Think Thin Thursday ~ Over 30, Avoid Having Sarcopenia on Your Plate

Real Estate Agent with Florida Supreme Realty SL514814

Portion control, counting calories, serving size, calorie burn, eat your vegetables and exercise are terms and phrases we constantly hear when wanting to be healthier. Americans probably have the worst eating habits the World has ever seen. It isn't because we lack food, conversely, it's because we have the easiest access to everything and anything imaginable to mankind to consume. If it isn't produced, grown or made here we make sure it gets here somehow, someway. 

Consider accessibility to just our fast food purveyors and we can find 50 of them ready to serve us starting with Arby's and ending with Wendy's. No one will ever starve here or at least they shouldn't. If your day begins with a McDonald's Big Breakfast you've already consumed 75% of a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Going to grab a bite at Hardee's and reach for a 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger with a chocolate shake your day's total touches on 1 pound of calories and that's without fries. Dinner might involve a DQ 6 piece honey hot glazed chicken strip basket, a large order of fries and a large peanut butter cookie dough Blizzard to wash it all down. Guess what that costs you? It's another pound plus worth of calories.

Okay, okay, stay calm, that's the extreme side of American culture and its nutritional values or lack thereof. We should know that consuming 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of weight in our diets wthout consideration to their source whether as carbohydrates, fats or as proteins. It is also important to know that an average daily diet may contain anywhere from 1,500 to 2,200 calories. Lastly, and the key to our nutritional knowledge is to remember the 4-4-9 rule wherein 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories & 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.  If you want to make changes to your body this will be your first page to begin understanding its metabolic processes.

Those of you who are serious about saving muscle mass well into your senior years read on. The Sarcopenia I mentioned in today's title is not an old Italian recipe for an exotic pasta dish. It refers to the roughly 3% to 6% loss of muscle we may experience each decade due to aging and inactivity. The typical 180 pound male will lose 30% of his muscle from sarcopenia by age 65. It does not have to happen if we treat our bodies correctly. Small changes equal Big results and it begins in our 30's with diet consciousness and simple physical activity. Do you know anyone who has fallen recently? You know the older they are the more difficult it can be to recover physically and often mentally too. Haven't begun your fitness routine yet? It can begin right now and still have a huge effect on your strength and well being at ANY age! MUSCLE loss is generally the common attribute to these completely avoidable falls.

So what are we looking for in those nutrition fact labels we see everywhere? We would always like to see less saturated fats, lower sodium and higher fiber amounts. More importantly try to keep FAT (unsaturated) at within 20 to 35% of your daily caloric intake, CARBOHYDRATES can range between 45 and 65% of that calorie total and PROTEIN can represent anywhere from 15% to 40%. If you can commit to this as your general guideline you're going to be moving in the right direction.


When dieting don't eat Chili's 1,600 calorie Boss Burger!

It might add a glitch to your plan. 

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Comments (11)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kevin - small changes can have a  big impact.  Less volume filled on the plate.  And a smaller sized plate too.  Increase the percentage of vegetables on that too. Lots of fiber that fills. So many simple tricks. Move more. Watch what you eat. Go slowly but go.

Mar 14, 2019 10:59 AM
Kevin J. May

Michael, so very glad you mentioned plate size! That's probably the easiest way to begin the journey to wellness. A generation ago our normal plates were about 9 inches in diameter whereas today you can easily find a 14" plate on many tables. A 13 inch plate holds more than twice as much food as a nine incher! The only issue left is that you have to want to make the change.

Mar 14, 2019 11:27 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I have found that I need a lot less calories now than yesterday

Mar 14, 2019 11:09 AM
Kevin J. May

I find that many people maintain their same body weight through the decades but this too can be misleading as muscle weighs considerably more than fat and is more compact pound for pound. Three ways to test your body fat percentages are by skinfold calipers, bio-impedance (super low voltage electricity) and hydrostatic aka "dunk tank" if you want to have a better idea and more accuracy of where you are right now. Eating fewer calories while maintaining the same weight indicates less muscle needing fuel to me. 

Mar 14, 2019 01:19 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I have always considered I am struggling with my weight. I am active and when I walked my camino, although eating anything in sight I dropped 12 pounds as my outlay of energy was higher than what I was taking in. I have recently started adding a plank to my day, I am currently upto 2 minutes 30 seconds adding chunks of time daily to improve the use of my core and strengthen it. Now, as the weather improves and i can get out early for a walk by the time everyone else gets up I might have already burned up some pounds.

