If you are looking to build more muscle as a vegan, we are here to show you how! It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, nor does it need to be boring or bland. Maximising muscle gain whilst eating a balanced, delicious and healthy diet is definitely achievable as a vegan, so sit back, relax and get ready to be inspired!
Consume Enough (Healthy) Calories
The first thing you need to know when it comes to fuelling your body to build muscle, which applies to any diet, is to make sure you are consuming enough calories. To do this, you simply need to be in a calorie surplus (eating more calories than you burn in a day). For most people, this will be around 10-20% additional calories than your maintenance.
This is the safest and most efficient way to build muscle, as long as the calories you are eating are healthy. It probably goes without saying that simply eating thousands of calories in sugary or processed foods won’t be effective. Instead, eating naturally high calorie, healthy foods that are nutritionally balanced will help you to gain muscle as you train. Having healthy ready meals delivered is a great option if you’re unsure where to start.
A great way to increase your calorie intake is through shakes. Adding things like oats, nut butters and protein powders can increase the amount of calories significantly, plus they taste great. Another way to consume more calories is through carbohydrates, which should make up between 45-55% of your calorie intake. Increasing your carb intake when building muscle is key, as they help to fuel the body with vital energy when you are training hard. Whole grain carbs like brown and seeded bread, brown rice and pasta all contain good amounts of calories to help up your intake.
Overall, eating in a calorie surplus helps to provide your body with the additional energy it needs to repair itself to then build the muscle mass.
Don’t Forget Your Healthy Fats
One very simple way to increase your calorie intake is through healthy fats. When building muscle, around 20-30% of your calorie intake should be healthy fats, such as nuts, avocado, seeds, healthy oils, flax seeds, tahini, coconut milk, edamame and low sugar dark chocolate.
Incorporating these into your diet is so simple, as you can make delicious dressings with avocado and oil, you can sprinkle toasted seeds on top of any meal and you can roast nuts with your vegetables for a delicious crunch.
One wonderful way to eat more healthy fats is with this satay noodle recipe. Simply add one chopped onion and two chopped peppers to a pan with sesame oil. Once softened, add ginger, chilli and garlic to taste. Then add two tablespoons of peanut butter and a tin of coconut milk to the pan. Bring to the boil and then allow to reduce for around 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, then add cooked noodles. Add the toppings of your choice, such as maple and soy baked tofu and pickled spring onions!
Eating healthy fats is an important part of increasing your calorie intake, as they increase levels of healthy cholesterol that encourages the production of growth hormones, therefore helping to build muscle.
Cooking nutritious food that helps you to achieve your fitness goals can be so rewarding, so make it a part of your weekly routine and you will soon grow to love the process.