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  1. #1
    Natty Beardbuilder wings_unhinged's Avatar
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    Vegan diet vs. Non-vegan

    Everyone on BB.com says high amounts of protein and low amounts of carbs are the way to go.

    I became a vegan 6 months ago, and all of the information on vegan websites talked about how people get TOO MUCH protein. I don't think this is based on a 1g/1lb ratio that lifters go by, which is more than the average person gets.

    Since going vegan, I've lost about 50 lbs.. I consume mostly carbs, but I get a decent amount of proteins from soy products, beans, and nuts. I haven't lost strength either (although I am new to lifting weights and my strength is low compared to seasoned vets).

    How do vegans shed so much fat if they consume mostly carbs?

    I'm just confused because both sides give way different information.
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  2. #2
    Registered User mattbru's Avatar
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    Protein is mainly used to keep from burning off muscle... sure the low protein way "works" but how much of it is fat, and how much of it is muscle. Your system needs protein to survive, when your protein intake is low, the next best place for your body to get it from is your muscles(aka muscle breakdown). At the end of the day there is no magic number on how much protein you should take, but in my opinion and based on research... generally the more, the better.
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  3. #3
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wings_unhinged View Post
    Everyone on BB.com says high amounts of protein and low amounts of carbs are the way to go.

    I became a vegan 6 months ago, and all of the information on vegan websites talked about how people get TOO MUCH protein. I don't think this is based on a 1g/1lb ratio that lifters go by, which is more than the average person gets.

    Since going vegan, I've lost about 50 lbs.. I consume mostly carbs, but I get a decent amount of proteins from soy products, beans, and nuts. I haven't lost strength either (although I am new to lifting weights and my strength is low compared to seasoned vets).

    How do vegans shed so much fat if they consume mostly carbs?

    I'm just confused because both sides give way different information.
    How many vegans have won the Olympia, Mr. Universe or even their IFBB pro card?
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  4. #4
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wings_unhinged View Post
    Everyone on BB.com says high amounts of protein and low amounts of carbs are the way to go.

    I became a vegan 6 months ago, and all of the information on vegan websites talked about how people get TOO MUCH protein. I don't think this is based on a 1g/1lb ratio that lifters go by, which is more than the average person gets.

    Since going vegan, I've lost about 50 lbs.. I consume mostly carbs, but I get a decent amount of proteins from soy products, beans, and nuts. I haven't lost strength either (although I am new to lifting weights and my strength is low compared to seasoned vets).

    How do vegans shed so much fat if they consume mostly carbs?


    I'm just confused because both sides give way different information.
    like anyone else, maintain a calorie deficit
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  5. #5
    Registered User mattbru's Avatar
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    Vegans still have a lot of options regarding protein though... I mean on tuesday I actually decided to try some tofu/veggie strings(mainly because of sick protein levels aha). One serving of tofu was 100 calories and 16g of protein. Also the veggie string were 260 calories for 34g of protein.
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  6. #6
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mattbru View Post
    Vegans still have a lot of options regarding protein though... I mean on tuesday I actually decided to try some tofu/veggie strings(mainly because of sick protein levels aha). One serving of tofu was 100 calories and 16g of protein. Also the veggie string were 260 calories for 34g of protein.
    Right but are they complete proteins?
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  7. #7
    Registered User mattbru's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    Right but are they complete proteins?
    Not necessarily so it is probably a super difficult task, but was this this guy back in the day
    http://www.bodybuilders.com/albert.htm.
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  8. #8
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mattbru View Post
    Not necessarily so it is probably a super difficult task, but was this this guy back in the day
    http://www.bodybuilders.com/albert.htm.
    Did you google that? Thanks by the way haha.
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  9. #9
    Registered User mattbru's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    Did you google that? Thanks by the way haha.
    Aha I honestly did out of curiosity, I personally didn't think there would be one myself.
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  10. #10
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mattbru View Post
    Aha I honestly did out of curiosity, I personally didn't think there would be one myself.
    I figured google would come up with something. For years I've read M&F, Muscle Mag and Flex and never read about a vegan or vegetarian pro, I never really looked into it either.
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    I figured google would come up with something. For years I've read M&F, Muscle Mag and Flex and never read about a vegan or vegetarian pro, I never really looked into it either.
    vegan diet is healthier for your body in the long run, i think the poster could give a fuk less about how many vegans have won body building awards.

    in terms of diet though ive done meat and ive done pescaterian (fish and dairy) and I can say I felt better in energy, lost more fat, sustained more muscle mass on the vegeterian diet.

    So if your planning on being Mr. Olympia you'll want meat, if not do what you your doing now =)
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    Doc Holliday msm00b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lezgetitdone View Post
    vegan diet is healthier for your body in the long run.
    No it isn't. Humans evolved to be omnivores. Our bodies are custom built for a diet of both meat and plant.

