Shopping like a vegan bodybuilder

A lot of people ask me what food I can eat being vegan and often have the misconception that being vegan has a premium cost involved. Sure there are plenty of vegan friendly foods out there that do seem to have a higher cost when compared to their non-vegan counterpart but I’m going to give you an insight into what it’s like being a vegan bodybuilder that lives on a budget.

First step you need to do is to do your research (just like you are now by reading this post) and find out what foods you are going to eat. I’ve created an easy to use “Macro Calculator” as an excel spreadsheet which you can get herethis will help you build your diet.

So being a bodybuilder may mean you want to hit certain macro nutrient requirements, so you need to know what vegan friendly foods are higher in protein, carbs and fats. Of course foods often cross over and don’t just below to one category. But if you’re a bodybuilder you want to make it simple for yourself. I’ve listed some of the foods I eat (as well as other bodybuilders) and what category I typically put them in.

(All prices are as of 08/02/17 from Coles Australia)


  • Black beans $2.00 per can
  • Kidney beans $0.75 per can
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) $0.75 per can
  • Lentils $0.75 per can
  • Hard Tofu $2.50 per 400g
  • Baked beans $0.90 per can
  • Protein powder $27.00 per Kg
  • Tempeh $3.50 per 400g
  • Seitan
  • Broccoli $2-5.00 per Kg
  • Broad beans $3.30 per 500g
  • Spinach $3.00 per 500g
  • Spirulina


  • Oats $1.30 per 900g
  • Basmati /Brown Rice $3.25 per Kg
  • Bananas $2-4.00 per Kg
  • Wholemeal bread $0.85
  • Berries $4.00 per 500g
  • Potatoes $3.50 per Kg
  • Sweet potatoes $6.00 per Kg
  • Kale  $2.50 per bunch


  • Chia seeds $8.40 per 300g
  • Flax seeds $6.15 per 500g
  • Flaxseed oil $16.00 per 400ml
  • Coconut oil $5.00 per 225g
  • Avocados $3.00 each
  • Almonds $9.00 per 400g
  • Peanut butter $6.25 per 500g
  • Almond butter $6.27 per 325g

Like I said this is not an exhaustive list and there is an array of foods out there that vegans can eat. But this is bodybuilding on a budget so we keep it simple and try not to get too fancy. As you can see from the list above fats tend to cost the most with proteins and carbs coming in cheaper.

As a vegan bodybuilder carbs are the main source of food that I consume. Right now I’m consuming about 400g of carbs a day, next is my protein coming in at around 180g a day which leaves the remainder of my calories from fats which is about 80g a day. So using this type of logic we can see that by eating a higher carb diet we will be spending less because carbs are the cheapest foods and we will have to restock our cupboard with fats less often.

However if you are in a cutting phase you may decrease your carb intake and possibly up your fats, this may increase your overall weekly food bill but it’s still possible to eat like this while on a budget.

For more information on vegan protein sources be sure to check out my article here.

To watch my vegan bodybuilding on a budget video click here.



7 thoughts on “Shopping like a vegan bodybuilder

  1. I always end up having higher fat than protein no matter how hard a try since being vegan. It’s not that serious since I’m not a body builder and my percentages are still within a healthy range but it’s something I’d like to overcome.


  2. I am not a body builder but am vegan and also eat a fairly high carb diet and it also ends up being low in protein since I eat limited amounts of soy. Most of my carbs are from vegetables, and fats and protein from nuts. How much protein does an athletic person actually need to maintain muscle mass? I am getting around 0.6g/kg body weight. I seem to be maintaining my muscle mass fairly well and getting stronger too!


    1. If you’re maintaining and getting stronger than that’s perfect! If you ever feel like you’re getting a bit too sore or not recovering quick enough just up your protein a little bit maybe like 0.8g/kg of body weight. But the good thing about a high carb diet is you get plenty of energy and carbs are muscle sparring too which means they will help you hold on to your muscle!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know it varies from one individual to another but if you could potentially gain/maintain muscle mass on such low protein (maybe not quite as low as me), provided you are consuming enough carb calories, why would you want to consume so much protein when carbs are easier to digest? If you saw me in a gym you’d never in a million years think I was vegan and low protein! I wonder if some people new to the gym (men mostly) are attributing too much value to the protein consumption aspect of their training and not enough to the actual gym training (as well as the rest of their diet) when evaluating progress?


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