Vegan Macro Meal Plan For Weight Loss


The vegan macro meal plan for weight loss is perfect for any plant-based eater who wishes to shed the pounds. The best thing about this meal plan is that it’s simple to follow. And most importantly, it will help you lose weight in a healthy manner. For most people, being overweight is a serious problem which can lead to numerous health problems. While there are many different reasons for becoming overweight, the good news is that weight loss is possible.


All of the top plant-based sources of carbs, proteins, and lipids are covered in this vegan macro cheat sheet. This list may be helpful for anyone who practices flexible dieting, wants to improve their protein consumption, or wants to adopt a more balanced vegan diet.

How to Transition to a Plant-Based One Step at a Time | Running on Real Food


Macronutrients are referred to as macros. In contrast to micronutrients, which we only require in trace amounts, macronutrients are necessary nutrients that humans require vast amounts of in order to operate.

Carbohydrates, lipids, and protein are the three macronutrients we need, and we obtain them through the meals we eat.


A more precise method of measuring calories is flexible dieting, sometimes known as tracking macros. It entails keeping track of how much protein, fat, and carbs you consume.

Your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure, or how many calories you require) is computed to determine your macros, and this number is then divided into grams of fat, carb, and protein.

Once you know that figure, you may change your macros to either eat more calories than you need to maintain your weight or fewer calories than you need to grow muscle. 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, and 9 calories per gram of fat.

You might achieve your goals more quickly, preserve lean muscle mass, and feel better overall if you eat particular macronutrients based on your genetics and goals rather than merely counting calories.


Tracking macros is popular in sports like weightlifting and fighting where weight classes are included, as well as in CrossFit where it is used to improve physical performance, in order to reach the low body fat required for a competition or to build muscle.

Flexible dieting is a way of eating that helps you get more nutrients so you can work out hard, recover quickly, and perform at your peak. Additionally, it is employed to control body weight or attain a desired body composition.

Anyone who does not have aspirations for athletic performance or competition should not try this, in my opinion. It is not required to keep track of your food consumption in order to eat well and feel happy.

Counting calories is not one of the easy habits you can adopt to enhance how you eat.


When you follow a flexible diet, you weigh your food and record it in a program like My Fitness Pal. This simply isn’t essential for the majority of individuals. You may maintain a general healthy diet and manage your weight without keeping a food diary.

Having said that, monitoring your intake of macronutrients can help you become more conscious of how different foods influence you and can be a useful tool to use on a short-term basis to comprehend portion sizes and how to create better balanced meals.


It’s crucial to keep your perspective and have a positive relationship with food if you want to try flexible dieting. Despite what some may claim, it is still a diet; however, it can be followed in a fun and lasting way.

In this way of eating, there are no “good” or “bad” foods, and nothing is off limits.

Although I am not overly rigid, I apply this strategy to my food. I occasionally eat out and enjoy snacks. I also don’t watch my eating while traveling.

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I don’t require an app to tell me how much to eat each day because I know what healthy eating looks like. I’m not a professional athlete and I’m not attempting to compete in a certain weight class, but I do have athletic ambitions, and I can maximize my gym time if I control what I eat.

A flexible approach to this way of living is crucial if you want to make it a sustainable way of eating because consistency is far more important than perfection. Creating overall healthy eating habits is considerably more effective than tracking macros if you’re just starting to eat well.


It’s important to keep in mind that energy balance (calories in vs. calories out) will continue to be the main factor affecting results, so going over or under one of your macros is not a big concern. Regardless of whether you are over or underweight in a particular nutrient, you are better off sticking to your calorie targets.

This enables some freedom and an emphasis on the caliber of the cuisine. For instance, I do not advise eating spoonfuls of oil to reach your fat-reduction goals. To make up the calories, it is preferable to include more vegetables, beans, nuts, or a whole-grain snack.

Prioritize the base of the dietary pyramid, or energy balance, first. Once you have that down, move on to the macronutrient consumption, the micronutrients, and lastly the time and supplements of nutrients. It is more important to meet your daily calorie demands than to meet your protein, fat, or carb goals.


Even if you watch your macros, I think it’s crucial to concentrate on the quality of your diet. Consider what is in the food you are consuming rather than “what you can fit in.” How will it be advantageous to you?

