Vegan meal plans are something I still get requests for pretty regularly. I did a full 90 days of a vegan diet before. It was a great learning experience, and it taught me a lot about how to eat. I still like some of the meals and recipes I used over the 90 days. But I have definitely added meat back into my diet. I think the extent to which you use (or don’t use) animal products is completely up to you. At the end of the day it’s about a lifestyle and you may have very good reasons for picking yours over someone else’s.
Vegan Meal Plans: Fat LossWhen most people email, they are looking for a vegan meal plan for fat loss. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, losing fat is about maintaining a calorie deficit over a long period of time. So if you are a vegan, start tracking your food. Hit a calorie goal that is a deficit for you and your weight/activity level (Calorie Calculator).
But what most people working out realize, is that they are better off to also maintain a higher level of protein intake. This may be slightly secondary to the calorie total, but protein does help you lose body fat and maintain muscle. Whether that is protein from plant sources or animal, you are going to have better results with a higher level of protein.
How much protein? That is a whole other can of worms that we won’t get into now LOL There are many vegans/vegetarians that will advocate far less that what a lot of other healthy fitness professionals recommend. It’s too much for right here :-)
Vegan Meal Plans: My Sample Plan
So for my plan, I tried to stay close to 2000 calories, as that is a pretty good deficit for most guys starting out. I attempted to hit 30% protein or 150g. That would give you some good meals with a great section of protein.
I feel short of 150g every day I tried. I know I could get better if I logged more days but I just couldn’t get it perfectly dialed in. That is important to remember. WORK AT YOUR MACROS! Get them close, don’t go over your calorie total, and keep at it. I didn’t want to use 5 scoops of Sun Warrior in my day just to hit protein. I used 2, maybe 2.5. I then loaded up on other complete protein sources (beans/rice, quinoa, lentils, hummus, etc).
As you can see, I still used Shakeology much I do every morning. That would get you a good dose of 30+ g of protein right after your workout. I also tried to get bigger doses of protein at my main meals. It was easy to get plenty of fiber with these days!
Vegan Meal Plans: Hard to Boost Protein
It’s hard to really boost protein in vegan meal plans due to the fact that vegan “protein sources” are really carbs or fats. Quinoa might have a lot of protein for what it is, but IT’S A CARB! If you had to define it by one macro, it would be carbs. So as soon as you get your portion sizes up to give you the protein you want, your carbs are blowing up.
Running the deficit will do tons to get you to the BF you want. Then as you add back in calories, you will have more room for more protein and the carbs and fats that accompany them.
If you are ok with a few animal products, adding egg whites (and maybe even a little diary) can help a lot. But you have to be OK with that! I’m not trying to change you LOL. Even a cup of egg whites adds 26g of protein without any carbs or fat.
Keep bringing it teamRIPPED!
*** A really good resource for some vegan meal recipes (and tons without common allergens) is Oh She Glows! Awesome site! The recipes aren’t specifically DIET/Fitness focused but track them and you can find a ton to use. MFP has a bunch already put in by other members.
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