Food is a personal choice, but there are advantages and disadvantages of what we eat. Here are some factors on the vegan and non-vegetarian diet.
Benefits of the Vegetarian Diet
Green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs tend to have medicinal properties and are rich in antioxidants. The job of antioxidants is to repair free radicals and eliminate them from your body to prevent many diseases and disorders.
In contrast, red meat and chicken increase toxicity in the human body.
Minerals and Vitamins:
The plant-based diet is much richer in vitamins and minerals. There is a common belief that vegetarians suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiencies, which is not true because many vegan products such as soy milk, soy, and fortified cereals have sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12.
In case of deficiency, an oral supplement can be taken.
Vegetarian diet foods are rich in water. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps complete the total water requirement per day.
A vegetarian diet is full of fiber, water, protein and all micronutrients, and also provides enough calories. A non-vegetarian diet can provide extra calories compared to a person’s requirements for obesity.
High Fiber Content:
All plant-based foods, whether cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables or nuts are rich in fiber. Fiber is also an integral part of daily nutritional needs. The fiber provides volume and helps pass feces easily. The fiber also cleans our digestion system. Non-vegetarian foods are mostly fiber-free.
The intake of fibers with an insufficient amount of fiber in the daily diet can cause disorders of the digestive system, such as colon cancer, indigestion, heartburn, constipation and loss of appetite.
How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet
If you’re a regular at the gym, you might’ve heard people discussing the high quantities of chicken they consume to boast rock hard pecs, bulging biceps and a well-defined pack of abs. As a vegetarian, you might feel discouraged and may lose hope of gaining muscle even after putting maximum effort into your workout.
This is one of the biggest myths people believe in the field of bodybuilding. Moreover, this is propagated by highly experienced trainers and fitness enthusiasts.
Building muscle on a vegetarian diet is certainly more difficult as compared to one consisting of meat products, but it isn’t impossible. To do so, it is essential to understand the science behind the growth of muscles in the body.
The first lesson in nutrition tells us that proteins are the building blocks of our body. The same goes for increasing your muscle mass. It is a known fact that meat products contain a higher quantity of protein per serving as compared to lentils.
Muscle growth can be challenging on a vegetarian diet, but with these tips handy, you can certainly meet your fitness goals if you’re consistent enough.
However, if you adopt a more comprehensive approach to the contents of your diet, achieving your goal of a leaner body frame with increased muscle mass won’t be an issue. Read on for 9 tips that will help you do so.
See Also: How to Build Muscle Fast
Determine Your Protein Needs
Having a goal without a proper strategy is like aiming shots in the dark. Thus you need to lay out the various aspects of building muscle, the first and foremost one being the determination of your protein needs.
Every individual needs to consume different amounts of protein, which varies depending on their weight and the level of physical activity they perform.
For example, a person who does an hour of training at the gym requires around 0.7 – 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight, while an athlete who trains almost the entire day requires 1.5 – 2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Laying out such a plan will help you greatly in accomplishing your goals.
Use Complementary Proteins
Amino acids are the primary component of protein, and our body can synthesize some of these amino acids.
However, there are nine amino acids known as ‘essential amino acids’ which cannot be produced by the body.
Foods which contain the nine of them are known as complete protein foods. However, plant proteins are usually not complete. Thus, pairing foods like beans with rice, oats with almonds, and lentil with barley will provide you with a complete protein meal.
Eat Enough Carbs During the Day
A majority of bodybuilders and strength trainers tend to shy away from carbohydrates as they feel it leads to increase in body fat. However, this is not true at all. Carbs provide energy to your body to perform all sorts of tasks, from running to lifting heavy weights.
You should target to have at least 40 percent of your diet to consist of carbs to build muscle efficiently.
Moreover, you should add carbs to your post-workout meal to aid the recovery process of your whole body.
Read More: Complex Carbs for Bodybuilding
Maintain a Slight Caloric Surplus
A caloric surplus is an increase in your daily calorie consumption. The average male requires around 2400 calories a day, and women need almost 2000 calories each day. To build muscle, you need to maintain about 5-10 percent of a caloric surplus.
If you keep a caloric deficit, you’ll start losing muscle, and if you do not maintain either of them, you’ll not see any progress.
Understand the Process Comprehensively
The human body hosts a myriad of processes, and muscle growth is one of them. To understand how you can increase muscle size, you need to understand the different types of muscles in the body.
