There’s always been a social norm that to gain muscle you need to eat a lot of meat. It’s actually embedded in pop culture. I mean, look at how the Vikings and Gauls are depicted — they’re often shown to be huge, surly, muscular, and voracious. For people who are trying to gain muscle, gym trainers recommend a protein-heavy diet, and well, meats are the main source of protein. In essence, you eat meat to grow meat.
There usually isn’t a problem with that if you’re the average person who doesn’t mind eating anything that’s recommended by their gym trainers. However, what about the people who choose to adopt a no-meat diet, regardless of what the reasons are?
Can it be inferred that these people have no hopes of gaining mass because it’s assumed that their diet is lacking in protein, which is essential for repairing broken muscles and building newer, stronger ones?
Well, according to this article, you can.
So, what is a no-meat diet? That’s pretty self-explanatory, but there are multiple reasons for adopting such a diet, along with a wide array of health benefits. The first question to ask is where vegetarians get their protein. Well, besides meat, soy is a great source of protein. It’s also for this reason that soy milk is so popular among vegetarian bodybuilders. However, the difference in this diet from that of an average person’s is that the protein has to be taken in over the course of every meal to match the amount of protein that can be consumed in one meal with meat.
So, apart from stocking up on soy, vegetarians have to eat protein-rich seeds and nuts for snacks, along with a half cup of beans. Peas are also a staple protein source.
Apart from protein-rich substitutes, vegetarians also need foods that are rich in calcium. This includes almonds, beans, and a wide variety of greens. This ensures that their bones develop as much as their muscles. Calcium-fortified cereals are also a great addition to a vegetarian’s diet.
Calcium is essential to growth because as you work out, your bones are stimulated into growing denser. So, as your muscles grow, so do your bones — though take note that bones do not grow longer. It is essential to support this tandem to ensure optimal growth.
Altering your natural diet as an omnivore can result in deficiencies that may lead to the development of unwanted conditions. While it’s true that you can literally substitute every nutrient found in meat with an alternative, your diet has to be recommended by a licensed nutritionist. Now, if you still have reservations on adopting a no-meat diet, but you’re at least willing to give it a shot, you can try this vegetarian meal plan for a week.
It’s safe, well thought out, and requires no commitment whatsoever. If you find that you don’t like this type of diet, then you can simply revert to a diet that you’re comfortable with.