Tips & Advice from the professional personal trainers at OneLife training gym in Kelowna.
Despite bodybuilders and vegetarians traditionally wanting the same goals – optimized health and improved physique, the two groups have not always identified with one another. Traditionally body builders viewed vegetarians as weak with politic agendas for the environment specifically fueling their dietary habits. But OneLife invites you to bust away from the traditional constraints of finding protein exclusively in meat and explore the training opportunities of vegetarian / vegan body building! You wouldn’t want to commit to a training class without knowing how it would impact your body and the same goes for changing your dietary consumption. Let’s start with some of the basic differences between going vegetarian verses vegan.
A vegetarian athlete is an individual who will not consume meat but still includes dairy and animal by-products for a variety of reasons spanning health concerns, animal protection, or for the environment. You could be asking yourself what about seafood and shellfish? Should you choose to follow a vegetarian diet but include catches from the sea you are practicing a pesco-vegetarian diet. Pollo-vegetarians consume a plant based diet with the addition of chicken. These types of semi-vegetarian diets can assist in reaching and maintaining your nutrient needs while still maintaining a predominantly plant based diet. Training athletes who primarily strive to practice vegetarianism, but not exclusively, can be referred to as flexitarians.
One of the determining differences between vegans and vegetarians is not only what they will ingest, but what they will not. Practicing vegans follow vegetarianism with the additional exclusion of animal by-products (dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin). Vegans also abstain from utilizing animal by products in a wide variance of consumer goods including household, clothing, and cosmetics products.
Making it Happen
So you’re considering stretching beyond Meatless Mondays, but don’t want to sacrifice the results you have worked so hard for? OneLife has you covered with the insight you need to maintain your physique. Begin with consuming sufficient calories. Just because what you consume changes, doesn’t mean the amount of caloric intake you require will. Should you start to deplete your calorie count, your body will result to relying on internal protein i.e muscle tone that you have trained hard for. Consuming an adequate (if not plenty) amount of fruits and vegetables will 1) assist you in meeting your calorie needs, 2) provide antioxidants required to keep your immune system strong, and 3) provide a wide diversity of flavors and textures to ensure you don’t feel the restrictions of becoming vegetarian / vegan, only the benefits! With the diversity that comes in the produce section don’t underestimate the unsung heroes of protein, legumes. What’s a legume you might ask? (and we’re happy you did!) Legumes are the seeds of a plant and are eaten in their immature form (peas and beans), as well as their mature form (dried peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas). Also, allow experimentation with meat substitutes beyond tofu. Tempeh is another protein source that is often overlooked, but provides the needed variance required to commit to a vegetarian / vegan diet. Providing your diet with additional nutrients like flax seed oil and supplements that assist in iron, and branched amino acids will make the transition easier internally and without training interruption.
This for That
If you’re in the training habit of eating brown rice with your meals to increase your caloric count switch to quinoa (yes you pronounced it right!). Quinoa provides a similar taste and texture to brown rice, but is higher in overall protein content. Verses the traditional Rocky Balboa egg white mix, we recommend swapping to egg white protein powders (for vegetarians), or soy protein powers (for vegans). The inclusion of their powders will dramatically increase your protein intake and can be conveniently consumed in a variety of meals (queue the green smoothie recipes!). While you’re transforming your diet consider eliminating your dependence on processed food. While vegetarian and vegan diets require high caloric intake, do not make the common mistake of switching your diet into high-carb, sugar fueled binge for the sake of avoiding protein. Making an effort to maintain or improve your clean diet habits will only serve to help you while training. If you find your energy is crashing instead of relying on refined sugar try protein snack favorites like almonds, or peanut butter.
OneLife believes you can go beyond Meatless Mondays and become a vegetarian that doesn’t just meet, but exceeds your work out goals. Our Nutritional Counselling will assist you in achieving results with the least amount of effort and the least amount of impact on the environment (and we promise the yum factor is definitely a part of our nutritional programs too!). Call us to schedule your nutritional consultation today! 250 869 1427
Source: 20 Tips For The Vegetarian Bodybuilder! | BodyBuilding.com