As more people take an ethical approach toward their eating choices, a fundamental question arises over and over again: can you maintain or improve upon fitness levels whilst practising a plant-based diet? Like all things in this oversaturated world of information, the answer refuses to boil down to a simple “yes” or “no.” Even with the release of the recent documentary “The Game Changers”—in which various athletes and fitness freaks swear by veganism—the issue remains hotly contested amongst people from all walks of life. Some will say that supplemental protein can’t beat the real thing whilst others will tell you that your body can’t necessarily tell the difference, provided you adapt accordingly and make the right eating choices. Decisions, decisions!
Current research suggests that it is indeed possible to get ripped on a plant-based diet, but that doing so requires an extra bit of planning. Make the wrong choices and you may experience more consequences than the standard meat-eater, who consumes ample amounts of protein on a consistent basis. Make the right choices and you can expect proper muscle growth along with the knowledge that you’re not contributing to climate change or the senseless mistreatment of animals (two byproducts of large-scale industrial farming, which accounts for most meat production).
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details, allow us to introduce one of the latest and greatest plant-based protein sources. It comes to us from Gold&Green and goes by the name of Pulled Oats. Now available in Australia, this healthy food consists of just five simple ingredients: water, oats, faba bean and pea protein, oil, and salt. Rich in goodness and free from compromises, it helps you shift toward a plant-based diet whilst maintaining proper protein intake. The resulting benefits will speak for themselves.
And yet the question remains: can you really get ripped on a plant-based diet? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
When practised strictly, a plant-based diet is similar to a vegan diet, meaning one consumes no animal-based products whatsoever. No chicken. No steak. No eggs, butter, milk, or fish. Some vegans won’t even eat honey because it relies on the exploitation of bees.
As a point of contrast, plant-based diets pertain to eating choices alone, whilst veganism can often extend beyond one’s diet and into peripheral industries like fashion. For example, a devout vegan would never wear leather. That’s not to say a plant-based eater would wear leather, rather it’s not inferred by the designation.
Another (arguable) contrast is that plant-based diets tend to be less rigid or extreme. To that end, the plant-based approach is really more of a philosophy than a strict eating regimen and one that allows for the occasional animal and fish product. Of course, there are still plenty of plant-based dieters who accept no compromises, consuming nothing but whole plant foods or even raw foods.
Why Practice a Plant-Based Diet?
There’s no shortage of reasons why people switch to a plant-based diet, but here are the two most common:
- Ethical reasons – They don’t want to contribute to the mistreatment of animals or broader factors like climate change.
- Health reasons – They want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and avoid the other negative risks associated with meat and dairy consumption.
Is a Plant-Based Diet Good For You?
No two humans are exactly the same nor are their various internal systems. Hence, one diet might benefit the person on your left whilst wreaking absolute havoc to the person on your right. Generally speaking, however, a healthy plant-based diet is good for your body and mind alike.
Notice we said “healthy” plant-based diets and that’s to create an important distinction, whereas some people go overboard on soy products and receive little to no benefit in return. This is known as a “junk-food vegan diet” and it’s about as unhealthy as the name would suggest.
At the other end of the spectrum are whole-food vegan diets, which consist of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and other natural foods, and are much healthier as a result.
How to Get Ripped on a Plant-Based Diet
As we suggested above, it is possible to get shredded whilst practising a plant-based diet, but it requires more planning and effort. If nothing else, you need to make up for all the protein you’d get from a traditional meat-friendly diet. You may even want to transition slowly as opposed to switching overnight, eating less and less animal protein over a designated period of time.
Here are some key pointers:
- Plan your meals – Consider mapping out your meal plan 5 to 7 days in advance.
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein – Consume protein-rich meat alternatives like seitan, tofu, legumes, quinoa, or the new Pulled Oats, which consists of faba bean and pea protein.
- Supplements are your friend – If you’re hitting the gym on a regular basis, supplement with vegan-friendly creatine.
- Take your vitamins and minerals – Maintain healthy levels of Vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and Vitamin D, for example.
- Make simple meals – Focus on quality over complexity when it comes to ingredients.
- Get enough fat and complex carbs – All three major micronutrients play a role in a healthy fitness regimen.
- Hit the gym – Just a reminder: you need to work out regularly to get ripped, regardless of your diet!
What Should You Eat?
You have your options when practising a plant-based diet and that’s truer now than ever before. Take Pulled Oats by Gold&Green, for example, which is available exclusively at Woolworths. It’s 100% plant-based, rich in protein, simple by design, and good for all kinds of broader meal plans.
Here are some quick recipes that incorporate this tasty new food and give you a better idea of its many possibilities. Along similar lines, check out these preparation tips and tricks. As you’ll soon discover, reducing your meat intake doesn’t mean you can’t eat well.
Pulled Oats is but one amongst numerous examples of plant-based foods for the modern bodybuilder. Here are some others:
- Beans and legumes
- Vegan protein powders
- Peanut butter
- Whole grains
- Vegan dark chocolate
- Olive oil
- Brown rice
The list goes on and on, making it clear that there are plenty of ways to build muscle mass on a plant-based diet. Start your journey with the new Pulled Oats by Gold&Green. Currently offered as two products (Tomato and Nude), the healthy and simple food makes for a superb alternative protein source (30g/100g). It’s available exclusively at Woolworths, compatible with a variety of meals, and ready to pump you up. Soon enough, you won’t need to ask if one can really get ripped on a plant-based diet. You’ll be the living proof.