10 Unexpected Signs You Don’t Get Enough Protein
Below are 10 Unexpected signs you don’t get enough protein daily from your diet! Protein helps supply your body with enough energy so that it functions properly! Without the right amount of protein in your diet, you will begin to suffer from all kinds of health issues such as muscle maintenance, and cell regeneration.
10 Unexpected Signs You Don’t Get Enough Protein
Protein is one of the most vital components of your diet, and adequate protein intake is essential to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Luckily, protein can be found in a variety of foods that you eat every day, from meat and fish to legumes, dairy, quinoa and seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein supplements.
According to the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), .36 grams is the basic standard, before taking certain things into accounts such as age, weight, and activity level. In other words, .36 grams per pound of bodyweight is the minimum, and living an active lifestyle will increase this daily requirement.
Even though protein is found in so many sources, protein deficiency is still very common among the elderly, athletes, frequent dieters and people with digestive issues, and those who are under stress or recovering from illness or injury. You might think that your diet is protein-rich, but are you sure that you are supplying your body with enough of this important macronutrient?
Here are some unexpected signs that you might have a protein deficiency:
1. You feel weak
Muscle weakness and loss of existing muscle are signs that you may not be eating enough protein. When you don’t eat enough protein, your body will break down muscles to use as fuel and energy. Loss of muscle mass can slow down your metabolism, too.
2. You can’t lose weight
If you cut calories and protein in an effort to lose weight, you might actually be causing the opposite effect due to a slowed metabolism caused by reduced muscle mass.
If you are trying to lose weight, you should eat more protein, since increased protein consumption is linked to eating fewer calories throughout your day as you will feel fuller longer. Also, the weight you lose will be from fat, not muscle.
3. You often get sick
Protein is an essential part of a healthy immune system. When you do not eat enough protein, your body utilizes the T cells (germ fighters) in your body as fuel that would typically combat cold and cases of flu. This may result in you getting sick more frequently. You may also take longer to recover from cuts, scrapes, and infections.
4. Your hair is thinning
Protein is not just essential for muscle growth and development. It is also the building block of our cells, including our hair, skin, and nails. To save energy and retain stored protein, your body will enter a resting phase in which it will not grow hair, resulting in hair loss or thinning.
5. Your skin is peeling
Other very visible signs of protein deficiency include peeling skin and nails. Common signs to look out for include flaky, irritated skin on the back of your thighs and booty, which is caused by a weakened skin barrier that makes your skin more susceptible to allergens.
6. You are swollen
When you don’t eat enough protein, you may experience unexpected swelling in your lower extremities – your legs, ankles, and feet. This swelling is caused by fluids that would normally be stored in your blood vessels that seep into the surrounding tissue. You can tell if you are retaining water and swelling by pressing a finger to the area and seeing if a mark is left behind (mark = swelling).
7. You are always hungry
There are a variety of reasons why you might be hungry, including dehydration, but you might also be lacking adequate protein in your diet. If you find that you are always hungry, or that you need a snack or two between meals, this might be your body’s way of telling you that you need to eat more protein at each meal. Protein evens out blood sugar and keeps you feeling satisfied until your next meal.
8. You crave desserts
If you are not just hungry, but you also specifically crave sweets, you might need more protein. Because protein regulates blood sugar and glucose levels, a lack of protein might lead you to reach for a sweet treat. If you eat protein at each meal, you are less likely to have highs and lows with your blood sugar and those associated cravings.
9. You are tired
If you don’t get enough sleep or if you overexert yourself at work, home, or the gym, you probably feel tired quite often. However, if you are tired in the middle of the day, your blood sugar and protein levels might be to blame.
Instead of taking a nap, which is not an option for most people, reach for a protein-rich snack and watch your energy levels improve.
10. You feel scattered
When you don’t maintain your protein levels, you may experience brain fog. Protein balances blood sugar, which keeps you mentally focused and on-point. Don’t rely on carbs or sweets to keep you going. Instead, add some protein to each meal to keep your body and brain working clear and in sync!