3 Plant-Based Muscle Building Meal Plans

plant based muscle building meal plan
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Are you looking to build muscle on a meatless meal plan? Or are you thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet?

You’re in the perfect place because I’m going to give you 3 plant-based muscle building meal plans. Each plan is a full day of eating.

You’ll also learn…

  • The best plant-based muscle building foods
  • Your 3 meal plans
  • Perfect post-workout meals and shakes
  • How to bump up your calorie intake for gains
  • Advantages of plant-based vs vegan
  • Building both muscle and your health

By now you’re probably hungry, so lets’ dig in…literally!

IMPORTANT: This article is not saying that you should or should not go plant-based. This is a meal plan to help anyone who chooses to go this route.

If you’re looking for meal plans that include meat, check out my posts:

Meal Plans for Mass Gains
Meal Plans for Getting Shredded

Plant-Based Muscle Foods

Before we get into your meal plans, it’s important to first go over the types of foods you’ll be eating. Chances are you’re familiar with many of these. But having this comprehensive list will make it much easier for both grocery shopping and meal planning.

This list will start with the purest and unprocessed foods (aka foods with no ingredients, unless you count the food itself as an ingredient!).

There will also be a list of foods that are also plant-based but contain multiple ingredients. These will be foods like veggie burgers or vegan sausages.

These foods cater to helping you build muscle on a plant-based diet. Whether it’s from the high content of vitamins and antioxidants, or the foods higher in protein, together these foods will greatly complement your efforts in the gym.

Pant-Based Foods and Grocery List

  • Beans (red, white, black, pinto, butter beans)
  • Lentils
  • Peas (black-eyed peas and green peas)
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds)
  • Pita bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta sauce
  • Salsa
  • Bread (burger buns)
  • Almond milk (coconut, soy, or pea milk is fine too)
  • Plant-based burger patties
  • Plant-based meatballs
  • Plant-based sausage

Oh, and be sure to pick up any sauces you like. I’m personally a fan of trying different hot sauces!

You can also experiment with adding seeds to your meals, such as pumpkin, chia, flax, and sunflower seeds. Tommy’s Super Foods talks more about the benefits of adding seeds to your meals in the post Building Muscles on a Plant-Based Diet.

**There are many processed foods that are labeled as vegan or plant-based. Many of those are okay. Just make sure to read the label and ingredients. Just because the label says vegan or plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

And although it’s okay to splurge now and then, you don’t want to be eating processed or high-sugary foods everyday.

3 Plant-Based Meal Plans

food vegan tofu thai curry bodybuilding meal

Now it’s time to dig into the meals! You’ll notice that each day is a little different. And here’s how to use these plans to get the most out of them…

  • You do not have to use the 3 meal plans each day consecutively
  • Instead, eat Meal Plan 1 for 2-3 days, then start Meal Plan 2 and so on
  • This will allow you to cook and do your meal prep for the next few days
  • Once you’re finished with Meal Plan 1, you will cook and prep for Meal Plan 2, and so on

Also, feel free to substitute foods within the meal plans below. You can follow this plan exactly the way it’s written or you can use it as a guide to creating your own plant-based meal plans.

*These meal plans are based on a morning workout schedule so you’ll start your day with a pre-workout meal followed by a post-workout shake.

You can move these meals around as needed to cater to your workout schedule. Same goes for the times listed for each meal.

Plant-Based Muscle Building Plan Schedule

Your schedule will look something like this:

  • Monday: Meal Plan 1
  • Tuesday: Meal Plan 1
  • Wednesday: Meal Plan 1 (cook/prep meals for Meal Plan 2 on this day)
  • Thursday: Meal Plan 2
  • Friday: Meal Plan 2 (cook/prep meals for Meal Plan 3 on this day)
  • Saturday: Meal Plan 3
  • Sunday: Meal Plan 3 (cook/prep meals for Meal Plan 1 on this day)

See how easy that is? You’ll only need to cook and prep for 3 days during the week.

Plant-Based Meal Plan 1

Vegan Thai curry with tofu homemade meal

Meal 1: 5:00 AM Pre-Workout

  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter

Meal 2: 7 AM Post-Workout

  • 10 ounces of coconut milk
  • 1 serving of spinach
  • 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 scoops of plant-based protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter

Meal 3: 9:30 AM

  • 1-2 servings of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries

Meal 4: 12:00 PM

  • 1-2 servings of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 serving of plant-based meatballs
  • 1-2 scoops of plant-based protein powder
  • 1-2 pieces of bread

Meal 5: 3:30 PM

  • 1-2 servings of nuts
  • 1 apple

Meal 6: 6:00 PM

  • 1-2 servings of quinoa
  • 1-2 servings of lentils
  • 1 serving of broccoli
  • 3-4 red potatoes

Plant-Based Meal Plan 2

plant based broccoli kale quinoa sweet potato

Meal 1: 5:00 AM Pre-Workout

  • 1 serving of oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries

Meal 2: 7 AM Post-Workout

  • 10 ounces of almond milk
  • 1 serving of kale
  • 1/3 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 scoops of plant-based protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter

Meal 3: 9:30 AM

  • 2-3 plant-based sausage patties
  • 1 serving of grits
  • 1 serving of broccoli
  • 1 serving of cauliflower

