For most bodybuilders, meat is basically everything they hold dear to their hearts. Proteins are a vital ingredient for anyone trying to bulk-up, but that in no way means that you can discount the need for some healthy greens in your diet, which means you can never consider someone on a vegan diet inferior.
The Vegan diet is precisely that, by which a person only consumes greens, fruits, and nuts to intake their daily nutrients. The reason for only keeping it green can be several factors, mostly stemming from the same root, which is protecting the environment.
Let’s take a deep dive into what the vegan diet is all about, the different types of vegans and some tips that are important if you are looking to adopt this lifestyle.
What is a Vegan Diet
The vegan diet comes from the term veganism which is a way of living where you exclude all forms of exploits that come from animals; this could mean their meat, dairy products and even the clothes you wear.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle can stem from ethics and environmental preservation, but other factors such as improved health can also count as factors when a person decides to adopt this lifestyle.
Types of Vegans
Even though veganism has the same concept, all in all, there are a number of different ways a vegan diet is observed, and it is wholly based on the person’s discretion.
- Whole-Food Vegan Diet
This diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. It is based on a wide variety of whole plant foods.
- Raw-Food Vegan Diet
As the name suggests this mainly consists of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and other plants cooked at low temperatures, usually less than 118°F.
This is a raw-food vegan diet that restricts fat-rich plants such as nuts and avocados and relies mainly on raw fruits and soft greens instead.
- Starch Solution
Same as the above but focuses mainly on cooked starches such as rice, potatoes, and corns instead of fruits.
- Junk-Food Vegan Diet
This type of vegan diet relies highly on mock meats, vegan desserts, and other heavily processed vegan foods.
Benefits of Going Vegan
There are a number of benefits associated with going vegan, some of which are fairly obvious and others that may come off as a shock.
- Veganism can drastically help you lose weight. Since adopting a vegan diet enables you to reduce your BMI, most people turn to a vegan diet to shed off those extra pounds.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) all recommend Vegan diet for people trying to control their intake.
- Vegan diets help you control your blood sugar and can keep type 2 diabetes in check.
- People that follow a vegan diet have a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
- Vegan diets can also help tackle the following:
- Reduce cancer risk
- Reduce Arthritis risk
- Improve kidney functions
- Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Source: Pubmed Central
Ten tips for a Vegan Bodybuilder
When we think about veganism, protein doesn’t seem anywhere in sight, since we’ve completed excluded any type of meat whatsoever. This doesn’t stop vegan bodybuilders though, and here are a few tips.
Get sufficient calories
The first and foremost thing any vegan bodybuilder needs to take care of is the number of calories he/she receives. You need to keep your calories up so that your body doesn’t start eating you from the inside for fuel.
Fruits and vegetables are your best friends
Fruits and vegetables are nature’s way of buffing up your immune system. Apart from the nutrients all kinds of fruits and vegetables hold, they also offer antioxidants, which is a great way to keep your immune system going strong.
Don’t overlook chickpeas and legumes
Chickpeas and other kinds of legumes are a vegan’s protein source, so it would be almost criminal for you to ignore these. They serve as a great snack before a hard workout since they are a low-fat source of carbohydrates.
Take quinoa rather than rice
If you want to bump up your protein intake a little more, swap out brown rice for quinoa. Quinoa is a mix of brown rice and oatmeal which tastes exactly like brown rice but has a much higher percentage of protein.
Avoid processed foods
One mistake that most vegetarians tend to make is relying heavily on processed foods. Just because you are vegetarian in no way means that you can go ballistic on all the processed foods out there. You need to find a healthy balance to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Short and intense workouts
Long workouts tend to force the body to burn protein, so if you are vegetarian, it is advised to keep your workouts short but intense, so you don’t lose any muscle mass when working out.
Time for Tempah
Tempah can be an excellent protein source for a vegetarian. It is also a delicious substitute of tofu with all the nutrients you need in your body.
Make nuts your fuel
Nuts are a healthy form of fats; this means that they will give your body long-lasting energy to get you through the day.
Peanut butter can be your holy grail
We just talked about how nuts can be a good source of fats and help fuel your body. Peanut butter does the same thing as well as boosting your overall calorie intake.
Eat more frequently
Since you aren’t going to be consuming as much protein as a non-vegetarian in your regular meal, it is essential that you eat more regularly so that your body has a steady stream of amino acids going into your muscle tissues.
A vegan diet has more benefits than you can think of and now that there are so many mock meats out there, you won’t even feel out of place if you adopt veganism, I mean it’s at least worth a try.
If veganism isn’t for you, but you are still looking for a diet that will suit you better, click here for more diets.