When it comes to dieting and losing weight, most of us focus on eating less and on what we shouldn’t eat. However, believe it or not, there are actually things you SHOULD be eating, things that, if you don’t get enough of them in your diet, can make weight loss even tougher than it already is.
One major thing that you need in your diet, and in large amounts, is protein. Protein consumption has been shown to boost metabolism, allowing dieters to burn calories more quickly and easily, and to help dieters feel fuller and more satisfying, reducing snacking.
As you can imagine, when you deprive your body of the protein it needs, you miss out on these benefits and make losing weight that much harder. Most people, though, don’t purposefully deprive their bodies of protein; that’s why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs that you need more protein in your diet.
Sign #1: Having Low (Or No!) Energy
Protein is great at providing your body with the energy and stamina it needs to make it through the day and, if you’re doing what you should, those tough sessions at the gym. If you find that you constantly feel tired, even when you get plenty of rest, and that your energy just seems gone, it’s probably a good idea to start adding more healthy protein, like lean chicken and fish, into your diet.
Sign #2: You Crave Meat
Your body is pretty smart, and if you listen to it, it will often tell you exactly what it needs. If you find that you constantly have cravings for big, juicy steaks, that’s probably your body telling you that it needs more protein. If you’re a vegetarian, cravings for peanut butter, nuts, and other protein sources could mean the same thing; listen to your body and indulge those cravings in a healthy, sensibly-portioned kind of way.
Sign #3: You Crave Sugar
Craving sugar is another indicator you may be in need of more protein. Protein works to regulate and stabilize blood sugar. Thus, when you don’t have enough of it, your blood sugar will constantly be spiking up and down, which can give you an urge to eat sweets. Obviously, this is one craving you shouldn’t listen to! Try combating it with a protein supplement or shake instead.
Sign #4: You’re Flabby
Finally, if you find that, no matter how much or how hard you work out, you’re still flabby, that may mean you’re not getting enough protein and that you haven’t been for quite some time. The body needs protein so badly that, when you don’t feed it, it will start leeching it from your muscles, resulting in flab instead of a beautiful, toned appearance.
Obviously, protein is important, so don’t deprive your body of it, even (or especially) if you’re trying to lose weight.