It wasn’t too long ago that there was a widely held consensus that eating meat was the only way to get enough protein into your body for building muscle and seeing true gains. That way of thinking is slowly changing, thanks in part to the growing number of bodybuilders and athletes who are crediting a vegan diet with helping them achieve peak performance.
Rob, a British bodybuilder and coach, has been vegan for four years. In a recent YouTube video, he shared the results of his DEXA scan, which accurately measures body fat and muscle, and broke down exactly what kind of impact a plant-based diet has had on his body.
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After four years on the vegan diet, Rob has a body fat percentage of 13.7. “That’s certainly higher than I was expecting,” he says. “That means of my 85 kilos, I have 11.6 kilos of total fat on my body… Am I happy with that? Yeah, I’m very happy. I feel good, I perform well in the gym, and that’s mostly what I’m concerned with. This is a good level of body fat that I’m able to maintain.”
Lean muscle mass
His lean mass count is 22.1 kgs per meter squared, which in relative terms, is higher than 89 percent of peers of his age. “It just shows that you can build and maintain muscle eating nothing but plant-based proteins,” he says.
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According to the body mass index (BMI) readings on the DEXA scan, Rob is technically overweight. However, as he points out, BMI results are calculated solely on weight and height, and don’t distinguish between muscle or fat. “They’re too generic, and they’re too reductionist,” he says.
For anyone who is curious about the vegan diet, Rob suggests starting by simply incorporating one plant-based meal into your diet per week, and taking it from there.
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