to your morning protein shake. The Wellness Whey Protein Powder and the Paleo Protein Powder are on special for the duration of August. And it's 15% off. You can order on our website or at And you can also call us at (651) 699-3438. And we will help you find the right protein powder for you. So you can choose the option of picking up your order at any one of our six locations or have us mail it.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Protein is important to maintain muscle mass, and it's also an important food for athletes and kids in sports. On that note, we suggest you tune in next Saturday as Cassie and Teresa discuss Food for Athletes and Kids in Sports. It's going to be a great show.

CAROLYN: Yes, I'm sure it will be. So we're talking about muscles today and maintaining or building muscle, especially maintaining it while we age. So to build these muscles, you also need to eat enough vegetable carbohydrates. That's important because what it does is it replenishes the glycogen in the muscles and the liver. And that helps you avoid that fatigue. So the Weight and Wellness eating plan might suggest that for breakfast you eat two eggs, plus a couple ounces of maybe turkey sausage and a cup of vegetables. It could be green beans or broccoli, whatever you want; and sauté all of that in a little bit of olive oil, plus maybe even a half a cup of sweet potato with a teaspoon of butter. This would give you muscle building. This would be a really good muscle building meal, right?


CAROLYN: So now I want to share a couple of my favorite recipes. I already divulged that one of mine, Melanie likes too; the fajita sheet pan fajitas, but I'm also a real fan of the sheet pan fajitas and all the sheet pan recipes. I really like them.

There, all of these are available on our website at So these meals are really delicious and they're going to help you increase your protein intake and build and maintain your muscles. So the other sheet pan recipe that I really love is that autumn chicken one. And so it's squash, a little bit of apple and onion, and sometimes I don't even put all of the seasonings on because the key to this one, I think is I use a little bit of avocado oil and the maple syrup, and I pour that on the vegetables. And then I placed my chicken thighs on top of that; and voila.

MELANIE: It is fantastic. I've made it with pork chops too.

CAROLYN: Oh, I haven't done that.

MELANIE: So good.

CAROLYN: Oh, that sounds like it would be really lovely. And you pour half of the maple syrup mixture on the vegetables and the other half on the chicken thighs and it's just yummy.

MELANIE: And your house smells like you've made some sort of gourmet delicious meal. It's really good.

CAROLYN: Just super simple, you know, and you know, I make a shortcut every once in a while. I'll get the already cut up squash that is available.

MELANIE: Girl, I always get the cut up squash.

CAROLYN: I hate cutting up squash and peeling. It, that's a hard one. The other one that I'm doing, this is one of my favorites right now is the Peach Smoothie Recipe with the fresh peaches right now.

MELANIE: I’ve made it with the frozen, but right now the fresh peaches are out.

CAROLYN: Fresh peaches are just luscious right now; those Colorado peaches that you can get. Ooh, they're great. I love those. And I also add a little bit of chia to my smoothies. You know, that's always a really good thing. I soak them in water for about 20 minutes if I forget to do them overnight.

MELANIE: Really, the chia?


MELANIE: Oh, I grind mine in a little nut grinder, a coffee grinder so I don't get the little seedy bits that stick in your teeth.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Well, if I didn't, if I didn't let them soak, they would stick in my teeth I'm sure. But, anyway, that's, those are some of my favorite recipes.

MELANIE: Well, we want to share the article published by the NIH or National Institute of Health on May 11th, 2018, titled Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefits. That’s a title.

The leading statement of this article said, “Adequate consumption of dietary protein is crucial for the maintaining of optimal health during normal growth and aging. The current RDA for protein is defined as the maximum amount of protein required to prevent lean body mass.” Well, it is often misrepresented and even misinterpreted as the recommended optimal intake. We know that there's a discrepancy there.

CAROLYN: And just going to backtrack a little bit. RDA, you know, we're, we're dietitians speak.


CAROLYN: That's recommended daily allowance. So, for those of you that aren't dietitians and nutritionists.

MELANIE: And a little caveat to that, Carolyn, I think our listeners need to hear is recommended. They had to come up with something for a broad group of people. And when you come in and you see a specialist like a nutritionist or dietitian, they're going to look at you specifically and assign what you need for your body size, type or health condition.


