Bulking is hard enough, but if you are on a plant-based or vegan diet it can almost seem impossible to convert that into a vegan bulking diet. It’s been 9 months for me on a plant-based diet. I have received a lot of questions from vegans in particular about vegan bulking diets so I decided to share some information that I have on this subject. Based on research I’ve done and my own experience with plant-based, there are some important steps to consider when you are bulking as a vegan.
- Determine your protein sources
- Create your food combination list
- Eat frequently
- Track your calories
If you follow these four steps you will be off to a great start. Let’s dig in deeper.
Determine your protein sources
Most people that have at least attempted to start bulking in general, know that eating protein is very important but as a beginner that is usually the extent of their understanding of nutrition. In order to bulk you have to have a specific amount of all three macronutrients to be successful. Bulk: The Weight Gain app, follows the 40(% protein), 30(% carbs), and 30(% fat) ratio, but there are a few other ratios that are still acceptable.
In a regular diet, it can be hard to figure out the macro sources that work best for you. Well, I’m sorry to tell you but it’s twice as hard to find these sources when you are on a vegan bulking diet. Protein is perhaps the hardest to find because you can’t just eat a slab of steak or chicken. But don’t fret because I got you! These are some of the protein sources that I have gravitated to.
- Protein/ Chickpea pasta
- Vegan hotdogs
- Veggie Burger
- Black, kidney, pinto, beans
- Peanut butter
- Nutritional yeast
- Green peas
- Soy milk
- Almond butter
- Sweet potato
This is a lot of protein sources huh? Maybe more than you knew outside of meat. Getting in your daily protein intake is easier to achieve when you can eat meat because there is a much higher amount of protein in meat. The key is to add a variety of these to a single meal to really fill that protein requirement. For example, saute a few vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower slathered in quinoa. Just that alone has 3 protein sources. Now add a sweet potato and that’s 4, and some brown rice and beans and now there is 5. We just added 5 solid protein sources to our day in just one meal!
Saute a few vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower slathered in quinoa. Just that alone has 3 protein sources. Now add a sweet potato and that’s 4, and some brown rice and beans and now there is 5. We just added 5 solid protein sources to our day in just one meal!
This is the difference between just a meal and a quality meal. Your goal is to make all your meals quality meals, and that might take some working up to.
Create your food combination list
This is basically what we did above with the protein source list. See how much easier this is when the list is laid out for you? This is because it takes the burden off of your mind to have to be creative daily to figure out what you’re eating. If you have a GO TO list to pull from, then you can easily put together meals in seconds. Below is a food list I’ve put together for myself.
Food combination list
- Veggie Burger – Whole wheat bun – Tomato – Lettuce – Pickle
- Brown Rice – Black beans – Broccoli – Cauliflower – Quinoa- Sweet Potato
- Peanut butter- Jelly- Brown bread
- Soy Milk – Oats – Banana
- Brown Rice – Black Beans – Corn
- Chick Peas – Sweet Potato
- Vegan hot dog – Whole Wheat Hot Dog Bun
- Corn Tortilla – Black beans – Pinto beans – Red peppers – Onions
This is similar to how we laid out the meal plan in BULK. We figured people would benefit from a list of meals already predefined for them to reach their macros. Well just like the app does, you can put this together yourself!
This is key to getting you in the habit of reaching your caloric goal. When you are bulking it is no secret that you need to eat a lot, but the reason most people that can’t gain weight is because they just aren’t eating enough. It’s really that simple. Train yourself to eat frequently. I recommend eating something every 2 hours. If you get into the habit of this then you can add more to what you’re eating each time until you start to see some results. Every person is different so finding that magic number for you is key.
Things you can snack on between meals.
- Avocado (My favorite, yes a whole avocado lol)
- Granola bar
- Peanuts, almonds, trail mix
- Hemp seeds
- Protein Potato Chips
- Vegan Greek Yogurt
Track your calories
A vegan bulking diet is just like any other diet. Tracking your calories is still a thing. In fact, it’s probably even more crucial because on a vegan diet you can feel like you have eaten a lot. However, when you actually track your calories you may realize you haven’t eaten much at all.
If you want to track your calories you already know which app I’m going to recommend(whispers BULK), but if you are disciplined enough then an app may not even be necessary for you but it will definitely make things easier. As I mentioned above, I recommend that you follow the 40, 30, 30 rule for your macros.
You can use a simple calorie calculator site to get your calorie requirement pretty quickly. From there you just need to reverse engineer how many calories should be towards protein, carbs, and fat, based on the 40,30,30 rule.
Recommended calorie calculator site : https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html
The Wrap Up
A vegan bulking diet is just like any other bulking diet. Don’t sike yourself out, as long as you plan accordingly it is pretty easy to be vegan and still achieve your bulking goals.
If you are looking for help gaining weight, download our App! It will create a workout program for you, as well as a meal plan that is specifically for bulking. You can do things like swap out exercises for alternative ones that might be more comfortable for you to perform, or simply because you may not have the equipment needed to perform the exercise. But the app ensures that swapping does not put you off track from your program as it makes sure any exercise swapped is of the same body part. A meal plan is also generated for you that fits your exact macronutrients needed for you to gain the weight you want. You can also swap meals for other meals that will help satisfy your calorie needs giving you variety.
Be sure to follow your friends, and check into your gym to qualify for upcoming challenges and giveaways!