Whether you are an avid gym goer, an athlete or somebody who is interested in cutting out animal-based products from your diet, going Vegan has benefits that are worth the sacrifice. On top of feeling healthier and more radiant, a Vegan diet can promote longevity, good health and non-cruelty towards animals. Whether you are following a fitness program as a Vegan or are thinking about getting fit, here are some strategies that can help you achieve optimal levels of fitness and good health. I have been lifting weights for 4 years and only transitioned 8 months ago, I have had to switch up my eating schedule and make some slight modifications in order to keep being successful with my muscle-growth. Here are some good tips that I found have helped me achieve optimal energy levels and quality gains at the gym.
- Eat more frequently. I recommend eating at least every 2-4 hours especially because you will be drained from energy by your workouts. I recommend carrying a plant-based protein bar, a handful of nuts or fruit with you if you are busy.
- Meal prep based on your goals. I never thought it would help until I started doing it, not only am I way more successful in my muscle growth, I noticed that by spending an hour on the weekend doing it, I am setting myself up for success with my hard work at the gym. I recommend at least trying it once. If your goal is to put on muscle, then just by making your breakfasts in advance, you are guaranteeing that you will be successful in feeding your body in order for it to grow healthier and stronger.
- Drink warm water with lemon in the morning. I just started doing this and it does wonders for your digestive system. The best way to start the day is by ditching the cup of coffee and instead sipping on warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice. The coffee can wait until afterwards. You’ll feel so relaxed with this detoxifying treat. You can even add honey for flavour.
- Eat slower by taking the time to chew your food and by practicing being mindful. This tip is especially important for newly-transitioned vegans, by eating slower and taking the time to chew your meals, you are less likely to over-eat and can actually enjoy the delicious and healthy, plant-based meals you are eating. Here are two exercises you can try next time you are having a meal.
Mindfulness Exercise: Try taking a deep belly breath midway throughout your meal and direct your attention to your stomach. Ask it if it is hungry from a scale of 1 to 10, wait a moment, on this scale, 1 is starving and 10 is stuffed. Try eating until you are at about a 5-6 on the scale.
Mindfulness Exercise 2 : Another way of being mindful of your eating is to take a moment and start to notice the sensations as you are eating. How does the food feel? What textures can your mouth taste, even without thinking, just take the time to indulge your senses. This may seem like an odd tip, especially when it comes to building muscles, however just by taking the time to slow down and being mindful, you’ll gain so much more awareness of your strong and healthy body and its needs. You really are what you eat!