    The vegan diet may be healthier than the average american diet, but it's a far cry from being as healthy as a normal balanced diet inclusive of both animals/plants. Veganism is a choice. Some people do it for "honorable" reasons. Most are just douchebags trying to be trendy or making ill-informed decisions based on what they read on the intrawebs.

    But yes, vegans lose weight by maintaining a calorie deficit. You'll have a hard time building a lot of muscle mass on a diet that restricts all animal based proteins.
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    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lezgetitdone View Post
    vegan diet is healthier for your body in the long run, i think the poster could give a fuk less about how many vegans have won body building awards.

    in terms of diet though ive done meat and ive done pescaterian (fish and dairy) and I can say I felt better in energy, lost more fat, sustained more muscle mass on the vegeterian diet.

    So if your planning on being Mr. Olympia you'll want meat, if not do what you your doing now =)
    Thanks for the laugh.
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    Originally Posted by msm00b View Post
    No it isn't. Humans evolved to be omnivores. Our bodies are custom built for a diet of both meat and plant.

    The vegan diet may be healthier than the average american diet, but it's a far cry from being as healthy as a normal balanced diet inclusive of both animals/plants. Veganism is a choice. Some people do it for "honorable" reasons. Most are just douchebags trying to be trendy or making ill-informed decisions based on what they read on the intrawebs.

    But yes, vegans lose weight by maintaining a calorie deficit. You'll have a hard time building a lot of muscle mass on a diet that restricts all animal based proteins.
    You sure about that? Ive read articles that we originally had plant based diets and thats how our digestive system thrived on. Ive also read diets on people who eat RAW diets have much lesser chance of developing illnesses and diseases. After doing this diet myself I noticed the difference.

    I gained a large amount of muscle mass, but this can be contributed towards not lifting for a full year before starting up again (noobie gains). I also ate fish and dairy to help aid in protein. Vegan is different though and that means plants only so who knows.
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    Originally Posted by Lezgetitdone View Post
    You sure about that? Ive read articles that we originally had plant based diets and thats how our digestive system thrived on.
    Look at our teeth: We have incisors and canines. Primitive man had incisors and canines. Incisors and Canines = meat eating evolution -> omnivores.


    Ive also read diets on people who eat RAW diets have much lesser chance of developing illnesses and diseases. After doing this diet myself I noticed the difference.
    There are benefits to eating raw veggies just like there are benefits to eating raw meat (if you're willing to risk the parasites/bacteria). Restrictive diets (especially ultra restrictive ones like vegan diets) make establishing a proper balance difficult. If you're not careful and don't take a vitamin, you also risk deficiencies (cobalamin <B12> being the most famous deficiency associated with veganism).

    I also ate fish and dairy to help aid in protein. Vegan is different though and that means plants only so who knows.
    If you ate fish that's not really even vegetarian (though some vegetarians will try to tell you it is). Fish and dairy are incredibly healthy. What I can't for the life of me understand is why some people find it morally repulsive to eat cow/chicken/deer/pig but think it's ok to eat fish. Or why people think it's repulsive to eat animals in the first place. Unless you're a plant photosynthesizing your own energy from the sun, everything on this planet survives by eating something else that's alive. Animals eat animals, and we're animals too ... it's part of the natural order of things. If you're opposed to the way we raise animals for slaughter, I can respect that. There are meat and animal products available that aren't mass farmed though.
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    What about eggs? they are full of complete protein and nutrients.
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    Originally Posted by Lezgetitdone View Post
    vegan diet is healthier for your body in the long run, i think the poster could give a fuk less about how many vegans have won body building awards.

    in terms of diet though ive done meat and ive done pescaterian (fish and dairy) and I can say I felt better in energy, lost more fat, sustained more muscle mass on the vegeterian diet.

    So if your planning on being Mr. Olympia you'll want meat, if not do what you your doing now =)
    I did a raw vegan diet for a couple of months just to clear out the system (it felt absolutely incredible). but now I eat tons of chicken and tuna, but oh well lol I've been on this site for a long time, and I find it funny how many things people take as fact because it gets repeated over and over again, but I also see that on other boards no matter the subject lol EDIT (oh I wasnt disagreeing with you I was just saying in general)
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  18. #18
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    ...

    I find it somewhat interesting that most of the Pro-Vegetarian/Vegan/Pescetarian hype comes from places that endorse or push on that way of life. The answer is in our teeth. I've even heard that our teeth are the way they are because of choice, when in fact there is documented and researched proof that pre-civilized man also had incisors.

    Also, I have met a few vegetarians that try to convince others that eating fish is fine, that it doesn't change that they are vegetarians. Bleh! People farm fish just like they do beef and chicken!

