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If you still believe that you can’t build serious muscle on a plant-based diet, you haven’t been keeping up with Marco Laterza. Born in Switzerland, this vegan fitness phenom is proof that plates of dry chicken and heaps of grilled (and potentially artery-clogging) steaks aren’t the only nutritional keys to a sculpted physique. He adopted the vegan lifestyle a few years back to combat digestive issues, and despite filling up on tofu and quinoa nowadays, Laterza is still every ounce the specimen he was back in his carnivore period, as you can see above.
You can’t just slap some tempeh on the stove in the hopes of becoming a fitness model, though. In large part, Laterza’s success is still rooted in a strict workout program designed for efficiency and function. It may look simple, but the results are pretty clear—it works. Read on to see how this fit vegan built his world-class body.
Some studies suggest vegetarians and vegans have poorer health, but the majority of research shows that folks who avoid meat have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and type-2 diabetes, plus have a longer life span. A recent, large study in The Lancet found that people who cut carbs and upped their animal intake had a higher mortality rate than those who eat more plant-based foods.
And despite the bad rap of plant protein, 2017 research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that as long as men and women were getting at least the recommended daily allowance of protein (0.8g per kilogram of body weight), carnivores and omnivores had about the same muscle mass and strength.
Research also found that among endurance athletes, fueling with plants or animals led to pretty much the same body composition.