MELANIE: So they had to recommend something.

CAROLYN: Yes. So it, it, I think you said it really well. It's misrepresented and misinterpreted a lot of times.

MELANIE: I agree.

CAROLYN: So the authors of this article went on to say that over the past two decades, they have found that muscles will benefit from a diet higher in guess what? That macronutrient protein, right.

Inadequate dietary protein intake challenges the development of muscle and even the whole body balance. So if we base an eating plan on just what's recommended as the daily allowance amount of protein for like 130 pound woman, the recommended amount might be something like 47 grams of protein, or only like five and a half ounces in a whole day. The article from the NIH challenged that amount and stated “To achieve good muscle mass, much more protein is needed.” So the Weight and Wellness eating plan suggests 100 grams.

MELANIE: More than twice.

CAROLYN: Yeah. More than twice than they… recommended might be 47, but our Weight and Wellness eating plan is going to recommend a hundred grams of protein, of course, from a variety of different sources. That will help you achieve this muscle building. And that's really what it's all about. Isn't it, Melanie?

MELANIE: It is; maintaining and muscle-building so that we, we need those muscles. And the muscles translate; when your muscle decreases, our bones decrease.

CAROLYN: I think that's a really important point, especially considering all of the people that have already an osteopenia diagnosis. So we need these muscles in order to maintain our bone health.

MELANIE: Exactly. They work as a unit; really important.

CAROLYN: Important.

MELANIE: Now that we've had shared some of the science, how do you manage eat a hundred grams of protein a day? That may feel daunting to you, but to prevent muscle loss that's what we recommend. 100 grams converts into about 11 ounces of protein daily. That's much easier than counting grams, right?

In many cases, when I start nutrition counseling or nutrition therapy with many female clients, they're not eating sufficient protein to maintain muscle mass. They're often eating maybe five or six ounces of protein per day and sometimes even less. And I always start by examining, explaining, that in order to maintain muscle mass, they need to have protein for breakfast. That starts your day off well. Some women will eat a couple of eggs. Others will eat a protein shake. Other women like a turkey scramble. I like a chia pudding. That's got my Paleo Protein powder in it. I then recommend that they eat three or four ounces of chicken or turkey for lunch. And for a snack, maybe full fat cottage cheese with some blueberries; then three to four ounces of salmon for dinner. And I encourage them to make a daily eating plan and stick with it so it doesn't get away from them with their schedule. I also recommend that they no longer skip meals.

CAROLYN: You know, that's a really interesting one, Melanie, because I have a lot of people and I'm sure you do too. They say, oh, I never eat breakfast. And so I, I really try to work with them and say, would you be willing to eat a protein ball? Something really small, you know, just before, you know, within about an hour of getting up. And then have your breakfast a couple hours later. You don't need to start with a full breakfast. You can start with something small, but get your metabolism working. And like, for me, sometimes, especially with these really hot days, I've been trying to get out pretty early in the morning for my bike ride. And so I don't, I usually have a protein shake in the summer and I find that that's just a little too much for me. I can do that when I get back from my ride. But so I'll do a couple protein balls. That recipe’s on our, on our website as well.

MELANIE: Yeah. They're delicious. It tastes like a cookie.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. So something small, it doesn't interfere with my workout. But it gets my body going.

MELANIE: That's great. I, and even if you're someone who will do a protein shake, sometimes exercising on a full stomach can be nauseated. So I tell people what's a good pre-workout is maybe half of your protein shake and then finish up the other half when you're done. So that protein, when you front load the protein for muscles that are being strained, and then you follow it up with protein. After the muscles have been strained, that's been shown in research to help build muscle.

CAROLYN: And help, help recovery.

MELANIE: A lot of people start their morning with a cup of coffee. So you could put some collagen powder in there or vanilla whey protein powder. And that's a good way to start off with a little protein in the morning. If you, again, exercising or eating early is something that you just can't do with too much food on your tummy.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. So a lot of times my, my clients, after they kind of get used to having something first thing in the morning, they will eventually be able to then start with a breakfast and then go, but you know, I just tell them, it doesn't matter what order you do this in.


CAROLYN: Let's just do it.

