T Nation

Going Vegan for 2017. Thoughts and Risks?


I didn’t really consciously start doing this initially, but eventually I realized that I had naturally gravitated toward mostly not eating both meat and dairy. I used to eat a lot of them but I’m done growing now (I’m 23) and it doesn’t seem as important as much. Now I eat neither and am thinking about starting to get back into exercise and working out and continuing this on the vegan diet for 2017 or most of it.

Thus far I feel a lot lighter and clearer throughout the body, a lot less indigestion than I previous had. I take multivitamins and am currently researching in particular the B-vitamins that are found in meat and how to meet those demands in other ways.

There are also discussions out there that say that vegan dudes have higher T. yay or nay?

Seeing a bunch of vegan bodybuilders was enough to convince me that if done right, it in no way hinders your muscle-building capability.

I recently discovered PB2 and have been eating that on celery or with oatmeal, I can’t stomach too much of it at a time because as good as it is it won’t ever replace the taste of straight PB, but it’s alright.

Also I have worked in service food service jobs and seeing so many animal products being prepared was enough to put me off them, at least temporarily lol.

Something I avoid too much of anymore as well is starches coming from grains, these days I get them more from brown rice or potatoes.

Is this a dumb idea? What are your thoughts?


If you are going Vegan because you are averse to hurting animals then go ahead.

If you are going Vegan for health reasons don’t. India has the highest concentration of vegetarians and vegans on earth and their health markers are nearly as bad as Americans. I think their diabetes rate is higher. The meat is bad for you propaganda is BS spread by PETA.

What is good about Vegan diets is more vegetables. If you brought together every Dietician in the whole world and asked them the #1 thing you could do for your health the answer that would win would be “eat more vegetables”. You can eat more vegetableas and still enjoy meat, meat is very nutritious.

Look at Jack Lelanne for a guy who ate meat AND vegetables and worked out into his 90’s. He died of Pneumonia, not of lifestyle disease.


kind of weird that you post about yourself on a bodybuilding forum when you don’t even work out, but that’s beside the point I suppose.

I think, if you feel like the have better health and digestion when you cut out meat, you should actually try an elimination diet instead. Precision nutrition do an absolutely tremendous right up, but the gist of it is:

-cut out pretty much everything other than a tiny list of “safe” foods
-eat this way for 3 weeks (so the inflammation caused by the allergens you used to eat has time to subside)
-reintroduce a single verboten food for a day
-go back to eating the restricted diet for 2 days and monitor your symptoms. If you have no symptoms - success! That food can stay.

You repeat this process until you have reintroduced all your foods.

I had a lot of problems with my digestion and can honestly say the elimination diet has been life changing. Some of the results really surprised me, like I can eat all meat without problem except pork. A couple of rashers of bacon here or there is fine, but a meal’s worth of pork fucks me right up. Bit of a nightmare considering I used to eat an absolute ton of the stuff, but at least now I know.

Also, if you pardon me for saying, you’re quite an introspective, analytical kinda guy so you might quite enjoy doing a little experiment on yourself.

Something to consider, anyway…


Well look at it this way, it’s better to not work out and not eat shit than it is to not work out and eat shit

As for the rest I may, but by well I kinda know how my stomach handles things to know what is right for me. I can’t stomach most heavy foods, like red meat and heavy sodium and fat.


not necessarily arguing with that, just think it’s weird that you’re on this particular site. I don’t fish, so I’m not going to go to the off-topic section of a fishing forum, but whatever.

Fair enough, although I thought I did too and was very surprised by the results. A lot of food I was sure I couldn’t handle I actually can, and vice versa.


It depends on what you mean by bodybuilding. If having a body image in mind and doing what is necessary to get it is called body building, then yes I do have that. However mine probably differs from a lot of people on this board. I’m a runner and I bike but I’m sure that doesn’t count

That reminds me, I’ve researched something called trophology, it’s how foods combine. It’s eye opening because you realize a lot of stuff you are eating at the same time is causing a toxic reaction to your particular system. Most people don’t realize this.

Really to be healthy you should be eating enough to keep moving during the day and do what you have to do, for that reason, grazing works a lot better for me than three big meals a day. If I ate breakfast and a decent lunch I would feel like falling asleep, especially if it was like a standard American breakfast.


erm, I mean lifting weights and eating a shitload to get muscular. That’s kinda what bodybuilding is.

Whatever, though. I really don’t care. It was just a throwaway remark which I’m regretting now because you’ve made it all over-analytical and boring like you always do.


