This happens because one of the protein’s critical functions is to keep your blood sugar stable. If protein is not around to do its job, your blood sugar levels will fluctuate all over the place, making you crave a quick fix in the form of simple sugar. If you feel this way, try eating a couple of poached eggs or a protein shake – if the craving quickly subsides, you will know that you were low in protein, not that you needed a carb.
2. Fitful sleep
Deep, restful sleep is when your body is in recovery mode. It requires that you be able to sleep uninterrupted for at least 6-8 hours in order for it to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, recharge your brain and allow your liver to cleanse your blood. All this night time activity requires that your body burn fat – a very long-lasting fuel – for energy. If your body is not used to burning fat for fuel and only used to burning carbs, it will wake up every few hours, needing to be fed.
Eating enough protein aids your body in becoming fat-adapted, a state in which you burn fat as your primary fuel, not sugar. Fitful sleep is an indicator that your body may be burning the wrong type of fuel for long-term energy needs.
3. You struggle to lose weight
A couple of things happen with regards to weight loss if you aren’t eating enough protein. One is that your muscles go MIA as your body breaks them down to acquire the needed amino acids that it must have to function. Since muscle tissue requires energy to sustain it, a loss of said tissue subsequently slows your metabolism, since there is less muscle to maintain. A metabolic double-whammy.
Two, eating protein not only preserves muscle tissue, but it also aids in weight loss by stabilizing blood sugar (the cause of those nasty cravings) and making you feel fuller, longer.