Weight loss: The “bigger” picture

Everyone in this country is obsessed with losing weight.

Some, more than others.

It’s almost a national pastime at this point. And I understand why.

(I’ve dedicated my entire career to helping people live healthier and often, that boils down to maintaining a healthy weight.)

Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight are excellent goals. But many folks desire quick fixes, hoping the latest crash diet, strange-soup detox, or trending weight-loss drug will let them lose pounds in a matter of days.

But let’s take a quick step back at why this isn’t the best approach…

Protect your quality of life

When it comes to quick, drastic weight loss, many overlook the downsides.

Namely, the potential for losing too much lean body mass (LBM) and strength—both of which are known to reduce quality of life and increase death risk.

I’ve hinted at this a few times before, but typically in the concept of sarcopenia, marked by decreased muscle mass and muscle function as a consequence of aging.

Our peak LBM occurs around age 40 and seemingly declines at 4.7 percent per decade in men, and 3.7 percent in women.

(I’m not so sure these figures will continue to hold. Rather, I’m hopeful they’ll improve—as our population ages better than past generations. Many people are exercising and eating better well into their 90s now, so hopefully this paints a picture of the past and not the future.)

And this is where body composition analyses come to scene, like those handgrip tools. (Typically, the greater your handgrip strength, the higher your LBM.)

After all, understanding—and preserving—LBM and strength might just be the key to increased longevity.

More protein and strength training

So, how can you preserve LBM as you age?

You probably already know what I’m going to say:

  • Eat adequate amounts of protein
  • Engage in regular strength training exercises

But let’s break it down a bit further…

The recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein is pathetically low and, in my opinion, impairs the process of building muscle. It may even end up causing more LBM loss in young, healthy people, to boot!

So, my recommendation, based on the research, is to eat 1.5 to 2 grams of protein by kilogram of body weight. (Although not totally accurate, an easy way to determine this is to divide your body weight in half and then multiply by 1.5 for women and 2 for men.)

And be smart about WHEN you eat this protein. See, building lean muscle means your body already needs fuel (protein) when you engage in strength training.

In fact, a study found that dividing your daily protein requirement in three distinct times of the day promoted 25 percent more muscle building, compared to those who ate half their daily intake at one sitting alone.

Then, when it comes to strength training, I suggest aiming for two sessions per week, 60 minutes total, plus four days of mixed aerobic and resistance training.


Because in older adults, two sessions, as opposed to a single session, translated to a four-fold increase in LBM.

I realize this may sound like a lot… a lot of protein and a lot of exercise. But it won’t take long before it turns into a habit—and one you come to ENJOY, at that.

You can also do what I do and enjoy at least one protein shake each day.

After all, adequate protein intake has been shown to increase feelings of satiety similar to those glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist wonder drugs!

I like to mix a scoop of my product WheyLogic, available in chocolate or vanilla, with ice and water for a delicious, guilt-free protein boost.

P.S. Not sure where to start when it comes to strength training? Check out my video here—and I’ll be sure to share other easy-to-perform activities on my social media channels.


“Retaining Lean Body Mass While Taking Weight Loss Drugs.” Medscape, 01/25/2024. (medscape.com/viewarticle/999835)