You constantly feel weak and hungry
Terry Hope Romero, author of a number of bestselling cookbooks for health foods, noticed that her vegan diet was leaving her unsatisfied and lacking energy throughout the day. “When you work full time and have a long commute, and you regularly work out or you have a lot of errands to run, it can be easy to fill up on processed carbs,” says Romero. “To feel full every day, especially when you’re working out to build muscle, it’s not really the best approach.” Protein takes longer to digest, which makes you feel full and energized. When Romero started consuming more protein (by adding natural protein powders like hemp protein and brown rice protein to everyday foods, as featured in the recipes of her newest book Protein Ninja), she started feeling stronger and more satisfied. Here’s how to eat more protein without even trying.
Your muscles look MIA
It takes more than daily gym visits to look and feel strong. If you don’t eat enough protein to fuel your body’s tissues with the necessary amount of amino acids (protein’s small subparts), your body has no choice but to start breaking down your muscles to get amino acids from their fibers, according to SFGate.com. One key body part to watch is the clavicle, says Jessica Bihuniak, PhD, RD, assistant professor of nutrition at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. If your collarbone is becoming especially prominent, it could be time to make sure you’re eating enough protein and enough calories in general.