If you want a serious six-pack then you need to consider two things: your workout regime and your diet.
This guide from Men’s Fitness will help you to understand the exercises you need to include in your regime but what about your diet? Is it possible to get this right if you are one of the estimated four million people in the UK who is a vegetarian?
The answer, you’ll be happy to know, is yes. By harnessing the power of the best vegetables that Mother Nature offers you’ll not even need to look twice at the chicken and beef that meat-eaters tend to load up on when they are building their muscle.
The first point to stress, though, is that you do need to work hard to strike a balanced diet. Being a vegetarian doesn’t guarantee you will be healthy. As Bodybuilding.com points out you must shun ready meals and stock up on fruit, nuts, veg, grains and seeds. You might have to eat more frequently to consume the calories you need to fuel your workout regime. That’s ok, as long as you plan it all out properly.
You’ll need to ensure that you use supplements where necessary if you need to top up your intake of any of the essential nutrients. Meat, for instance, is a great source of protein. You might need some protein powder if you are to ensure you have the right fuel to grow and repair your muscles. Red meat also helps to increase the amount of iron in your system, so this might have to be provided by a supplement. The clue really is in the name ‘supplement’. Work out your diet plan, assess what you can and can’t get from your food and drink and then supplement that with extra products to get the perfect balance.
Once you’ve realized these two things it’s important to pinpoint the right vegetables that will help you to build up your muscles.
The Fysiqal Muscle Building Veg guide pinpoints spinach, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, broccoli, beans, legumes and red peppers as items that should be right at the top of your shopping list as a vegetarian looking to bulk up.
Why these? Well, consider spinach for example. Website Eat This sums up its appeal by stating: “Downing iron is as important as lifting it — the mineral is crucial to building muscle and strength, and spinach is the dietary MVP.” It’s thought that a 180g serving of boiled spinach contains 6.43 mg of iron – which is more than a burger.
Mushrooms are packed with potassium, sweet potatoes are laced with vital vitamins, broccoli is high in fibre and beans and legumes can give you the protein you need. On top of that we’d add the need for nuts – which are perfect for a short, sharp exercise energy boost.
These and other fruit and vegetables are ‘superfoods’. Working these into your meals will help you tick plenty of boxes and ensure that you don’t miss out from the benefits of meat in your diet. Then it’s just over to you to put the hard yards in the gym…