MELANIE: Let's just do it. Maybe start with your snack.

CAROLYN: Start with your snack and then go to whatever you want, you know. And you're ready to, we have to have breakfast. I mean, breakfast doesn't have to be breakfast foods.


CAROLYN: Right, right. So it's already time for our third break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. People have been asking us, when are we going to be able to go to an in-house in-person Nutrition for Weight Loss class? There, we've got a lot of calls lately. They tell us that they miss the encouragement and support that they get from other members in the class as well as the encouragement and support that they get from their educators.

MELANIE: I miss it too.

Nutrition for Weight Loss Series

CAROLYN: Oh, so do I. Well, we have some great news for you. Starting in September, we will be offering our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes at each of our six locations. Your nutrition educator will be wearing a mask and we will limit the number of class participants. So social distancing will be followed. So to save your seat or for more information, please call our office at (651) 699-3438. And we will be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. When I tell people I'm a registered dietitian, they assume I've eaten perfectly forever.

CAROLYN: No, I don't think that's true.

MELANIE: Not true. They also think I will take away their favorite foods. Sometimes that’s a little bit true, but not always. Sometimes certain foods are just not the best for people, but we suggest change that is comfortable for each individual. Maybe, you know, one of the things I always ask, Carolyn, is are you a toe in the water person? Are you a jump in and get used to a person? Because you got to work with what works with your own personality when we start making changes; so that it's sustainable. Well, sometimes, you know, those certain foods that we talked about just are not the best, but we suggest going slowly or maybe some people are like, give it to me, whatever. Maybe just giving up soda can drop your glucose number into a normal range, or perhaps even eliminating the morning sweet roll will get rid of your heartburn.

Nutrition counseling or nutrition therapy is much more than just helping people lose weight. Today 50% of the adult population in America is prediabetic or diabetic. That's a lot different than when you and I first started.

CAROLYN: Yeah, yeah.

MELANIE: Yeah. So if you fall into that category, give us a call at (651) 699-3438 to set up an appointment with one of our dietitians or nutritionists. If you have a health insurance, sometimes we take several health insurances. So that's good news. Be sure to check with your health insurance company to see if they're going to cover the cost for that nutrition appointment. You might be surprised.

CAROLYN: You know what? I think that, you know, obviously COVID has been bad on many different levels, but one thing that has come to light and has been a little easier now is more health insurances will allow phone and video conferencing for appointments.


CAROLYN: I know I've done some with my mom when she has to see her doctor and, and I think we're getting more insurance clients because of it. So I'm, I'm pleased about that aspect that it's brought to light and now insurance companies are saying, hey, this was a, this is okay. We can get as much out of a medical appointment or a nutrition appointment by being virtual as we can in person. So I'm very thankful of that. And, and our business, my goodness, Melanie, I don't know about you, but we've been, I've been swamped. And I know you've been swamped.

MELANIE: Yep; it’s good news.

CAROLYN: Yeah. It's good news and bad news. It’s hard to keep up, right?

MELANIE: I think what's great is that people are able to get the help that they want. Maybe they don't feel well enough to go in for a nutrition appointment. So if you're housebound for health reasons, you can get that help. And I think that's a huge blessing for our clients.

CAROLYN: Yeah, for sure. So before we went to break, we were talking about skipping meals, particularly breakfast. So, so often, you know, I find that the women who want to lose weight, they're following a very low calorie, low fat, low protein diet.

MELANIE: They're desperate.

CAROLYN: And that doesn't work. So with that type of diet, women, what happens with women?

MELANIE: They're losing that muscle mass.

CAROLYN: They're losing muscle mass, which in turn actually slows their metabolism. So do we want a slow metabolism? No way. We do not want a slow metabolism. So I have had clients, you know, they're, they're going to skip lunch or skip breakfast because they save on calories. So that is really a very old mindset. That's about the, you know, the calories in, calories out scenario.

MELANIE: And it just has, you know, look over the history of your life. Has that worked for you?

CAROLYN: Does that work for anybody really?

