Discover 12 Tips to Body Building & Gaining Weight on a Plant-Based Diet


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The information presented on aprilnarducci.com is intended exclusively for educational purposes and should not be construed as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is highly recommended that individuals with any health concerns or questions seek the guidance of a qualified health expert or physician.

Getting Started

This article will teach you how to incorporate your diet into your lifestyle and prepare meals that will help you achieve your body building goals. Besides learning what supplements to take, you’ll also learn what foods to include and avoid in your diet.

This journey is all about diet and nutrition, and it is imperative that you understand this before embarking on it. When you begin to make changes in your daily routine and pay attention to how you eat, drink, and exercise, you will start feeling better, and you will see improvements in your mood, energy, and overall well-being.

Water intake, macronutrients, calories, proteins, and supplementation are very important factors in body building. Once you understand your intake needs for these key components, you’ll be able to sort out what types of meals you consume and how much exercise you put your body through daily. Ensure you’re meeting calorie and nutrient targets and see your progress over time by tracking your diet, exercise, and health data with Cronometer.

Cronometer will be like your best friend if you’re body building. It’s a free app that allows you to log your meals and track all your macro and micronutrients which is essential to body building. Health professionals can also use CronometerPRO to help their clients track and manage their diets which is awesome if you’re working with a nutritionist or dietitian.

Knowing Your Basal Metabolic Rate for Body Building

It’s very important that you know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) inside and out. The basal metabolic rate is the lowest amount of energy needed to sustain vital functions such as breathing, circulation, and digestion — all of the bodily functions that occur automatically.

You can measure your BMR by using an Online BMR Calculator or by using the Revised Harris-Benedict Formula. The Harris-Benedict Formulas are different for men and women. Below are the revised Harris-Benedict BMR equations:

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  • Male: (88.4 + 13.4 x weight in kilograms) + (4.8 x height in centimeters) – (5.68 x age)
  • Female: (447.6 + 9.25 x weight in kilograms) + (3.10 x height in centimeters) – (4.33 x age)

Metabolism, Calories, and Resistance Training for body building
Metabolism, Calories, and Resistance Training

Metabolism, Calories, and Resistance Training for Body Building

After you figure out your BMR, focus on boosting your resting metabolic rate with resistance training so your body can burn calories faster. Resistance training will help you change your body’s fat-to-muscle ratio which will then boost your metabolism and allow you to increase your calorie intake and burn calories quicker.

Calorie-Density Foods and Nutrient-Density Foods

It’s important to note that knowing the difference between calorie-density foods and nutrient-density foods can help make a huge difference. Eat mostly nutrient-dense foods and some additional foods for variety. Nutrient-dense foods not only help you get the nutrition you need for your body but also help you feel satisfied and full! Nutrient-dense foods have lots of nutrients with few calories.

Examples of nutrient-dense foods: Kale, Avocado, Cabbage, Kiwi, Cacao, Almonds, Quinoa, Chia, Seaweed, Garlic, Blueberries, Sweet potatoes, Bok choy, Brussel sprouts, Spinach, Carrots, Broccoli, Strawberries, Plums, Raspberries, Onions, Oranges, and Cherries

Staying Hydrated

Drinking lots of water not only keeps you hydrated but also boosts your metabolism and helps your body properly break down food. Drinking more water also helps your body flush out toxins and gives you more energy. For healthy individuals, it’s recommended to drink four to six cups of water daily, and for individuals with health concerns, it’s recommended to consult with a doctor.

Types of Plants to Eat for Healthy Fat Intake

Eat foods rich in Omega-3. In this case, you will be eating plant-based foods rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that will help support your heart health while reducing your blood pressure and inflammation. Below are some foods rich in Omega-3.

  1. Seeds: Flax, Chia, Hemp, Sunflower, Safflower, and Pumpkin.
  2. Leafy greens: Romaine, Arugula, Spinach, and Purslane.
  3. Beans, peas, lentils: Mung bean, Navy bean, Kidney bean, Soybean, green peas, yellow and red lentils.
  4. Cabbages: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, and Red, Green, Napa, and Savoy Cabbage.
  5. Winter squash: Acorn squash, Butternut squash, and a variety of pumpkins.
  6. Nuts: Walnuts and pecans.
  7. Oils: Olive oil, Flaxseed oil, Canola oil, Soy oils, Perilla oils, Walnut oils, and Mustard oil.

types of high protein plant foods for body building
Gaining Weight on a Plant-Based Diet

Types of High-Protein Plant Foods

Protein helps your muscles maintain muscle mass. Below is a list of high-protein plant foods:

Edamame, Avocado, Quinoa, Wild Rice, Lentils, Green peas, Chickpeas, Pinto beans, Mung beans, Fava beans, Lima beans, Pistachios, Almonds, Chia seeds, Avocado, Brussels sprouts, Yellow sweet corn, Potatoes, Asparagus, and Broccoli.

Create healthy high protein plant-based recipes for bodybuilding with Simnett Nutrition by following his recipe playlist. View his recipe playlist here.

Develop Healthy Habits

Include exercise in your daily routine! Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t already exercise daily, start with 3 workouts a week. The number of calories you put in should be the number of calories you put out. You can even make it fun and challenge yourself by increasing the number of minutes each day. Simnett Nutrition has an awesome workout playlist that can help you come up with some great workouts!

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Swap Foods Out

Swap out white rice for brown rice, potatoes for sweet potatoes, and sugary snacks for raw fruit or veggies. Brown rice has fiber which is good for your digestive system, and also helps your body maintain magnesium and zinc. It might take some time to get used to brown rice, but it’s totally worth it.

Sweet potatoes have fewer carbs, fewer calories, and more vitamins A & C, potassium, calcium, and other nutrients that act as antioxidants. Switching from sugary snacks to raw fruit will not only help your body but also help your teeth. Raw fruit is filled with lots of nutrients, healthy sugars, and flavonoids. Flavonoids help your body fight pain and inflammation.

Start Meal Prepping

Meal prepping adds variety to your meals and helps you release your creativity. By meal prepping you are giving yourself additional time to relax and de-stress throughout the week. Meal prepping also saves you time and money. You’ll also have more control over your portions and nutrition. Having control over the amount of food in each meal prep will help you get closer to your goal!

Learn about meal prepping for weight gain and bodybuilding with Vegan Physique. He has a whole playlist on his YouTube channel dedicated to plant-based meal prepping! You can view his playlist here.

Educate Yourself About Plant-Based Body building

I highly recommend that you start by checking out these two YouTubers: Vegan Physique & Simnett Nutrition! These two show lots of tasty meal preps that are simple to make, and they have very helpful playlists on their channel that show you how to meal prep, exercise and gain mass.

Related topic: How to Cut Your Weight In Half On a Plant-Based Diet

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post! I hope you found it informative and helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. I appreciate your input and will do my best to respond to all comments. If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please share this post with them! 🙂

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April shares autism parenting resources, plant-based living guides, and business tools! Learn more about April, and why she decided to start this blog. If you want to contact April, then visit her contact page here.

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