Changing your diet to a plant-based, whole-foods diet will drastically improve your health and well-being. And we’re not only talking about “feeling better” or other anecdotal evidence of health benefits.

There’s science at work here when it comes to a whole food plant-based diet and your body. Your body goes through some life-altering changes after just a few weeks of eating this way.

It’s not so much about having the beach body as it is about enjoying the life you deserve, free of sickness, aches and pains, and exhaustion.

Plant-based foods are high in nutrients and naturally contain fewer calories than animal-based foods such as meat and dairy. This is an excellent combination for overall health and weight loss.

“We’re seeing more health-conscious bodybuilders and athletes move to a vegetarian diet than ever before” (Willittis, 2021)

So, lets talk about the benefits of a Plant- Based Diet in achieving your goal whether it be Bodybuilding, Weight loss or simply Good Health.

What are the benefits of a Plant- Based Diet in Bodybuilding?

 Bodybuilders use rigorous strength training to improve their muscles, so the importance of nutrition in the process of muscular growth cannot be overstated. Protein consumption should be about 0.7–1.0 grams per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of body weight per day for optimum muscle development, according to most experts.

Because of their high protein and calorie content, traditional bodybuilding diets contain a tons of animal source foods. It is often perceived that if you want to gain muscle mass in building your body, you’re compelled to consume a lot of meat for the sake of protein. Well, it is certainly true to some extent, but protein is not necessarily only present in meat and chicken.

There are multiple plant based alternatives too, which might not be as effective as meat, but nonetheless with proper guidance and meal management, can work just as well.

So, if you wish to gain muscle mass and be a body builder, then a Plant-Based Diet can also be a great way forward.

How to Begin Plant-Based Diet for Bodybuilding?

To begin the Plant-Based bodybuilding diet, plan out 5-7 days of meals to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients.

If you’re transitioning from a conventional diet, gradually introduce more Plant-Based foods into your daily diet before making the full move.

Although following a Plant-Based diet can appear to be easy, it requires careful preparation to ensure that you are eating full meals.

Many of the meals on the Plant- Based bodybuilding diet are focused on a few staple foods.

Following are the things, which you should consider when embarking onto the Plant-Based Bodybuilding Journey: –

  1. Increase Fat intake: Fat contains twice as many calories per grams as carbs and protein, allowing you to consume enough calories to support muscle gain. When starting a Plant-Based bodybuilding diet, it’s a good idea to keep track of your macronutrient intake — carbohydrates, carbs, and fat — for the first few weeks to make sure you’re getting enough of each. Off-season bodybuilders should consume 0.5 grams of fat per pound (1 gram per kilogram) of body weight per day. For a 175-pound male bodybuilder, this equates to about 80 grams of fat per day (Iraki, Fitschen, Espinar,Helms 2019)
  2. Increased Water Intake: One way to avoid problems from a high-fiber Plant- Based diet is to drink plenty of water. It’s a good idea to start with 1 ml of fluid per calorie. Fiber intake can become very high when a Plant-Based bodybuilding diet is high in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Certain side effects, such as bloating and frequent bowel movements, can occur when you dramatically increase your fiber intake.

Following are the Overall Health Benefits when following a Plant-Based Diet for Bodybuilding: –

  1. Improved Heart Health: People who eat a Plant-Based diet seem to have a lower risk of developing heart disease. This may be due to a lower consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol, as well as a higher intake of fiber and other plant compounds. Fruits and vegetables, which are rich in dietary fiber, are abundant in the Plant-Based bodybuilding diet. Fiber consumption has been linked to a lower risk of stroke and heart disease.
  2. Reduced risk of Cancers: The vegan bodybuilding diet is high in fruits and vegetables and can help you lose weight while lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Following are the Proteins enriched Plant Based Foods for Bodybuilding: –

  1. Legumes and Beans
  2. Sunflower and Chia Seeds
  3. Quinoa and Amaranth
  4. Sprouted grains
  5. Tofu, edamame, soy milk
  6. Oats and but butters
  7. Tahini

Examples of Meal Plans for Plant-Based Bodybuilding: –

  • Breakfast: protein oatmeal, soy milk, bananas, burritos with tofu, plant-based tortillas, hummus toast and sprouted grain bread, hemp seeds, chocolate peanut butter smoothie, pancakes with whole grain flour.
  • Lunch: plant-based pasta with beans and red lentil, lentil loaf with veggies and kidney beans, burrito bowl with rice and beans, quinoa meat balls, coconut tofu curry, edamame
  • Dinner: teriyaki tempeh with broccoli, sweet potato fries, black bean burgers, sweet and sour tofu fried with rice noodles and veggies, tofu mince with tomatoes and red lentil.
  • Snacks: peanut butter protein shake, chickpeas roasted, mock tuna salad sandwich, oatmeal snack bars, banana protein shake, strawberry protein shake

Is Plant-Based diet helpful for Weight Loss?

Plant-based diets can help you lose weight and hold it off because they’re high in fiber, which makes you feel full without adding calories. Aim for 40 grams of fiber a day, which is simple to achieve when you center your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.

From a cause-and-effect standpoint, the mechanics of weight loss are fairly straightforward: You take in calories while you eat, which your body uses as a fuel source and burns to release usable energy. When you consume more calories than your body can burn, the excess is stored as fat.

On the other hand, when you burn more calories than you take in, your body starts breaking down fat deposits to use as fuel.

