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9 Clear Signs You Need To Eat More Protein [Don't Ignore These]

As those following the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle programs know, protein is crucial for achieving a body recomposition goal.

But on top of that, protein has other crucial functions such as creating antibodies, repairing skin, and rebuilding muscle and bone.

It's also needed to prevent health issues like osteoporosis.

Even though protein is absolutely crucial for various weight loss and wellness goals, a lot of people aren't getting any where close to their daily needs, let alone from high quality sources.

In fact, 46% of older US adults aren't even hitting the bare minimum levels.(1)

But how do you know if you're getting enough?

Today I'm sharing 9 clear signs that you likely need to start adding more protein to your meals.

signs you need more protein

Sugar Cravings

Protein helps to raise our satiety hormones, such as peptide YY. When these are raised, it tells our brain that we're full and satisfied. This signal also helps to shut off cravings for sugary sweet treats.

Too little protein can result in increased cravings for sugar.

Muscle loss

We need two main things to keep muscle: exercise and protein.

If you're not challenging your muscles in some way, such as with exercise or daily activity, then you can lose muscle.

However, even if you are working out, you can lose muscle if you aren't eating enough protein to help your body recover.

Muscle loss can result in a slower metabolism and make it easier to gain body fat.

Hungry in less than 4 hours

As noted earlier, protein helps to make us feel full.

But specifically, it turns on a type of "fullness" triggered by hormones. When we eat enough protein at a meal, it raises our satiety hormones long enough to feel full for about 4 hours.

If you feel hungry in 1-3 hours after a meal, then it's very possible you didn't eat enough protein.

Bone loss

Just like muscle, bone is also made up of protein. Bone is also constantly being torn down and reformed. If we don't have enough protein to repair the bone, then this can result in a net loss.

Overtime, this net loss can become so great that it can lead to issues such as osteoporosis.(2)

Unstable blood sugar

When we eat protein, it slows down the GI tract. This slowing of the GI tract helps the body to absorb nutrients at a more steady pace, including any sugars and carbohydrates in the meal.

When we eat too little protein, it can result in a faster absorption of carbohydrates from the meal, which can lead to unstable blood sugar levels and crashes.

Mood swings and hanger

One side effect of blood sugar crashes is mood swings. Combine mood swings with the hunger associated with not eating enough protein and you get yourself some extreme hanger!

Skin conditions

In addition to the bones and muscle, protein also makes up and is constantly repairing our skin. Although there are a lot of different factors that can impact skin, some studies have found that low protein diets can lead to acne and other skin conditions.(3)

Difficult time recovering from workouts

Muscle soreness is normal after a workout. But if you find that workouts consistently wipe you out for days or you aren't getting stronger over time, then you likely are low in the protein needed to recover from those workouts.

Frequent Colds

You might have noticed a common theme throughout this blog post that protein has its hand in pretty much every function in the body, including the immune system. When we don't eat enough protein, it's possible to experience more frequent and longer lasting colds.

healthy burger

How much protein should you eat?

If you suspect that you might not be getting enough protein, then it might be time to assess and boost your intake from high quality sources.

First things first, we need to know how much protein to eat.

Recent research has found that an optimal level of protein is about .73 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

For example, if you weigh 150 pouds then you would multiply that number by .73 to get 110. This is the total grams of protein one would need to eat in a day.

From here, you can divide this number by three to know how much protein you need at each meal. In this case, we would be looking at 37 grams of protein per meal.

Now we need to know where to get that protein from.

Not all protein is created equal. It's important to look for high quality sources that the body can easily absorb. This will mostly come from sources such as beef, eggs, dairy, chicken, fish, pork, goat, bison, venison and lamb.

If you are plant-based, there are some options that are better than others.

For a complete list of protein sources, check out my blog post HERE.

protein food list

And now you just need to get cooking! Thankfully there are thousands of delicious ways to make high protein, nutrient dense meals.

Check out some of my favorites below:

protein waffle

Grab Autumn's Protein Powder HERE and start whipping up delish, protein-packed meals!😋



detox smoothie

Autumn Elle Nutrition

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