Muscles in the human body are classified into three categories: cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and skeletal muscle. Cardiac and smooth muscles majorly make up the hollow organs like the heart, stomach, liver, etc. These are involuntary.
Skeletal muscles are the ones which are directly attached to your skeleton via fibers known as tendons. Your skin covers these muscles and provides structure and shape to your overall look. When you talk about muscle growth, it is skeletal muscle growth which you are talking about. These muscles are composed of muscle fibers, which in turn are formed when several muscle cells connect. The growth of these fibers promotes an increase in the size of your muscles and a better figure.
Aim for Muscle Hypertrophy
According to the Oxford Dictionary, hypertrophy is the enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in the size of its cells. As in the discussed previous point, you need to increase the size of your muscle cells to promote muscle growth.
This can be done in a whole lot of ways, physically or chemically. Chemical methods can have various side effects, hence aren’t advisable.
In the gym, you can aim for strength training by lifting heavier weights. Lifting heavy weights will lead to a mechanical tear of your muscles. When this happens, your body will initiate a repair response.
The damaged muscle fibers along with muscle proteins cause the cells to expand, leading to an increase in overall muscle size.
Add Variety in Your Daily Diet
Consumption of a variety of protein sources in your meals will add high nutritional value to your daily diet.
For example, you can whip up a cottage cheese sandwich for breakfast along with a glass of milk, have a bowl of lentils and rice for lunch, and end the day with some tofu and a quinoa salad to get almost 80-90 grams of protein in the whole day.
Moreover, you’d get many other nutrients like carbs, vitamins, and fat, along with essential fibers to aid in digestion.
Use Supplements if Needed
If you have a busy schedule throughout the day, you might not be able to consume the amount of protein you need to build muscle. In such a case, you can opt for protein supplements to reach the desired level of consumption. You should opt for high-quality whey protein, which is sugar-free and has low carb content.
A standard scoop (30 grams) should contain about 23-27 grams of whey protein for it to be considered high quality. You can add these supplements to your milkshakes, smoothies, and even in the bowl of oatmeal which you have for breakfast.
While most experts recommend using these as post-workout supplements, you can use them at any point of the day.
See More: When to Take Whey Protein
Disadvantages of Non-Vegetarian Diets
Besides the approach with proteins, carbohydrates and fats: non-vegan food products such as fish, eggs, chicken, lamb and beef are generally rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fats that hinder the digestion of our digestive system.
Only if the non-vegan products are taken with a good amount of vegetables/salads, the digestion of the non-vegan foods becomes smooth or it can produce acidity, indigestion and constipation.
Carcinogens are bodies that give rise to cancer in human bodies if they are deposited in the human body. Many studies have shown that an animal-based diet is rich in carcinogens. The reason for this could be the unhygienic raising, feeding and slaughter of food of animal origin.
Low in Antioxidants:
Chicken and red meat provide high crabs and protein but are very deficient in minerals and vitamins. This can lead to a toxicity of the body that causes anxiety, irritated behavior, low energy levels, headaches and upset stomach.
Many studies claim that people who tend to eat foods of animal origin are much more aggressive than vegans. This may be due to toxicity, heat and low levels of water in the body. In contrast, a vegan person usually tends to remain calm and shows less anger in their family and workplace.
Diseases of the Heart:
Red meat is generally rich in calories, fat and bad cholesterol that can put the consumer at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension (commonly known as hypertension), high levels of LDL (with the consequent obstructed artery) and cardiac arrest due to obstruction of the arteries.
PCOD and Obesity:
In recent years, with the increase in the number of animal feed consumers, poultry is struggling to manufacture supplies. To meet the demand, it could be a bad practice to inject growth hormones that make a chicken grow 6 to 9 times its size in a short period of 6-9 weeks.
Eating this type of food can trigger the onset of PCOD and other hormonal imbalance diseases in women. This can also disturb the metabolism. In the end you can have obesity.
Hens that are grown for chicken are called broilers. A large quantity of chicken is grown in a limited space. This causes the air and the surrounding environment to become contaminated and dirty. Lack of fresh air, lack of cleanliness and excess excretion residues can cause organ damage. If this type of chicken is consumed as food, it can cause health problems such as abdominal discomfort, food poisoning or intestinal disorders.
Being a vegan and following a plant-based diet will help you improve your energy levels, establish good digestive power and maintain water levels. The diet is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, so this helps you develop a better immune system, which means you get less sick.