Well shit. I’ve been told I’d make a great lawyer though


nope, I imagine you’d probably suck at that too.

Good day, sir.


edit: not worth the effort


Actually after about age 40 Jack Lalanne did not eat red meat. In fact he only ate fish as his main protein source (not including protein supplements). And he made sure he ate 9 fruits and vegetables per day. He also took a boat load of vitamins each day. He worked out three hours every morning between swimming and weight lifting and lived to the ripe old age of 96. Some say he would have topped made 100 but some have speculated that he actually needed more vitamin K3 which according to studies pulls calcium out of your three main arterial arteries and puts it back into the bone. Calcium buildup in the arteries can cause arterial plaque to form. To my knowledge Lalanne first had medical problems because of a heart valve issue so I don’t know how the k3 played into that.


To the original poster, you don’t have to eat meat to continue to gain strength and muscle. But, you must supplement wisely. Biotest has some great supplements including protein powder. There is one important amino acid that is found abundantly in red meat and that is carnosine. It is also an antioxidant which means it scavenges free radicals which cause aging and breakdown in the body.

I preach to my vegetarian friends all of the time about getting enough of the following:

  1. Protein 2, Iron 3.B12 and of course carnosine.

There is some carnosine in fish but not nearly as much as red meat.

If you are smart, and it sounds like you are, you will be able to pull off your vegetarian goals while still making gains in the gym!

Good luck,




The vegans I know eat to much sugar.


Best of luck, dave670! I’m proud of your choice, speaking as a vegan/vegetarian for over 20 years. And I really like PB2 too, mainly because it’s so low in calories and fat. Keep it up! You can do it. :slight_smile:


I knew lalanne ate mostly fish and poultry. I thought he did enjoy red meat and such rarely. But at 3 hours of lifting and swimming per day plus all those veggies he probably could’ve eaten most anything and been ok.

I was trying to give OP an example of vibrant health whilst eating animal products. Lalanne would do handstand pushups at parties into his 90’s.

But I have nothing against vegans, just the preachy judgemental ones.

And for fun:


An article I read about the world’s other oldest living woman also smoked a pack a day lol. But who knows, maybe she ate a low-fat diet or something. Or just didn’t eat much at all, one thing that is proven true is that if you eat less you live longer.

I just don’t like things like bacon and eggs, that’s really all there is to it. My system seems to prefer to get it from grains and legume combinations, based on monitoring my energy levels eating both ways

Although yes it is very true you have to watch the sugar level if you eat vegan. That said, I have hypoglycemia and get lightheaded if my blood sugar drops too low. I always carry a granola bar at work when i’m standing for a long time


I couldn’t agree with you more. I eat a plant based diet which includes 9 fruits and vegetables per day. But, I also include eggs a couple times a week and a delicious steak smothered with mushrooms once a week. I think having good health is all about balance. But I do avoid sugar for the poison that it is.


Here’s my advice:

Avoid labeling yourself based on what you eat. Why would you want to pigeonhole yourself with a title of “vegan”? What ends up happening is people become emotionally attached to certain label, be it vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, etc, etc… and they define themselves by it. They read articles about why that way is better to justify it, and annoy the hell out of anyone around them. Even the Dalai Lama eats meat when he is a guest of someone who prepares a meat dish for him.

If you like to eat mostly grains, legumes, etc… then do it. Why the need for the label of “vegan”? What if you go to friend’s house and they prepared chicken tacos, or you’re out and about in NYC and someone buys you a slice of cheese pizza? Find a way to eat regularly that makes you feel good, but don’t define yourself by it. You will not be less healthy by occasionally eating almost anything, and in the case of meat/dairy you will likely be more healthy by allowing it from time to time.


You put into words exactly what i’ve been thinking for awhile. It’s best to just use moderation and keep it simple. But most people have a hard time with that and find it easier to be one thing all the time


To date that is the only thing that can assure a long life. But I have read some interesting data that states fasting can help in that regard. Apparently they have found a longevity gene SIRT1 which is activated three ways. The first is through caloric restriction on a regular basis. The second is by something called intermittent fasting for periods of time as little as 12-15 hours. And the third is by consuming a product sold right here on T Nation called “Resveratrol”.

I have been taking resveratrol for several years and I fast once a week for just shy of 24 hours. Interesting enough as a side note I have not lost any muscle, but have lowered my body fat.

Okay I think we are off topic.


I dig IF, it helps with appetite regulation and also is good for weight control. If you have the discipline to fast 24 hours once a week and exercise weight maintenance becomes almost a non-issue