Principles of Vegetarian Bodybuilding
Vegetarian bodybuilding can work, as long as you're mindful of diet. You'll need to follow some rules to get the calories and nutrients that you need in order to gain muscle mass and strength. As long as you're careful about what you eat, you should be able to get ripped without eating animal products!
While bodybuilding is traditionally associated with a lot of meat consumption (meat contains protein and this is fuel for muscle development), there are ways to get great bodybuilding results without it.
With this in mind, we'd like to share some tips…
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What is Your Needed Caloric Intake?
First, you should know how many calories are needed each day. This is something that you'll need to figure out on your own, based on your fitness goals, your current weight, your age and your body type.
There are free calculators online which will allow you to arrive at a daily number of calories, which is right for your body. Make sure that you get enough calories. Your body needs them in order to develop properly as you train!
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Alternative Protein Sources
As well, you should add more legumes and chickpeas to your diet. These types of foods are important sources of protein and they are also low in fat. When you eat legumes and chickpeas, you'll also get carbs and fiber, which help you to power through your workouts while having sustained energy.
We recommend looking into experimenting with Indian cuisine. Some simply dishes to get started with are Chana Masala, which is a dense chickpea dish, and Dhal, which utilizes a variety of lentils. Both are excellent sources of protein, fiber and carbs.
Another good tip is to avoid rice and go for Quinoa instead! If you've gotten in the habit of loading up on brown rice, substitute Quinoa sometimes or all of the time. It tastes quite a bit like brown rice anyway and has higher protein content.
As well, the protein in Quinoa is complete, whereas the protein in brown rice isn't. You need complete protein in order to build muscle!
If you're someone who allows yourself animal by-products, then you may want to experiment with protein powders made from egg whites. If you don't eat animal by-products, you'll find that there are many great plant based protein powders.
These powders make it so simple to get enough protein to boost muscle growth. They are convenient ways to increase protein intake.
Here is a comprehensive list of the top vegetarian protein sources:
- Grass Fed Organic Milk
- Non-Diary Milks
- Soy and Soybeans
- Nuts such as Almonds, Cashews and Pumpkin
- Nut Butters
- Seeds such as Hemp and Chia
- Greens such as Spinach, Broccoli, Peas and Artichoke
- Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Powders
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Embrace a Clean Diet
It is very important in vegetarian bodybuilding, like regular bodybuilding, to keep your diet clean. Sometimes, vegetarians rely on processed foods in order to fill up. This is not a good idea. Some vegetarian-safe foods, which are heavily processed, are bad for your body.
Keep things fresh, load up on fruit and veggies and add protein with legumes, chickpeas, plant based protein powders and so on. Nuts are a good choice if you want a healthy snack, which isn't processed.
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