Home / / Exercising On a Vegan Diet – All You Need To Know

Exercising On a Vegan Diet – All You Need To Know

By Rachael Attard, Updated Sep 15, 2020
vegan diet exercise

I’ve had a few girls interested in my 3 Steps to Lean Legs program over the last few months wanting to know about exercising on a vegan diet. They were not sure if they were still able to complete all the workouts like everybody else, or if there would be some restrictions.

Because of this, I decided to do a whole post about exercising on a vegan diet, so I can share the info with you all.

I also want to let you girls know that my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program now comes with a vegan meal plan (see more about it below)!

DO VEGANS NEED TO EXERCISE OR IS VEGAN DIET ENOUGH?

Yours and my fitness goals may be not the same, but we should all do some sort of physical activity if we want to stay fit and healthy! 

Vegans included :)

You don’t have to go to the gym and get ripped but you should include some type of cardio and some type of resistance training in your fitness routine.

Walking is a low-intensity cardio workout that is great for burning fat and it’s so easy that even complete beginners can do it! 

So if you’ve just started a vegan diet and you’re worried about your energy levels, walking is a great choice :)

And when it comes to resistance training, you don’t need to lift heavy weights to build lean muscles and get toned

Bodyweight resistance training is amazing, especially if getting lean is one of your fitness goals!

And even though it’s still challenging and it will make you sweat, bodyweight training is great, especially if you are just getting into fitness or if you have just made a big diet change and you’re not sure how well your body will adjust to it.

RELATED POST: WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WENT VEGAN FOR A MONTH

vegan diet and exercise

WHAT VEGANS EAT BEFORE AND AFTER WORKOUT

Pre and post nutrition for your workout is important no matter what kind of diet you are on. It’s key for recovery, building muscle, and also so you have enough energy to work out effectively.

Without the right pre-workout nutrition, you can experience gastro problems, as well as lowered endurance.

Similarly, not eating correctly after can cause problems too. It might mean that your muscles are sorer for longer, or your results are not what they should be.

So here’s what you should eat if you are exercising on a vegan diet and you want to get the best results :)

exercising on a vegan diet

GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN WHEN EXERCISING ON A VEGAN DIET

Protein is important for a number of reasons:

  • It helps you recover quicker after workouts – protein helps your muscles to rebuild and repair
  • When you are digesting protein, you burn more calories
  • It boosts your metabolism
  • You keep fuller for longer, so you don’t need to reach for snacks
  • It reduces your appetite, so you don’t eat more than you should.

Eating a protein-rich diet is very important if you are trying to lose weight.

Since vegans don’t eat eggs or meat, which are a great source of protein, it’s important to find other ways to get the right amount of protein in your diet.

You want to be able to have 1.4-2 grams of protein every day per kilogram of bodyweight. But if you are a really active person and work out a lot, you could eat up to 2.4 grams.

Here is a list of some of the best vegan foods to get your protein from:

  • Peanuts / peanut butter
  • Green peas
  • Beans such as lima, broad, black, butter and fava
  • Chia seeds
  • Potato
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole wheat flour (but don’t have this if you are gluten intolerant)
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu

If you want more information about how much protein you can get from each of these foods, read this blog post.

Another way to ensure you get enough protein is by using a vegan protein powder every day. You can mix the powder into your smoothies or soy yoghurt, as I like to do :)

RELATED POST: WHY YOU NEED PROTEIN FOR FAT LOSS

getting enough protein on vegan diet

BEST VEGAN PRE-WORKOUT SNACKS

Before working out, you should focus on eating carbs and protein. I’d recommend having a mix of protein and carbs around 30-60 minutes before you start to do your workout routine.

If you exercise first thing in the morning, it is best to consume carbs and protein prior to your workout. 

If you exercise in the afternoon/evening and have eaten enough carbs within the few hours prior to your exercise, you may not need to eat more carbs.

Here are some options that you have:

  • Soy yoghurt
  • Muesli (low-fat) – use soy yoghurt on top
  • Soy milk fruit smoothie
  • Jacket or cooked potato
  • A sandwich with salad and soy cheese
  • Wholegrain toast with banana or peanut butter (or both together!)
  • Some fruit such as bananas and grapes
vegan diet

BEST VEGAN POST WORKOUT SNACKS

Both carbs and protein should be included in a post workout snack. This is so your body can rebuild your muscles and replenish your fuel stores.

The absolute BEST time to consume carbs is after a workout. If your goal is to reduce body fat, eat the majority of your carbs in the morning and post-workout.

Some of the great snacks that you can add to your eating plan include:

  • Baked beans on toast with some added vegetables
  • Crackers or whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • A glass of soy milk with a salad wrap
  • Soy yoghurt with rolled oats, chia seeds. Add some nuts and berries.
  • Multi-grain lentil burger
  • Homemade bliss balls

3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS NOW ALSO HAS A VEGAN MEAL PLAN

I should also mention something really exciting!

My 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program now also has a VEGAN MEAL PLAN :)

I’ve created 80 original vegan recipes, easy to follow directions and a nutrition index or each recipe that will show you how many calories, carbs, fat and protein each meal has!

So if you want to exercise on a vegan diet and be sure you’re eating right, my workout and nutrition program will be perfect for you!

I really hope you guys are going to like it:)

Love Rachael xx


Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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