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Vegetarian bodybuilding, could it be the next big thing in the fitness world? That it may be — there’s professional bodybuilders like Torre Washington, bikini competitors like Samantha Shorkey, and professional athletes like David Carter (defensive lineman – Oakland Raiders). They’re giving us a glimpse of what the future of fitness could be.
“I watched a TV documentary about how animals are farmed, killed and prepared for us to eat. I saw all those cows and pigs and realized I couldn’t be a part of it any more. It was horrible. I did some research to make sure I could still obtain enough protein to fight, and once satisfied that I could, I stopped. I’ll never go back.” —David Haye (former heavyweight boxing champion)
Professional vegetarian athletes are gaining more notoriety on the world’s stage — I just named three top athletes. It’s evident that anyone can pack on the muscle and build the strength from a veggie.
To gain muscle mass or lose fat, the meal plan for a vegetarian and a meat-eater are essentially the same when it comes to the macros and caloric number. You should know by now that building muscle means ingesting more calories than what you burn metabolically and put out via exericse. But when we’re talking vegetarian, we want whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts — that’s how you get the protein. Bulking up as a vegetarian can be tricky but it’s completely doable. I always get asked how I get my protein, my response that’s coupled with a funny look, “Food.”
I’ll say it again, all plant-based foods have protein. When you’re eating up to six times a day, there’s no doubt that you’ll build the strength from the amino acids. Also, when we get rid of any processed foods, our bodies perform at a much higher level. You’re probably going to ask next about meat. It’s obviously packed with protein and it’s not that bad for you, but some meat products are made substances that can be borderline bad for our bodies. When you go veggie, the goal is to consume more protein-dense whole foods like seeds, nuts, beans, and whole grains. These food items are the most calorie-dense plant foods, and when you’re a vegetarian bodybuilder, calories are a necessity.
When you’re looking to put on muscle, it’s recommend to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight that you want to achieve. So if you weigh 210 pounds and want to weigh 220 pounds, try consuming 220 grams of protein a day.
Now fat is a completely different ball game — there’s the “good” fats and “bad” fats. We want the “good” fats, they’re the ones that have a postivie impact on hormone production like testoserone. Testoserone helps to build muslce. Keep your fat macro at around 0.5 grams of fat or less per pound of bodyweight. So going back to our 210 pound guy, he should consume about 105 grams of fat a day — no lower than 80 grams a day. Your food sources for this macro are the same food sources for your protein macro. And as for the carbs, they’ll find their place once the other two macros are established.
Timing your meals will also increase the effectiveness of your nutritional intake. Check out the meal plan for the 210-pound man who we’ve been talking about.
*Whey is vegetarian, but not vegan
Fitness is not for the lazy or the week. With a little creativity, you’ll be able to follow a whole food, plant-based diet in no time. To go all out veggie, slowly phase out meat and almost all supps — you need to get accostomed to the protein change.
A worthy meatless recipe to check out: Veggie Chili Recipe That Helps Muscle Soreness.
Check out my 30-day vegetarian bodybuilding system.