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Vegetarian Diet to get Aamir Khan’s Dangal Body: Top 10 protein-rich vegetarian foods to help athletes bulk up

Vegetarian athletes/sports persons can also get Aamir Khan's ripped body by following this protein-rich diet.

Published: December 25, 2016 12:37 PM IST

By Sakshita Khosla | Edited by Sakshita Khosla

Vegetarian Diet to get Aamir Khan's Dangal Body: Top 10 protein-rich vegetarian foods to help athletes bulk up
There are protein rich vegetarian foods that can help athletes to bulk up

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will know the stir that Aamir Khan’s radical body transformation for his recent release Dangal, had caused on social media. There was a lot of hype around his strict diet and workout routine, which allowed him to first gain a lot of weight and then loose all of it and bulk up to look like a wrestler. Aamir’s fitness diet included mainly protein-rich lean meats, which allowed him to build muscle volume faster, without ruining his ripped abs.

An athlete’s body is not easy to achieve. You need to strike a perfect balance between consumption of fat (good fat), carbohydrates and proteins, while keeping the calorie count low. If you are preparing for an important sporting event, Aamir suggests a diet that includes 1/3 fat, 1/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein, as prescribed by a qualified dietitian. “Importantly, eating less is not a healthy balanced diet”, said Aamir, which is the first cardinal rule of fitness, especially for sports persons and athletes. ALSO READ: Best midnight snacks for weight loss: Top 10 yummy and guilt-free foods you can snack on in the night

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Aamir Khan's extreme body transformation for Dangal

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Often the question that remains unanswered is that how does one meet their protein requirements, if they do not want to include meat in their diet. Well, there are plenty of protein rich foods in the plant kingdom, which can help you meet your daily protein intake requirement. Besides, being rich in the essential nutrients, these foods are also cheaper, lower in calories than meats and of course, great for the environment.

Here are the top 10 protein rich foods, which can be included in a vegetarian athletes diet:


Milk is a vegetarian’s protein treasure trove. 100 gm of milk containing 1 per cent fat, has as much as 3.4 gm of proteins, with the calorie count as low as 42 calories. If you are allergic to dairy, you can opt for powdered milk. However, make sure you choose the right brand of powdered milk, as some brands might be selling sugary powdered milk, which might add to your calorie count and might be harmful to your diet. You can also opt for calcium-fortified non-dairy products like soy milk, which is also an excellent source of protein.


Yogurt is packed with proteins and healthy bacteria, which are great for the gut and the digestive system. One cup (100 gm) of non fat, Greek Yogurt has as much as 10 gm of proteins. Soy yogurt is a great food for those with dairy allergies, as it is also rich in proteins. Stay away from store-bought flavoured yogurt that is too sugary, when you’re dieting. ALSO READ: Winter Foods for Weight Loss: Top 10 superfoods to eat this winter to loose that extra festive weight!

Cottage Cheese or Paneer

Paneer is another rich source of proteins. A 100 gram cup of creamed cottage cheese has as much as 11 gm of proteins packed within it. The protein intake requirement per day of an athlete to help her/him build muscle is 2.2 gm per kg of body weight. Hence, the bulkier you are, the more is your body’s protein requirement. Eating cottage cheese is a faster way of achieving your daily intake requirement. Opt for the low fat one, if you want to control your fat intake. However, the fats in dairy are nutritious and healthy, so there’s no need to avoid them.


Legumes like lentils, split peas, soyabeans and peanuts are great and dense sources of proteins. One cup (100 gm) of green peas, contains 5 g of proteins and very low to nil fat. Peanuts (unsalted) are an even richer source of proteins, with 100 gm containing as much as 26 gm of proteins. However, if you are planning to make peanuts your daily snack, you must control the portions, as one 100 gm of peanut cup, contains as much as 49 gm of fat. Peanut butter is a great way of increasing your protein intake.


Oats are a great way of piling on the proteins as they are high in fiber content, and hence, fill you up faster and keep hunger pangs away for longer. A 100 gm helping of oats contains as much as 17 gm of proteins and 7 gm of fat. Muesli is another great protein food, and a 100 gm packs around 8 gm of proteins. Some even prefer muesli over oats, as the former’s energy profile is higher than the latter. ALSO READ: How to lose weight post pregnancy? Top 10 Weight Loss Foods to shed kilos faster after delivery

Sunflower Seeds

If you are training for an important sporting event, you would do great with keeping a bag full of sunflower seeds with you at all times. One 100 gm cup of dried sunflower seeds contains as much as 21 gm of proteins. They make for a great snack and keep you full for longer, as they are a rich source of dietary fiber. You can also blend them in your protein shake to increase it’s nutritional value.


Almonds (unsalted, raw) provide the body almost the same amount of proteins as sunflower seeds, in the same quantity. They are an even better option than sunflower seeds as their fat content is lower than the latter (49 gm as compared to 51 gm in sunflower seeds). They also help regulate body blood sugar levels and are a great source of magnesium, dietary fiber and Vitamin E. There ability to strengthen memory power is very well known.


Walnuts are packed with heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, which improve heart function and hence are one of the most important health superfoods there is. Besides being rich in proteins, they also secure bone health by improving calcium absorption from the blood, and reducing calcium excretion through urine. Walnuts have 15 gm of proteins in a 100 gm cup and are also rich in complex carbohydrates and good fats.


Cashews are even richer in proteins than walnuts with 18 gm of proteins per 100 gm of cashew nuts. They are also packed with Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium. All these nutrients are important for maintaining bodily functions. ALSO READ: Best Breastfeeding Foods: Top 10 superfoods for lactating mothers

Tofu or Bean Curd

Tofu or bean curd which is made coagulated soy milk is one of the most protein rich foods that vegetarians cab include in their diets. Many of our dishes can be tweaked to include tofu, instead of dairy products. A half cup of firm tofu contains as much as 10 gm of proteins, which is quite a large amount. Tofu is also rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, including Omega-3, which improves heart function.

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