Can Promote A Healthy Body Weight
Those following a vegan diet typically have a lower body mass index than those following a traditional Western diet, which reduces the risk of several disease factors .
One 16week study looked at the effects of the vegan diet on 75 people with excess weight. It found the vegan diet to be more effective at improving body weight, fat mass, and insulin resistance markers than a control diet .
Therefore, if youre starting out on your bodybuilding journey with a bit of weight to lose, the vegan diet may be beneficial in that regard.
Tips To Help You Follow The Vegetarian Muscle Building Diet Plan
1. Get Enough Calories
One of the most important things to keep in mind while on a vegetarian diet plan for muscle gain is to get enough calories. If you dont take enough calories your body will use the incoming protein for fuel which would, in turn, lead to a deficit.
2. Swap Rice with Quinoa
If youre someone who cannot skip eating rice even on a vegetarian muscle building diet plan, then it is time you make a plunge towards quinoa. It tastes a lot like brown rice but has much higher protein content than brown rice. In fact, quinoa is a complete source of protein, while brown rice is not.It is healthy and tasty, so why not include it in your vegetarian muscle building diet plan for better results?
3. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Including a variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure that you get all the essential nutrients. In addition,they will also provide the required antioxidant protection to keep your immune system robust and strong.
4. Keep Workouts Short but Intense
Experts believe that vegetarians aiming for bodybuilding should keep their workouts short but intense.This will help prevent muscle loss. If you indulge in strenuous long workouts, your protein needs will be elevated,which can be a bit difficult on a muscle gain diet plan vegetarian
5. Include Nuts in Your Diet6. Say Yes to Peanut Butter 7. Add Broccoli and Spinach to Your Diet 8. Consider Taking Iron Supplements9. Eat Frequent Meals 10. Monitor Body Fat Level
May Be Overly Restrictive For Some People
Though the selection and availability of vegan food has grown rapidly in recent years, the diet can be seen as slightly monotonous, compared with the traditional Western diet.
Fortunately, the number of creative vegan recipes that can add life to the diet and keep it interesting is limitless.
The vegan bodybuilding diet comes with some possible downsides, such as an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies, excessive fiber intake, and difficulty meeting protein and calorie needs. These should be considered before starting a vegan diet.
The vegan bodybuilding diet usually includes many of the following foods:
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What If I Really Don’t Want To Cook
But, if you’re in a rush, then check out Trifecta Nutrition, our #1 recommended plant-based meal delivery service.
What else can I do to help maximize my gains?
Our suggestion is to learn more about the essential vegan bodybuilding supplements, which will support your muscle mass gains, performance in the gym, and most importantly, your health.
Eat This Way To Build Muscle And Lose Fat
Think it’s not possible to lean out while adding or maintaining muscle? Your diet, or lack thereof, could be playing tricks on you. Here’s how to make it work.
Getting big is one thing. Getting lean is another. And the two simply don’t happen at the same timeâor so the commenters would have you believe.
I’ve worked with plenty of bodybuilders and strength athletes who needed to hold onto muscleâor even build itâwhile also burning fat. And I’ve seen them do it. But it didn’t happen by accident or by shortcuts, it was a question of making the right choices over and over again for a long time.
To be clear, everything here assumes that the basics are in place: You’re eating adequate calories and protein and your training is in line with the goal of burning fat while building muscle.
Got that? Then here’s how you should eat, from the training trenches straight to the stageâor just to your selfie.
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Focus On Whole Foods Variety And Have A Protein Source At Every Meal
So, what should you actually eat?
Lee said that by consuming about 20-30g protein per meal , you should be able to hit your target.
“Making sure that you always have a source of protein on your plate at each meal is a sure-fire way to know that you’re getting enough,” says Zachariah.
Great protein options include tofu, quinoa, tempeh, seitan, eggs, dairy products, pulses, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens
A post shared by Pele Zachariah on May 9, 2020 at 9:21am PDTMay 9, 2020 at 9:21am PDT
“If your plate is made up of mostly whole, minimally processed foods, then you’ll be feeling fuller for longer, and you’ll definitely be hitting all of your macro and micronutrient targets, whilst also being in a calorie deficit and shedding those last few persistent kilos,” Zachariah said.
“However, if a significant part of your diet is made up of processed foods, you’ll be racking up your calorie intake pretty quickly, without actually giving your body what it needs to thrive and feel energetic on a calorie deficit.”
And although it’s best to get your protein from whole foods, if you occasionally need to supplement with a vegetarian or vegan protein powder, that’s OK too, said Lee.
