Training as a Vegetarian
In this post we talk about:
- Training for fat loss as a vegetarian.
- Common pitfalls that we see clients struggling with.
- Why its not just a calorie deficit that you need to lose weight (insulin).
Making a life choice to eat predominantly vegetables is admirable. I am not a vegetarian, however, I respect anyone who makes a conscious choice to eat a certain way as it takes dedication and discipline. Two great traits.
Training For Fat Loss.
Firstly it is possible to put on lean muscle mass and it is also possible to lose fat by being a vegetarian. However there are a few dietary principles you HAVE to remember when trying to lose weight as a vegetarian. Which we will go through. Training wise ensure that you are still doing the same as everyone else. Usually, you will have a lot more energy (carbs) to burn than most people. Which is just fine. Don't be afraid to go on the extra walk here and there.
But to be honest... You are a normal individual. Just with different dietary requirements.
One common issue we see is clients struggling to lose weight as vegetarians. There are a few reasons why but lets run through the basics.
- Overeating on carbohydrates, fruit, cheese and not actually eating much veg.
- Undereating the amount of protein required to rebuild lean muscle needed to burn fat.
- Snacking too frequently so the body never learns to burn fat.
As a vegetarian or vegan training is the same as it is for anyone else. But if you under eat on protein after doing a lot of weights then you may struggle to rebuild lean muscle tissue. Rebuilding this muscle is what gives you the chance to "tone up" and burn fat. Think of muscle as your furnace.
'But I eat enough veg for my protein count!'
Its not all about protein. But it is a common pitfall.
What to do:
You need to supplement (light supplementation) on Rice and Pea protein. See Iher.ie for a great supplement which you can find here perfect for vegetarians:
Why not whey protein? It tends to be a little harder on the stomach and to be honest, I find the above product the best protein on the market.
Why it's not just a calorie deficit you need.
This is where it gets interesting. I don't want to bore you on this one but I will be direct on it. Our video on the topic is a little more detailed that lasts around 5 minutes but just remember a few of these principles.
Usually, vegetarians eat more carbohydrates. Carbs are a form of glucose. If you eat these quite frequently what happens is that you secrete insulin (a hormone) a LOT more often than most people. Insulin can then result in interrupting that fat burning "cycle".
What to do:
Have a supplement of protein early in the day before breakfast to help with muscle sorenenss and recovery. This will have you fuller for longer.
Understand that in between meals when you are hungry that this is ok. Don't be snacking every hour. Let your body be hungry and space meals 3-4 hours apart. 1-2 snacks a day is fine. But not sugary snacks and try eat more fat based snacks: Nuts, seeds. Keep the carbs VERY low if not non-existent for snack times.
If you want to more.
Put details in below and we can send on the video of the more detailed effects of insulin etc and what to eat.