Looking to build muscle but don’t eat meat? Not to worry, you can still see great results. Many people often associate vegan eaters as fragile, weak, and underweight. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, many vegan eaters can be healthier than their meat eating counterparts – and have more muscle as well.
The trick is knowing how to set up your diet properly.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
Protein Does Matter
First, you do need to get your protein straight. Make no mistake about it, you can’t build muscle without consuming sufficient protein. This said, the protein requirements to build muscle are actually considerably less than most people believe. You don’t have to be pounding back protein shake after protein shake or feasting on enough grilled chickens you should practically start your own chicken farm each day.
Instead, you need to look at high quality sources of complete protein. Tofu, tempeh, soy protein, hemp protein powders, beans, and lentils are all excellent options for the vegetarian.
Aim to consume around 0.8 – 1.0 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. You’ll find that this isn’t all that hard to do as long as you plan your meals properly.
Focus On Wholesome Carbohydrates
Next we come to carbohydrates. Some people who go on a vegan diet make the mistake of thinking that any food that doesn’t contain meat is fair game. So they feast on foods like processed cereals, crackers, snack bars, and fruit juice.
These are not going to provide your body with the lasting energy it needs to get through intense weight lifting training. Instead, you should be focusing on foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
These foods support optimal performance and a healthy rate of building lean muscle mass.
Track Those Calories
Another issue that many vegan eaters run into that may prevent them from seeing the muscle building results they’re going for is that they simply aren’t eating enough calories.
They load up on the salads and the fresh fruit, which is great for health but not so good if your goal is to build muscle. If you don’t provide an over abundance of calories, you won’t have anything to build muscle with. Building muscle is a very energy intensive process so you need to load up on the calorie dense items. Just make sure that it’s healthy.
This is where the fat dense foods come into play such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, oils, and avocado’s. By eating these in moderation with your complex carbohydrates, you will stand a much better chance of getting the results that you desire.
So there you have a few tips on how to build muscle on a vegan diet. Don’t let the fact that you don’t eat meat prevent you from seeing the results that you desire. Work hard, plan your nutrition, and stay consistent. That will lead you down the path to a more muscular body.
Richard is a certified Personal Trainer with a strong background in competitive team sports and athletics. He believes that exercise should be enjoyed and social, which is the approach he takes with his clients. Richard specialises in exercise for weight loss. He is available for 1-on-1 Personal Training, Small Group Training and Corporate Personal Training in the Lower North Shore area. Book a FREE fat loss consultation to discover what he can do for your health.