A healthy diet sometimes includes sweets since we feel better emotionally and mentally, but for the most part, it’s important to concentrate on high-quality food sources. Micronutrients are also important.

Something is not necessarily healthier for you just because it has less fat or carbohydrates. Focusing on the caliber of your diet will improve your sleep, give you more energy, promote hormone and digestive health, and make you healthier in the long run.


This macro cheat sheet lists plant-based sources of protein, fat, and carbs. However, there is frequently overlap between macronutrients in the plant kingdom. Protein is frequently included in foods that also contain fat or carbohydrates, such as nuts and soy.

We’ll start by talking about carbohydrates, then move on to fats, and lastly, sources of protein plus carbohydrates, sources of protein plus fats, and some practical packaged meals.

You can use this list to create a more well-balanced vegan diet even if you don’t track your macronutrient intake.

Starting with a portion of your plate that is between 50 and 60 percent carbohydrates, with a focus on veggies, is a smart idea before adding nearly equal portions of protein and fats. From there, make adjustments based on your personal dietary requirements and how different meals make you feel.


Brown rice, sweet potato and wild rice in a bowl with a blue napkin and fork on a wood background.

Fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and to a lesser extent all plant-based diets provide us with carbs.

The different types of carbs range from non-starchy, low-glycemic foods like green vegetables to starchy, higher carbohydrate foods like grains and potatoes.

Depending on your objectives, I would advise using starchy carbohydrates like oats and sweet potatoes to fuel for and recover from your exercises and then completing the remainder of your carbohydrate requirements with non-starchy vegetables.


In addition, complex, unrefined carbs differ from refined carbohydrates. If you don’t know what refined carbohydrates are, just think of packaged and frozen desserts, regular store-bought bread, processed cookies, cakes, muffins, and pastries, processed granola bars, pasta, sugary breakfast cereals, frozen pizzas, and pretty much anything else in the packaged snack aisle.

Soda, juice, condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce, pasta sauces, frozen meals, white sugar, and processed goods with corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup included are a few processed foods with significant amounts of refined sugar.

Your daily intake of carbohydrates shouldn’t be based mostly on this kind of food. Instead, put an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


  • Root vegetables. I love carrots and beets, they’re both nutrient-rich and contain a modest amount of carbohydrates. I use them often in smoothies, salads, oatmeal and buddha bowls. Include roasted, steamed or grated beet and carrot in your weekly meal prep so you’ve always got some ready to throw into meals.
  • Squashes. I love butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin and kabocha squash. Squash is nutrient-rich and you can enjoy a large serving for a relatively low amount of carbohydrates. Squash is a staple in my diet for both meals and snacks.
  • Sweet potato. A medium sweet potato has about 24 grams of complex carbohydrates with a trivial amount of fat and protein and they’re wonderfully nutrient-rich. Sweet potato is very high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium.
  • Potatoes. Potato is a filling, nutritious starchy carb source. I love making baked oil-free fries or a baked potato topped with tahini or ranch dressing.
  • Brown rice. 1 cup of cooked brown rice contains 44 grams of carbs with 5 grams of protein and less than 2 grams of fat.
  • Quinoa. 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 40 grams of carbs with 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat.
  • Rolled oats. 1/2 cup of dry rolled oats contains 33 grams of carbs with over 6 grams of protein and just 3 grams of fat. I love oats before a workout.
  • Blueberries. Blueberries are antioxidant-rich and have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. 1 cup of blueberries has 20 grams of carbohydrates with essentially no fat or protein making them a wonderful high-volume food to enjoy as a sweet treat or add to oatmeal and smoothies.
  • Apples. A medium apple has about 22 grams of carbs with essentially no protein and fat. Crunchy and sweet, they’re a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy them with almond butter for some healthy fats.
  • Banana. You can’t beat bananas for a quick boost in natural energy. Bananas are like a natural power bar and make a convenient way to fuel on the go. One medium banana contains 25 grams of carbs, not fat and a trace amount of protein.
  • Strawberries. Strawberries are my favourite fruit for enjoying a sweet, high-fibre, nutrient-rich treat. 1 cup of strawberries contains 11 grams of carbohydrates and little to no fat and protein.
  • Zucchini. Zucchini is my favourite way to bulk up meals without extra carbs. I love adding them to smoothies, oatmeal, and stir-fry and making zucchini noodles. 1 cup of chopped zucchini has just 4 grams of carbs with 1.5 grams of protein and no fat.
  • Broccoli. Broccoli is just so nutritious you can’t pass it up as a healthy source of carbs. Include it in your diet frequently. 1 cup of broccoli has just 6 grams of carbs with 2.5 grams of protein and no fat.


