If you are into your fitness, it is likely that you will have heard of the term ‘bulking’. This is a common practice amongst gym-goers in which they purposefully eat more calories than they need in order to put on some weight. They then turn this weight gain into muscle through intensive resistance training.
The opposite of bulking is cutting (having a calorie deficit diet) and doing a lot of cardio in order to lose fat. However, just because you are bulking doesn’t mean you can go stuff your face with processed foods and sugars. You should still nourish your body with plenty of healthy nutrients and proteins to put on weight in a clean way.
When you look at a bulking meal plan, protein intake is typically represented by meat like chicken or turkey bacon. Often, as a vegetarian, the fitness world doesn’t include many alternative options. Vegetarianism and veganism are two diets that have skyrocketed in recent years, and even more so since the start of the pandemic.
However, if you are veggie and you too want to pack on the pounds, we are here to help. Here is all you need to know about bulking on a vegetarian diet.
The best way to guarantee results is by creating a comprehensive meal plan for the month. Making a plan will give you a guideline on how many calories you should be consuming with each meal. If you haven’t got much experience in creating a meal plan, here are some common mistakes that you should avoid.
This article will focus on alternative protein sources, as you can still work with the other ingredients found in typical meal plans, such as eggs, broccoli, spinach, and milk. For a vegan alternative, just switch out the dairy for soya or almond milk and skip the eggs.
When you are trying to increase the amount of protein in your diet, one of the most obvious ways to do so is through a protein powder. These dietary supplements are full of essential muscle-building components and there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian powders on the market.
However, this is not the only drink that can give you that added boost of energy. If you find it difficult to lay off the sugary juices or sodas, then why not try a protein lemonade drink? These low carb beverages are packed with 7gs of protein and essential vitamins.
If you are looking to replace your chicken with a meaty substitute, there are a ton of veggie alternatives. The most well-known substitute is tofu, a bean curd that can be used in hundreds of dishes. This is a great protein replacement that can be easily cooked in a stir fry with veggies.
Tempeh, another plant-based protein, is packed with even more dietary fiber and protein than tofu. It has a nutty flavor, more calories, and is perfect for grilling. It also provides high amounts of iron, manganese, and calcium.
If you aren’t loving the taste or texture of these plant-based proteins, then you can always include other foods, like beans, in your diet. Kidney beans, great northern beans, lentils, and chickpeas are some of the best options.
These are rich in fiber and a half cup of cooked beans can provide you with 7 grams of protein, which is equivalent to around one ounce of meat. Beans are also great superfood for the wintertime as you can cook them in stews or chilis
Nuts and seeds are a great way to get that added source of protein. They are especially versatile because you can add them to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and you can even munch on them as a snack.
The most protein packed nuts include hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, dry roasted peanuts, almonds, and flax seeds. All of these nuts and seeds can be added to smoothies, cereals, salads, or yogurts.
If you’re not a fan of eating seeds and nuts in this way, you can get the same benefits by using nut butter. Just be cautious when choosing the brand and look for one that is low in sugar with all-natural ingredients.
Hopefully, you now have a ton of ideas on what to include in your diet to put on weight during bulking season. Make sure you are in a calorie surplus and that your meal plan is accounting for any physical exercise that you do.