MELANIE: Has it worked for anyone? And so if it's something that you've tried and you're really, really frustrated, why not try, you know, a new idea, which is to keep that metabolism revved by 30% by eating that animal protein several times a day. So once you eat animal protein, it revs you, your metabolism by 30% for a few hours. So then three to four hours later, you're having more protein and guess what? You're revving your metabolism.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So it’s not calories in and calories out. That just sets people up for muscle loss. And that diet mentality is so ingrained in so many. Well, I want to say women, but you know, I've had a number of male clients really challenge me, kind of the engineering type male clients. They, they believe calories in calories out as well.

MELANIE: Sure. It's what we've been taught for 30, 40 years.

CAROLYN: It’s what we’ve been taught, and you know, when I start explaining what goes on in the body and your, how, how intelligent your body is, you start depriving it of these calories and the protein. It's just going to adjust. It's going to adjust to whatever you give it. So that's why we have those yo-yo dieters too. Right?

So ultimately to make a good change, it takes real commitment. You know, I help my clients eat real food and have a real food eating plan and then give them, you know, monthly support. I mean, we always have action steps at the end of every session that I have. And I really encouraged my clients to really think about those action steps. Don't do something that you know you're going to fail at. Don't put that as your goal. Do, take these small baby steps. Do the things that you can do and then feel successful and more successful and more successful, right?

MELANIE: And you start feeling better, and as you start feeling better health wise, then you're encouraged to take the next step, you know, the next baby step.

CAROLYN: Right. Right. So this really helps our clients stick to a plan, right. It's really, really good for them.

MELANIE: You know, then the other piece is when you lose muscle mass, because you're not eating enough protein, your metabolism slows down, because our muscles are directly related to our metabolism. So if you, if you think about this in broad terms, men have higher metabolisms because they have more muscle mass. Women have lower metabolisms because typically they have less muscle mass. So the last thing we want to do is lose more muscle mass by not eating enough protein and slowing our metabolism down further. Think of as you age, what you could eat now versus what you could eat when you were 20.

So that piece of losing muscle is really, really key to, again, circling back to weight reduction or maintaining weight or maintaining the integrity of your bones. It all works together. And yes, it helps to do resistance training to build muscle; absolutely. But it takes quality nutrition to help the exercise work effectively.

So we want to share some tricks of the trade that may give you some new ideas to get more protein into your diet. I find as people get older, they do lose their appetite for protein or a big chunk of meat, especially protein. So there are a couple of ways to get into that protein habit. So, one: when you plan a meal or snack, the first question you should be asking yourself is “Where's my protein”. This is easy for meals, but also you want to start incorporating this in your snacks. What's my protein? So what are some snack ideas that you use?

CAROLYN: Well, my latest one has been, I’ve got things in my garden, got lots of stuff in my garden, but I'm really enjoying cucumbers and some cream cheese and a deli meat wrap that all in deli meat. And then I have some really beautiful bib lettuce in my garden and I'll do a lettuce wrap on top of that.

MELANIE: That's delicious.

CAROLYN: It is delicious. I love it. And I've been adding a little bit of hot sauce to my cream cheese.

MELANIE: What kind of hot sauce?

CAROLYN: Oh, red, whatever that one is. Red Hot. I don't know.

MELANIE: Yeah, yum. I'll use sriracha.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. I've used sriracha too. I think mine's is the Frank's Red Hot one lately.

MELANIE: I have a plethora of zucchini that, I, I don't garden. I have brown thumbs. I can grow children and dogs; no plants. But I have plenty of zucchini that's been gifted me. And I have been chopping up that zucchini into my sausage in the morning.

CAROLYN: Oh, nice.

MELANIE: And then poaching a couple eggs on top of that. So the zucchini and then some ground turkey sausage, and then I poach a couple of eggs on there. So I'm starting with about three ounces of my 10 to 11 per day just at breakfast.

CAROLYN: And then the zucchini, I got a trick for that. If you can like char them on a grill and then chop them up and toss them with your olive oil, that can be really, really tasty as well. So I did a bunch of those the other day. So I, now I have a, a whole big bowl of it and I'm just throwing those in my eggs or in with my, you know, pork sausage or whatever I'm, I'm having.


CAROLYN: So, it's time for closing here. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, yet powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing. Thank you for joining us and have a wonderful day.

Print Transcript

Back To Top