Compared to non-starchy sources of carbohydrates like green vegetables, starchy carbohydrates are more abundant. To refuel and recover after your workout, consume these items.

I advise sticking with low-GI carbohydrate sources to help reduce insulin spikes and maintain more stable blood sugar levels. Having said that, high-GI, rapidly absorbed carbohydrates can be helpful for supplying immediate energy.

All of the items in this area are simply sources of carbs without any fat. Although this dietary category mostly consists of carbohydrates, whole grains do contain some protein.


Fresh blueberries in a white bowl.

Low-GI carbs and little to no fat and protein are both characteristics of these fruits. Berries are a great complement to any diet since they are particularly high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory qualities.

These fruits are wonderful for filling up and enjoying a sweet, low-sugar treat because they have a high volume for the amount of carbohydrates they contain.

  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • oranges
  • peach
  • watermelon
  • apple
  • grapefruit
  • pear
  • plum
  • canteloupe


These fruits are both denser and higher in natural sugars than the fruit we just reviewed. Utilize these fruits as a natural pre-, during-, or post-workout energy source. These fruits have little to no fat or protein and moderate-GI carbs.

  • banana
  • mango
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • dates
  • plantain
  • dried fruits (eat in moderation, only if needed) such as raisins, cranberries, goji berries and mulberries


Root vegetables and squashes are wonderfully nutritious foods and an excellent source of unrefined carbohydrates. These vegetables are a starchy source of carbohydrates.

These foods are low in sugar with moderate carbohydrates, a good source of fiber and contain little to no fat and protein.

  • kabocha squash
  • butternut squash
  • acorn squash
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato, any variety
  • yam
  • potato
  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • turnip
  • rutabaga


Whole grains are rich in iron, folate, B vitamins and fiber. Whole grains are a starchy, low-GI source of carbohydrates that contain little to no fat and a small amount of protein.

These are excellent foods for active individuals to enjoy to fuel their lifestyle.

  • amaranth
  • barley
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • bulgur
  • corn
  • einkorn
  • farro
  • kamut
  • millet
  • teff
  • fonio
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • rye
  • spelt
  • wild rice
  • popcorn – makes a great high-volume snack!


  • whole grain bread, rolls, buns and tortillas
  • corn tortillas


  • quinoa pasta
  • brown rice pasta
  • whole wheat pasta


  • spelt flour
  • whole wheat flour
  • rye flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • brown rice flour
  • chickpea flour
  • quinoa flour


I’m including legumes in both the starchy carbohydrate and protein sections. Legumes such as beans and lentils are a good source of complex carbohydrates but also contain protein. They are inexpensive, nutrient-rich, a good source of iron, low in fat and high in fiber.

  • beans, any variety (chickpeas, black beans, adzuki beans, mung beans, pinto beans, fava beans, white kidney beans, broad beans, black-eyed peas etc.)
  • lentils, any variety (red lentils, green lentils, French lentils, black lentils)


  • maple syrup
  • coconut sugar
  • agave syrup
  • molasses


These foods are easily digestible (low-fiber) and may be useful at certain times for a quick source of energy.

  • couscous
  • white bread
  • white rice
  • regular wheat pasta

Muscle Gain on a Plant-Based Diet: How to Hit Your Macronutrient Numbers as a Vegan

Although most people know me as a runner, when I started getting into fitness in college, I used muscle as my yardstick for success rather than miles.

I had always been a small guy and believed that I might be able to change that with the flexibility and leisure that college provided me (in addition to having a fantastic fitness facility).

The issue, I soon discovered, was that no matter how many hours I spent in that posh gym and how closely I adhered to Men’s Health’s plans, I just was unable to add the muscle I believed I should be building with all this hard lifting.

why not

I used the incorrect nutritional approach.

