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Going vegan is super popular nowadays. However, the guys and girls who work out regularly might be asking. How do vegans build muscle with plant-based food? I think because many people are clueless when it comes to veganism, they end up starving their bodies. The beginning stages of establishing what works for you is the trickiest part of converting to a vegan diet. Especially if you’re very active and your training gains mean a lot to you. The last thing you want is to lose all your hard-earned muscle. Luckily, there are body-builders who are proving that it’s possible to build muscle mass and be vegan!

We have all got our reasons for going vegan. However, you must remember that going vegan means saying goodbye to simple chicken salads, tuna, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, steak and Greek yogurt which you used to consume almost every day. When you’re used to eating these it can be really tough figuring out what’s left to eat afterwards.

Many people assume that you’re going to immediately lose or gain a ton of muscle once they go vegan. However, this is not necessarily true especially if you are eating the right amount for your body. Dieticians state that meat isn’t the only way to get protein. More importantly, tons of protein isn’t the only way to keep your muscles strong either

Going Vegan Without Losing Muscle

going vegan [longevity live]

Often, the vast majority tend to assume that meat is the only way to build muscle. This is not the case, but you do need to do your homework. Otherwise, you will eat too few calories without really noticing. Not only is going vegan beneficial to the planet. But it also has many other health benefits that include better glucose control and a reduced risk of heart disease.

If you are vegan then you’ll understand that it requires a great deal of commitment. You also need to ensure that you keep matters as simple as possible because the quality of your life won’t be good if you’re complicating every step. Pro-body-builders explain that to be build muscle when going vegan. You need to make small, simple lifestyle and dietary changes. If your plan is to gain muscle then you must take this process seriously.

There are a lot of people who compete in the world of body-building but do not eat animal by-products. If your career involves body-building then it’s very possible to be a champion as a vegan. If you’re just looking to maintain muscle and keep your body toned, then going vegan can help you do this too.

Protein Comes In Many Forms

Going vegan doesn’t mean you have got to deprive yourself of protein. I think we can all safely agree that we DO need protein to maintain, rebuild and grow muscle mass.

going vegan [longevity live]

Despite what many people think or say, you can get enough protein when going vegan. What foods other than meat contain protein? You can eat everything from pulses like lentils and beans to soy-based foods, to vegan meat products and alternatives. Apparently, the Beyond Burger, which is completely plant-based contains even more protein than a traditional beef burger. 20 grams per patty to be exact.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to stuff your face with protein either. Overeating protein is not healthy and doctors state that we often overestimated the amount we need. Nutritionists explain that protein is certainly an essential nutrient which plays many key roles in the way our bodies function. However, we do not need huge quantities of it.

I rate the best way to start going vegan is to figure out the amount of non-vegan protein you ate before you went vegan. This is good to know because you can try to match this number when going vegan.  Tofu, tempeh, legumes, quinoa, and nuts are all very high in protein. For example, one cup of tempeh contains around 30 grams, while a cup of chicken breast has around 44 grams. Generally, plant-based options are a little lower, but you can easily account for this and eat a tiny bit more. Just be mindful about which products you buy and try to stick to organic products only. Moreover, soy products won’t destroy your hormones either if you only eat them three to four times a week.

Go Vegan, But Don’t Overeat Protein

You don’t need as much protein as you think you do.

Protein supplements shouldn’t be necessary either if you’re going vegan and eating a wholesome plant-based diet.  Experts state that vegan athletes‘ protein needs can range from 0.36 to 0.86 grams of protein per pound. Even protein supplements are not required for these people who have the highest protein requirements.

going vegan [longevity live]

Interestingly, experts warn people, including athletes who are going vegan to be careful about consuming too much protein. Having more than what you need is not considered good for you. Doctors explain that there are no health advantages to consuming a high protein diet. In fact, diets too high in protein may even increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disease.

Some people have claimed that going vegan and eating plant-based diets are deficient in what is known as ‘complete’ proteins. These are the ones that have all nine amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. There is some truth behind this statement because there isn’t any vegan protein source that contains all of them together. Unless you’re eating soy products. However, if you pair complementary foods like chickpeas and brown rice, for instance, the combination will yield those elusive essential amino acids.

Going Vegan to Build Muscle

Do not be afraid of eating enough calories. Your body needs it and so do your muscles. When going vegan, calories are the most important thing. According to Mary Weidner, the co-founder of Strong Faster, a vegan-friendly, muscle-building app. Eating enough calories is a common issue for body-builders and athletes who transition to a vegan diet.

going vegan [longevity live]

This doesn’t need to be a tedious process. All you need to do is eat more healthy organic snacks throughout the day. Nutritionists explain that eating fruits and veggies is very filling. However they are extremely low-calorie and as a result, it can be hard for some to eat enough calories. Therefore, you need to eat more vegan calorie-dense foods like nuts, seeds, and bananas to increase your calories. Just pop these into your smoothies, oatmeal or eat them as snacks.

This means that body-builders need to get a bit more creative when it comes to putting on muscle mass or weight. Meal preparation is of utmost importance and really helps you out a lot. In fact, even when you are cutting weight and reducing food intake you need to do this. There are many body-builders who can prove this because they are vegan. So if you’re considering going vegan, but still want to gain muscle mass, just know that it’s very possible.

The best thing you can do when following any kind of eating plan is to listen to your body. In fact, once you lose a certain amount of body fat it is quite obvious what your body really needs. Intuitive eating and going vegan work well together and it’s easier to interpret, listen, and engage with what your body needs.

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Skye Mallon

Skye is a Holistic Lifestyle Blogger, Entrepreneur and Movement Instructor. She loves changing people's lives and believes you should always strive to be your best! Her brand, Skyezee FashionFit pty (LTD) shares the latest in well-fashion, conscious living, and daily movement. She wants to help others achieve a happy balance by sustaining a conscious, longevous lifestyle. She shares content that helps others tap into the intricacies of our bodies, environments, feelings, and minds.

Skye knows how you feel and is here to help! She wants to help you live happier, longer and more fulfilled lives that we know will make some kind of positive or meaningful impact. Visit Website

The mind, body, and soul must connect.

She specializes in mixed movement classes including her very own Jump Rope HIIT, boxing-inspired workout called Jump Fit. Moreover, she teaches a Skyezee Movement class which includes elements from yoga, martial arts, and dance.

She has a keen interest in high-quality, activewear apparel and represents different brands. Lastly, she believes that the best results are achieved by doing something you love! The point is to have fun, explore and move more, eat good food and get outside of your comfort zone.

Book Skye's Paradise Adventure Retreat in Watamu, Kenya February 2020.
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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fashion at LISOF.
Jump Rope HIIT Coach and Professional Jump Roper
Pilates Teacher Training Certificate.
Budokon Yoga and Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiast and aspiring Teacher/Yogi.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.