You must forget the myths that you cannot build muscles while eating a vegan or plant-based diet, or that carbs make you fat. Our body thrives with complex carbs. Our brains need carbohydrates and we need carbs to build muscle.
It is not hard to lose weight, lower body fat, and gain muscle eating a vegan diet, as long as you follow some simple rules.
Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet
A vegan diet doesn’t automatically make it a healthy diet. Since a vegan diet is usually a high carb diet, you must understand that there are good carbs and bad carbs.
Eating a healthy vegan diet must consist of healthy complex carbs and not simple carbs. Bad carbs are sugars, cakes, cookies, donuts, fruit juices, and soda pop.
A healthy vegan diet consists of complex carbs like vegetables, beans, legumes, lentils, whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, oats, potatoes, fruits, and some nuts and seeds.
Carbs Don’t Make You Fat
You can eat all the potatoes you want and still lose weight and body fat. A baked potato can’t make you fat. Eating too much fat makes you fat.
A medium-sized baked potato only has about 160 calories. The problem begins when you put butter and sour cream on that potato. That can double and triple the calories and fat amount.
Eliminate Refined Vegetable and Seed Oils
There is nothing healthy about refined oils like coconut, olive, safflower, soy, canola, or other refined oils. They are mostly fat. When trying to lose weight and lower body fat, you need to eat a high carb, low-fat diet.
Oil and fat have more than twice the calories per gram than either carbohydrates or proteins do. And these excess empty calories add up to weight gain and added body fat.
Carbs and Fat Don’t Mix
You cannot eat a high carb vegan diet with a lot of fat. The body wants to burn carbohydrates for fuel. If you eat too much fat, your body will use the carbs first and store the fat.
There is plenty of fat in a healthy vegan diet for the body to function properly without adding excess weight and body fat. When losing weight and body fat you should avoid nuts, nut butter, avocados, and coconuts. All are too high in fat.
Some like to follow a certain set of macronutrients. The best macronutrients I have found to lose weight, lower body weight, and build muscles are 75% carbs, 15% protein, and 10% calories from fat.
A healthy vegan or plant-based diet is nutrient-dense, which means you can eat a lot of food and still be at a calorie deficit. So eat until full. Muscles need calories, so make sure you’re eating enough food so you’re not eating at a calorie deficit.
If you eat a well-rounded vegan diet, you will be getting enough protein. With a healthy vegan diet combined with a sensible work-out program, you should be able to lose weight, lower your body fat, and build muscles.