In this article we are going to cover the proportion of people who are vegetarian. Many of the bodybuilding articles and diet plans are based around meat but with this, we are going to look into the factors for those who enjoy being without meat.
If you’re looking to build more muscle mass but enjoy eating a vegetarian style of diet, you may often feel as though you might be defeated. You are informed about protein being the most important nutrient needed to build muscle and one that you should be consuming very large amounts of to achieve.
While it is true that protein is an extremely important nutrient to have in the diet, you don’t necessarily need copious amounts to make progress. There are plenty of ways for vegetarians to build the muscle they are after despite they are not consuming any meat products.
1. Obtain Sufficient Calories
The first thing you must do as a vegetarian bodybuilder is make sure that you obtain enough calories. If you don’t take in enough calories on a regular basis your body is likely to turn to incoming protein for fuel and you may see a deficit forming.
2. Consume Plenty Of Fruits And Vegetables
Be sure that you are taking in plenty of fruits and vegetables. These are going to supply you with a high quality source of nutrients as well as all the antioxidant protection to keep your immune system feeling strong.
3. Chickpeas And Legumes
For vegetarians looking to build muscle, one of the key sources of protein are chickpeas and other legumes. These will also be a good low-fat source of carbohydrates as well and make for a great snack before a hard workout.
4. Swap Rice For Quinoa
If you always eat brown rice with your meals, swap for some quinoa instead. Quinoa tastes much like brown rice and is higher in overall protein content than the brown rice. Quinoa is actually a complete source of protein, whereas brown rice is not. This is important for the process of muscle building to take place.
5. Utilise Egg White Or Soy Protein Powders
It’s a very wise move to make use of egg white protein powders, if you eat animal by-products, or soy protein powders. These will dramatically help to boost your protein intake and are quick and convenient for when you need them. Make sure to mix them up with other sources of protein, they are definitely a ‘must-have’ for your daily diet.
6. Avoid Reliance On Processed Foods
One big mistake that many vegetarians make is relying a great deal on heavy, overly processed foods. Remember, being vegetarian doesn’t mean you get free range to eat as many high-carb snack foods as you want. You still definitely have to be eating healthy and making an effort to maintain a fresh diet that contains whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
7. Workout Short But Intense
When it comes to your workout, as a vegetarian you should aim for short but intense workouts. This will help prevent muscle mass loss from taking place and your body relying on protein to get through the workouts. If you were doing very long workout sessions, that’s when your protein needs will be elevated, this could become more difficult being on a vegetarian diet.
8. Vary Your Food Choices
Be sure that you’re taking the time to vary your foods in your diet. As a vegetarian you may find that it’s easy to gravitate to the same foods. Try to prevent this if you can. By taking in a higher variety you will prevent nutrient deficiencies and have better luck with your diet program.
9. Make Use Of Tempeh
Another protein source that’s highly beneficial for vegetarians is tempeh. This one is often overlooked, start finding creative ways to add it to your diet today. Many people find they prefer this over tofu, which is the other main vegetarian option.
10. Consider Going Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
One thing that you may want to consider, is going lacto-ovo vegetarian. This means that you will include both egg and dairy products in your diet. This will dramatically boost your protein options since you can include egg and egg whites, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese and milk. It will definitely make your life as a vegetarian bodybuilder easier.
11. Nuts For Fuel
Another great food are nuts. Nuts provide a healthy source of fat and will provide a long lasting form of energy as well. One handful will significantly boost your calorie intake and help make muscle gain much easier.
12. Plenty Of Flaxseeds, Walnuts And Flaxseed Oil
For your essential fatty acids, turn to flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts. These will have to be your primary sources for this must have nutrient.
13. Add Peanut Butter
Another good way to boost your fat content is to start using natural peanut butter on as many foods as you can in your diet. This will help to boost your overall calorie intake, this is important when aiming to build muscle. Use some peanut butter over your bananas, apples, mix it into oatmeal, or add it to any fruit smoothies you may be preparing.
14. Iron Supplementation
One nutrient that you may fall short in without eating any red meat is iron. Since iron is responsible for good red blood cell development, it’s not one you want to risk being low in. If you do, you’re going to find you’re fatiguing a lot faster in your workouts as well. If you plan on carrying out a vegetarian diet for the long term, consider adding an iron supplement to your day.
15. Broccoli And Spinach Intakes
Two other vegetables that you’ll definitely want to think about adding in higher quantities as well are broccoli and spinach. These both will contain nice doses of calcium, which is another nutrient you may fall short in. In addition to both of these, also think about using a calcium supplement.
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16. Don’t Let Others Get You Down
Unfortunately one thing that many vegetarian bodybuilders deal with is others telling them they won’t see success. Block this out as best as possible. If you want to really pack on the muscle, you need to stay in a healthy frame of mind and their negative influence is definitely not going to help you do so.
17. Eat More Frequently
It’s important that you’re making sure to eat frequently throughout the day. As you won’t be taking in as much protein with every meal you eat as someone who isn’t a vegetarian, by getting in regular meals you’ll help ensure that you do always have that steady stream of amino acids going into the muscle tissues.
18. Monitor Your Body Fat Levels
One thing many vegetarian bodybuilders are concerned over is muscle mass loss, be sure that you’re regularly monitoring your body fat levels. This will give you a better indication if you are losing muscle mass so that action can be taken to help prevent this.
19. Supplement With Branched Chain Amino Acids
Another important supplement that you’ll want to use is branched chain amino acids. You should specifically take immediately before and after the workout is complete as they too will help to safeguard against muscle mass loss.
20. Stay Positive
The last tip is to stay positive. It may take slightly longer to build muscle as a vegetarian, but if you stay positive and keep working towards your goals, you definitely can get the results you’re looking for.