In July 2012, I brought my weight down to 153, the lightest I had been since high school in the mid 1970's. I thought light would be fast, but in my case, light meant cannibalizing my muscles and growing weak and frail. As we age, we need strong, not frail and that comes through fueling the engine with muscle-promoting goods.
This time around, I'm moving into a new mindset. I am attempting to set long term life goals that will allow me to attain a target weight, where massive exercise chunks won't be necessary every day. My current plan has decreased my body fat from 9.5% to 8%. I now chart body fat more than weight. To get fat reduction and maintain muscle, protein is key.
There are abundant resources on protein intake. Many state that consumption should be .5 grams to .1 grams of protein per pound of weight each day, pending the exercise level. I'm now 166 pounds so the range is 83 to 166 grams. I am currently ingesting around 120 grams per day.
I'm sourcing protein in my shakes, in bars, and through meatless products (DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. This is my personal opinion on protein intake. Please see your health care professional prior to making any personal diet changes or modifications).
For me, my daily shakes have to taste good. I've come upon the Optimum Nutrition brand 100% soy because it mixes well and has a great vanilla taste. You gain 25 grams of protein per scoop; mix it was a cup of frozen berries, your favorite flavor of drink mix (I like Great Value Cherry Pomegranate) and blend. My smoothies are good enough that I have foregone ice cream and frozen yogurt, rather waiting until I get home for one of these 180 calorie treats.
During the day, I nibble through a Big 100 Peanut Butter Pretzel bar. It's a big high in calories but puts another 30 grams of protein into my system.