My experience of following a 6 month Plant Based Vegetarian Diet.
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There is a lot of discussion and controversy online these days with regards to eating a plant based bodybuilding diet plan for building muscle and burning fat. And hearing people argue for one side or the other can get down right crazy… It just boggles my mind how small minded some people can be.
I’m not one for getting caught up in the whole YouTube drama and mud slinging debates over who is right and who is wrong. I personally believe that there are pros and cons to every single diet and exercise program out there. If you zoom out and look at the big picture you’ll see different people making progress with various and often very contradictory diet plans.
For example, some bodybuilders will follow a high carb and low fat diet plan and it works really well for them. And vice versa – you’ll have others who prefer to follow a low carb and high fat diet plan, and this approach works very well for them.
You can see the same with different workout programs as well. Some bodybuilders prefer to follow a high volume 6 days per week training program. Others may prefer a lower volume high intensity 3 day per week training program instead.
It’s not that one is “right” and the other is “wrong”. It simply comes down to finding what approach works the best for YOU, your body type, and your personal preferences.
You can even vary your approach from time to time and experiment with different training and nutritional variables. For example, you may want to follow a high carb diet and a high intensity training program while bulking. And then switch to following a low carb diet and higher volume training program when cutting. This is totally fine and you are allowed to change your approach as you see fit.
So back to plant based vegan diets VS. traditional bodybuilding diets which include both plant and animal foods. There are bodybuilders who are making progress following both styles of eating.
However, I personally feel that the bodybuilder who consumes a mixed diet (both animal and plant based foods) has an advantage. They can get all the nutritional benefits from animal foods – as well as all the nutritional benefits from plant based foods.
A Mixed Diet Literally Gives You The Best Of Both Worlds!
Whereas a plant based diet is void of the nutritional benefits from animal foods, and there are a lot of healthy and nutritional benefits to consuming animal foods – they are great sources of protein, creatine, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, etc.
Now does this mean that you can’t follow a plant based bodybuilding diet? Of course not… There are vegetarian and vegan bodybuilders, but they are in the minority. The vast majority of bodybuilders will eat a mixed diet of both plant and animal based foods.
If you are curious about following a plant based vegan or vegetarian diet… My advice is to go for it and give it a try for yourself.
I did it for 6 months and it was an interesting experiment. I learned a lot about myself and about nutrition during that time. But following a purely plant based diet is certainly not something that I would want to stick with for the rest of my life.
The biggest lesson I learned from my plant based diet experiment is that the lack of meat does NOT make a diet healthy. You can avoid all meat products entirely and still eat a very poor unhealthy diet. Rather it’s the abundance of natural unprocessed foods that makes a diet healthy. And you can follow such a diet by including animal foods in addition to plant based foods.
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