5 Signs You're Not Eating Enough Protein

What is protein?

Protein is an essential macronutrient that our bodies can not make. We need to consume protein to stay healthy. In an emergency situation we can pull it from our structural tissues such as our muscles, tendons and organs – but as you can imagine, long term, this isn't good for us.

There are different types of proteins, some that are more valuable to our bodies than others. Protein is made of of amino acids - amino acids are used for thousands of interactions in the body and are needed to make your hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters - meaning that we rely on them not only for strong muscles but for optimal healthy functioning of ALL our body's systems. There are 20 in total and 9 of these are called essential because our body can not make them. This means, they need to be obtained from our food. 

Excellent sources of protein are referred to as complete and include all 20 amino acids, they are: 

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products 
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Hemp and chia seed
  • Spirulina 



There are other sources of protein that are incomplete, being they don't contain the 9 essential amino acids, they are:

  • Nuts & seeds
  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Vegetables



People who are on a plant based diet need to combine plant sources of protein to get all the essential amino acids into their diet, a couple of examples are:

  • Rice with beans
  • Spinach salad with almonds

How much protein do I need?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men ages 19–50 is 56 grams per day, and it’s 46 grams per day for women. However, many health professionals, including our Keto Reset team, believe this is way to low for the daily demands we generally place on our bodies. Our experience shows that most women need around 70-80g and men 90-100g of protein a day. A good way to guesstimate your needs would be to multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8 - 1.0. After this you should also trust your body and go on how you feel, if you are eating the RDA and are still hungry or have any of the following concerns below - try increasing your protein and see if you see better.


5 signs you're not eating enough protein....

1 - You are always hungry

Protein is the most satiating of all the micronutrients and inadvertently we can stop eating because we feel full up. Try adding an extra egg to your breakfast, or snacking on a boiled egg or two, instead of fruit. Or increase your protein at lunch time - see if this reduces your hunger.

2 - You are always sick

If you’re always under the weather, a lack of dietary protein could be to blame. Protein is an essential building block of antibodies that are produced by our immune system. If you are finding you are getting sick frequently, add some more protein to your meals and see if your immunity improves over the coming months.

3 - You are losing muscle mass

Do you feel like you aren't getting stronger, despite working out more? Or are you lighting less weights than you used too? The amino acids that protein is made up from are essential for building and repairing muscles. This means that if you’re not getting adequate protein, your muscle mass could suffer. 

4 - Your nails and hair are breaking

When you don't eat enough protein the body starts to conserve it and nails can become brittle, breaking easily, and hair can even stop growing! This is why many beauty supplements that focus on nail and hair health are made from the protein Collagen. Try changing your diet to include more protein before you invest in supplements. 

5 - You are feeling stressed all the time

Stress hormones are catabolic, which means they result in more muscle break down. When stress becomes chronic, and the stress hormones are perpetually elevated, the natural consequences that stress causes to the body can tip toward muscle catabolism. Until you’re able to reduce stress, rest and relax more, eating more protein can help mitigate the effects of stress on your body.

If you have any questions about this blog, please email hello@ketoreset.co.nz