I should have been following a targeted approach created to offer me the nutrients I required (and, significantly, in the amounts I needed), based on my body and goals, instead of eating for general fitness.

I discovered after many difficult years of failure that when it comes to gaining muscle and shaping your physique, diet is just as crucial as strength training.

And after I nailed the nutrition, gaining muscle (and therefore decreasing fat) was simple.

What sort of nutrients, though?

For the majority of my life, I believed that eating for muscle growth meant consuming steaks, lean chicken breasts, and protein drinks made with whole milk. I never considered the possibility that a plant-based diet could help you achieve your fitness goals.

To demonstrate you that it’s possible and how to achieve it, I’ll delve into that subject here and give three sample vegan meal plans.

Most individuals are aware that you must consider calories in against calories out if you’re wanting to lose or gain weight.

However, it isn’t just about the calories when you’re attempting to do something like develop muscle mass.

Which macronutrients your calories come from will determine what kind of tissue you gain or lose (in conjunction with your training, of course).

For example, you can lose 20 pounds by restricting calories alone, but without planning your macronutrients, and weight training appropriately, the weight lost could easily be coming from muscle.

Conversely, you can definitely gain weight by eating a surplus of calories, but without a plan of where they are coming from, and without strength training of some kind, you can easily gain more fat than you intended.

We are discussing macronutrients, then. Does that imply that protein is our main concern?

Although protein is an essential component of muscle growth, understanding the macronutrient balance that works for your body and supports your goals necessitates taking into account both carbohydrates and fat.

Dani and Giacomo do a good job of detailing how to calculate your macronutrient demands for muscle building and fat reduction in an article they produced for No Meat Athlete. Therefore, that is where to begin. (I’ll use this formula often. Before you finish reading this one, be sure to read that post so you can understand what I’m talking about.)

But the process is pretty simple:

  • Step 1: Find your maintenance calories, or the number of calories you need to maintain your weight right now.
  • Step 2: Find your deficit (assuming you want to lose body fat), or the number of calories below your maintenance level that fits your goals. There’s a tradeoff here — the larger your deficit, the quicker you’ll lose weight, but the more likely that weight is to be muscle instead of fat, so you want to find the balance that works for you.
  • Step 3: Calculate your protein, fat, and carbohydrate needs, based on your weight, activity levels, and body composition. This is where Dani and Giacomo’s formula is most helpful.

But be forewarned—once you get those figures, they could seem a little intimidating. It is simple to wonder how you will meet your aim of over 100 grams of protein on a whole-food plant-based diet if you have never assessed your nutritional intake.

However, it is doable and not all that difficult. Let me demonstrate what I mean.

Macronutrients, Muscle Gain, and the Plant-Based Diet

Instead of just throwing random numbers around, let me set this up by taking three example friends, all trying to gain muscle or tone their bodies:

1. Ann, a 130-pound active vegan. Her calculations show that she needs 1800 calories per day, with 62g of fat, 84g of protein, and 232g of carbohydrates.

2. Daniella weighs 150 pounds, and she needs 2,000 calories each day, with 67g of fat, 93g of protein, and 256g of carbohydrates.

3. Peter, a 165-pound male, needs 2,541 calories per day, with 84 grams of fat, 113g of protein, and 337 grams of carbohydrates.

I mentioned that the figures can seem a little intimidating. Getting a lot of carbohydrates while following a plant-based diet is simple, but what about Peter’s 113 grams of protein or Daniella’s 67 grams of fat?

It seems a lot. Because of this, paleo or meat-heavy diets have a long history of being linked to bulky muscles.

However, people are starting to realize that plant meals can be just as effective (and sometimes even more successful) for muscle gain than animal diets as a result of the emergence of the vegan bodybuilder movements on social media and the impact of documentaries like Gamechangers.

Not only can you easily reach your macronutrient targets by eating the right plant foods, but you can also obtain the proper balance of amino acids and a ton of fantastic micronutrients.

What does a real day of eating look like to achieve these macronutrient numbers?

