Posted on February 24 2020
Top fitness training tips for vegetarians
There are many frustrating myths around plant-based eating. A big one is that you can’t get as fit or strong being a vegetarian because plants make you weak.
While it is true that plant food tends to contain less calories and can lead to weight loss, you can hit any fitness goals if you understand what your body needs. Just look at the vegan bodybuilders who won 32 medals at the 2017 Fit Games.
Pre- and post-workout snacks
The key to build muscles on any diet is to get enough calories because without enough energy, your body can devour existing muscles instead.
It’s a good idea to pack some power snacks that give your quick and long-lasting energy. Nuts are great sources of healthy fat and fruits can quickly boost your caloric intake.
The best time to take these snacks is right before and after your workout because they can make a huge difference to your performance and recovery. Carbohydrate foods before the workout give you an energy boost while protein-dense food right after a lift stimulates muscle repair.
Eat a variety of protein foods
Many people assume vegetarians are all protein deficient. That is simply not true! Protein is in all plant foods, just generally lower amounts. If you incorporate a variety of food groups, you will have no trouble getting enough protein.
Good protein sources:
- Low-fat yogurt and milk
- Nuts and seeds
- Grains (eg. Quinoa and brown rice)
- Tofu and tempeh
- Lentils and beans
- Leafy greens (eg. Spinach)
Apart from plant foods, there has also been an explosion of plant protein powder options.
- Dairy based protein
- Nut based protein
- Grain based protein (eg. Brown rice protein, quinoa protein)
- Seed based protein (eg. hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein)
Train hard like a Warrior
Now that you understand what the body needs, it’s time to do the heavy lifting! Keep in mind that you are a warrior – “a person engaged in some struggle or conflict”.
You may struggle with others disbelief in vegetarianism but weightlifting and bodybuilding are great ways to prove them wrong.
Resistance overloading is necessary for building muscle size and strength. When muscles are challenged with heavy weights, they undergo a biological process called hypertrophy. This is when more muscle fibers are recruited to sustain injury. The body fuses the fibers in repair processes, which increases the muscle size.
Keep in mind, the most muscle growth occurs with training that is:
- Includes rest time
- Engages whole body