This sample meal plan is one I use when my goal is to drop body fat and reduce my percentage by roughly .5 to 1% per week. The focus is to keep carbohydrates centered around my workouts, then limited for the remainder of the day. I keep healthy fats and proteins even through out the day, with the exception of no fat post workout (fat slows digestion, not ideal post workout). Adjust total calories based on individual goal. I aim for around 2800 daily when the goal is fat loss. Also, on a plan such as this, one day a week, I include a re-feed day with roughly 150 additional carbs added mid day, so that equals about 600 additional calories. This prevents you body from plateauing.
1/4 cup dry oatmeal cooked in water w/ blueberries and flax oil
1/2 pack Upton’s Seitan “Bacon”
Late Morning Snack:
1 scoop PlantFusion Protein Powder (mixed in water)
1/4 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1C pinto beans, 1/2 avocado, mixed greens,
salsa, and a 2 low carb tortillas
Mid Day Snack:
mixed raw almonds, brazil nuts, cashews
eggplant hummus and carrots
1 scoop rice/pea protein (mixed in water)
1/4 C ground dried coconut and 5 grams glutamine
1 scoop PlantFusion Protein Powder
1 banana and 1/2C strawberries, and a handful of spinach, kale, and chard, all blended in water
5 grams glutamine
4oz. Marinated Tempeh
1 cup broccoli florets
2 cups salad
2 tbsp salad dressing (typically a tahini based dressing)
Protein pudding made with
1 scoop rice/pea protein, 2 tbsp almond butter,
1/3C water, cocoa powder, stevia, and
5 grams glutamine
You are an inspiration to many; Thanks for sharing your advcie & real world bodybuilding techniques.
I don’t mean to judge, but is there a way to get a substantial amount of protein without doing soy every day, or even every other day? It just seems like overloading on any one thing can’t be a good idea.
Hey Mark, thanks for asking. Yes it is possible to consume enough protein for building muscle on a vegan diet without soy. I do however find this to be quite challenging, more based on lack of convenience. I don’t mind including certain soy foods in my diet. That is why the soy products I use are always non-gmo and organic as much as possible. Other great protein sources are Rice/Pea/Hemp Protein Powders, Seeds, Nuts, Bean, Nut Butters, and Legumes. Sprouting Seeds and Beans also increases their amino acid profile. It is definitely possible. It just takes a little more planning. Complex grains and pseudo grains have decent protein content, such as quinoa, amaranth, and oats, though I recommend focusing more on the first list, as too many carbohydrates make it challenging to control body fat levels.
I am new to the vegan style but very interested in the benefits of it. I am 58, recently discarded 50+ pounds of fat. Now at 194#, and 23% body fat, my goal is to reach 174# and 12% BF or less. I lift 3 days a week and do cardio 3 days a week. I feel great, but still have love handles and a little bit of a belly. I believe I can get there. DO you and any tips? I am not a big soy fan, although occasionally no problem. Planning and preparation are always a challenge! Thanks Ed. You are amazing!
Hey big guy!
I just want to say I love what you´re doing here, too few people believe going vegan will give results, but you definitly prove them wrong! You are a big inspiration to us all, but I wish you could hurry up on making the programs because after watching your video I really want to know how you do it! PS: Is there anything you know a man in his early 20s need to know when he turns vegan and starts exercising daily?
Keep on inspiring, let them keep admiring! one love
Nico, You got it! As a man in his early 20s and new to vegan, all you need to know is get enough calories, get enough protein, get your fats from nuts, seeds, coconut, and avocado, hit the gym hard, and commit to what you want in this life. Thanks for your support!
Hi. I’m a 30 year old woman working on building muscle and getting to about 18% bodyfat. I have read that you need about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight to accomplish this. Do you follow this program?
Yes, I do. Since being lean and more defined, I have always followed a higher protein regimen. Up to 2 grams per pound to build muscle, 1.5 grams per pound of body weight for leaning out, and 1 gram per pound to maintain is a general approach.
– do u combine the ground pumpkin seeds in the Vega one shake?
– do u combine the dried coconut and glutamine in the pre- and post-workout shakes?
I add pumpkin seeds to my morning and or evening shake. I add dried coconut to a pre-workout shake, and I add glutamine to both the pre and post-workout shakes as well as the evening shake.
Hey, do you supplement B12?
Yes, I drink fortified almond milk, and take a multi that has B12. That seems to be the only necessary supplement going along with a 100% plant based diet.
Just wanted to say, if you can handle the taste (I can’t!) then you can get all the B12 you need from Chlorella.
And thanks for being such an inspiration! I’ve just started CrossFit (I’ve been vegan for almost seven years) and it really helps to know that proper gains are possible on a vegan diet.
Hey Ed, I have two questions and will try to be as brief as possible:
First, I’m a single, almost 31 year old guy in the Army who has never really cooked for myself ever (I’m not counting microwave meals). I’m used to handing out cash at restuarants and especially at fast food places for unhealthy food. I’ve decided that enough is enough and I want to eat cleaner. Any advice as to how I can come up with meal plans and shopping lists for myself since I have absolutely no experience in this area?
Second, what kind of blender would you recommend people to look into?
