Protein intake for ~ age 50+


(PJ) #1

I was listening to a podcast with Gabrielle Lyons this morning.

(Sorry that’s not the official link, it’s directly to the audio I was ripping for local copy)

As a funny sync, just the last week I’ve felt the drive to push my protein per-meal (not just per-day) much higher, and it took days but I found my creatine which I bought eons ago and never even tried. I’ve been exercising more (kettlebells and in general). And then in this podcast, she said:

That if you’re about age 50+, the “nutrient sensing” (not just protein synthesis but sensing at all of the leucine etc.) is significantly lower, and you should get about 50g of animal protein with any given meal. She also recommended creatine for older people (the host was hypothetically asking about a ~60yo woman who was not physically or metabolically fit but wanted to get that way).

Now, I knew leucine had minimal requirements; I knew protein synthesis reduced as we aged; but I had not heard the 50g per meal thing – that is normal for me, now, but probably not for most people who aren’t carnivore or high-protein on purpose.

She was saying that she believes the entire focus on obesity is wrong and it’s not working primarily because we “should” be focusing on skeletal muscle instead of adipose tissue. That the fat is a symptom not a cause. (That’s a given for ketogenic stuff.)

She does believe in calories, she only recommends keto for select groups and doesn’t think it’s sustainable for everyone. But she does say that one shouldn’t get more than 40 carbs in a given meal unless they are really exercising.

She mentions in passing though about muscle doing a lot of stuff besides motion including body chemicals that ‘do’ various things, and including being a glucose sink.

She said minimal protein when older should be your ideal body weight in pounds, in animal protein grams.

That works for me. Whether it works for making me leaner or stronger is another story, but at least I am not getting larger, while keeping carbs low (mostly ketogenic not always but not high above it on those days) and protein high (I try for 120 min but I prefer twice that, in part because I don’t have many good quality fats so I have to get the calories somewhere and it’s either bad fats, carbs, or just more protein).

(Bob M) #2

If you (or I) eat lean beef, it’s really easy to go well past 120g. A pound of top round, for instance has that (though last time I plugged “top round calories protein” into a search engine, I got anywhere between 80-130g for a pound). And a pound of top round is not many calories (again, a crazily wide range of calories in my search).

Here’s one of the many:

From here:

Assuming this is correct, that’s about 140g/1000 calories. I assume you’re eating more calories than that, so unless you eat pure fat or all vegetables, you’ll be well over 120g.

This always has been my struggle with the protein “guides”. If what you’re doing is eating relatively lean beef, you can easily go over the guidelines.

(PJ) #3

My body loves protein. 20 years of serious malnourishment, in meditations it is always asking for regular intake including right before sleep for some reason. I have no issue getting enough of it and if I had my way I’d have a lot more, I just can’t eat so much! I only get what I do now because of protein drinks.

Calories is another story, as you note. I pretty much have to have a regular intake of cheese and I add a bit of butter to everything I can, just to try and jack up my calories so they are not insufficient, and add fats, hopefully fairly decent ones.

I am currently eating more carbs than usual but what that really means is merely: two cans of beans split between 10 servings of chili con carne; occasionally a few corn tortillas; now and then a kiwi but that’s usually still a keto day. Oh and ice cube popsicles that are half water half cranberry juice and a little tube of crystal lite wild strawberry for flavor/sweet that makes it yummy, those are about 1 carb each from the cranberry. (I’m on diuretics so always trying to help kidneys/bladder, hence that juice.)

I still have issues making the calories, and I’d like to have less cheese in my diet. My current next-two-weeks goal is to eat more eggs. I have farm eggs (my gunsmith is also a chicken guy lol) so I really want to incorporate far more of them into my diet. I just don’t like egg muffins, quiche, and only barely omelette/scramble/fried/deviled but I will be doing some of those.

Planned experiment is the “90 second microwave tortilla” from serious keto youtube channel. If I can make that edible I might have a burrito (scramble with cheese and whatever) a lot more often.


That’s the go-to for everybody, with people that are actively trying to put on more muscle mass it usually get’s up’d a little. Gabrielle Lyon knows her stuff, she practices “muscle centric medicine”. If you’ve ever seen her… it shows.

(Edith) #5

What is the name of the podcast?

(PJ) #6

I’m so sorry, I didn’t have the link to it anymore. I still had the link to the audio, just not to the ‘facing page’ that hosts it. But if you listen to the audio file (which will play if you just click on it) I think the host will say whatever it is probably early on.

(Bob M) #7

Let us know if that works. Most of the low carb tortillas have things I prefer not to eat, like gluten.

I realize that I also like (or, my body likes) high protein. I do well on it.

Now, this doesn’t mean I never eat fat. Taco Tuesdays are less fun without sour cream.

But I’ve switched my meats toward lean most of the time (eg, ham and not pepperoni; top round and not ribeye), and even been eating non-fat yogurt.

This means my protein is WAY higher than any of the macros you normally see. I’m often beyond the macro…for my first meal of the day.

If I do up the fat, I try to emphasize saturated fat if I can.

(PJ) #8

The only breadishes I make now (and they come out ok usually) are with coconut flour and psyllium husks. I can’t ingest nutmeal, seedmeal, gluten (wheat or rice), which makes most the keto recipes pretty useless for me. On rare occasion I will use a little lupin flour in something vaguely resembling a pizza crust, but since it’s in the soy family (albeit it is its own bean) I try not to OD on that.

Will post on it soon as I try it (later this evening). Long ago I even bought round silicone mats just for this!

(Bob M) #9

I you’re looking for pizza crust, this one is good:

Though we usually add some Italian seasoning to the recipe, and we use canned chicken from Costco, which comes in larger sizes, so we have to manipulate the amounts.

