6 Signs You're Not Getting Enough Protein

The Spread

September 07, 2022

Protein deficiency is a common problem nowadays due to a rushed lifestyle and poor nutrition. Not only does your body need protein for muscle building – cognitive processes and overall health largely depend on it as well. Therefore, learning about the symptoms of protein deficiency is crucial to your wellbeing and can let you know if it's time to add protein-rich food to your diet.

This article presents common signs you're not getting enough protein and ways to include it in your nutrition.   


Why is protein important?

Without enough protein, your body can't perform at its best. You don't have to be a bodybuilder or fitness guru to eat a protein-rich food. In fact, your daily life depends on the amount of protein you consume. Why? Because proteins are essential to our muscles, blood, and keep our immune system in check. 


1 – Low energy and brain fog

When your body lacks protein, you end up feeling weak and fatigued. Most people resort to simple carbs and sugary foods to cope with low energy levels. However, this is actually the opposite of what you're supposed to do. Simple carbs and sweets keep you up only for a short period. On the other hand, protein is the fuel that keep you going for the entire day. 


 A woman jogging in the morning.
Protein gives you enough energy for the day.


Your mind also gets affected by the lack of protein in the system. Brain fog, problems with focus, and tiredness are common symptoms. So, the solution is to add more eggs, fish, broccoli, peanut butter, and chicken to your plate. 


2 – Hindered weight loss or weight gain goals

Your fitness goals will require you to include protein. Otherwise, you might wonder why you're not losing or gaining weight. It's not enough to just eliminate sugar and call it a day. What actually contributes to the fitness results you aim for is protein intake. Protein is responsible for muscle build. Whether you want to bulk or get lean, you need protein either way. You burn fat by building muscles with a protein-rich meal plan combined with a proper workout. 


3 – Frequent hunger and sugar cravings

Do you feel like you're left hungry even after a large meal? Chances are it's one of the signs you're not getting enough protein. One of the most common reasons is that your meal actually lacks sufficient protein. That being said, you might want to revise your daily menu. When you eat enough protein, you feel full for extended periods. So, make sure your lunch includes more proteins than carbs. 

Another consequence of constant hunger is sugar cravings. If you are low on protein, you'll notice you crave sugar more than ever. That means your body needs fuel immediately. Instead of sugar-loaded granola or chocolate bar, make a protein-rich snack. 


4 – Problem with skin, hair, and nails

No hair product can compensate for protein deficiency. Various studies show a decline in hair quality after a prolonged time of insufficient protein. Furthermore, your skin may lose its bounciness and glow as well. Therefore, increase your protein before heading to the store and getting another product that promises to bring your skin and hair back to life. 


A girl with beautiful hair. 
Weak hair is one of the early signs you’re not getting enough protein.


5 – Problems with wounds healing and immune system

People low on protein experience frequent health problems. Furthermore, their injuries take longer to heal due to insufficient protein and collagen. To reverse this, simply rethink your food choices, and get some protein. 


6 – Swelling

Next time you notice constant swelling, take time to examine your previous meals. Are there more carbs than protein? Do you tend to snack on sweets in between meals? If so, then you know that swelling results from protein deficiency. Due to the absence of essential protein – albumin – the body will try to compensate by retaining water.

How to determine the right amount of protein?


It depends on your lifestyle and fitness goal to determine how much protein you will need. If you experience mild symptoms of protein deficiency, all you need to do is add more eggs, peanuts, and fish. However, you'll need more protein than carbs if you aim for a low body fat percentage and lean muscle mass. In that case, your best solution is to consult with a food expert who will give you the best advice. 

A woman explaining signs you’re not getting enough protein.
Start making protein-rich meals and snacks.

The question is – where to find a good food expert who will work in your best interest? A great way to do so is to rely on customers' opinions, as recommended by experts from Consumer Opinion. When you have more testimonials in one place, it's easy to determine who will teach you how to make better food choices for yourself. If you strictly eat vegan food, seek out food experts specializing in vegan nutrition. Become well-versed in protein-rich recipes.


Did you know there are countless protein-rich recipes that are easy to make at home? All you need is guidance and the right ingredients. Cooking will become much more joyful for you once you discover various recipes. Plus, it doesn't cost a fortune to make them. 


Protein powder vs real food

Be mindful about the usage of protein powders. They might be great as a supplement, however, they aren't supposed to replace regular food completely. The solution is to get proteins specifically from foods and use protein powder after workouts. And in case your tight schedule doesn't allow you to prepare a quick protein-based snack, simply make a smoothie with protein powder. That should keep you full until your next big meal. 


There is also quality protein peanut butter you can use when making:

  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Smoothies
  • Sandwiches 

Balance is crucial.


The early signs you're not getting enough protein mean that your menu needs some changes. So, getting enough protein and remaining healthy and energized is essential. Once you start eating more proteins, the benefits will start showing up quickly. You'll gain more muscle, improve your health, and go about your day with more energy. So, make sure to invest in your health and have a list of protein-rich foods with you next time you go grocery shopping.