Believe it or not, the demand for food free from animal products went up by 987% in 2017. And while that may come as a surprise in a nation where burgers and chicken are so popular, the trend is actually rising.

For those men who watch their health and diet carefully, going vegan may seem at first like a difficult process – especially given that additional time investments are often required to learn the basic principles of vegan cooking. But it’s not impossible.

Get those calories

According to physicians at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, men need a daily average of around 14 calories more (per pound of lean body mass) than women do. For that reason, reduced carb diets for men which ensure that you don’t go hungry are essential – and your portions should always be large enough to meet your needs.

Healthy vegan meals aren’t all about salads, though: tasty curries, chillies, homemade vegan burgers with beans, falafel sandwiches and more can all be whipped up quickly, so there’s no reason not to get your calorie-dense meals in if you make the switch.

And up the protein

Protein is also a necessary substance which men need to enjoy on a regular basis if they want to keep themselves feeling top-notch – especially as they get older. Researchers Rachel Agnew, RD, and Sandra P. Marin, MPH, RD recommend that a man aged just over 30 who weighs 180 pounds needs to be eating over 80 grams of protein each day.

For those looking to follow a vegan lifestyle, this can be easier said than done. Protein tends to be found in high amounts in meat and eggs, which are two ingredients that go straight out of the window when a vegan lifestyle begins.

However, there are plenty of sources of protein for a vegan person to enjoy. Beans are especially-protein rich – and nuts, too, are often protein-dense, and they also function as a filling snack when the temptations of empty-calorie food rear their heads.

Prepare in advance

The reality of life in a fast-paced consumer world is that anyone who wants to eat healthily will have to put in the time and effort to achieve their goals. For men who work full time, this can be a drain – and the temptation to order takeout, or to purchase vegan ready meals at the grocery store instead, can take over if you’re not careful.

Planning ahead is therefore essential: once you’ve worked out what your caloric and nutrient needs are, planning your meals a week or two in advance is a great idea and can help to kick the cravings when needed.

Living a vegan lifestyle is not necessarily a ticket to constant ready meals or factory-produced, health-unfriendly food. In fact, it’s a great way to get your body back on track and help meet your goals in a sustainable manner.