    I've tried the vegan, vegetarian and pescetarian route myself, mostly because an ex went through the gamut and finally ended up eating meat again. My body feels best in pescetarian mode, but with a bit of red meat and poultry every once in a while. Out of simplicity, I buy bulk chicken and beef.

    PS, medium-well T-bone steak, sweat potato and greenbeans!!! NOM NOM NOM!

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  19. #19
    POW/MIA Never Forget JontheAtheist's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by medicgarza View Post
    I've tried the vegan, vegetarian and pescetarian route myself, mostly because an ex went through the gamut and finally ended up eating meat again.
    Bro, I went through the same thing with an ex-girlfriend. I started dating her, and she was all about vegan diet. I gave it a shot because I wanted to have an open mind*


    *get laid



    But I wont ever do that again. Tofu hamburgers, and vegetarian "meat". Gross.
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    Registered User Lezgetitdone's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree with you medic.

    Thats kinda want I meant, I have never been vegan, always pescavegeterian. That's what I meant when I said I felt best energy wise/muscle strength wise. I really think it is.

    Isn't fish a better meat overall compared to those two?

    High protein to calorie ratio, omega 3, etc
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    POW/MIA Never Forget JontheAtheist's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lezgetitdone View Post
    Isn't fish a better meat overall compared to those two?

    High protein to calorie ratio, omega 3, etc
    Yeah, that and it probably has the least amount of fat in it. But now you have to worry about mercury levels in fish.

    If you Google around you can find a chart that has the fish with the highest amount of mercury to the fish with the lowest.
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    Registered User amazongb's Avatar
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    I tried all raw last year for two months. The only problem was retaining muscle -sure, the weight fell off of me, but I looked like a long distance runner, pretty pathetic. That said, if I tried it again I'd be researching hemp proteins, but I doubt I'd do it again. I find mixing greens and lean meats to be much more satisfying all the way around.
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    Originally Posted by medicgarza View Post
    I find it somewhat interesting that most of the Pro-Vegetarian/Vegan/Pescetarian hype comes from places that endorse or push on that way of life. The answer is in our teeth. I've even heard that our teeth are the way they are because of choice, when in fact there is documented and researched proof that pre-civilized man also had incisors.

    Also, I have met a few vegetarians that try to convince others that eating fish is fine, that it doesn't change that they are vegetarians. Bleh! People farm fish just like they do beef and chicken!

    I've tried the vegan, vegetarian and pescetarian route myself, mostly because an ex went through the gamut and finally ended up eating meat again. My body feels best in pescetarian mode, but with a bit of red meat and poultry every once in a while. Out of simplicity, I buy bulk chicken and beef.

    PS, medium-well T-bone steak, sweat potato and greenbeans!!! NOM NOM NOM!

    -Medic
    This is basically what I do. Mostly fish with meat on occassion. Call it flexible pescitarianism
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  24. #24
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    I went vegan about 5.5 years ago. I have not done any serious lifting since then, but if you're interested there are websites devoted to the subject.

    this link is to the vegan bodybuilding profiles page:
    http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios

    none of them are huge, but i doubt any of them are juiced up either. One guy on that page is a strongman competitor, rob bigwood is a pretty big boy and makes a living as an arm wrestler, mike mahler is that kettle-bell strength trainer dude.

    and there are a handful of bodybuiders on an even more restrictive diet than vegans - raw vegan bodybuiders - there's a youtube vid of a raw vegan taxi driver bodybuilder

    so obviously it can be done. it's mostly a matter of how big do you want to get? I'd love to see a vegan bodybuilder whose trained for ten years AND cycled roids the whole while, but i'd think most vegans are more interested in health than freakish size.

    My strategy for proper vegan nutrition is to eat whatever the hell i feel like with a strong preference for dark green vegetables minimally cooked. Eating like that, I believe that I'll get all the protein I need so long as I'm intaking ample calories. Also that old fashioned idea about 'complete' protein has been shown to be bunk. no i don't have the link to the study but it's obvious when you think about how vegans eat. I never pile tofu on beans on rice with nuts because i'm worried about getting complete protein. A typical meal for me will be maybe a 1.5 cups of brown rice, 1.5 cups of broccolli, and maybe 2.5ish cups of salad - spinach, romaine, endive - whatever's laying around. If complete protein was required i'd have wasted away by now, but eating like that for 5.5 years now, i don't believe i've lost a single pound of lbm.

    also the op mentioned carbs - nearly everything a vegan eats is carbs, but complex > simple...dark greens > beans and rice

    i'm just getting back into lifting and suspect that the only difference i'll notice is that it's easier to maintain a low bodyfat percentage while eating vegan.
    Last edited by Romac; 04-05-2011 at 04:34 AM. Reason: typo
    Fatloss thread: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=311486
    Fatloss post with attached diary: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=657290963&postcount=117
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  25. #25
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    had to laugh at the fact that there is no vegan Olympia... of course there isn't vegans are vegans for a reason not because they use roids.

