PETA Prime sat down with Steve Pilot—a popular vegan nutritionist and fitness trainer with over 27 years of experience—to discuss the many benefits that bodybuilders and athletes can experience by switching to a vegan diet.
Pilot is German but resides in Thailand. He has traveled the world and visited more than 80 countries in search of the best vegan food.
Pilot’s vegan journey began when some of his close friends turned to a plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle. Although he had always been interested in training and fitness, he wasn’t mindful about the foods that he was eating. One of these friends explained how damaging daily consumption of meat and other animal products can be to the body, and after doing his own research, the way he viewed what he ate started to change.
Today, Pilot is vegan and feels stronger and healthier than ever. Chronic sleep problems affect about 70 million Americans, and sleeping better at night was one of the greatest benefits that he experienced after changing his diet.
In Pilot’s own words, “I’m an expert in performing on a plant-based diet. Ten years ago, I decided to turn vegan. Since then, my life has changed dramatically in many different aspects. My sleep and recovery have improved while my strength and performance have increased.”
After his health improved, he wanted to help others, too. With his vegan fitness program, Steve Pilot Fitness, he teaches others how to get healthy and stay that way.
“I have always wanted to inspire and motivate others to work on their body and mindset. My mission was simple: To positively influence people’s lives—whether that be through sharing my fitness journey, my business or my spirituality. I want people to know that they can create the life of their dreams.”
Pilot believes that it’s important for bodybuilders and athletes to switch to a vegan diet, and he really practices what he preaches, noting that plant-based diets have been proved to help with weight control and cholesterol management. They can also lower the rate of heart disease and reverse type 2 diabetes as well as advanced cardiovascular disease.
Most athletes are very health-conscious, and they often question where they’ll get their protein and nourishment on a vegan diet. Pilot addresses these concerns:
A lot of the time, people consume more protein than the body requires which can be harmful. There is a wide range of plant-based foods with protein. The key thing is to have enough of the essential amino acids. Too much protein consumption could put you at risk of kidney disease and osteoporosis. Much as the body needs protein, ensure that you consume a balanced diet to adequately nourish your body.
Bodybuilders, in particular, often question whether they can build exceptional muscle mass on a vegan diet. The answer is yes! One good point that Pilot makes is that most of the animals humans consume eat plants and only plants. If this diet is good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
Finally, Pilot offers expert tips for anyone who wants to switch to a vegan diet. He says to begin slowly, with one plant-based meal per day to give your body time to adjust:
One plant-based meal a day will go a long way in helping you to transition. Each day, try a different recipe for a plant-based food that interests you. If you are not sure, with a simple click you can find an unlimited number of recipes for breakfast or dinner. If you try a different recipe each day for two weeks, you will have your collection and can even be a little creative and add a twist to the recipes creating your custom recipes.
Going vegan may require a bit of discipline, but Pilot says that if he can do it, anyone can—and he bets that you’ll begin to feel better than ever before!
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