No matter if you’re a meat-eater or a vegetarian, you can always be healthy and gain muscle. The key is proper nutrition! You need to eat well and pack enough calcium-rich dairy every day. Also, you need to follow one simple rule: weight training and protein! Let’s break that down.
Everyone knows at least one vegetarian that eats only pasta, potatoes and sweets. This is not only extremely unhealthy for the body but also gives all vegetarians a bad name. A better choice is to strive for balance! Eat a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies every day, because these are the main building blocks of a healthy diet and they have many health benefits. But, if you’re trying to build some serious muscles, most of your calories should come from dense foods full of protein.
Many vegetarian bodybuilders are often asked where they get their protein from. And there’s a quick answer to that: Food! All whole plant foods contain protein, and by getting enough calories, you will get enough protein to be healthy and strong. There is no need to worry about mixing and matching protein either. If you get enough various foods throughout the day, you will also get all the essential amino acids as well. However, if you’re following an intense workout plan and want to build a lot of muscle, you might want to eat more protein dense foods such as beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.(1) Of course, better stay away from processed foods and fake meat products. And when it comes to supplementation, you can get some plant-based protein shakes that make great post-workout drinks or meal replacements.
When it comes to fats, it’s best if you stick to whole-food based fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds, and forget about different oils or things like margarine. Even though fat is essential for many bodily functions such as hormone production, it’s also the easiest to convert into body fat. Try to consume a maximum of 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight per day. For instance, if you weigh 200lb or around 90 kg, it’s best if you consume 100g of fat or less.
If you need more fuel for intense training, carbs are your go-to source of energy. Flesh out the rest of your daily calorie surplus with carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, and veggies. If your goal is to add mass, the more of these foods the better, as long as you don’t eat a lot processed foods. You can have some processed carbs, such as floury or sugary foods, for your cheat meal. It’s best if you have your cheat meal after a hard workout, so save it for a brutal leg day. Put on your favorite gym shorts, hit the gym and then enjoy a tasty cheat meal.(2) You deserve it!
Milk is a big source of protein and calcium. One cup of calcium-fortified hemp milk contains almost 30% of your daily calcium need and about 3 grams of protein. You can also get soy milk for an even bigger protein punch. You can have a glass with breakfast, have it with cereals or add some to your shakes or smoothies.
Seeds (especially chia or quinoa seeds) are loaded with protein, good fats and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are great to eat as a snack or to add to meals. Put some in yogurt or make a tasty chia seed pudding.
As you can see, you don’t have to eat meat for every meal to build muscle. As a matter of fact, you don’t need meat at all! You can get just as much protein and fats from plants to get buff and chiseled. ♥
Latest posts by Diana Smith (see all)
- Plant-Based Diet PLUS Building Muscle: Is It Really Possible? - August 22, 2017
- 6 Powerful Ways To Naturally Whiten Teeth - July 27, 2017
- Eye Health: 5 Common Problems and How to Prevent Them - July 24, 2017