Deciding to change your lifestyle and adopt some healthy habits is arguably one of the most difficult things in life. However, once you do it, you’ll start noticing the benefits sooner rather than later. For instance, many people nowadays choose to adopt a vegan diet. Not only is such a decision beneficial for the environment but it will also bring numerous health benefits your way.
But if you lead a pretty active lifestyle, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to exercising on a vegan diet. It’s certainly not impossible even though many people believe it is. It will only require you to adapt to your new lifestyle. So, let’s dive right in.
Exercising on a vegan diet
You can do both
Contrary to popular belief, you can switch to an entirely plant-based diet and still get enough energy and nutrients for a proper workout. Since our system more easily digests plant-based food, it will ‘go through’ faster, which means that you will need to increase the number of meals you have per day. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be constantly hungry and lacking energy. Instead, you will feel more energized as this type of diet eliminates drowsiness caused by heavy foods. So, as long as you maintain a healthy caloric intake, you should have no difficulties during your workouts.
Go for more alkaline food
Every person who exercises on a regular basis should try to up their alkaline food intake. And since a plant-based diet is rich in this type of food, it should be clear why switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet is a good idea. Alkaline foods help your body recover faster post-workout unlike acidic foods, such as meat and dairy. Since acidic foods increase the acidity levels of your body, they can slow down your recovery and make it more painful and unpleasant than it needs to be. So load up on garlic, turmeric, orange-colored foods, and soups to make your post-workout recovery faster and healthier.
Make sure you get enough protein
On a similar note, make sure you consume enough protein throughout the day to ensure that you stay healthy. Since a vegan diet doesn’t include any type of meat or animal products, people tend to be confused about protein intake. But do know that green vegetables are full of natural, plant-based protein. Chia seeds, hemp hearts, almond butter, and pumpkin seeds are also very rich in protein so definitely consider adding them to your diet as well. For the best results, try combining more than one protein source for each meal to ensure that your protein stays optimal.
Be careful – vegan doesn’t automatically mean healthy
Additionally, it’s important to mention that just because some food is labeled as “vegan” that doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy. The fact is that there’s a lot of vegan junk food out there. Just as you can enjoy a regular crispy bacon triple cheeseburger, you can have the same meal in a vegan form. And you’ve guessed it – neither one of these is healthier than the other. So, if you’re trying to adopt a vegan diet for the sole purpose of losing weight (without exercising), you might be in for a surprise.
Keep in mind that the switch is not easy
Finally, switching to a vegan diet – although healthy, is not the easiest thing to do. That’s why you should take things gradually and slowly adopt this new lifestyle. If you try to quit all non-vegan food cold turkey, you’ll probably experience some unpleasant symptoms of food withdrawal. So. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you ever happen to slip up. Adopting a fully-vegan diet is a process, and it should be approached as such. Give both your body and your mind enough time to adapt to this new lifestyle and just take it slow.
As you can see, you can – in fact – lead a healthy active lifestyle as a vegan. You won’t even have to adapt the type or intensity of your exercises. You will only need to be aware of the food you eat and the type of nutrients you put into your body to ensure that you continue on the same health-oriented path.
Who is the author?
Nemanja Marinkoff is the editor-in-chief @ Walkjogrun.net. He was raised in Srpski Itebej and since then he’s lived in many different countries. You can find him on Twitter.