Following things should be kept in mind when loosing weight with a plant based diet:-

  • Always move slowly: Start by substituting nutritious plant-based alternatives for two or three meals each week. Expand to include most of your weekly meals when you get used to it. If you push yourself into something, you’re not ready for, you’re likely to revert to your old habits. So, its better to move forth slowly and gradually.
  • Don’t skip meals: Fiber-rich, plant-based meals will keep you satisfied and prevent you from overindulging in unhealthy snacks. The diet does not recommend starving yourself; instead, concentrate on balanced meal preparation and providing your body with the nutrients it needs.
  • Avoid Oils: It’s not about consuming less-harmful foods on the Plant-Based diet; it’s about eating balanced foods. That means ditching the oil in favor of a low-fat, plant-based diet that will keep you balanced and your heart in a good shape.

3 Observational Studies Data suggests: –

  1. The first is that people who eat a plant-based diet have a lower body weight in general than people who do not eat a plant-based diet.
  2. Another piece of evidence from observational research is that people who eat a plant-based diet gain less weight over time than people who don’t eat a plant-based diet.
  3. Furthermore, according to at least one study, women who eat a plant-based diet have a 50% lower risk of being overweight or obese than those who do not eat a plant-based diet.

Plant-Based diets have a lower calorie consumption than other plant-based diets, which leads to greater weight loss. Plant-based diets with higher fiber content, larger food volume, and lower energy density are linked to lower calorie intake. Another way that plant-based diets will help you cut calories is that they often include items that are less palatable than junk foods.

There are other factors too which effect Weight Loss

  1. Age
  2. Height
  3. Diet
  4. Family History
  5. Genetics
  6. Sedentary Lifestyle
  7. Comorbidities
  8. Metabolic health

However, all these factors can be overcome if you stick to a plant based diet and don’t quit too fast.

Foods you can enjoy on a Plant Based Diet to Loose Weight

  • Banana, Strawberry, Avocado Smoothies
  • Vegetable Sandwiches
  • Fruits and their shakes
  • Plant-Based ice creams
  • Avocado toasts

Plant-Based Diet: A Gateway to Good Health

According to a research, eating a plant-based diet has major health benefits if done correctly. A plant-based diet, regardless of when you start, will help you work toward preventing many diseases and feeling healthier overall.

A whole foods, plant-based diet, when practiced correctly, limits the use of oils, added sugars, and refined foods, leaving only whole foods to provide nutrition.

Studies suggest that a Plant-Based Diet greatly decreases the risk of: –

  • Heart Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cancers
  • GIT issues
  • Constipation
  • IBS & IBD
  • Obesity

Some people believe that a Plant-Based diet is difficult to follow. However, if you follow the right guidelines and make gradual adjustments, you can replace animal products in your diet with ease.

In a Plant-Based Diet, all you have to do is make sure that you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals to fulfill the body’s nutritional requirement.

Always find some alternates to avoid deficiencies. Take milk alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk to meet the calcium demand of body.

Type of Vitamins in Plants

  1. Vitamin A: Yellow vegetables, lettuce, cabbage, bell pepper
  2. Vitamin D: Mushrooms
  3. Vitamin E: Cotton seed oil, wheat germ oil
  4. Vitamin K: soybean oil, tomatoes
  5. Vitamin B1/Thiamine: soybeans, grainy products, nuts, yeast
  6. Lipoic Acid: Yeast
  7. Vitamin B6/Pyridoxine: yeast, cereals
  8. Vitamin B3/Pantothenic acid: yeast, cereals, sweet potatoes, potatoes
  9. Folic Acid: green leaves, grasses, mushrooms
  10. Vitamin C: oranges, lemons, peaches, grapefruit, berries, tangerines

These days, going plant-forward is simpler than ever. Begin by looking for some delectable vegetarian recipes that are simple to prepare. Make a list of ingredients and flavors that you know your family would like. Start with a meatless meal once a week, then gradually increase the number of days as you get used to it. It’s likely that you’ll get used to it! It’s possible that your heart health and waistline will become used to it as well.

Bottom Line

Different researches and studies have finally made it clear that there is no such thing that you cannot achieve following a Plant-Based diet. Whether it be Boyd building, losing weight or maintain an overall good health.

Some studies have claimed that opting for a Plant-Based lifestyle keeps you young for a very long time. That being said, Plant Based diet greatly eliminates the risk of developing diseases that are most often triggered by consumption of large amounts of meat such as high cholesterol, uric acid that leads to rheumatoid arthritis as well as other joint problems.

Plant-Based Diet has existed for thousands of years, but it is only now becoming popular.

It’s healthier for your body, mind, and overall wellbeing, according to science. To put it another way, the more plants you consume, the better.

Just making a daily effort to consume fewer processed foods and more plant-based foods would improve health and reduce the risk of diseases.

References

MACKENZIE, M., 2021. Here’s Exactly What This Ripped Vegan Bodybuilder Eats In a Day. [online] Men’s Health. Available at: <https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19544230/vegan-bodybuilder-diet/> [Accessed 17 April 2021].

Iraki J, Fitschen P, Espinar S, Helms E. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel). 2019 Jun 26;7(7):154. doi: 10.3390/sports7070154. PMID: 31247944; PMCID: PMC6680710.

Willittis, C., 2021. Build Muscle with Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet | Muscle & Fitness. [online] Muscle & Fitness. Available at: <https://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/build-muscle-whole-food-plant-based-diet/> [Accessed 17 April 2021].