10 Warning Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein

1. You’ve increased your strength training routine but your body fat % is creeping up…

Strength training causes muscle protein breakdown that needs to be rebuilt for muscle gains. If you neglect to refuel after your workouts, especially with protein, then you’ve only broken the muscle down which consequently results in muscle loss.

2. You feel hungry almost all of the time and you’re not losing weight…

Carbohydrates are digested much more quickly than fats and protein. If you start your day with a bowl of milk and cereal, and skimp on protein, your blood sugars will spike and then crash. This will cause you to reach for more carbohydrates to lift you up again. The roller coaster is never ending. 

3. When you eat you are very hungry about an hour or so later… 

This is a similar point. Carbohydrates cause a blood sugar spike followed by an insulin surge. Protein is essential to keep your blood sugars and energy levels even. 

4. You feel like you’re in a fog a lot of the time and low energy…

Protein makes you feel awake and alert, while carbohydrates can make you feel sleepy. If you’re skimping on protein you may feel, what people describe as “brain fog”. It’s a feeling of mental fatigue from lack of protein.

5. You’re hair is thinning because it’s actually falling out... 

This is very common from low calorie and low protein diets. Essential amino acids are necessary for healthy hair, skin and nails.

6. You’re losing pounds on the scale but your clothes are still fitting tightly and your body fat % has increased or hasn’t budged…

This is because muscle weighs more than fat. If you’re not consuming adequate protein calories, and are exercising and skimping on calories, you will lose weight as lean muscle mass. The scale will go down and your body fat will go up!

7. You’re feeling down and out…

If you’re low on protein your also lacking essential amino acids such as tryptophan or tyrosine which are precursors to the “feel good” neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Without out these essential amino acids you are likely to experience depression, mood swings, and anxiety.  

8. Your experiencing issues with memory loss...

Protein is made up of amino acids which are necessary to build neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function and memory. 

9. You’re feeling bloated and swollen due to fluid retention...

Protein is necessary to maintain adequate balance of fluid in and outside of the cells of your body. Without adequate protein intake it’s likely that you will retain fluid. This can cause both a feeling of abdominal bloating or swollen legs and ankles.

10. You’re getting sick frequently... 

This is because antibodies that help fight disease are actually made of protein. The other reason is that most high protein foods contain zinc, which helps to fight infection.


Sarah Mirkin