Few would disagree that we’re in the era of bulking. Over the past couple of decades it has become more popular than ever before, and rather than dieting fads bossing the magazine shelves – achieving the ripped physique appears to be the image that is thrust in front of us.
At the same time, veganism is another trend that certainly doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of a slowdown. On the contrary, there are apparently more vegans than ever before.
However, with vegan diets hardly being renowned for being calorie prolific, how do these two trends live together? Let’s now take a look at some of the ways you can make it happen.
Tracking calories is even more important
As we’ve already alluded to, vegan diets tend to be quite low in calories. This is especially true if you’re following a raw vegan diet. Consequently, if you’re looking to bulk up on a vegan diet then you’re going to have to be very careful with your calorie tracking.
If you’re not already doing so, then you should be tracking every single calorie that you’re consuming. This means being very mindful of portion sizes, and also ensuring that you’re including plenty of high-calorie vegan foods in your diet.
Include plenty of healthy fats
Healthy fats are going to be your best friend when you’re trying to bulk up on a vegan diet. Not only do they provide a good source of calories, but they also help to promote hormone health – both of which are critical for building muscle.
Good sources of healthy vegan fats include avocados, coconuts, nuts, and seeds.
Eating frequently is important for anyone who is looking to gain muscle, but it’s especially important for vegans. This is because vegan diets tend to be lower in protein, and protein is the nutrient that is most closely associated with muscle growth.
Ideally, you should aim to eat every 2-3 hours and include a good source of protein at every meal. Good vegan protein sources include tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, quinoa, and seitan.
Don’t neglect carbs
Carbs are often demonized in the world of fitness, but the truth is that they’re an important part of any muscle-building diet. This is because carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel, and they also help to promote insulin sensitivity – which is important for muscle growth.
Good sources of carbs for vegans include rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats and fruit.
Consider meal replacements
If you’re finding it difficult to get enough protein from whole food sources then you may want to consider using vegan meal replacement shakes which can prove to accelerate your goals. There are now a number of high-quality protein options on the market, and this can be just the ticket to assist as you progress through your bulking journey.
Building muscle takes time, so don’t expect to see results overnight. It’s important to be patient and to focus on consistent progress over time.
If you’re consistent with your diet and training then you should start to see results within a few months. However, it can sometimes take up to a year to really see the full effects of your efforts.