Sticking to a Vegetarian or Vegan lifestyle ain't no walk in the park.
There are a lot of considerations to make, and when the mind becomes focused on one thing, it often slips details in another. We're all guilty of tunnel vision every now and then.
And guess what? It's totally normal, it's called being a human being.
But if you've been living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for some time now, surely the question has come up of your protein intake.
The good news is, there are plenty of vegan protein options that are packed full of healthy and "complete" protein sources, that the body is readily able to break down and absorb, woohoo!
Lentils, tofu, black beans, quinoa, amaranth, soy milk, green peas the list goes on and on... (Check out One Green Planet's Top 25 Vegan Sources of Protein)
But the question isn't if you're eating these foods, the question is, are you eating enough of them?
Here's the lowdown:
If you're not training, looking to change your body composition, and are simply looking for a better, healthier you, you should be consuming:
Females: 0.5g protein per pound of bodyweight
Makes: 0.7 protein per pound of bodyweight
However, if you're exercising regularly and looking to improve your body (lose weight, build lean muscle, tone up etc) you should be consuming at least:
Females: 0.8g protein per pound of bodyweight
Males 1g protein per pound of body weight.
Depending on your size, gender and goals, this puts us in the ballpark of anywhere between 100g to 200g protein per day.
Tribeca' Health's Raw Vegan Organic Protein is the ultimate vegan lifestyle supplement. Learn more here.
Worried you might be falling short? Here's our Top 5 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency:
1. You're tired. A lot.
And you're tired of being tired.
Life is busy, we've all got stuff to do, but it's time to audit your lifestyle and ask yourself,
"Am I more tired than I should be?"
If you've made the switch to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle recently, did it begin at around the same time?
Often when switching to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle we feel incredible at first! A fresh lease on life, bursting with energy to take on the world, fueled by nature.
But over time, the body starts to catch up, and not getting enough protein make us fatigued...
Not just physically, but mentally too. How many cups of coffee do you need just to get through the day?
"Brain fog" is a major culprit of protein deficiency, with the amino acids in protein being essential for the brain to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin (positive mood) and dopamine (motivation and energy).
2. You're Weaker Than You Should Be
When your body doesn't get enough protein, your muscles can't repair themselves properly after a workout.
In this case, strenuous exercise might make you feel like you've been hit by a bus for a week!
Even things like yoga, running or climbing a flight of stairs will seem like an absolute chore, as your body's muscles simply don't have the fuel to power, sustain or recover from the demands of daily activity.
3. You're Getting Flabby
No one likes being flabby. More so, no one likes becoming flabby.
The term "skinny fat" gets thrown around a lot, which involves a small frame but lack of muscular definition. But what actually causes the dreaded "skinny fat"?
You guessed it, protein deficiency.
Why? When your body can't find enough protein to sustain itself through diet or supplementation, it looks elsewhere to find it.
Your body literally begins to cannibalize its own muscle tissue.
This is why you'll see low fat or low carb diets, but never low protein diets!
4. You're Anxious and Moody
This comes back to the ol' neurotransmitters again...
Without getting too "sciencey", here's the 411:
Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our bodies. L-Tryptophan and L-Tyrosine are the precursors to serotonin and dopamine, meaning that if you don't get enough of these two amino acids through protein, you can kiss feelings of calm, excitement and positivity goodbye!
Why? Because as precursors, these are required tools for the brain to even begin producing these feel good neurotransmitters. Low serotonin is the culprit for depression and feelings of sadness, while low dopamine is the culprit for lethargy, low motivation and even addictive behavior!
5. Your Pants Are Getting Tighter
The worst, right?!
Weight loss or gain is an equation of calories in vs calories out. It's really that simple.
So how can not eating enough protein cause me to gain weight, protein has just as many calories as carbohydrates, right?
Right you are! However, there's a few things you need to know...
Firstly, foods high in protein cause increased satiety.
Satiety is that feeling of satisfaction and fullness after eating a delicious, complete meal.
It's that sweet spot right before hitting a "food coma"
If you're eating a diet low in protein, it's difficult to achieve that feeling of satiety, and as a result, we reach for snacks or overeat, which causes our calorie count to go through the roof, without feeling full.
So how much of your favourite foods do you need to eat to get enough protein?
Lentils: 18g per cup
Tofu: 10g per cup
Black Beans: 16g per cup
Artichoke, Quinoa, Soy Milk & Peas: 8g per cup
Tribeca Raw Vegan Skinny Protein: 20g per serve
Unless you're capable of sticking to strict nutrition and eating these protein rich vegan-friendly foods in large proportions on a daily basis, we'd recommend picking up a protein supplement to increase your intake.
Tribeca's Raw Vegan Skinny Protein is an all natural source of vegan protein, blended with superfoods and ancient grains, plus green tea extract to boost metabolism.
Packed with 20g of protein, plus a blend of acai, camu camu, goji berry, seabuckthorn juice, green tea, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and chia (all sourced organically of course), Tribeca's Raw Vegan Skinny Protein is the perfect low fat, low carb and high protein supplement or meal replacement to conveniently and deliciously boost your nutrition!
Click here to learn more about Tribeca's Raw Vegan Skinny Protein. 😋✌️