Does flexible dieting work if you’re a vegan or vegetarian?
As macro coaches, a common question we hear is, “Can I do flexible dieting if I’m a vegan?” And the short answer to that questions is, yes. Flexible dieting as a vegan is possible and a great option.
Flexible dieting can be used in conjunction with virtually any dietary preference because it uses the macro-based sequence which allows you to eat the foods you want and still reach your fitness goals. A vegan diet does require a bit more creativity for success, but in reality, it isn’t much different than a traditional weight loss diet.
There are, however, a few things you can do as a vegan to make sure that you’re hitting your macros more efficiently. And to help ensure that you are sticking to your flexible dieting plan.
Here are a few tips for vegetarian and vegan macro success:
Make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet
One of the things that are important in a vegan or vegetarian diet is making sure you get enough protein. For some, this can be a challenging aspect of the flexible dieting program. Especially if you are trying to build muscle and strength, then you want to hit your recommended macro protein target. A huge misconception about plant-based diets is that it’s hard to get enough protein. While it’s not as obvious what plants contain protein, there are plenty of vegan options. Some good sources of protein for a vegan or vegetarian diet include beans and rice, lentils, hummus, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
You can also try high-protein tofu and various meat substitutes. Keep in mind some meat substitutes will be more expensive than rice, beans, and lentils, and you’ll most likely need to find them at a health food store.
Textured vegetable protein, or TVP, is a good topping to add some crunch and extra protein to any dish. It can’t always be found easily in stores so getting it online is a great option. If you are worried about a ‘cheesy’ flavor to add to eggs or vegetables, Nutritional Yeast is a great alternative to cheese for vegans and it adds some nutrients to your food as well and is found in most health food stores. If you need added protein also, vital wheat gluten can be used in several recipes. Here’s a great mug cake recipe by @fitveganchef that uses vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content!
Take a good supplement
Though supplements are beneficial for any enhanced lifestyle change, they are especially advantageous to those who are on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Taking daily supplements is an excellent way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it could be lacking as a result of a plant-based diet. This is a common problem, however, no matter what type of diet lifestyle you follow. It’s so hard to eat all of the foods every day to get good micro-nutrient intake! Supplements like Micro-Factor Pack packs quite a punch with 8 different supplements in one packet, including a probiotic and multivitamin. You can also use a vegan protein to help increase your overall protein intake!
Supplements can also be beneficial specifically to those who are looking to build muscle and strength. Good supplements will help you fill in nutritional gaps and allow you to get all the vitamins and minerals we just can’t eat in a day with our food. However, you do want to check ingredients on the labels of any supplements, as some capsules can be made with animal products like gelatin.
Supplements come in many forms from multivitamins to fiber and protein-based alternatives. Many different types of supplements can help you. An excellent place to start with supplements is to consult with your macro coach. See what they recommend using and go from there. You can also or check out 1st Phorm for their selection of vegan supplements.
Sample vegan or vegetarian macro friendly diet ideas
Now that you know it’s possible to be vegan or vegetarian and follow the flexible dieting lifestyle let’s go more in-depth about the type of food you could be incorporating into your daily diet. One challenge any flexible dieter faces (vegan or not) is how to pair foods together to create a balanced meal. Here are some sample meal ideas for your vegan diet that are also macro friendly!
Oatmeal with vegan protein powder mixed in – Top with seeds nuts, a fruit of your choice
Protein shake with toast and nut butter
Almond milk yogurt bowl with granola
Lunch & Dinner IDeas
Veggie burger with sweet potato fries
Veggie bowl with air fried or baked tocu
Vegan Mac & Cheese
Dried berries and nuts
Fruit and almond milk yogurt
Raw or roasted veggies with hummus
One of the benefits of veganism is that you have the opportunity to experiment with fruits and vegetables that otherwise may have not been a part of your diet. Things like lentils, jackfruit, figs, and various cruciferous vegetables may now become a part of your meal prep repertoire!
Things to Watch out for When Tracking Macros
It can be very easy to be enamored by the myriad of options when it comes to specialty snacks and foods on a vegan diet. When practicing flexible dieting, the most sustainable route is to make sure that your diet is made up mostly of whole nutritious foods. This is going to be especially important to sustain a vegan diet using tofu, bean, lentils, legumes, rice, and fruits and vegetables. When we start getting mesmerized by the specialty foods, the price tag of the food begins to go up. The other problem with specialty foods is that they tend to be a little bit less macro friendly. However, they can be great opportunities to satisfy cravings for foods that don’t fit a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, and they can definitely help make a macro lifestyle sustainable.
Here are some popular vegan specialty snacks that are a little more macro friendly:
If you are someone who does need the occasional on the go protein bar in order to fit your busy lifestyle, here are some good vegan protein bar options. Quick tip: you may want to check the ingredient list of the various flavors!
- No Cow
- KIND Bar
- Garden of Life Performance Protein Bar
- Square Organics
- GoMacro Bars
- Simply Protein
- Lara Bar
Final Thoughts On A Vegan Macro Diet
As you can see, being a vegan or vegetarian doesn’t exclude you from the art of flexible dieting. It’s not a deal breaker. You have to be mindful, and count your macros like you would with any other flexible dieting routine.
So with a little time, effort, and planning you can easily adjust your eating habits to help you become a success with flexible dieting as a vegan or vegetarian. You can reach your goals regardless of what you eat. Have more questions? Ready to start flexible dieting? Talk to one of our macro coaches today and get the results you’ve always wanted while living the lifestyle you deserve.