Are you planning to go on a vegan diet for weight loss and muscle gain? If so, we’ve got you covered with some of the best vegan diet guidelines, vegan nutrition plans to follow, delicious veggie recipes and more.
It can be really hard to know what the best vegan diet for weight loss and muscle gain is. There’re an awful lot of diets out there, some recommending carbs some recommending protein and others recommending an all-around approach.
Best Vegan Diet For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain
If you’ve been eating a vegan diet for a while, you likely feel great. Perhaps you’re gaining less weight, feeling more energised, and having better overall health. Not to mention, it’s better for the environment and animals.
But what about your exercise objectives? Can a vegan diet help you gain muscle? Yes, you most certainly can!
Some people have false beliefs about sources of plant-based protein. They believe that eating a vegan diet makes it harder to obtain enough protein to sustain muscular growth. However, rest assured that is not the case.
Check out Barny du Plessis for proof that gaining muscle mass while following a vegan diet is achievable. He earned the 2014 Mr. Universe title and is a vegan. Kendrick Yahcob Farris, an American weightlifter who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, placed 11th in his weight division.
These are just a few of the well-known athletes who feed their bodies with plant-based diets.
There are two crucial factors, regardless of your food, when it comes to building muscle. Exercise is necessary to put stress on your muscles and speed up the healing process. Then, for that recovery, you need to eat properly.
The only facet of muscle gain that will be covered in this essay is nutrition. We’ll talk about how to maximize muscle growth while following a vegan diet. We’ll explore what to look for in a vegan protein supplement as well as some of the best plant-based protein sources.
Track your calories and macronutrients
You’ll need to consume a specific number of calories each day, depending on your current weight, lifestyle, and fitness objectives. To maximize muscular development, you’ll also need to eat a suitable balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
For instance, you’ll have a certain daily calorie intake goal if you want to gain lean muscle while also losing extra fat. However, if you’re a “hard-gainer” and need to gain weight while building muscle, your daily caloric goal will be different.
If at all feasible, talk to a nutritionist who may suggest a diet strategy that is personalized for you. If speaking with a nutritionist right now isn’t a possibility, there are a few tools that could be useful.
The first one is a calculator for weight growth from calculators.org. Simply give a few details about who you are and what you hope to accomplish. Your daily requirements for protein and calories will be shown in the results.
Apps like MyFitnessPal, Fooducate Lifesum, My Diet Coach, and others are great for keeping track of your daily caloric intake. In order to go toward your gains, you can also make sure your macros are correct.
Eat plenty of nuts and vegetables
Eating plants is one of the most important components of a plant-based diet. Every day, try to eat a mix of fruits and vegetables, with a focus on leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.
It’s possible that eating kale, spinach, or broccoli won’t directly help you grow muscle. However, they enhance hormonal, metabolic, and digestive health. These processes control how successfully you take in nutrients from food and utilise them as fuel.
Almonds, pecan, pistachios, and other nuts are good non-dairy sources of calcium. You need calcium for bone health, which will support your efforts in the gym. Consider a vitamin D supplement (or make sure to get plenty of sunlight) for optimal calcium absorption
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, which also promotes healthy bones
How to get enough plant-based protein for muscle growth
Let’s discuss protein. It has amino acids, which are important for promoting muscle building . Here are some of the top vegan protein sources that will help you build muscle.
Dried Chickpeas Recipe (Ultimate Guide)
Chickpeas, also referred to as garbanzo beans, are a nutrient powerhouse. They have long been a part of Middle Eastern cooking. If you’ve ever tried hummus, chickpeas are the main ingredient.
Chickpeas have about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. In order to support muscular growth and healthy digestion, it is also a rich source of iron and fiber.
Originally from Central America, kidney beans are a legume that are used in dishes all over the world.
Boiled kidney beans have about 9 grams of protein per 100 grams. They include a lot of fiber and nutrients like potassium, manganese, iron, and folate. Vitamin K1 is another antioxidant found in kidney beans that supports bone mineral density.
Lentils are another member of the legume family. They are a staple in India, where a large portion of the population is vegetarian.
Much like kidney beans, boiled lentils pack around 9 grams of protein in every 100-gram serving. They are also a great source of iron, which could be beneficial to you on a vegan diet.
Quinoa is a gluten-free seed with Inca origins and one of the hottest superfoods on the market today. And with good cause. It is incredibly nourishing and a fantastic source of protein.
Around 8 grams of protein are included in one cup of cooked quinoa. Important elements including zinc, manganese, magnesium, folate, and others are also present in quinoa.
Vegan protein supplements
It’s possible that you’ll need to take a supplement occasionally if you follow a vegan diet in order to receive enough protein to support your muscle-building objectives.
For instance, while you’re away from home and can’t use your kitchen. You can have trouble locating lentils and hummus on a restaurant menu, depending on where in the nation you are.
When shopping for a vegan protein supplement, look for the following types:
- Pea protein – Pea protein is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, some of which your body must get from diet. It is a good source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which are crucial for muscle growth .
- Brown rice protein – Extracted from brown rice, it is one of the easiest proteins to digest. The higher bioavailability allows your body to use it for muscle growth better.
You should ensure that your protein supplement contains high-quality protein and is free of hazardous additives like refined carbohydrates. Naked Nutrition’s selection of vegan protein powders included Naked Pea and Naked Rice, each of which has just one ingredient, making it simple to know exactly what is going into your body.
But, because there are no artificial sweeteners or added sugars the final flavor of your vegan vegan recipes and shakes will be determined by the fruits or vegetables you decide to blend with the powder.
