When fitness comes to mind, the next things will be strength, muscle, and inevitably diet. Many will question how feasible it is to build muscles on a purely plant-based diet with concerns such as the availability of enough protein, micronutrients, and calories.

According to a 2017 Nielsen Homescan study, 39% of Americans are eating more plant-based meals, and sales of these items have increased considerably. In the long run, a plant-based diet that emphasizes nutrient-dense foods can help you maintain your health while also helping you achieve your fitness goals and get stronger.

What Does a Plant-Based Diet Comprise of?

In contrast to an animal-based diet, a plant-based diet emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods. Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products are not allowed in a plant-based diet and must be avoided.  There are many whole foods in a vegan diet, not only carrots, salad, or lettuce as the stereotype suggests. Vegan diets contain a broad variety of complete foods such as cereals, fruits, nuts, seeds, potatoes, lipids, minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Have Clear Goals. Do you seek Strength, fitness, or more Muscle?

An excellent food plan must be in line with your fitness, strength, or muscle-building goals. Keeping track of your daily caloric needs is an important part of any plant-based diet plan. No matter what kind of diet you follow, your daily calorie needs will remain the same. Depending on your preferred form of exercise, your calorie intake requirements will change. The quantity of energy necessary for one workout may be different from the energy required for another.

It’s a good idea to keep track of your total daily energy consumption (TDEE). The TDEE determines how much energy your body requires to go about its everyday business and fuel physical exercise. When deciding on your activity level, keep in mind that different types of physical activity, such as weightlifting, intense exercise, and slow jogging, demand different amounts of energy. Keep in mind that your TDEE will only show you the calories you need to maintain your weight, so make sure you eat enough to fuel your intended activity.

Keep in mind that between 200 and 500 calories are sufficient for a physical workout, and adjust your intake based on the type, intensity, and duration of the exercise.   CNN’s Dr. Melina Jampolis emphasizes that “your body can build no more than half a pound of muscle each week.” If you consume more calories than you need, you will likely gain fat in addition to muscle.

Goals, Micronutrients, and Macronutrients

Quantities of nutrients required by your body vary. Essentially, micronutrients are minerals and vitamins. Vitamins are essential for the production of energy, immunity, blood clotting among other functionalities. Minerals are key in growth, fluid balance, bone health, and more.

More macronutrients are needed by your body to function properly. Macronutrients provide energy to your body. Carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids are all macronutrients.

When it comes to healthy eating, it’s not just about counting calories; it’s about getting the right mix of micro and macronutrients. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, a diet high in plant-based fat and low in plant-based protein will not suffice.

Typically, muscle-building macronutrients comprise 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 40% fat. Although they may vary somewhat, this ratio includes enough protein to encourage muscle growth, enough carbs to feed your body, and enough fat to help your body absorb nutrients before and after an exercise. Use a macro tracking app if you can.

Whole foods should be the focus of any effective diet for improving fitness or developing muscle. If you’re trying to get in shape or gain muscle, don’t eat any processed or junk food.

Eat lots of leafy greens and colorful vegetables, peas and lentils, potatoes and other tubers, beans, fruits (sun-dried, frozen, or fresh), and nutritious grains like oats and brown rice. Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are excellent choices as well. You should also think about using oils derived from plants such as avocados, coconut, soy, and tempeh, as well as tofu.

Steer clear of highly processed meals that include refined sugars and carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and other empty calories. Even though these meals are high in calories, they do not provide your body with the nutrients required to develop muscle or engage in fitness-related activities.

Plan Your Meals and Snacks Well in Advance

Eat at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure your body is adequately fueled and free of cravings so that you are ready to go for your workout at the scheduled time.

A plant-based diet may be challenging, especially when you are getting started. It’s critical to have a strategy in place. Having a proper plan can help you stay away from animal fats and proteins.

With a plan for the day or week ahead, assigning meals for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks gets easier. Plan your meals to avoid slacking off and be well-prepared for the activities you’ve got planned. If you’re looking for healthy meal ideas, consider consulting a reliable diet app or information site.

Make an effort to eat balanced vegan meals with macronutrients for breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks inclusive. If you’re going to exercise, it’s fine to consume a small snack around two hours before and 30 minutes after.

Eat more carbohydrates, less fat, and more protein. When it comes to physicals, carbs are great for energy, while protein is great for developing muscle. Fatty tissue might slow you down throughout your fitness routine making you spend more time at the gym. Pre- and post-workout snacks should be considered in terms of calories, nutrients and should be compared to your daily calorie intake.

Fitness Goal Tracking

Be committed when tracking your fitness goals. You may begin to notice that a plant-based diet is reviving and refueling your body, but first, you must plan, schedule, and monitor your progress.

Functional and interval training, muscle-building, and cardio sessions must be planned according to your goals striving for a minimum of four times a week and each muscle group at least once a week. Patience, regular exercise, commitment, and a well-planned plant-based diet are fundamental if you are to see improvements in your fitness, strength, or muscle mass.

Wear a fitness tracker when you work out to be able to track the number of calories you take in as well as burn.

Remember to formulate a workout routine and follow it religiously. Count your macronutrients which are;  fat, protein, and carbs. This will help you achieve your given goals of strength, muscle building, or fitness.

Please note that consulting an experienced vegan fitness coach or a professional nutritionist may be inevitable especially if you have a pre-existing condition.