Vince Gironda’s Lacto-Vegetarian Diet

Vince Gironda, also known as the “Iron Guru,” was a renowned bodybuilder and trainer known for his innovative training methods and nutrition advice. One of the diets he promoted was the lacto-vegetarian diet, which is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products but excludes eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.

The primary focus of Vince Gironda’s lacto-vegetarian diet was on consuming whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods to support muscle growth and overall health. Although individual recommendations could vary, here are some general principles of his lacto-vegetarian diet:

Protein sources:

Vince Gironda emphasized the importance of protein for muscle growth and recovery. He recommended dairy-based protein sources such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Non-dairy plant-based protein sources, like legumes (beans, lentils, and peas), nuts, seeds, and whole grains, were also included in the diet.

Carbohydrate sources:

Vince Gironda advocated for consuming low-glycemic carbohydrates to maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce fat storage. Examples of these carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice.


Healthy fats were considered essential for hormone production, energy, and overall health. Gironda recommended sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and dairy products. He also suggested the inclusion of flaxseed oil or other omega-3 rich oils for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Meal frequency:

Vince Gironda suggested eating multiple smaller meals throughout the day to keep metabolism high, provide a steady flow of nutrients to the muscles, and improve digestion.


Gironda recognized the importance of supplementation for bodybuilders, especially those following a lacto-vegetarian diet. He recommended supplements such as protein powders (like soy or pea protein), amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to ensure adequate nutrient intake.

Individualized approach:

Vince Gironda believed that each person’s nutritional needs were unique, and he often tailored diets for specific individuals. He would adjust macronutrient ratios, food choices, and meal timing based on individual goals and progress.

While Vince Gironda’s lacto-vegetarian diet was designed primarily for bodybuilders, it can be adapted for anyone looking to improve their overall health and body composition. As with any diet, it’s essential to consult with a nutritionist or healthcare professional to ensure it meets your specific needs and goals.

Read more about Vince Gironda on his site here

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