Signals When Our Body Needs More Protein!

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We know how essential protein is to keep our total body systems strong and healthy. But the question is: how much do we need and how can we notice that our body may not get enough?

No matter how youthful we feel in our heart, aging is part of life with inevitable changes. As such, our nutritional needs change to maintain health and vitality.

We know that our metabolism slows. We burn fewer calories and thus need less. But our nutritional needs, that means nutrient-rich foods, however increase. One of the essential nutrients is protein.

Mark Sisson opened my eyes when he described in his article “12 Signs You Need to Eat More Protein” 12 situations, signs and symptoms to alert us about our need to eat more protein. Some are well known while others are less talked about.

To listen to our body’s subtle signals is not that easy. It requires getting to know our body and being tuned to changes and responses. You will appreciate learning about managing a healthy, science-based protein balance Mark Sisson discusses.

Here are a few highlights among others that caught my special attention:

  • Age – it’s known that seniors process protein less efficient than younger people, thus needing more protein especially when being active, e.g., walking for an hour, gardening, resistance training.
  • You’re always hungry – protein most satisfies, curbs craving. “So if your stomach resembles a bottomless pit, try increasing your protein intake.” Add meat, salmon, some eggs to your diet.
  • Weight loss diets – when going on a weight loss diet be mindful that, by simply reducing calories to lose weight, you will end up skinny-fat which means having lost lean muscle mass. Even if the plan does not specify, add protein to prevent muscle mass loss.
  • If you are craving meat – give in and satisfy yourself. Your body might call for more protein.
  • Bed rest – eats at lean muscle mass, causing muscle atrophy. Muscle fibers become less responsive to protein. Being mindful of eating more protein will improve muscle function.
  • Experiencing chronic stress – continuous flood of stress hormones increase muscle and tissue breakdown; thus, as part of stress management, pay attention to eating extra protein instead of comfort foods, loaded with sugars.

Mark Sisson convinced me that adding extra protein to our daily nutrition could have multiple, unexpected benefits.  I immediately hard-boiled a few eggs to have handy for snack when the craving moment hits. I encourage you to do the same because a little extra protein can give us grandmothers that extra strength to have fun with the grandkids!

To Grandma Health!