You’ve probably heard it said many times that a plant-based diet and getting fat don’t go together. Which is true, but only if you don’t know how to build muscle mass on a vegan diet (or any diet for that matter).
Men’s health and fitness expert Dr. Anthony Balduzzi explains in depth how to build muscle on a vegan diet.
How to build muscle mass on a vegan diet
First Steps Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
If you want to get bigger, you need to follow the basics of a general muscle building plan, regardless of your preferred diet. This includes your training plan, which should include progressive overload and adequate rest.
What to do:
- Set your protein goals: 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight (2.77 g per kg of body weight).
- Determine how many meals you will eat throughout the day: Do what works best for you.
- Determine how many calories you need per day: you have to be at a maintenance or caloric surplus level to be able to build muscle.
- Create your meals around your macros: There are 4 calories per gram of protein, so once you’ve calculated your protein needs, you can create whole meals around that to fit your macros.
Basics: How to Build Muscle Mass on a Vegan Diet
“Any individual vegetable protein may not be a complete protein, but when you combine these proteins throughout the day, your body has all the amino acids it needs to build muscle,” says Dr. Balduzzi.
A quality plant-based protein powder can also help you meet your protein needs.
Read more: Top 10 vegan energy foods to improve your days and workouts
Soy and estrogen
Soy, in moderation, will not affect your testosterone levels, assures Dr. Balduzzi. However, he recommends limiting your soy intake to around 70 grams per day.
Tofu and tempeh are great soy products that you can include in your vegan diet to build muscle.
Get enough green vegetables in your diet
“Greens are overlooked when it comes to a bodybuilding diet,” says Dr. Balduzzi. They provide you with essential vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients, as well as the fiber needed to move food through your digestive tract.
Principles of Muscle Building Exercises for Vegans
Here are the most important steps in your training to gain muscle:
- Progressive overload training
- Maximize recovery
- Nutrition rich in protein and carbohydrates
- Appropriate supplementation
- Progress Tracking
- Vary your routine
- Setting expectations
Watch the video above to learn why each of these steps is essential and how to get the most out of each.