7 REASONS WHY A VEGAN BODYBUILDING DIET IS KILLING YOUR GAINS
I’m about to expose the real truth why a vegan bodybuilding diet is killing your gains. If you want to slap on serious vegan muscle then you must listen to what I’m about to tell you.
More and more athletes are opening the door to the hidden power of a plant-based diet. There’s a good reason for it too.
Plants help supercharge performance, boost health and ignite never ending energy.
If you look at optimal fuel for athletic performance, glycogen (AKA Carbs) ranks king of the jungle!
Add glycogen with healthy fats and toxic free protein sources, you’ll speed up recovery and build a hard hitting vegan physique.
A muscular physique that’s built cruelty-free and keeping your arteries blockage free. All whilst saving the environment.
Nail your plant based diet food intake and you can rise the flag for plant power and meat free muscle, forever.
But first, you have to understand 7 reasons why a vegan bodybuilding diet is killing your gains.
1. NOT ENOUGH CALORIES
Vegan bodybuilding is not about slapping on mass. But lean mass. To do that you have to consume the right amount of calories. Plant based diet foods yield fewer calories than animal counterparts.
Without enough calories, you’ll lose weight and won’t perform at your best. You’ll also be depriving your body of its recovery capabilities. Following hard sessions, you need to juice up fuel stores so you can train like a jet powered machine.
You only need an extra 1-250 calories per day from plant based diet foods day to whack on muscle tissue.
To prove my point –
In a 12 week study, athletes eating less, gained the same muscle and strength as those eating 600 calories above maintenance. Those who ate less also didn’t gain as much body fat.
A quick and dirty calorie calculation to get your maintenance calories is this –
Body Weight in lbs x 12
Body Weight in kg x 26
Smash these higher calorie plant based diet foods to shock your body into muscle growth.
- Nuts and nut butters
- Seeds including flax
- 85% Dark chocolate
2. NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN
It’s time to destroy the myth you can’t get protein from plant based diet meals. Animals pumped full of steroids isn’t something to brag about so it’s Plant power protein for the win.
Gain the unfair advantage. Plant protein is the one-two, right hook to building that lean, muscular physique.
Priorities for plant based protein are –
- Enough total daily protein
- At least 2 grams of leucine per serving
- Specific meal timing if competing
- Post bed bolus protein
How much protein do you need?
Plant based diet foods are varying in protein, hence you MUST educate yourself . If you have 12 minutes go read HIGH PROTEIN VEGAN FOODS.
If not, I’ll summarise.
If you’re eating at maintenance calories 1.6g per kg of bodyweight is more than optimal.
However, certain plant based diet foods contain more protein than others.
Here’s the TLDR (too lazy didn’t read the above article).
Seitan is a popular and the richest plant protein source for many vegan bodybuilders. It’s made of gluten aka wheat meat which has 25g of protein per 3.5 ounces.
Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame all from soybeans – a whole source of protein – 10-19g of protein per 3.5 ounces (100g).
Lentils contain 18g of protein per cooked cup (250ml).
Chickpeas and most varieties of beans contain approx 15g protein per cooked cup.
Nutritional yeast, a popular ingredient in dishes liked mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu – 14g protein per ounce.
Spelt and Teff (ancient whole grains) – 11g proteins per cooked cup.
Spirulina, this blue-green algae is definitely a nutritional powerhouse – two tablespoons – 8g of complete protein.
Soy Milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk (no, you won’t grow boobs) – which contains 7g protein per cup.
Oats and Oatmeals are easy ways to add protein to your diet – approx 6g.
Wild Rice contains approx 1.5 times as much protein as other long-grain rice.
Some vegans class broccoli, spinach, asparagus and potatoes as protein. Problem is you have to eat a ton of these, which makes it unrealistic to class them as “protein.”
3. NOT ENOUGH FAT
16 million dying from cardiovascular diseases in the UK. There’s a reason vegan and plant based diet foods are king.
And it’s to do with what every man wants more of.
Blood flow…Specifically, sleeve bursting pumps.
And testosterone production. So when testosterone boosting fats are strong, so is the dong!
Animal proteins can restrict blood flow and can hamper recovery.
Two fats you should know about for brain, heart and joint health?
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. You also have to meet essential fatty acid (EFA), linolenic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) intakes. Above all, these fats will keep you healthy too.
How much fat do I need?
A least of 0.6g up to 1.2g per lb of bodyweight. You’ll understand why as we move to the end of this article.
Fats to include –
Nuts (cashews, almonds, and walnuts). One of the healthiest foods let alone healthiest sources of fats.