Mar 14, 2019 12:23 PM
Kevin J. May

Extenuating factors in calorie burn rates for walking range anywhere from 180 to 700 per hour. In order to burn off 1 pound could take between 7 and 19 hours to achieve. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but most likely it is water weight or as I like to say,  being from SE PA, "wooder" weight! Keep going Nick!

Mar 14, 2019 01:01 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I think Dr.Oz is the one that said that the older we get, the fewer calories we consume = the longer we live. So my non liquid calories are under 800! LOL

Also, I think what we eat is important, but also why we eat. We as a nation stuff our feelings with food.

Mar 14, 2019 01:24 PM
Kevin J. May

Why we eat is a category I have no desire to explore other than to keep the engine ready so to speak. What do we do when the baby starts crying? Another easy answer!

Mar 14, 2019 02:19 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Kevin... needless to say I had to find out what sarcopenia is... knew the concept and not the word. I virtually never to fast food places... I might be in a Burger King at most once a year, but I believe it's been closer to two years now that I've entered one. I've never stepped foot into an Arby's; haven't entered a KFC since 1989 either. But I'll admit it, every so often a great cheeseburger truly hits the spot!

Mar 14, 2019 01:44 PM
Kevin J. May

We'll be up your way in October and if we can find the time we'll take you to the finest Fast Food money can buy Nina. All I need to know is your favorite meal of the day?

Mar 14, 2019 02:25 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Proud to say, that I have never eaten at these places you mentioned.  And, I have no intention of doing that.  A

Mar 14, 2019 03:02 PM
Kevin J. May

I have to hand it to McDonald's for perfecting the "hotcake" though. Plain & simple by the time I order and pay it's in my hands. Add a medium coffee and breakfast is served Alexandra!

Mar 14, 2019 06:11 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I rarely eat fast food if you don't count the occassional popcorn at the movie. And we don't buy hardly any "snack" foods at all.  But every now and again I got have a freddy's burger.  

Mar 14, 2019 10:13 PM
Kevin J. May

Tammy, I've not heard of Freddy's but I'll be on the lookout when we head North later this year. Fast Food should never be a staple although in a pinch for time they're great to have nearby. 

Mar 15, 2019 09:49 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I-LOVE-BOILED-EGGS.... I eat them every day.... my cholesterol is fine... egg white is good protein.... and it's very filling.... Kevin J. May I almost missed this one.... 

Mar 15, 2019 07:56 AM
Kevin J. May

I don't want to know how they've become healthier for us over the years but I'll admit there's two on my plate (any style) for breakfast at least five days of the week. I anticipate that you're mapping out your meals for the best possible caloric ROI. 

Mar 15, 2019 09:59 AM
Barbara Todaro

I keep my calories at 1,200 maximum and once a week I cut that down to under 1,000.... muscle weighs more than fat and I've gained muscle mass....I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT SCALE GO HIGHER THAN 135-137....

thanks so much for your thursday posts....  Kevin J. May 

Mar 15, 2019 10:07 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It frustrates me that the food we buy in the stores and those that are processed that we have become so accustom to enjoying are so incredibly unhealthy for us.

Mar 15, 2019 10:08 AM
Kevin J. May

Growing up with a lot of farms nearby helped me know what fresh unadulterated fruits & vegetables should look, feel and taste like. We're so far removed from that now it's scary. Go grab yourself a pear, take a big bite and let me know what those juices taste like running down your chin? There are none!

Mar 15, 2019 10:51 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Yes, the average American diet is a sham. Or is that a shame? Likely both. We are very careful about what we eat and monitor our weight carefully too. Thanks for continuing inspiration, Kevin. 

Mar 16, 2019 08:37 AM
Kevin J. May

Oh, it's definitely both Debb. I'll take two products in virtually all of our processed foods, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. They do nothing but fatten the pockets of their producers while consciously adding bulk to Americans exponentially.

Mar 16, 2019 08:00 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Kevin- Larry and I eat about a third of what we used to eat. We walk and are getting back into weight training. I must admit that I love a good hamburger on occasion and of course, here in Texas, I can't help but eat Tex-Mex and BBQ. 

Mar 16, 2019 10:44 AM
Kevin J. May

I can only hope that you'll find some great seafood restaurants and maybe get your fresh water licenses to see how the rest of the country does fish. 

Mar 16, 2019 07:46 PM