One of the principles of my Today’s the Day plan is having a form of clean protein at each meal. I’ve shared before that when I was younger – all the way through my 20’s and 30’s – and the beginning of my 40’s – I was essentially a vegetarian most of the time. I love veggies and I was definitely a pasta and bread girl. I never had a weight problem until my early 40’s when I began gaining weight even though I wasn’t doing anything different.
That spurred me on to developing my Today’s the Day plan. I began adjusting my meals to include a form of clean protein at each meal and to first limit and then eliminate starchy carbs and grains most days of the week and the weight came off easily. I have remained at my healthiest weight now for over 20 years following this plan.
Now that I am in my 60’s I am aware of the importance of maintaining muscle mass. I work out most days of the week and that includes weight training and HIIT. After reading Dr. Mercola’s excellent book on mitochondrial health, Fat for Fuel, I understand better why too much protein can activate metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer development. My plan has never recommended large amounts of protein – 3-4 oz. per meal – I have recently seen that this recommendation can be increased for those of us over 50.
It was also found that having protein throughout the day, not just for dinner or at one meal, helped build and preserve muscle more effectively. We are constantly breaking muscle down and building it up. In fact this is how strength training builds muscle. However, as we age, muscle protein breaks down more quickly than it is rebuilt so we need to provide a little more of the raw material our bodies need to keep us strong on a consistent basis.
While we have most likely been more concerned with maintaining a certain weight earlier in our lives, as we enter our 60’s and beyond, maintining strength becomes the more critical factor so we do not get frail and weak.
Are you aware of the importance of protein for people over 60?
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