5 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein

tired woman sleeping on a crowded deskIf you haven’t noticed, our culture has become obsessed with protein consumption. In fact, lines surrounding what is and isn’t enough have become blurred.

Protein is a macronutrient necessary for building muscle mass. “When protein is broken down in the body it helps to fuel muscle mass, which helps metabolism,” said Jessica Crandall, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in an article for Live Science.

Crandall also shared that protein helps keep the immune system strong and helps you feel full longer, aiding in weight loss. If you don’t get enough protein, you can miss out on these key benefits and not feel your best.

Here’s 5 signs you may not be getting enough and how to get more of it.

1. You’ve got a sweet tooth.

While you’d think protein deficiency would trigger a desire to eat steak and eggs, one of the first signs you’re low on this essential nutrient is to crave sweets. Because protein plays a critical role in keeping your blood sugar [glucose] levels steady, a deficiency may create the urge to chow down on a tub of rocky road ice cream. Of course, this send you on a sugar high, resulting in an awful crash.