Chia seeds – 2 tablespoons serving provides approx 8.5g fat. It’s in the form of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids – important for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D E, and K.
Coconut – high source of saturated fat which is transported to the liver ready to use as energy.
Avocado – which is 80 percent fat in the form of heart-healthy oleic acid – which lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL) reducing the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Olive oil – a rich source of phenol’s – a potent antioxidant that scavenges free radicals in the body.
Combine two or more of these fats in the one vegan meal means even greater nutritional benefits.
4. NOT ENOUGH CARBS
I mentioned earlier that carbs are KING of the jungle for performance. Low carb diets have you performing like a rusty old Citroen car.
If you’re healthy, carbohydrates turn into glucose — also known as blood sugar. Which your body uses for energy. They help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart muscles, and central nervous system.
On the other hand, fiber in carbohydrate aids digestion. It helps you stay full, and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check. The Institute of Medicine recommends at least 130 grams of carbohydrates per day.
As a monster vegan lifter, you’ll be eating way above 130g.
Aim for anywhere between 2-5g per kg of bodyweight.
Once you calculate your calorie and protein intake, calculate your carbohydrate intake.
To get 50g of Carbohydrate you can include –
1 Large 225g sweet potatoes
1.5-2 Medium white potatoes
2 large bananas
5. YOU’RE FOLLOWING MACRO SPLITS
Macro splits are not important. For vegan bodybuilding they hold little evidence. Typical macro splits end up consisting of 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 30 percent carbs.
There is NOT an optimal percentage.
The key variables are –
- Calorie intake
- Protein intake
- Carbohydrate intake
- Fat intake
Eg – 100kg male
100 x 26 = 2600
100 x 1.6 = 160g (160 x 4 = 640 Kcals)
100 x 3 = 300g (300 x 4 = 1200 Kcals)
= 1840 Kcals
With the leftover calories calculate fat intake.
2600 – 1840 = 760 (760/9 = 84g)
*Note – Don’t forget to add in an extra 200 calories if you’re training.
6. NOT TRACKING SEVEN DAYS A WEEK
Training cocks the weapon, but nutrition pulls the trigger.
Imagine you’re in a bulking phase and you miss 2 meals of 600 calories across the week. At the end of day 7 you will be missing 1200 calories.
You’ve missed out.
That’s 171 calories per day which is enough to put you into a surplus and achieve muscle growth.
For vegan bodybuilding you have to be tracking your plant based diet meals each day.
Am I saying track forever? No, but track for at least 12 weeks until you have a concept of macronutrients, proteins, fats, carbs and micronutrients.
A Vegan bodybuilding diet requires you to be more dedicated than meat eaters. Why do you think they aren’t doing what we are? That said, this is the ultimate reason a lot of guys go skinny when starting a vegan bodybuilding diet.
Taking this into account, foods to prioritise in a vegan bodybuilding diet plan are:
Fill up on High Protein – Seitan, Tofu, Chickpeas, Hemp, Legumes, Chia seeds, and Quinoa.
Eat Enough Fats – Olive oils, Avocado, Coconut, and Hempseed
Low Carbs – Brown rice, Whole-grain bread, Potatoes, Millet, Oats, and Granola.
Drink Plenty Fluids – to avoid bloating, excessive flatulence, and abdominal pains.
Other items that you should include are fruits and vegetables as well as other nuts.
7. NOT CONSUMING SHAKES
A common argument in vegan bodybuilding is that vegans need to supplement plant based diet foods with protein powders.
The truth is, vegan protein powders can ignite a surge of explosive muscle growth you’ve not seen before.
In fact, I encourage it. If there’s a convenient way to get more protein in who’s the fool for not capitalising?
Your immune system’s made up of proteins. It’s no good being ill on a regular basis, as it will comprise building muscle tissue.
As a vegan bodybuilder or a plant based diet is to ensure adequate recovery as well as promoting health.
For example aim for hemp, pea, soy or rice vegan proteins.
This is the best tasting protein on the market today –
In conclusion, the success of your vegan bodybuilding diet depends if you have the right education and mindset.
Get your calories right, calculate protein, carbs and then fats.
The ultimate goal is to rise as a vegan beast and smash meat eaters at lifting. The strongest animals on the planet are powered by plants. While the meat eaters continue to deny, we already know the health benefits so performance’s taken care of.
You need to pull the trigger.
A great tool for tracking your macro and micronutrients is chronometer.
Whatever you do, never be the guy that follows a low carb plant based diet. That is stupid.
Are you ready to rise as a vegan beast and raise the flag for Gorilla Freak?
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