Eating a plant-based diet is a great way to contribute to the environment and live a healthier lifestyle. If animal mistreatment in modern industry saddens you, and you want to do something about it, then opting for a vegan diet might be a good place to start, as there are many vegan-friendly food options on the market nowadays. There are also lots of vegan restaurants which provide healthy vegan food and you can easily look for them on the internet near your location.
However, exercising and living on a vegan diet might be a bit more challenging, especially if you’ve used to eating a lot of meat and dairy products. But, with a bit of research, effort and planning, it’s entirely possible to pull it off. Therefore, here are some tips that you may find helpful.
1. Don’t just jump into it
If you want to work out and eat a plant-based diet at the same time, then it’s important to determine some things before doing anything else. Jumping straight into the vegan diet without previous research might be more harmful than beneficial. So, make sure to understand your body goals and then find appropriate ways of exercising to achieve said goals. Now when you have your exercise plan, you’ll be able to plan your diet accordingly.
2. Remember that vegan doesn’t always mean healthy
No matter your diet, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s really important: your personal health. And many believe that vegan automatically means healthy, but that’s not always the case. Therefore, keep in mind that your diet should consist of whole foods, and it should be free of added sugars, trans fats and other detrimental ingredients that don’t do anything for your gut health. So, it’s important to ensure that your vegan diet is actually healthy, especially if you want to dabble in endurance or strength types of training. Luckily, there are many vegan snacks that are delicious and healthy.
3. Don’t neglect your fat consumption
Fats are extremely useful if they come from a healthy source. And there are plenty of plant sources of fats that will fit just nicely with anyone who wants to be vegan and exercise. Nuts are one of these sources, they’re diverse, delicious and rich in various vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals. However, there are so many different types, that sometimes trying to find what is the healthiest nuts to eat can be a journey if you’ve never eaten them much. But the good news is, they’re all beneficial, so feel free to eat any of them. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts are all excellent sources of plant-based fats, so feel free to eat them instead of snacks.
4. Proteins still matter the most
Proteins are the most important aspect of a diet if you work out on a regular basis. The same goes even for a vegan diet. And even though meat and eggs are the biggest natural sources of protein, it’s still possible to find plant-based sources that are equally healthy. Aside from plant-based protein powders, you could also eat seitan, tofu, lentils, nutritional yeast, chickpeas, quinoa, spirulina and bread made from sprouted grains. Vegans often get a lot of questions about their protein intake, while in fact, there are many plant-based protein sources that will satisfy even a meat-eater. Proteins are extremely important as they’re the building blocks of your muscles, meaning that eating sufficient amounts of them will surely help you build and maintain your muscle mass during strength training.
Switching to a plant-based diet while exercising might be a good move, but in order to transition smoothly, it’s important to have a proper exercise and diet plan. Hence, your food intake should depend on your fitness goals, so before you decide to modify your diet, make sure to come up with a consistent and meaningful workout plan. That way, you’ll be able to come up with the right diet that will give you enough strength to exercise and reach your body goals.