Being plant-based, a vegan diet is often thought to be
suitable only for people looking to lose weight. But did you know that it can
also be beneficial for bodybuilders and athletes? Choosing to go meat-free does
not mean that you cannot build muscle. It could help you reach your fitness
goal faster, as a matter of fact.
Vegan Diet and
In today’s society, there is a general misconception
that the only way to build muscles is through consuming animal protein. You’d
be surprised at how many vegan bodybuilders are out there to refute this claim.
The truth is, switching to a plant-based diet can be a great way to build
leaner muscles and lose fat.
It is not enough to cut meat from your diet when going
vegan. You also need to choose healthy, whole foods to be able to bulk up. This
will provide your body the fuel it needs to gain muscle tone.
There are a few diet tips you need to follow to create
a suitable meal plan for bodybuilders using the vegan approach.
Approach to Bodybuilding Diet
Want to build muscles the vegan way? Here are
important principles you need to follow to create the perfect meal plan:
1. Consume small
yet frequent meals. As a bodybuilder, you need to eat 6 to 8 meals per day.
These should be eaten at 2- to 4-hour
intervals. Also, make sure each meal is packed with vital nutrients such as
protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, low-glycemic carbs, and calories. Doing
so will help your body achieve a positive nitrogen balance. Plus, it will
promote a higher rate of metabolism so your body burns more fat. As a result,
you promote muscle growth while you tone the existing muscles in your body.
2. Make sure you
meet your daily caloric requirement. It can be tempting to limit the amount
of calories you intake as you switch to a vegan diet. However, for bodybuilders
to succeed with this diet approach, it is important to get enough calories.
Plant-based diets have lower calorie content than others, so it is important
for bodybuilding vegans to keep an eye on their calorie intake or else the body
could go into a catabolic state. To explain: when you have a large calorie
deficit, it will cause your hard-earned muscle mass to burn itself.
A plant-based diet can benefit bodybuilders, too.
(Image Source: Pexels)
3. Make sure you
get enough protein, too. Contrary to popular belief, a vegan meal plan
should be rich in protein. Instead of consuming animal protein though, you need
to look for healthier, vegan alternatives. These include tempeh, quinoa,
hummus, and chia seeds. Legumes and chickpeas can be good sources of filling
yet low-fat protein, too.
4. Get enough
carbohydrates to promote muscle growth. Carbs are not something that you
should fear or completely eliminate in your vegan diet. If you are a
bodybuilder, there are plenty of healthy, plant-based sources for them. The
ideal source would be organic whole grain bread as they are rich in
low-glycemic carbohydrates and have fiber, too. You need to meet your daily
intake requirement for carbohydrates when still in the muscle-building phase.
5. Fat should
make up 30% of your overall caloric intake. This does not mean that you
should consume any fat. Choose to incorporate healthy kinds of fat as part of
your diet. Omega-5 is a healthy fat that is found mostly in nuts. Various kinds
of fish are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Snack on nuts
to give you added fuel. Nuts and grains are a great addition to any vegan
diet. They provide you with extra bursts of energy that you can tap into while
performing muscle-building activities. They are also a good source of healthy
fat. The convenience of eating nuts also adds to their popularity thereby
making them a go-to snack option for bodybuilders.
7. Say no to
rice. Opt for rice alternatives such as quinoa as part of your vegan diet.
For many years, a lot of bodybuilders have relied on rice to enhance their
nutritional intake, but quinoa is slowly gaining popularity for offering
the same benefits. Actually, quinoa has a higher quality protein while also
being gluten-free. Other essential vitamins and nutrients you can find in
quinoa include iron, B-vitamins, potassium, fiber, and vitamin E.
Healthy chickpea and
quinoa salad. (Image Source: Yummy Mummy Kitchen)
8. Invest in healthy drinks. You also need to pay attention to the
quality of the drinks you consume, just as you would when choosing items to
include in your diet. Avoid consuming sugary drinks, like soda, to satisfy your
need for calories. It’s essential to absorb up to 2.5 liters of fluid per day
so choose healthy juices and drinks for that. If possible, make them yourself
at home instead of buying bottled variants.
To help give you an idea on creating a vegan meal plan
for bodybuilders, you can take note of these examples. These include some of
the food options you can add to every meal. If possible, vary them so you can
always excite your taste buds. Sticking to a vegan diet does not have to be
boring or repetitive at all.
Breakfast: Granola, Soy milk, Fruits
Lunch: Whole wheat bread, bagel, fruits, vegan cheese, protein shake,
Snack: Salad, tofu, vegan sandwich
Dinner: Salad, whole grains, whole wheat bread, protein shake
The Bottom Line
Do not fall for the myth that claims you cannot adapt
to a vegan diet while bodybuilding. There are enough components to the
plant-based diet to aid in the process of muscle building. As long as you
follow the right principles of the vegan approach, you can still reap the
benefits. The best part is that you can still satisfy your taste buds.
advantage to building a meal plan yourself is that you can avoid deficiencies
in your diet. If you are not sure how, you can always consult a nutrition
expert to help map things out. Another idea is to intake supplements in the
form of a vegan multivitamin such as the ones found here: https://totalshape.com/supplements/best-vegan-multivitamin/.
The regular intake of supplements will help prevent the detrimental effects of
nutritional deprivation in your diet.
Article written by: Isaac Robertson, Co-Founder and Head Coach at Total Shape.
The post Tips for Creating an Effective Bodybuilding Diet the Vegan Way appeared first on SaveDelete.
This content was originally published here.