Meal 4: 12:00 PM

  • 1/2 serving of red beans
  • 1/2 serving of white beans
  • 1-2 servings of tofu
  • 1 serving of broccoli
  • 1 serving of carrots

Meal 5: 3:30 PM

  • 1 serving of quinoa
  • 1 serving of chickpeas
  • 1 serving of kale

Meal 6: 6:00 PM

  • 1-2 servings of rice
  • 1-2 servings of black beans
  • 1 serving of spinach
  • 1 serving of carrots
  • 1 serving of cauliflower

Plant-Based Meal Plan 3

Vegan plant-based burgers with fries

Meal 1: 5:00 AM Pre-Workout

  • 1 apple
  • pita bread

Meal 2: 7 AM Post-Workout

  • 10 ounces of almond milk
  • 1 serving of carrots
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 scoops of plant-based protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter

Meal 3: 9:30 AM

  • 1-2 servings of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries

Meal 4: 12:00 PM

  • 1-2 servings of quinoa
  • 1-2 servings of tempeh
  • 1 serving of green peas
  • 1 serving of kale
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes

Meal 5: 3:30 PM

  • 1 serving of rice
  • 1 serving of red beans
  • 1 serving of tofu
  • 1 serving of cauliflower

Meal 6: 6:00 PM

  • 2 plant-based burger
  • 2 bakery buns
  • 2 servings of spinach (on the burger!)

Post Workout Shake (My Personal Recipe)

I’m going to give you my personal favorite plant-based post-workout shake. You saw similar shakes in the 3 meal plans above.

  • 25-30 grams of plant-based protein powder like Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein
  • 10 ounces of almond milk
  • 3-4 frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup of frozen organic blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of kale
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
plant based post workout smoothie shake

This post-workout shake gives you plenty of protein and carbs and some fats. You’re also getting an array of vitamins and antioxidants, which are all important after an intense workout (your workouts should be intense!).

Now, you may think having kale in this recipe is odd. It doesn’t make your shake a little green, like the Incredible Hulk! But don’t worry about the taste. All of the fruit overpowers everything else in regards to taste!

For decent-tasting plant-based protein, try Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder on Amazon.

If you want that muscle building boost, add 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate. There are vegan-friendly creatine products, such as Old School Labs Classic Creatine Monohydrate on Amazon.

3 Ways to Gain More Muscle on a Plant-Based Diet

Stiff Leg Deadlifts back and hamstrings workout

If you’re worried about eating enough to gain muscle, there are a few things you can do. And all of these are relatively simple changes.

And you don’t have to do all of these. You can just choose 1 and that will help you pack on more muscle. Let’s go over them below…

1 – Add More Calories – Just Eat More!

This is the easiest fix for gaining muscle. You could increase the food for each meal. Or you could simply add another serving of a specific food to a 2-3 of your meals.

For example, double up on the peanut butter in your post-workout shake and add an extra ½ serving of quinoa to 2 other meals. Or an additional sweet potato to another meal. You can play around with that to see what works best for you.

It’s not much different than a typical bodybuilding meal plan. You know you need calories to build muscle and gain mass. The only difference is you’re just eating more of different foods (plant-based) instead of getting your calories from meats.

2 – Eat Dessert

Okay, I’m going to catch some crap for this, but hey, who doesn’t like dessert? This is an awesome way to get more calories for building muscle.

In fact, there’s actually a ton of healthy organic desserts that are both plant and vegan-friendly. Jacked on the Bean Stalk website has some tasty desserts in their article Vegan Bodybuilding Desserts To Beat Sugar Cravings.

So throw in a dessert with your lunch or dinner a few times a week. That will give you some extra calories you may need to pack on more size.

3 – Add Another Meal Per Day

If you don’t want to add more food to your existing meals, you could also increase the number of meals you eat per day. This may actually help with your metabolism if you’re wanting to do a clean bulk.

Yes, your goal is to gain muscle by increasing calories. But eating more meals as opposed to adding more calories to existing meals may help you gain more efficiently (without gaining fat).

In fact, the Healthy Heard Blog ‘Qardio’ lists eating more often as one of their 9 Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism. Now, these don’t necessarily need to be small meals if your goal is mass.

In this case, you can just add a 7th meal to the meal plans above. The easiest wayt to do this is to eat around 9 PM. You could do a plant-based smoothie or eat leftovers from another meal.

Focus on Health First, Building Muscle Second

This is going to hurt (even me) to say this but we should all be focused on our health first and foremost. Building muscle is great, and there are loads of benefits that come with having lean muscle mass. But we all know it’s tempting to go overboard in order to pack on more muscle.

So be mindful of your health before everything else. This simply means eating the right types of foods that will give you longevity.

As a result, you’ll build muscle because you’re giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to repair muscle tissue (recover from workouts) and energy to fuel your workouts. And if you want to gain more muscle, just use one or more of the tips we just went over.

Another added benefit to this plant-based muscle building diet is you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to optimize your hormones, like testosterone.

All that said, this meal plan will put you on track to awesome health and muscle gains.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I really want to see you follow this meal plan, or at least use it as a guide to creating your own. Also, please feel free to share this article.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason

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