Robb, that’s a pretty hefty question. I would recommend picking up Rip Esselstyn’s book ‘The Engine 2 Diet.’ It has lots of easy yet tasty recipes and good tips on how stock your kitchen and prepare dishes. Also I have a Vitamix blender and love it.
hey did u ever post about doing paleo as a vegan? thx!
Instead of nuts (because i’m allergic) what can I replace them with?
You can replace nuts with another fat, such as seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp, chia), avocados, or any form of coconut.
Ed, do you have any recommendations for someone like me who is trying to lean out? i have a lean body mass of 115lbs but am wondering if it is advisable to eat one gram per pound of body weight instead.
Thanks so much!
1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass is what I normally aim for if you are leaning out and working out multiple times a week. If you are trying to gain more muscle, then I eat 1 gram per pound of desired lean mass.
I’d recommend upping your protein to 1 gram per pound of total weight, simply because protein is more thermogenic and will keep you satiated longer. Also do 20-40 minutes cardio on a fasted state for accelerated fat loss. Also supplement with glutamine and BCAA’s to protect lean mass. I like Dymatize Elite Recoup Lemonade for that.
Good morning Ed, first wanted to thank you for sharing your time and insight, second wanted to ask you about the percentage of macros you follow and calorie in order to loose fat. I weight 190lbs and 5’8”. Thank You ad have a great day
I set my calories at a particular number, say 2500, set my protein around total body weight 190 x 1.25, 237 grams (948 calories), non-fiber carbs about 125 grams total (500 calories) and the rest of the calories (1,052) from fat, which comes out to 117 grams of fat. I get my body fat measured, eat this way for a week, and get measured again. If fat is dropping, I keep it. If fat is not dropping, I make small adjustments to carbs, fats, or how much I am exercising.
Hey Ed. You are a great inspiration and the perfect role model I need to start my vegan body building journey (I used to skate and I’m an listener of hardcore and metal music too.) I am 23 years old and I weigh a mere 140 pounds right now.
My question to you is, which ratio for the macros do you suggest for my body weight and goal? Also, should I go cold turkey (chuckles), or try vegetarianism first?
Hey Terrence, early advice I got from my dad on how to start gaining weight was, eat everything you eat now, but add in 3-4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day. Now this sounds really generic, but if you use a natural peanut or almond butter, a low sugar jam and sprouted ezekiel style bread, then you will add a minimum of roughly 50 grams of protein a day and an additional 1000 calories a day. Really all you need to do to gain lean mass is increase protein and calories while following a training program like 5/3/1 that allows for slow and steady strength and mass gain. Stick to the basics, get stronger and eat enough calories that you are going about 1 lb a week. You have to build your body up before you can be a bodybuilder. Also incorporate a protein specific food in all of your meals like beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh, veg meat, seeds, powder, seitan, etc.
Quantities for mid day snack?
Varies from person to person. I’d recommend about 15-20 grams of protein and enough carbs and fats to get you close to 300 calories.
As all have said you are an inspiration like all the other plant built team. I am going to college right now for exercise physiology and have been vegan for 2 years. Right now I am training for a marathon and I do strength training 4 days a week and running 4 to 5 days a week. I am in a competition with a friend that I can’t cut my body fat because vegans can’t build muscle. Right now I weigh 127 and my body fat is 28%. I am frustrated on what to eat so I can cut fat and grow muscle. I basically need someone to say eat this at this time. What can you suggest? Any help will be great. Wish I lived out there to train at your gym!
I can tell you over a phone consultation. Email me privately if you are interested. Thanks!
The protein and soy issue is precisely why I haven’t transitioned from vegetarian to vegan. I’m a 34yo woman trying to drop a huge amount of weight and have found only Medifast’s macro formula — 40% protein, 40% carb, 20% fat, 800 to 1000 calories — is the only thing that works for me. I’ve been trying to do it with “real food”, stuff I can chew and enjoy rather than drink down. Because of the soy, this means a lot of salads and egg whites.
I’d love to know what the macro breakdown for this sample plan of yours is, and to hear about how to get 80 grams of protein from a vegan diet while getting no more than 80 grams of carbohydrates…
Simply plug amounts of food into myfitnesspal.com and see what a readout would be. I do not count fiber as carbs. I only count net carbs since fiber doesn’t digest. Lentils and Pumpkin seeds are good options, seitan if you eat gluten, then BeyondMeat beefless crumbles are soy and gluten free as well as Tempt brand Hemp Tofu. It’s not that challenging with a little practice. A few scoops of PlantFusion or Vega Sport help out a lot as well.
What is a ideal ratio of Carbohydrates/Fat/Protein for a very lean tone body. I have been vegan for 6 months now and I am ready to incorporate a balanced diet. I am 25 and have been working out for 10 years now. I am currently around 205-210 at somewhere close to 15-18% BF. My highest weight I have reach when bodybuilding on a animal based diet was when i was 22 and was 238 at around 12-13% BF. I am very interested to hear from you as I am wanting to be 6-7% within 6 months. August 27th 2014.
Go with 40% Carbs / 30% Fat / 30%Protein for a balanced approach to losing weight, maintaining strength and optimal hormone levels, and reducing body fat.