Who says you can’t get toned and buff on a plant-based diet? Certainly not Fitmark Ambassador Nimai Delgado, who has never eaten meat…ever! As someone who turned pro athlete in just one year, he’s living proof of what you can do on a vegan diet.
Fitmark Ambassador: Nimai Delgado
Lifestyle: Vegan IFBB Pro Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Coach
Meal Bags: the Shield LG
Plant-Based Fitness and Muscles to Prove It!
Raised vegetarian by Argentinian Hindu parents in South Mississippi, Nimai has never tasted meat before in his lifetime. After deciding to make the move from vegetarian to vegan, and giving up dairy to adopt a 100% plant-based diet, Nimai noticed his gains multiplied. The hard work he was putting in the gym was now backed by a plant-based diet and he put on even more muscle than ever (and no, he’s not on steroids). On top of that he says he’s never felt better. He told us:
I was in the process of converting to an all plant-based diet at the same time as I decided to compete in fitness shows. I was actually raised vegetarian since birth, and I’ve never eaten meat. The more I researched, the more I learned about the health benefits of the diet. I knew it would be a challenge, but I really enjoy challenges. Plus, this lifestyle promotes much more than just good health.
It’s not just his love of animals and a belief in karma that makes Nimai a hardcore herbivore, it’s also the fact that it’s more ethical and better for the environment and future generations of this planet to follow a plant-based diet. He’s passionate about spreading awareness of this issue and promoting a lifestyle that could potentially save the planet.
The Big Soy Myth
Which brings us around to the question of protein and the ‘s’ word. We’ll let Nimai explain in his own words:
Ahhh, the infamous soy and estrogen correlation! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten this question. This myth is something that has been floating around for some time now, and there have been several university medical studies that show NO correlation between soy and negative hormonal effects. Soy contains all of the essential amino acids and is a very quality source of protein (non-gmo of course). In fact, soy actually has shown to decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer in men.
You Are What You Eat
Not eating meat is something Nimai chooses from a very strong belief about what you put into your body affects who you are from the inside out. In the current climate of industrial farming, the welfare of the animals is not at the top of the list and most live in dark, cramped quarters. When they are taken for slaughter, they experience fear and stress the same as any living creature would. These emotions produce hormones and chemicals that get imprinted into the cells of the flesh of the meat that ends up on your dinner plate. This scientific theory enforces the belief, you are what you eat.
Slowly Switch to Plant-Based, One Animal Protein At A Time
But it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to balance out our macros when you’re on a plant-based diet. So if you’re thinking of making the switch to a plant-based diet, Nimai recommends you take it one animal protein at a time. First, eliminate beef for a week or two, then try eggs, and so on till you’re fully satisfied with the results. When you switch to a plant-based diet, the health benefits you’ll feel are almost always immediate.
Following a strict diet requires planning and getting your food and meals organized. So Nimai sticks to his meal prep like every other dedicated athlete, and relies on his Fitmark meal bag to keep them on ice. He told us:
Fitmark Bags have been a lifesaver for me. I’ve been using their products for some time now and they make traveling much easier for me. It’s very difficult to stick to a strict diet if you don’t have your prepared meals with you. It’s so easy to cave and eat out if you get hungry. It’s a vicious cycle and I’ve fallen into it several times before! Haha! But now I am much less prone to do that because I always have my meals with me!
As a certified Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Nimai works with all kinds of athletes from carnivores to omnivores. Here are some of his top fit tips:
Nimai Delgado’s Top 3 Fit Tips
- Consistency. If you aren’t consistent with your diet/training then you’ll get nowhere. You must constantly be on top of your game if you want to maintain or progress!
- Do the research yourself. The Internet is flooded with misinformation and people looking to make a profit off of uneducated people. You can learn mostly everything you need to know on the Internet from the right sources! Plus once you learn the information, you’ll no longer need to rely on someone else.
- Quality is better than quantity. This should be a mantra for many aspects of life, but it definitely applies to fitness. During your workouts, if you’re sacrificing quality for quantity then you’re only wasting your own time. Put your ego aside, learn the proper form, and perform quality exercises that actually target the intended muscle group. You’ll grow much faster this way; I promise!
If you’re looking for ideas for a muscle-building vegan diet and workout program, follow Fitmark Ambassador Nimai Delgado on Instagram @nimai_delgado
Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team