Posted on Hello Wellness on Apr 20 2011 12:12PM
Want to build those muscles up but don't know how you can do it on a vegetarian diet? Here are 10 tips that will help you get a body like the famed vegetarian /vegan bodybuilders, Bill Pearl and Kenneth Williams:
- Count your calories: While protein is essential for muscle-building, if you don't take in enough calories on a regular basis, your body is much more likely to turn to incoming protein for fuel.
- Eat shoots and leaves: Fruits and vegetables supply you with nutrients and antioxidants to keep your immune system strong. Focus on broccoli and spinach as they are rich in calcium too.
- More chickpea and legumes: Key sources of protein, chickpeas and legumes such as lentils, peas, beans, etc. are also good low-fat sources of carbohydrates and make for a great snack before a hard workout.
- Turn to soy: Try soy protein powders, for they dramatically boost your protein intake and are quick and convenient.
- Aim for short, intense workouts: This will help reduce the loss of muscle mass and your body will rely much less on protein to get through the workouts.
- Nuts for health: Healthy sources of fat and protein, just a handful of nuts can significantly boost your calorie intake and make muscle gain that much easier. Eat more walnuts and flaxseeds for essential fatty acids.
- Pack in some iron: Besides seeing your haemoglobin levels fall, a low intake of iron may also cause you to fatigue faster during your workouts. Supplement your diet with iron, if you need to.
- Whey for you: Taking branched chain amino acids (BCAA) such as leucine, valine and iso-leucine that are found in abundance in whey protein immediately before and after the workout helps safeguard against muscle mass loss. Whey also raises the levels of the antioxidant glutathione in the body.
- Eat more frequently: Since you won't be taking in much protein with every meal, by eating regular meals, you'll ensure a steady stream of amino acids going into the muscle tissues.
- Stay positive: It may take slightly longer to build muscle, but if you stay positive and keep working towards your goals, you definitely can get those biceps!
Caution: While you may have to supplement your diet, do not follow one of those protein shake diets because your body will lose its ability to digest fats and carbohydrates. Remember, for a good, healthy body, you need to keep everything in balance.