GOD’S WORD and PROTEIN – Strengthening the Peace and Strength in All of Us

Psalm 101:6

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me.


Let’s continue our discussion about keeping our eyes on God’s Word and the faithful macronutrient of protein.  Remember, we are honoring the man who wants to lose more weight (as well as others) and to do this, protein is needed.  All of us need protein, but when we are losing weight we must minimize muscle loss.  Protein is one of our defenders for this.


I am not suggesting that we do not eat carbohydrates and fats.  I am encouraging you to focus on protein so that muscle is supported for health.  As Dr. Gabrielle Lyon likes to call it: “muscle-centric medicine.”  We need to feed our protein.  Her stance is that protein deficiency (and she has plenty of research and personal clinical experience to verify) is our health problem.  She states that people are “under-muscled” not necessarily obese.  While it is true that we have an obesity crisis in our country, we also have an “under-muscled” crisis.  This low muscle mass in individuals, according to her, is representative in both the obese population as well as the thin population of individuals who do not eat enough protein.  This is especially damaged when low protein intake is combined with processed “food stuff” which is filled with inflammatory ingredients and few nutrients.

Although one could be thin, their chances of experiencing cognitive decline and poor metabolic health due to inadequate protein intake is definitely a potential outcome they would wish to avoid.  This is much like what is seen in Alzheimer’s and Type II diabetic individuals.  Weight is just one measure of health.   The body composition of each individual is important to monitor.  This means that what is comprised in an individual’s weight is a very important health determinant.  While you might be thin, if you have low muscle mass due to low levels of protein intake, you are still at risk for health challenges, brain decline, diseases, cancers, and a multitude of other health risks.  These include low strength which could lead to falls and unpleasant lifestyle opportunities due to inability to function.

While we easily see and readily acknowledge that we need protein for our muscles, many people do not understand that protein drives our health.  By ingesting adequate protein (and Dr. Lyon recommends 1 gram per pound of body weight), we are promoting muscle growth.  In addition, we are supporting our immune system, ensuring nutrients for cellular function, stabilizing blood sugar, and increasing our chances for physical strength leading to improved lifestyle capabilities.  Furthermore, we are also fighting against sarcopenia which is an enemy to all of us if we are not eating enough protein.

Sarcopenia is basically muscle loss or the losing of muscle tissue.  As we age, we lose more and more muscle.  As we lose weight, we lose more and more muscle.  As we live a sedentary lifestyle (more about exercise in a later blog), we lose more and more muscle.  Even if one is exercising well, one needs protein to oppose this “normal” process of aging.  HOWEVER, this normal process of aging does not have to be magnified or cause illness due to the failure to eat protein.  We are able to nourish ourselves to combat this.  Just like we nourish ourselves with God’s Word, day and night, and have a mind focused on HIM, we must nourish ourselves with protein “day and night” (during meal times). Our minds should be focused on this to nourish ourselves for optimum health with the goal…to do God’s will.


So, what should this man who wants to lose more weight do at this point to not only optimize his weight loss, but to also decrease his muscle loss due to this.  My suggestion is that this man follows the suggestion of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or at least 80% of this.  If this man weighs 280 pounds, we know this is a lot of protein.  However, I would recommend that he decides on his target weight, his ultimate goal. Let’s say he would like to reach a goal weight of 220 pounds.  I would encourage him to, at minimum, eat 80% of 220 grams of protein per day.  This would be 176 grams of protein.  This might sound overwhelming, but in reality, it is easily achieved.  Let me explain.

An individual is wise to ingest at least 30-40 grams of protein per meal.  This is about the size of what would fit into the palm of your hand.  Chicken, which is a lean protein and one that I would suggest for this man at this time, has about 30-40 grams of protein per 3.5-4 ounce serving.  This lean serving of chicken does not contain that much fat.  In actuality, this is only about 150-180 calories.  A lean protein serving such as this is minimal yet full of amino acids to support an individual’s whole health.

Ground beef on the other hand, has more fat in it.  The amount of fat in beef depends on how lean a cut it is.  4 ounces of 93% lean meat is comprised of about 23 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat and has about 170 calories.  It is another good option.  A fattier portion of ground beef, however, will have more fat which the overweight individual to avoid.  (We will discuss the topic of fat in a later blog.). Expensive cuts of beef are also healthy sources of protein and although very tasty, they have more fat content.  An 8-ounce serving of ribeye, for example, has about 50 grams of protein but also has about 50 grams of fat as well.  This is a a large serving for someone desiring to lose weight.  Again, moderation is key in everything.

850 calories from an 8-ounce serving of ribeye represents a huge number of calories for the amount of protein afforded.  Most people would not think twice about eating the 8-ounce ribeye.  However, I would caution that for the individual who desires to lose weight, this type of meat should be eaten very infrequently so that calories are not over consumed.  While it is true that protein is needed, too much fat is not needed nor advised for anyone, especially for someone who needs to lose weight.  Moderation in all things.  Balance is key, and optimizing what is nutritionally sound is strategically sound.

Protein doesn’t come from just meat either.  Other sources mentioned below, along with many vegetables contain protein. My point is this: It is feasible to ingest enough protein to meet the demands of what is best for your body.

Various sources of protein which are healthy include eggs, cottage cheese, salmon, tuna, and of course, different kinds of pork.  Important to note here is that the amount of fat in any source of protein should be monitored.  Contrary to what most realize, dairy is somewhat addictive for some people.  They find it hard to monitor and do not realize the extra calories they are ingesting by adding cheese to their meals or snacking on dairy products with the thought that it is “healthy.”  Although dairy is a protein source, it does come with more fat which is not necessarily good for weight loss efforts.  This too is controversial.  My strong opinion is that anyone who is attempting to lose weight would be best served by lean cuts of protein sources to get the optimum benefit per calorie of food.

So much more could be said about protein.  It strengthens mitochondria function (the powerhouse of the cell).  It helps to deplete our livers of fat stores which decreases fatty liver disease, another health concern that many, including children experience.  It also helps to deplete fat stores from our muscle tissue.  It fights depression, it reduces cravings, and helps people with eating disorders.  It improves learning and enlarges the size of the hippocampus of our brains.  It stimulates brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) due to its effects to strengthen our bodies.  This leads to an increased capability to exercise which has a positive impact on the brain as it stimulates BDNF.

Don’t forget, it drives our metabolism which helps us to lose weight both by its hunger control mechanism and the thermogenic effect of protein (it takes a lot of calories to digest). Most importantly, it is involved in so, so much healing and repair in our bodies…just like God’s Word…it leads to healing and repair.  We need both.

Please, my friend, just as God’s word is your spiritual food, take seriously that our bodies need the right food for healthy living, not just for today, but for each day in the future.  What we read now, what we focus on now, and what we eat now has long term effects.  Pay attention and listen.  BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, please know that it is NOT TOO LATE to start ingesting protein.  God made our bodies to heal.  Just as it is NOT TOO LATE to embrace God’s truth and to feed yourself HIS WORD for spiritual life and wholeness, it is not too late to embrace protein for improved life and wholeness.  I do it.  Daily, I am feeding myself God’s Word, learning more of Him, wanting more of Him, needing more of Him, becoming more “whole” in Him, and daily, I feed myself protein knowing that God will strengthen the peace in me with both.

Seek peace and pursue it, my friends.  Be blameless today by feeding yourself God’s Word and protein.

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