Does it seem like everyone’s a vegan these days? From celebs like Miley Cyrus and Stevie Wonder to athletes like Lewis Hamilton and Venus Williams, to even your neighbors – many are embracing veganism. So, it’s only fair that for World Vegan Day, we’re shedding a spotlight on veganism and answering the many questions you might have about it!
Veganism – a diet or a lifestyle?
Let’s quickly define what veganism is – The Vegan Society defines it as a philosophy that focuses on getting rid of cruel practices towards animals for all purposes. It’s truly a lifestyle, as practitioners often change their diet as well as the items they buy and use.
Most vegans will avoid products or items made from animals or tested on them. Many people seek this lifestyle as it can be more ethical and sustainable. If you’re highly active and looking to give veganism a go, there are a few things you might be concerned with. These can include how to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced diet and whether you will be able to achieve your fitness goals.
The principles of a balanced vegan diet
If you’re trying to eat vegan, there are a few things to look out for, including how to make your diet balanced1:
- Get plenty of whole grains – if you’re taking the first steps to a plant-based diet, you might be tempted to go overboard with refined carbs from vegan bakeries. Choose whole grains instead, which will supply plenty of energy, fiber, and additional nutrients.
- Choose protein sources wisely – for many, it’s challenging to go from eating meat to plant proteins, as you might not know what to eat. Combine multiple protein sources like chickpeas, legumes, tofu, and tempeh across your meals to ensure you’re getting all amino acids.
- Control your sugar and salt intake – you might be tempted by a variety of vegan processed foods, like vegan meats, when you’re starting out, but pay attention to their nutrition labels. Or simply experiment with new vegan recipes – for inspiration, try our sweet potato and black bean enchiladas or lentil and vegetable stir fry.
- Pay attention to your micronutrients – vegans often miss out on getting enough micronutrients like calcium, vitamin B12 and omega-3s. Try a supplement if you’re finding it hard to get them into your diet.
These four principles can help you ensure you’re remaining healthy while following a plant-based diet. If you’re looking for more tips on leading a plant-based diet, check out our discovering diets post.
Alternatively, you might be wondering if a vegan diet can help you reach your goals.
Can I lose weight while eating vegan?
If you’re interested in using a plant based diet to lose weight, you’ve come to the right place. Turns out that these diets are a great way to lose weight, prevent weight gain and seem to work for a variety of populations, from healthy people to older adults2. You’ll find that these diets have plenty of fiber to keep you satiated and have less fatty foods, which helps you control the amount of calories you get. But do remember – going over your calorie requirement is possible with vegan diets, so be smart about what you eat3.
If you’re looking to shed some pounds with a vegan diet, remember to get plenty of exercise and support your body in burning fat, not muscle. You can do that by adding in some extra protein or amino acids into your routine – BCAAs are a great option. Maxler 100% Golden BCAA is a vegan supplement that can help keep muscle mass and support recovery.
Can I build muscles while eating vegan?
Alternatively, you might be interested in building muscle, perhaps because you’re looking to boost your fitness. Veganism allows for that, in fact, plenty of athletes are actually vegan. How can you ensure you’re hitting your fitness goals while eating vegan? It comes down to getting enough whole grains for energy, plenty of vegan protein sources with each meal and taking care of your micronutrient intake. Check out our post for vegan athletes with some nutrition tips!
Additionally, it’s important to maximize your results from your workouts. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and replenishing electrolytes with Maxler Electrolyte Powder. Consider pre-workout supplements like 100% Golden Citrulline Malate to train for longer. And don’t neglect recovery – add recovery boosting supplements like Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine or make recovery rituals a habit.
Veganism is a lifestyle that you might be considering, and if so, it’s important to know whether it can help you reach your goals and compatible with your health. This World Vegan Day, you can use our four balanced diet principles as well as some tips on using the vegan lifestyle for your goals to give it a try. Trying something new might just be the first step to a healthier and happier you.