For all you vegetarians out there, here are my 16 top tips for you on building muscle and achieving the body confidence you’ve always wanted.
1. Eat sufficient calories
If you don't eat enough calories your body will turn to muscle as fuel and you won’t have a surplus to build muscle.
2. Eat plenty of chickpeas and legumes
These are good high protein/ low-fat carbohydrates which will help you to build muscle and tone your physique.
3. Choose quinoa over rice
Quinoa has a higher protein content than brown rice and is a complete source of protein, which means it has all of the essential amino acids required for muscle building.
4. Use egg white or soy protein powders
The use of these powders will help you to boost your protein intake and should be part of your daily nutritional regime.
5. No processed food
Do not eat processed foods. Maintain a fresh diet that contains whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Being a vegetarian is not a license to eat high-carb processed snacks!
6. Opt for shorter, more intense training sessions
As a vegetarian you may find it hard to consistently take in enough protein. Choosing short intense workouts over marathon sessions will prevent your hard earned muscle from being used to fuel your workouts. Remember don’t waste your hard earned gains!
7. Don’t lose your Tempeh
Tempeh has a higher nutritional spectrum and protein content than tofu so try to include it in your diet.
8. Consider becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian
If it doesn’t impinge on your personal beliefs, being a lacto-ovo vegetarian will massively increase your protein intake because you can now include egg and egg whites, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, and milk in your diet. This will make building muscle tone a lot easier.
9. Go nuts!
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein. A handful of nuts will aid your calorie intake and help build your physique. Try not to overindulge as too much of this could lead to overconsumption of calories and fat gain.
10. Good fats
For your essential fatty acids, since you likely won't be consuming fatty fish or fish oil, turn to flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. These will have to be your primary sources for this must-have nutrient.
11. Take iron supplements
Without red meat iron levels could be low. As iron is responsible for red blood cell development you could start to struggle in your workouts. Get your iron checked by the doctor and go with their professional advice on which iron supplements you should consider.
12. increase your calcium
Broccoli and spinach have high calcium content, increase your intake of these.
13. Block out negativity
Don’t listen to people who say that you won’t get results. Stay positive and focused and eat consistently well and you will get the results you want.
14. Eat more frequently
Because you won’t be getting as much protein per meal as meat-eaters you need to eat more often in order for your body to be getting a steady stream of amino acids for muscle growth.
15. Take branched chain amino acids
Consider taking immediately before and after your workouts to prevent muscle loss.
16. Stay positive
Stay positive and focus on the end goal. It may take you slightly longer to hit your goals but you will get there.
Remember to eat clean and train smart. Anything is easy if you have clear goals and a strategy to achieve them.
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