Eat protein and keep on truckin’!

Loss of muscle may be as important in producing aging and disability as gaining fat is. This loss of muscle is called “sarcopenia.”

Resistance training and eating more protein may slow this process down!  I eat 2 scoops of whey protein powder with oatmeal and skim milk for breakfast and fish (canned wild salmon and sardines) for lunch and dinner.  And I do weight/resistance training of my core and legs twice a week.

Steve Johnson for The New York Times

Great article in NY Times about maintaining muscle and function:

My grandmother, who lived to be almost 102, was what our family referred to as a healthy eater. She enjoyed a good meal, most of all in a restaurant, where she read the menu with gusto before settling on her standard constellation of broiled fish and a couple of vegetables.

Long after her contemporaries had retired to the television room at the nursing home where she lived, Grandma Ethel was walking laps around the building, talking to whomever happened to be around.

“Sit down in there,” she’d say warily as she passed the television room, “and you just don’t get up.”

Each decade, older adults lose about 3 percent of their lean body mass, mostly muscle, according to Dr. David Heber, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles. This incremental loss of strength, called sarcopenia, is a stealth danger, increasing the risk of hospitalization and death as the years go by.

“Resistance exercise like weight lifting and increased protein are the best tools to adjust to the loss of muscle with aging,” Dr. Heber said. “Exercise combined with adequate protein intake can lead to increases in muscle mass and performance, even in the very old.”

Adults of any age should consult with a doctor before undertaking a fitness routine or significant changes in diet. Assuming it’s appropriate, Dr. Heber said, a typical regimen might involve 30 minutes of walking each day and modest resistance training three times per week, with an emphasis on various muscle groups.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. Where do you purchase your whey protein powder? Do you recommend any particular brand? Btw, I don’t shop at Walmart and I see they sell it. Where else?

  2. I use Whey To Go Protein Powder Natural Vanilla Bean Flavor By Solgar

    but there are many choices.

  3. Marney Dillehay

    What other brands of whey protein do you recommend and I do shop at Walmart since it is within my budget?

  4. I mail order Solgar via Amazon. I just happened to take that pic in Whole Foods. I don’t especially advocate 1 brand. I recommend shopping online and getting cheapest prices; my search shows that Walmart does sell whey protein.
    Egg whites are another protein source. Meat, poultry, fish, beans are other sources. Try to avoid fatty meats and chicken skin. Sausage and preserved meats (bologna etc) are high in fat, salt, and nitrites (possibly carcinogenic).