Vegan and bodybuilding probably aren’t two words that most people think of together.
Most people don’t realize that you don’t need a diet rich in animal products to build a great body.
Keep reading to learn more about vegan bodybuilding and how you can be successful while never eating a piece of chicken or a steak again.
Why Eat Vegan?
There are obvious health benefits to eating vegan. More and more people are exploring options for plant-based diets based on their opposition to the way animals are treated. Some research suggests that red meat can have carcinogenic effects as well.
And some people simply want to avoid the “extra” stuff in meat, including saturated animal fat and cholesterol.
There are some obvious health benefits to eating a plant-based diet. They can reduce your diabetes and heart disease risk. They are high in fiber, helping aiding in digestion. Plant-based diets also can help with vision and your complexion too.
The benefits are plentiful, but what if you are a bodybuilder or aspiring bodybuilder and are looking to build muscle? It is possible to eat vegan and build muscle and lose fat.
If you want to eat a vegan diet and increase your body’s muscle, there are a few basic principles you need to follow.
Protein, Protein, Protein
The first is to make sure you are getting enough protein. Most people believe that you need to eat meat to get protein, but that’s not the case at all.
The best sources of protein in a vegan diet are proteins that are well absorbed and full of essential amino acids. Some good ones that fit the bill include:
- grains, such as wheat, rice, or oats
- vegetables that are legumes, like peas, beans, and potatoes
- nuts, including almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and pistachios
- seeds like quinoa and buckwheat
Part of getting enough protein is balancing it with the other components of your diet, especially fats and carbohydrates. Getting enough healthy fats and then balancing your protein, fat, and carb intake is important.
Getting Enough Healthy Fats
If you’re not including any fats in your diet, your skin will be dry and dull, your energy will decrease, and your appearance will suffer. Healthy fats, such as flaxseed oil, olive oil, almonds and almond butter, walnuts, and avocados are great choices.
A little saturated fat is also needed, so incorporating some coconut oil or coconut milk into your diet can meet this need.
Balancing Your Macros
Getting your macros right is super important. For a diet meant to aid in bodybuilding, it’s recommended to balance your protein, fats, and carbs. How many carbs you eat will vary based on how much protein and fats you consume.
The more carbs, the better it is for your weightlifting and body composition.
You might have to increase your fats reduce your carbs to meet both your caloric and protein targets.
As you can see, vegan bodybuilding doesn’t have to be an elusive goal. You can maintain a plant-based diet and still meet your weightlifting and conditioning goals.
Check out Fitness Crest for workout ideas to help you start building that muscle.