protein muscle

Protein for Healthy Aging

Protein is our friend in weight loss and healthy aging. In Peter Attia’s recently released book, Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity, he discusses the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and having a muscle mass of over 24%. The body needs protein to build muscle mass. This week on Fox 17, Dr. Bitner discusses the importance of protein for muscle building and weight loss. 

Fact #1: 

Not all protein is created equal. For example, if you eat plant protein, you must eat more to receive the same benefits as animal-sourced protein. Animal protein is more efficient and contains key amino acids to build muscle. Whey and meat proteins are also easier to digest than plant proteins.

Fact #2:

If you want to build muscle mass, the best time to take in protein is within two hours after strength training. Beef, pork, chicken, and fish all have amino acids we need to make muscle.

Fact #3:

Muscle mass is critical for overall health and weight loss. Don’t skip the first meal of the day! Adults need 30 grams of protein in the morning to trigger their muscles to build more muscle. There is a limit to the amount of protein that muscles can use from one meal. The ideal amount is around 35-40 grams per meal.

Patient Story: 

Jane really wanted to lose weight. At 48 years old, she was the heaviest weight since being pregnant nine years earlier. Her children were going back to school, and she wanted to create a plan to get back on track after a hectic summer. Jane had tried intermittent fasting without much success, was in perimenopause, and had normal labs. 

After meeting with Jane, we devised a plan to increase her protein intake. It included:  

  • Eating her first meal within two hours of exercise.
  • Drinking a shake with 40 grams of whey protein plus one cup of raspberries or blackberries.
  • Eating a mixture of protein, complex carbs, and lots of vegetables. 


After a month, Jane had lost six pounds and felt much better now that she was seeing progress.

Health Tip of the Week: 

What you eat is just as important as what you don’t! To lose weight and build muscle, consume around 35 grams of protein during the first and last meal of the day. Also, incorporate strength training into your cardio exercise routine, at least 20 minutes three times a week. It is possible to get your health and weight back on track after months of summer fun! 

Watch the full segment.