Closing thoughts on vegan muscle gain
On a vegan diet, gaining muscle is unquestionably possible. You must evaluate your goals, just like with any other diet, and then arrange your exercise and diet accordingly. Try to incorporate as many plant-based protein sources as you can into your diet. In order to improve digestion, be sure to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. You’ll soon be showing off your new vegan muscles if you maintain consistency in your diet and exercise regimen.
Foods to eat
The vegan bodybuilding diet usually includes many of the following foods:
- Beans and legumes. These provide a good source of protein and fiber.
- Hemp, flax, sunflower, and chia seeds. They contain a good amount of protein and omega-3s.
- Quinoa and amaranth. These two pseudograins provide complete sources of protein.
- Meat substitutes. Made to look and feel like meat, these products are usually made with soy or pea protein.
- Soy products. Examples include tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and soy protein powder.
- Calcium-fortified plant milks and yogurts. These fortified products can help vegans meet their daily requirements for calcium and vitamin D.
- Spirulina. This blue-green algae packs a lot of protein, as well as several vitamins and minerals.
- Vegan protein powders. The best varieties are usually made from a combination of protein sources, such as peas, hemp, and brown rice.
- Nutritional yeast. Used in vegan cooking for its savory flavor, nutritional yeast is commonly fortified with vitamin B12.
- Sprouted grain breads. These provide a good source of protein and complex carbs.
- Oats. Oatmeal and oats provide a good amount of protein per serving, as well as some beneficial fiber.
- Fruit and vegetables. These are an important part of any vegan diet.
- Whole grains and cereals. These can provide a good source of protein, B vitamins, and fiber.
- Nuts and nut butters. They can provide a good source of protein when combined with other complementary proteins. Plus, they’re a good source of healthy fats.
- Tahini. This paste made from sesame seeds provides a good amount of fat and a bit of protein per serving.
- Healthy oils. Oils, such as olive, avocado, and hempseed, provide a good source of healthy fats and some essential omega-3s.
- Vegan dark chocolate. High in antioxidants, vegan dark chocolate contains some essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, and E.
It is advised that vegan bodybuilders use certain dietary supplements because their diet may be deficient in some nutrients.
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the quality and taste of nutritional supplements targeted towards persons eating veganism.
A vegan protein powder is one of the primary supplements to think about because it enables you to consume the appropriate amounts of protein while maintaining a specific calorie range.
Vegan protein powders are widely accessible and include varieties made from soy isolate, pea, hemp, and brown rice. To make sure you’re getting all of the necessary amino acids, it’s ideal to pick a powder that comes from a variety of sources.
A vegan multivitamin that contains enough amounts of the elements that the vegan diet generally lacks, such as calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D, is another potentially useful supplement.
Beta-alanine and creatine are some more supplements to think about. These two thoroughly researched substances can be obtained in vegan-friendly forms and are naturally present in meat products. They may contribute to muscular growth and energy metabolism.
While adding supplements to a vegan diet is not strictly obligatory, doing so can help you avoid nutrient deficiencies and make your diet more effective for bodybuilding.
SUMMARYThe vegan bodybuilding diet is based on several nutritious whole foods. Dietary supplements may also play a crucial role in making up for nutrients the diet may lack.
The vegan bodybuilding diet tends to avoid or limit the following foods:
- Animal foods. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and bee products are entirely off-limits on a vegan diet. Certain animal additives found in several foods fall into this category as well.
- Foods that might not be vegan-friendly. Some breads, deep-fried foods, candy, potato chips, dark chocolate, and other products may harbor animal-derived ingredients.
- Vegan junk food. Candy, ice cream, and some vegan protein bars should be restricted, as they tend to be high in refined sugar and calories.
- Mock meats and cheeses. These tend to be processed and may contain additives. They also tend to provide fewer nutrients than whole foods. Therefore, these products should be limited.
SUMMARYWhile vegan diets are typically based on non-animal whole foods, there are some foods you should watch out for when starting the diet. Some may contain traces of animal-derived ingredients, whereas others may lack a sound nutritional profile.
While calorie and macronutrient intakes vary greatly by individual and specific goals, here is a sample 5-day vegan bodybuilding diet meal plan.
- Breakfast: protein oatmeal made with oats, vegan protein powder, soy milk, banana, and nut butter
- Lunch: tofu stir-fry made with extra firm tofu, vegan pasta, beans, red lentils, celery, onion, and spinach
- Dinner: teriyaki tempeh with broccoli and quinoa
- Snack: strawberry-banana protein shake
- Breakfast: breakfast burritos made with tofu scramble and vegetables on vegan tortillas
- Lunch: lentil loaf made with lentils, kidney beans, veggies, and nutritional yeast
- Dinner: black-bean veggie burger with sweet potato fries
- Snack: peanut butter and oatmeal snack bars
- Breakfast: hummus toast made with sprouted grain bread, hummus, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Lunch: vegan burrito bowl made with rice, beans, and homemade mock taco meat
- Dinner: sweet-and-sour stir-fry made with tofu, rice noodles, and vegetables
- Snack: mock tuna salad sandwich
- Breakfast: chocolate-peanut-butter smoothie bowl made with bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, vegan protein powder, and cocoa powder
- Lunch: black bean and quinoa “meat” balls over whole grain vegan pasta
- Dinner: vegan chili with tofu mince, kidney beans, tomatoes, and red lentils
- Snack: roasted chickpeas with red pepper flakes
- Breakfast: protein pancakes made with whole grain flour and vegan protein powder with toppings of your choice
- Lunch: coconut-tofu-curry stir-fry made with tofu, soba noodles, and edamame
- Dinner: vegan sloppy joe made with lentils and veggies
- Snack: chocolate-peanut-butter protein shake
SUMMARYWith many creative recipes available, the vegan bodybuilding diet doesn’t have to be boring. There are several staple ingredients that many of the recipes are based upon. It’s helpful to plan out several days of meals to make shopping easier.