Muscle Loss Prevention: Episode 10

As you watch episode 10 you’ll learn that upper body muscle tone is a concern for Zina. A lack of upper body muscle tone is often related to estrogen dominance that can occur when cortisol is blocking progesterone. That’s a lot to take in, right? In short, you need to decrease stress in all areas of life. Ditch diets, handle work stress, add joy to your life, get sleep, and reduce exposure to toxic products, then exercise will have the best chance of working fast and permanently.

I answered Zina’s question – and potentially yours – by discussing two important things:

  • Body type
  • Protein type

For muscle tone, you need a combination of the right exercise for your body type and enough of the right kind of protein. Even exercise can contribute to muscle loss if you don’t eat to repair and rebuild the muscle fibers. Watch the full episode to learn more about how to get and keep your muscle definition.

What Does Your Body Type Tell You About Exercise?


Watch the episode to see how the exercise for Zina – a “hard gainer”- changes. You’ll get tips you can apply to your body type.


When it comes to protein you also have several choices. Identify the right protein for the right time of day, and learn how even a good option could derail you at the wrong time.


What Protein Type and Timing Prevents Muscle Loss?

protein types to avoid muscle loss
click to download full chart

*test, don’t guess your tolerance to any food sensitivities. Yes, labs work, and consider an elimination diet as well, as your body never lies. 


You may have notice in the Flipping50 store, I no longer carry whey protein. Even the “cleanest” of whey is still dairy. After 1-2 years of carrying it, I realized I was one of the only reasons I was! A handful of other community members and my private clients tolerate it. Why?

  • Whey is dairy. Dairy is inflammatory. Even if you don’t experience the gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea (or don’t associate it) from dairy, it’s often there. Inflammation will cause weight loss resistance.
  • Inflammation also is a problem with achy joints, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or those with an autoimmune disease like Hashimotos. Removing dairy (including whey) can lead to fairly quick relief.
  • It spikes blood sugar. That in turn, spikes your insulin levels. With higher insulin your body will store fat.
  • Whey often isn’t just used for pre or post, it’s used as a quick breakfast smoothie (in my case for 25 years) or a fast working lunch. That rapidly absorbed protein – a benefit after exercise (except for the inflammation you want to skip now more than ever) is a benefit only after exercise. Otherwise it causes digestive issues for midlife women or causes fat storage.

Not what you’re looking for.

Check your shelves. Whey (or casein) both are dairy products and not ideal sources for protein. Other food sensitivities in protein powders are: soy and eggs.

Love smoothies and want more delicious recipes to power your muscles? Get the newest edition of my Ultimate Healthy Smoothie Recipe guide. It’s packed with recipes that combine ingredients that avoid inflammatory ingredients, are high in protein, and in flavor. You’ll love sipping and spooning to more definition.

muscle loss prevention smoothie guide
click to get the guide

Can’t get your arms around smoothies for one reason or another? It’s no secret I love them… for the vessel of adding a couple servings of veggies to my day, and the convenience and ease (2 minutes and done) that make a no-excuse breakfast or lunch in a busy day. But not everyone feels the same. And… there’s another problem.

How much protein do you need?

As I update this episodes show notes (in Aug and October of 2021) I am including here the need to set your protein intake based on your ideal bodyweight in pounds in grams of protein. That’s to maintain body weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to bump that number up by 15-20% in order to maintain muscle in a caloric deficit.

I can’t eat that much. Even supplementing with a smoothie, I’m full and I do not advocate force feeding. It doesn’t work. If you don’t have an appetite, we need to get to the root cause of why, but we don’t ignore it. I supplement with Essential Amino Acids. 

It’s taken 4 years of trying and testing myself to identify a brand I liked and was willing to share.

Here’s how I use them together with meals: 

  • Am – 5 (that’s a serving)
  • Breakfast/pre-or-post workout – a high protein smoothie
  • Lunch – a high protein soup for me is a fast and easily digestible meal, or a salad (loaded) or leftovers
  • Afternoon – If I’ve forgotten the morning supplement I have it mid-afternoon
  • Dinner – simple protein + heaps of veggies and quality carbs
  • Before bed – 5 (prevents muscle breakdown while I sleep)

So, I get 5 hits of high quality protein, and I need about 130grams of protein to maintain, or 160 to lose weight in caloric deficit. (Don’t we all want to lose that last 5 lbs?) They’re easily digestible. I choose tablet form as the powdered amino acid drinks are quite awful tasting (every brand ever).

avoid muscle loss
click to learn more

If you try, use my link and use: DebraAtkinson20 for 20% off your first order.

Need to learn more about the importance of protein for your fountain of youth? Click here for 5 Facts About Muscle Loss (and What to Do About It!)

click to learn more

The key Flip of the Day:

It’s all about TYPE. Exercise for your body type and eat the right type of fuel at the right time.

Other resources you may like:

The Ultimate After 50 Smoothies Guide | For Energy You’ll Love

Why Protein Shakes Became a Staple After 30 Years of Refusing

More About Essential Amino Acid Supplements:

How I Take and Time Protein (& Amino Acid supplements)

My Choice (in Tablets: EAA and BCAA drinks never taste good!)

20% off your first order: DebraAtkinson20

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Circumference outside of both arms, at the armpit

Right Triceps
Halfway btwn shoulder & elbow, arm extended.

Find the widest point of girth at the hips

Right Thigh
Standing with weight on both legs, measure halfway between knee cap and hip flexor

Right Calf
Standing with weight on both legs, find the largest point of calf.

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Measure from the rib cage just under breasts at bra line

At the belly button/umbilicus

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