We also use parchment, usually prepare the crusts in advance, put in the fridge until needed, then bake on a stone.

Maria Emmerich’s PSMF pizza crust is okay, too, though I usually add some parmesan cheese and herbs/spices to it.

These are good crusts, though it is hard to make them perfectly crispy. They usually come out slightly moist.


(PJ) #11

thanks for the official link for this thread :slight_smile:

(PJ) #12

Thanks, I’ve made that before but for some reason my taste buds simply hate chicken as a crust. Even if it has other flavors (like pepperoni or whatever).

To me the moment the chicken flavor enters it, any hope of my brain considering it pizza is dead. :rofl:


I continue to struggle with the “protein question” especially when I combine it with the admonition to do IF or EF and keep insulin low etc.

I never had a huge stomach and it has shrunk with keto, IF and EF. So I can’t eat giant meals. Recently I am back to 3MAD but even then “prioritizing protein” might look like 3 eggs for breakfast, one quarter pound burger patty for lunch and 2 quarter pound burger patties for dinner. I think that adds up to about 87 grams of protein for the day whereas my lean body weight is probably about 140 lbs.

In my bodybuilding phases I always had to get about half my protein via shakes. Maybe I should go back to that.

Also is hard with a family of 5, given today’s prices, to shell out money for 10-15lbs of meat per day.

(Old Baconian) #14

That is still within the recommended range, being 1.37 g/kg. The Dudes recommend staying within the range of 1.0-1.5 g/kg, and Dr. Phinney’s recommendation is similar. Of course, Prof. Bikman recommends something more like 2.0 g/kg, because he is concerned with decreasing assimilation of protein as we age.

(Kenny Croxdale) #15

40 Grams of Quality Protein Per Meal/Serving

Research by Drs Donald Layman and Layne Norton determined the the minimum amount of Quality Protein Per Meal/Serving need to be approximately 40 grams.

That because the minimal amount of Leucine necessary to maintain or increase muscle mass for older individual is approximately 3 grams

General Rule

As a general rule, approximately 8% of a Quality Protein is Leucine.

Thus, 40 gram of a Quality Protein X 8% = 3.2 gram of Leucine.

50 gram of Quality Protein X 8% = 4.0 grams of Leucine.

Quality Proteins

These are meats, cheeses, and dairy.

Yes and No

The majority of individual believe that increasing muscle mass, increases metabolic rate; you burn more calories.

There is some validity to that. However, an increase in one pound of muscle mass only increase metabolic rate around 100 calories per day.

While the increase in burning 100 calories a day is good, it not as much as most have be mislead to believe.


The primary focus of any diet need to be on decreasing calorie intake below your maintenance level to lose weight/body fat.

"Refractory" Protein Intake Period

Another factor with triggering Muscle Protein Synthesis with the right amount of Leucine is the Refractory Period.

Research by Drs Gabe Wilson, Layne Norton, and other determined that Protein Intake need to be every 4 - 6 hour apart. The dogma regarding eating every three hours is wrong.

Muscle Protein Synthesis

Think of Muscle Protein Synthesis as a sponge.

When the sponge is dry more water is absorbed.

When the sponge is soaking wet, very little water is absorbed.

Thus, to ensure the sponge is able to absorb the greatest amount of water, it need to be dry.

This is true with the “Muscle Protein Synthesis Sponge”. It take between 4 - 6 hour between Protein Meals for the “Muscle Protein Synthesis Sponge” to absorb and optimally utilize the Protein/Leucine.

Phinney and Bikeman

As Paul note, Phinney and Bikeman’s provide a good range.

Kenny Croxdale


I’m not over 50 but I’ve noticed I need more protein because of air pollution.

I believe that isolated fats (oils, butter, cheese, etc…) should be avoided if someone is trying to lose weight because they’ll need much higher protein amounts to offset the already skewed metabolic protein/fat ratio in favor of storing fat. Eating more isolated fat doesn’t mobilize fat out of adipose and does the opposite. Protein on the other hand increases growth hormone and IGF-1 which have been shown to mobilize fat out of adipose and a greater degree of weight loss.

(Bob M) #17

Try the PSMF one, then:

I use a 12 inch cast iron pan, so I make 3 eggs, halving the recipe. I do add the Italian seasoning. I butter the pan, and also add a layer of parchment cut into a circle to fit the bottom of the pan. I use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of the “dough”. I also add salt to the “dough”.

I use the egg yolks for an omelette.

(Bob M) #18

Kg of what? LBM? Actual weight? Ideal weight?

I’m way over any of those, though. Let’s say 100kg of actual body weight. 2.0g/kg is 200grams. I get almost that for lunch many days.

(PJ) #19

Yeah, in fact I posted a video and partial transcript of Layman here, talking about that at one point. She was suggesting more for older people due to less synthesis and less nutrient sensing.

You must not have listened to the show. She was saying it’s not merely about metabolic rate. It’s that the muscles actually proactively DO other things beyond BMR/locomotion.

Rather like how people treated fat cells for a long time like inert luggage only to realize they created all kinds of chemicals which had all kinds of other effects. Same with muscle in a way, is my impression of her points.

For the detail I don’t think intake has as much to do with it as hormonal milieu. Although if looked as a whole, all of them affect all the others and whether they are too much or not enough.

The latter was due to low blood sugar and lowfat/highcarb needs and I agree that is not needed. The former however made that recommendation due to limiting factors in the mTOR synthesis which needs some time to replace itself. Works for about ~3 hours, apparently takes another ~.5-1 hr to replace the biochemicals to allow the process to continue. That doesn’t mean eating more frequently would get something not-absorbed, possibly just that it would take longer.

(Old Baconian) #20

The post I responded to specified LBM.