Let’s examine how our three samples from above eat for a day. Ann is first up…

Ann’s Meal Plan: 1800 calories, 62g of fat, 84g of protein, and 232g of carbohydrates

  • Breakfast: Easy Tofu Scramble with Whole-Wheat Toast with Hummus
    • 519 calories, 32g protein, 18g fat, 55g carbohydrates
  • Snack: Celery & Nut Butter
    • 234 calories, 5g protein, 20g fat, 12g carbohydrates
  • Lunch: One-Pot Peanut Butter Noodles
    • 376 calories, 20g protein, 15g fat, 42g carbohydrates
  • Post-Workout Snack: Chocolate Cherry Smoothie (2 Scoops)
    • 267 calories, 24g protein, 6g fat, 32g carbohydrates
  • Dinner: Chickpea Chili with Baked Potato
    • 371 calories, 15g protein, 2g fat, 77g carbohydrates

Ann’s day adds up to 1767 calories, 61g fat, 96g of protein, and 218g carbs.

Daniella’s Meal Plan: 2,000, 67g of fat, 93g of protein, and 256g of carbohydrates

  • Breakfast: Soy-Free, Gluten-Free Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Mixed Berries
    • 523 calories, 24g protein, 17g fat, 87g carbohydrates
  • Snack: Crackers & Hummus
    • 293 calories, 7g protein, 15g fat, 40g carbohydrates
  • Lunch: Chipotle Sloppy Joes
    • 380 calories, 28g protein, 6g fat, 30g carbohydrates
  • Post-Workout Snack: Lean & Green Smoothie
    • 209 calories, 23g protein, 5g fat, 20g carbohydrates
  • Dinner: Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with a Side of Quinoa
    • 540 calories, 26g protein, 9g fat, 86g carbohydrates

Daniella just consumed 1945 calories, 52g fat, 108g protein, and 263g carbs.

Peter’s Meal Plan: 2,541, 113g of protein, 84g of fat, and 337g of carbohydrates

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with Nut Butter, Raisins, and Banana
    • 634 calories, 18g protein, 21g fat, 95g carbohydrates
  • Snack: Edamame (2 cups)
    • 378 calories, 30g protein, 19g fat, 30g carbohydrates
  • Lunch: Quinoa Mango Salad with Homemade Seitan
    • 367 calories, 40g protein, 5g fat, 32g carbohydrates
  • Post-Workout Snack: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with Peanut Butter (2 Scoops)
    • 438 calories, 32g protein, 22g fat, 25g carbohydrates
  • Dinner: Veggie Loaf with Baked Potato
    • 702 calories, 32g protein, 9g fat, 134g carbohydrates

Peter’s meals add up to 2,519 calories, 152g protein, 76g fat, and 316g carbs.

Did any of them hit the numbers perfectly? No, of course not.

But hitting the numbers perfectly isn’t the point. That would be far too stressful and difficult. Definitely not the No Meat Athlete way; to me, if it’s not sustainable, it’s not worth much.

Instead, they used the numbers as a guide, aiming to average out those macronutrients over the course of the week.

But here’s the kicker:

In all three cases, they were able to get more than enough protein through a plant-based diet. And fat was right around where it should be (and could easily be adjusted with a few handfuls of nuts or seeds).

So even though the numbers might have seemed jarring on paper, these meals probably aren’t that much different than what you’re already eating.

With an extra snack or two, and maybe a bit heavier of a breakfast than normal, you can easily take a pretty standard plant-based diet and turn it into one that works for your strength training goals.

When Building Muscle, Don’t Neglect Nutrition

Don’t make the same mistake I did for so long whether you’re attempting to build muscle, lose weight, or simply tone up your physique.

Don’t just rely on strength training to deliver outcomes.

A thoughtful, progressive strength strategy is certainly important, but it is only one component.

The additional emphasis on diet is what works its magic.

Take the time to determine your individual macronurients for the greatest outcomes. It will really make a difference if you know exactly what your body needs.

However, if you’re eager to get started right away, use the figures above to estimate your costs and begin keeping track of your meals.

The ultimate objective of No Meat Athlete is to become comfortable with your needs and diet to the point when tracking is unnecessary. The better, the simpler.

Do the work in the interim though.

Because disregarding the other half of the strength equation would only lead to frustration, like I experienced for a long time until I realized it and finally obtained the desired outcomes.

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