1: You often experience strong CRAVINGS for things like sweets, caffeine, chocolate, candy, chips, pastries, etc.
Strong cravings are often indicative of unstable blood sugar – your body needs energy and it’s looking for a quick fix. Protein not only helps your blood sugar stabilize, it is also very satiating.
2: You have DIFFICULTY SLEEPING through the night.
The same blood sugar swings that cause cravings can also mess with your hormone balance, which in turn messes with your sleep. A lack of protein can cause your cortisol (the stress hormone) to rise, while your serotonin (the happy hormone) diminishes, causing insomnia or fitful rest.
When you get a solid, restful night of sleep, you’re able to efficiently burn your body’s best long-lasting fuel: stored fat. But if you’re eating an imbalanced amount of carbs and sugars during the day, your body becomes unaccustomed to using your stored fat for energy, and will instead disrupt your sleep cycle thinking it’s time to eat, looking for the next hit of quick energy.
3: You have muscle and/or joint pain:
The body stores much of its protein reserves in the synovial fluid around the joints (which is then used to rebuild the muscles and joints after strenuous exercise). When protein is deficient, the reserve is tapped, resulting in stiffening joints and tightening muscles.
4: You ride a roller coaster of EMOTIONS, FATIGUE, and STRESS.
Protein helps stabilize your blood sugar, whereas sugar and carbs spike it. Without enough protein, you tend to go high and then low and then high and then low, which is taxing on your system – causing erratic mood swings, emotional highs and lows, tiredness and a depletion of your reserves.
5: You are CONSTANTLY HUNGRY with an uncontrollable appetite.
Protein takes more work to metabolize in the body than other nutrients. This means your body is working harder to break down and assimilate protein which improves metabolic function, leads to feelings of fullness, and stabilizes your energy and blood sugar levels.