Keep Your Fibre Intake Moderate
Plant-based diets are naturally quite high in fibre, which is great. However, when you start adding in all these extra bulking calories, that means even more fibre, which can start to get excessive. Not only is fibre extremely filling, but its also hard to digest in large quantities, which can leave you feeling bloated, gassy, and stuffed to the gills.
Once you recognize the problem, the solution to this is pretty simple: eat less fibre. You can lower the fibre content in your diet by snacking on bananas instead of celery, eating peas instead of broccoli. So long as youre still eating mostly whole foods, your diet will stay nutritious, but it will also get easier on your digestive system.
This is oddly controversial, but you may even find that drinking fruit juice helps. Assuming that youre eating plenty of minimally processed whole foods throughout the day, having some fruit juice along with your meals tends to be an effective way to boost your calorie intake without driving your fibre intake too high. Cranberry juice, apple juice, and orange juice are all pretty standard choices for bulking up, with my favourite being cranberry juice.
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Figure Out Your Macros
The three macronutrients proteins, fats and carbohydrates form the big nutrient groups that contribute to the calories we eat. While the calories we consume have a profound effect on the way your body looks, the macronutrient split is equally important in your vegan bodybuilding quest to create an attractive body.
‘A calorie is a calorie’ may be true for mere weight gain and weight loss. But the way these calories break down into each of the macronutrients will dictate how well your body builds and repairs muscle tissue, as well as how much muscle you retain during weight loss.
For anyone interested in more in-depth information about optimal vegan macros I urge you to check out this article later.
For now the short and sweet version will do. To maximize improvements in body composition here’s the optimal vegan diet macro split:
- Consume a high-protein vegan diet: 1.6-2.2 g of protein per kg, or 0.73-1 g of protein per pound.
- Consume a low to moderate-fat diet: 15-30% calories from fat.
- Eat the rest of your calories in the form of carbs.
Whole Foods And The Brain
The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best isyou guessed ita whole, unprocessed food.
In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimers.
Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:
- Oily fish
- Whole grains
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Calories Vs Nutrient Density
The nutrient density of a food is the amount of nutrients you can obtain from it, given the number of calories it contains. Nutrients give your body nourishment, allowing for growth, muscle recovery, energy, and quite frankly, the maintenance of lifethink vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, fiber, water, nitric oxide, and other phytonutrients. If youre looking for the biggest bang for your nutrient buck, the best place to look is whole foods.
Simply speaking, there is nothing in fresh, whole food that doesnt belong there . Theres a profound difference between eating 2,500 calories of whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds, and eating 2,500 calories of processed food-like substances such as chips, fries, pizza, candy, and ice cream.
You may be eating 2,500 calories either way, but the nutritional result is wildly different.
Therefore, low-calorie, nutrient dense foods provide a higher return on investment than foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition. Eating a high-calorie, nutrient-poor diet will make any fitness goals a struggle, whether burning fat and losing weight, building muscle, or improving endurance.
Here is a look at the rough calorie count vs. nutrient score for some common food types:
Update: Study Comparing Vegan Vs Omnivorous Diets
A 2021 study by Hevia-Larraín et al. pitted vegan and omnivorous diets against one another, seeing if there were any differences in muscle growth or strength gains after twelve weeks of bulking.
Both groups were instructed to eat at least 0.7 grams of protein per pound bodyweight per day. For someone weighing 150 pounds, thats at least 105 grams of protein per day. That might be a little low for ideal results, but its certainly enough protein to build muscle out of.
When comparing gains in lean mass, gains in strength, and increases in muscle size, both diets were found to produce the same results. As you can see in the graph above, if we look at the differences in muscle growth in the legs, theres a tiny, slight bit of extra muscle growth from the vegan diet, but were talking about a small fraction of a percentage point, and it wasnt anywhere close to reaching statistical significance.
This study shows that people can build muscle equally well when following a vegan diet versus an omnivorous diet, showing that vegan diets are absolutely viable for bulking.
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Fill Up On High Protein Plant Foods
When following a vegan bodybuilding diet, its important to get enough protein to aid your muscle-building goals.
Considering that many vegan protein sources usually do not contain all of the essential amino acids, higher amounts and a wider variety of these foods need to be eaten to regularly meet your needs.
Filling up on high protein vegan foods, such as seitan, tofu, legumes, and quinoa, can help you meet your protein needs to maximize muscle gain.
Vegan protein powders can also help you meet your protein needs by providing concentrated sources of protein surrounding workouts and throughout the day.
