Most people think of body building or bulking up when they think protein. But what most of them don’t know is that proteins are responsible for everything in your body! They contribute to our structure, hormones, enzymes, immunity, transportation of nutrients and of course, your metabolism!
Proteins also build muscle, and help prevent muscle loss if you’re eating in a caloric deficit. During weight loss, proteins help you to feel fuller longer and balance our your blood sugars. And thanks to a lot of great researchers, protein (within reason of course) intake has no negative consequences in the body. In fact – I would say over 80% of my clients that come to me are not eating enough protein to keep their body systems functioning.
Even eating small negative protein intake daily will eventually lead to gradual problems in the body because your enzymes and structural proteins start being cannibalized, broken down, and used as energy. What does this mean? Day by day, your VITAL functions of your body begin to shut down.
How do you know if you’re getting enough protein?
Take a look at this list below. These are all signs that you are protein deficient:
- Always tired / no energy
- Can’t sleep at night
- Hungry every few hours
- Crave sugar
- Wounds / bumps / bruises are slow to heal
- You don’t recover well and your muscles are easily sore
- Hair and nails are brittle and thin
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
- Fluid retention – specifically feet and ankles
- You get sick regularly and have a poor immunity
- Brain fog / memory problems
- Constantly craving bad foods
- Easily stressed and irritated
Because protein is involved in so many different functions of the body, you can see how not getting enough will start to affect many different systems in your body.
So, if I need more protein, what are the best protein sources to get it from?
Protein can be found in most natural foods. In fact, did you know a lot of fruits and vegetables even contain protein in small amounts? If you’re planning to clean up your diet, here are the top protein sources I would recommend looking into :
Lean Red Meat (Grass-Fed)
Salmon (Wild Caught)
Eggs (Omega-3, Cage Free)
Plain Greek Yogurt (no sugar added)
Protein Supplements (whey, beef peptides, egg, milk, or plant protein)
Nuts (unsalted, no sugar)
Your body’s protein needs will vary depending on your body type, metabolism, weight loss/gain goals, and of course, your macro percentages! Contact me if you have any questions regarding your personal protein needs.