Most people follow a vegan or whole-food plant-based diet because they don’t or can’t eat foods containing animal or dairy products. Some people also follow such diet plans to lose weight.
However, you can also follow a vegan-friendly diet to gain weight. It’s full of healthy foods loaded with carbs, protein, and fats that can help you with your weight-gaining goals.
This guide will discuss how to gain weight as a vegan in detail. So, if vegan weight gain is something you’re looking for, you’ll find everything you need to know in this post.
Is Gaining Weight On A Vegan Diet More Difficult Than a Regular Diet?
Yes, gaining weight on a vegan diet is a little more difficult than following a standard diet containing animal and dairy products. That’s because foods like milk, eggs, and meat are high in calories. In addition, they have high amounts of fats, carbs, and protein that help you gain muscle mass.
Leafy greens and vegetables are usually high in volume, but they’re less calorie-dense than most non-vegan food sources. However, you can add vegan-friendly food options to your diet that are high in calories. All you need to do is make strategic food choices to gain weight.
Remember that your overall body weight is influenced by how many calories you consume in a single day and how many of them you burn.
How To Gain Weight as A Vegan – Best Tips
Use the following tips if you want to gain weight as a vegan.
Increase Your Food Intake
Increasing your food intake is probably the most important factor that’ll allow you to gain weight on a vegan diet. Eat more food, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you should start eating two large vegan pizzas in a single night. You should mix and eat different vegan foods together, such as tofu, beans, avocados, and more, daily.
Gradually increase your food intake and make a habit of snacking between meals. You can opt for oats, seeds, snack bars, fruits, and smoothies rich in nut butter. Keep in mind that if you need to gain weight, your diet doesn’t have to be 100 percent clean. It means you should focus on more energy-dense foods. You can also eat vegan-friendly junk food once in a while, as it’ll increase your calorie intake.
Focus On Your Calorie Intake
If you consume fewer calories than your body burns within a day, you’ll lose weight. Therefore, you need to focus on vegan-friendly and calorie-rich foods that are small in portions but offer more calories.
Common calorie-dense vegan foods include chia seeds, flax seeds, dried fruits, soy milk, and nut butter. You can also introduce a vegan weight gainer, frozen berry mix, or even vegan protein powder to your daily diet plan.
The following are some great vegan-friendly calorie-dense foods along with their nutritional values that you can start eating to gain weight.
Nuts are a great source of macronutrients. You should add them to your plant-based diet because they’re rich in calories, healthy fats, and protein. In addition, they can add enough calories to your daily diet to help you gain weight. The following table explains the nutritional value of several nuts that you should include in your diet to increase your calorie intake.
|28 Grams Serving||Calories in Grams||Carbs in Grams||Protein in Grams||Fat in Grams||Fiber in Grams|
Avocados are another great food option to increase your daily calorie count. Only one avocado will provide you with about 320 calories, and it’s also rich in minerals and vitamins. 28 grams of avocado offers the following:
- Calories: 45
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 0.6 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Sugar: 0.18 grams
Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans are great food sources to help you gain weight on a vegan diet. Not only are these foods calorie-dense, but they’re also loaded with essential amino acids and essential micronutrients, including folate, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and fiber. The following are some lentils and beans that you should start eating to gain weight.
|100 Grams Serving||Calories in Grams||Carbs in Grams||Protein in Grams||Fat in Grams||Fiber in Grams|
|Adzuki Beans||128||25||7.5||Less than 1||7.3|
|Lentils||116||20||9||Less than 1||8|
In addition to these food options, you can also include olive oil, brown rice, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes in your diet to consume some extra calories within a single day.
Maintain Your Carb Intake
Like fats and protein, consuming carbs is also essential to increase your body weight on a vegan-friendly diet. You can eat different plant-based foods to increase your intake of refined carbohydrates. Great sources include vegan-friendly bread, noodles, tortillas, pasta, and flour-based products.
You should opt for refined carbs because the refining process removes the water and fiber from food sources, which increases the calorie density of the substances. In addition, it means that you’ll be able to eat more food consuming refined carbs compared to whole grains.
Skip Cardio Workouts
There is no doubt that cardio workouts are great for your overall health and fitness. But it’ll make your body burn more calories in a short period. While it increases your stamina and endurance, your weight will start decreasing if your calorie intake is less than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). So, if you want to gain weight and build muscle mass, you should stop all forms of cardio. It’ll help you achieve your weight gain goals faster.
You can also start taking vegan-friendly supplements for weight gain. They’ll provide your body with essential nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins that your body can’t produce insufficient amounts; you can also consume them from food.
Gaining weight on a vegan diet is possible. You need to prioritize your daily intake of calories and macronutrients. Focus on eating healthy foods to ensure healthy weight gain and ensure your calorie consumption is higher than your TDEE. We recommend you consult a health specialist before changing your diet, especially if you’re on any medical treatment.