For Fat Loss Calorie Deficit Is King
When you’re in a calorie deficit, it can be slightly harder to hit your protein target because you’re just eating less of everything.
But ultimately, sticking to your calories is more important than hitting your protein target if you want to lose fat.
As a vegetarian, and particularly if you were vegan, it might seem extra tricky given that a lot of the most protein-rich plant-based foods are lower in protein than animal products while also being higher in calories essentially, lower protein for higher calories.
It’s entirely possible to eat enough protein though.
“Getting enough protein while in a calorie deficit is definitely possible, and actually pretty straight forward, as long as you put a little bit of thought into what goes onto your plate,” Pelé Zachariah, head trainer at London rowing studio Rowbots and vegan athlete, told Insider.
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Whole Foods And The Gut
Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional roughage reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.
They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, its important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. Its easier than you think!
Figure Out Your Calories
Your body simply doesn’t care what labels mainstream media or vegan diet ‘gurus’ have chosen to put on different foods.
Your body only cares about the amount of energy you consume, and the simple science behind weight gain and loss boils down to one thing:
Calories in and calories out. Here’s how it works:
We know this to be true from countless case studies of people employing CICO to get in shape. Moreover, scientific consensus and the laws of thermodynamics also agree that the most effective way to lose those extra pounds is to eat fewer calories than you burn on a regular basis .
Now take your TDEE and increase or reduce this number depending on what your body composition goal is:
For muscle growth and gaining strength increase your TDEE by 10%. For losing fat while keeping your muscle reduce your TDEE by 20%.
Say for instance an 80 kg, or 176 pounds, vegan lifter plugs in his or her stats into the TDEE calculator which estimates the maintenance calories to be 2800 calories.
For bulking, the calories would be set at 2800 * 1.10 = 3080 kcal. For cutting, the calories would be set at 2800 * 0.80 = 2240 kcal.
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Understanding Muscle Building And Plant Proteins
To build muscle, you need to eat a lot of food and work out even more. They both go together and are dependent on each other. If you eat a lot of food and dont work out, you gain body fat. If you work out without eating enough, you risk losing the muscle you currently have. With that said, it is easy to work out to build muscle since there are so many guidelines on what to do, how to do it, and how long you should be doing it to achieve your dream physique.
For muscle growth to occur, studies show that a person should eat around 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight every single day. Proteins are essential when it comes to building muscles and strength. The main function of proteins is to build muscles and repair existing muscles. Proteins also help in the recovery of muscles after a workout. This just shows how important proteins are when it comes to bodybuilding.
Eating Large Portions And Not Enough Protein
Eating more calories than you need can result in weight gain.
Even if youre filling up on nutritious foods on a vegetarian diet, you may be helping yourself to larger portions than necessary.
This is especially common if you skimp on protein intake.
Protein can increase fullness by decreasing levels of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger, which may in turn lower your overall calorie intake and boost weight loss .
If you dont eat enough protein, you might eat more food to feel full hindering your weight loss efforts.
While your protein needs can be met easily on a vegetarian diet, you may encounter difficulties at first as you eliminate meat from your diet.
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Eating Too Many Refined Carbs
Foods that are high in refined carbs, such as bread, pizza, and pasta, can be easy to overeat on a vegetarian diet.
Theyre widely available and may sometimes be the only vegetarian options at restaurants or gatherings.
Foods rich in refined carbs tend to lack fiber and do not curb hunger as much as whole-grain, complex carbs. As a result, they can load you down with excess calories .
Whats more, some studies suggest that refined carbs trigger the release of extra insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. This may also contribute to weight gain .
In fact, one study including around 500,000 adults detected a strong association between higher insulin levels after carb intake and greater body mass index .
Vegetarian Diet Muscle: Start With Calories
Your first step is to figure out your maintenance level, or the number of calories you must eat to keep your weight consistent. To do that:
If your body weight holds steady, youll know that youve accurately hit your maintenance number.
If youre losing weight, you can bump up calories. Add about 100 per day across a week so, if you were eating 2000 calories per day last week, youd bump up to 2100 calories per day this week.
If you find youre gaining weight, do the opposite. Drop a hundred calories per day.
When you reach a number that keeps your weight consistent, voila! Youre at the maintenance level.
But if your goal is to add muscle, you cant just stop there. To gain muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn. How many more?
Lets say you are an intermediate level lifter, meaning that you have been training for a few years.
- If you are a woman or a smaller guy, youre probably going to want to eat an extra 100 to 200 calories above your maintenance amount.
- If you are a larger, taller guy, youll want to focus on an extra 200 to 300 calories.
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