    i've been a vegetarian for 5 years and it def. has not effected any muscle gains or made me look tiny. i was a vegan for a while but to be a healthy vegan takes time and preparation as the food and nutrient choices need to be thought out.
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  26. #26
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    I went vegan for several months last year and was a vegetarian for a total of almost four years. Getting sufficient protein as a vegetarian versus as a vegan are two COMPLETELY different challenges. I found great results using a combination of hemp protein powder, pea protein powder, and brown rice protein powder, and never used soy. Blended with almond milk and frozen fruit they were tasty, but they were a little rough by themselves (as are most vegan-friendly supplements). I don't think I can link to the website from Bodybuilding.com, but True Protein sells those proteins in bulk... they're A LOT cheaper there than buying them off the shelf of a natural foods store.

    I'm back to eating meat now, but when I eventually go vegan again, those protein powders will be a staple of my diet once again.

    Good luck.
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  27. #27
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    Veganism makes paleo diet look smart by comparison.

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  28. #28
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    Be funny if OP proved people in this thread wrong, you never know what can be achieved until you try it. If you chose to be vegan, okay, get protein from plants, keep lifting, never know what you could achieve.

    "How many vegans have won the Olympia, Mr. Universe or even their IFBB pro card?"

    How many do you know that have attempted it, anything is possible with enough will power. and unless you plan on roiding up to that of a freak then you are not going to win either.
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  29. #29
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    I was surprised when I started looking into raw food diets about how much broscience is going on. Half the websites have no studies linked to any of the reasons why raw food is better. I tried doing it for a week to help with a detox but it's hard on a college budget and food prepping takes time. I think (unless you have beliefs) a mixed diet is probably best. I don't know how much merit there is to an alkali diet but that's one of the reasons people 'feel' better when they eat vegetarian/vegan/raw. Sprouting foods is interesting but at the same time it's kinda dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. I sprouted quinoa seeds last week and put them in a smoothie and I had awful gastrointestinal problems for like 24 hours.

    I don't see why people have trouble getting in protein needs on a non-animal product diet. Even if you eat mainly vegetarian/vegan and you have 75g of whey (or soy/pea) the other 100-150g isn't that hard to get or even that expensive.. lentils and oat bran are about the same price as eggs. The only trouble I ran into was trying to cut while doing this type of diet because of calorie restrictions. If you are bulking raw/vegan/veg is attainable. I am surprised there isn't a raw or vegan BB pro.

    1 cup oat bran 230 calories, 16g protein
    1/2 steamed cup lentils 120 calories 9g protein
    1/4 cup quinoa 170cal 5g protein
    4 tbsp peanut butter 380cal 16g protein
    2 slices of trader joe's sprouted rye bread 120cals 10g protein
    1/2 cup almonds 360cal 12g protein
    1-2cups Various greens and veggies = 100cals 6g protein (spinach, peas, kale, broccoli, green beans)
    1/2 cup chickpeas 110cals 7g protein
    +protein isolate
    2 cups unsweetened soymilk 140cal 14g protein
    1 cup brown rice 215cal 5g protein
    1/2cup oatmeal 150cal 5g protein
    =181g protein, 2375 calories.

    fill in rest of calorie needs with fruit and call it a day while bulking.
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  30. #30
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    I've been a vegan for 3 years, I take in about 1700 calories, 130g protein. Pretty easy when you eat a lot of legumes, tofu, et al.

    Lost 90 lbs, feel better, stronger. I've definitely put on muscle. I think it's a smart choice and your digestive system feels better. Carbs take up around 40-50% of my diet, but I've not had any issue with losing weight or putting on muscle. However all of my carbs are unrefined unprocessed oats, whole grains, legumes, et al.

    As for the "teeth" argument, no humans aren't evolved to not eat meat, but they are designed to subsist of primarily plant products. Compare the human body to a slew of other carnivores and omnivores. Humans have a long digestive tract, we use primarly our molars to chew with, and honestly, we may have canine teeth, but you do you really think you could kill an animal in the wild with your bare hands and canine teeth? Incisors are prevalent within herbivore populations as well. Not that someone can't live healthy with meat or dairy in their diet, but one can also live especially well on a vegan diet. I know I feel better. And besides the health aspect of it, it's simply an environmentally conscious and animal-friendly way of eating.

    And on the complete proteins aspect, if you eat a varied diet there is absolutely zero issue with complete proteins. It's all about amino acids within the proteins of the foods, some legumes lack one or two aminos that your body doesn't make, but another may have them, or some grain may have them or a nut or a vegetable... It's really a non-issue unless your sole food source is peanuts or something.
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