People with super fast metabolism or disordered metabolism can’t gain weight easily. It’s as hard as losing weight. Keeping in a good shape is elementary to a sound and joyous mind. But there’s a common belief all around the world that a vegan diet and weight gain don’t go hand in hand. While it’s not true, it’s a fact that most of the foods in any vegan weight gain meal plan naturally have lower calories and higher water and fiber content. So, we’re here to map out how to gain weight on a vegan diet. Though you will still get benefitted if you try weight and mass gainers especially formulated for vegans.
How to Build up Your Routine?
For every 1 kg of weight gain, you’ll need extra calories of 7000-8000 in addition to normal body maintenance. This essentially means that you have to take 500 additional calories every day if you want to gain ½ kg in a week. Getting involved in such a weight gain meal plan means getting a high protein, high carb, and high-fat diet plan.
If you’re a vegan and still deciding on what foods to eat to gain weight, let us tell you that it’s pretty easy for vegans since there are plenty of options in nature to choose your ingredients from. But not everything vegan automatically entails that it’s full of nutrition or food value. You can follow any of the following methods as your buildup plan. Here we’ll discuss the foods to eat to gain weight in a vegan way.
1. Make A Week-long Vegan Weight Gain Diet Plan
You can go for a one-week high-protein vegan diet. We’ve sorted out a simple outline for a healthy weight gain meal plan for vegans. This weight gain food plan consists of different ingredients for each day and the nutrition intake will vary from day to day.
Take a chocolate shake with peanut butter and banana mixed to it. It will provide you 387 calories, 20g fat, and 11g protein. Take apple pie protein bites with it. You’ll add 260 calories, 15g fat, and 11g protein.
Get a vegan sandwich. This will give you 303 calories, 19g fat and 25g protein. Add tropical chia pudding with it which will add 303 calories, 7g fat and 8g protein.
Mix marinated tofu with Zucchini noodles and vegan chow mein. This will add 289 calories, 9g fat and 15g protein to your diet.
Eat scrambled tofu burrito. This will add 563 calories, 28g fat, and 24g protein to your daily nutrition.
For AM Snack
Add a snack between breakfast and lunch. Snacks will provide more energy and they also help with the digestive system. You can add 2-3 snacks with your 3 meals regularly. You can prepare a mermaid smoothie bowl for a snack, which will give you an additional 548 calories, 13g fat, and 19g protein.
Go for a Mediterranean wrap. This will give you 258 calories, 7g fat, and 11g protein.
For PM Snack
Add another post-meal snack. Take a protein pudding of banana and peanut butter. It will contain 279 calories, 17g fat, and 15g protein.
Take a burrito bowl of cauliflower rice. This contains 313 calories, 12g fat, and 14g protein.
Take peanut butter oats. This overnight preparation will give you 480 calories, 18g fat, and 19g protein.
For AM Snack
Make a pudding made of jelly chia and peanut butter. This contains 333 calories, 17g fat, and 15g protein.
Go for a curry made out of tofu, eggplant, and chickpea. This contains 261 calories, 8g fat, and 12g protein.
For PM Snack
Go for the peanut hummus dip. This will give you 168 calories, 8g fat, and 6g protein.
Take trumpet mushrooms with herbs and lentils. Your nutrition intake will be 361 calories, 15g fat, and 13g protein.
Go for chickpea flour scramble. This will ensure 450 calories, 20g fat, and 13g protein.
For AM Snack
You can go for a smoothie bowl with creamy dragon fruit. Your nutrition intake will be 296 calories, 8.5g fat, and 14.5g protein.
Go for a vegan buddha bowl. Your nutrition intake will be 436 calories, 14g fat, and 17g protein.
For PM Snack
Take blueberry flavored quinoa muffins. You’ll get 162 calories, 5g fat, and 5g protein.
Eat vegan sloppy joes made of roasted Portobello mushrooms. You’ll get 412 calories, 13g fat, and 19g protein.
Take “Tofu in Purgatory.” You’ll get 284 calories, 9g fat, and 20g protein.
For AM Snack
Take vegan protein bars that don’t need baking and are easily made. You’ll get 315 calories, 30g fat, and 20g protein from this snack.
Get yourself avocado toast with high protein. You’ll get 320 calories, 12g fat, and 12g protein from this meal.
For PM Snack
Take a breakfast bowl of chocolate quinoa, coconut, and blueberry. You’ll get 360 calories, 18g fat, and 10g protein.
Eat fried rice mixed with cauliflower. You’ll get 350 calories, 7g fat, and 21g protein.
Eat chickpea mini frittatas. This will provide you 355 calories, 18g fat, and 26g protein.
For AM Snack
Try green smoothie bowl with peanut butter and banana. Your nutrition intake will be 378 calories, 19g fat, and 13g protein.
Eat a peanut noodle salad which will give you 400 calories, 25g fat, and 12g protein.
For PM Snack
Eat porridge made out of hemp and cauliflower. You’ll get 263 calories, 21g fat, and 8g protein.
Take crispy tofu and vegan poke bowls. Your nutrition intake will be 570 calories, 22g fat, and 16g protein.
Eat hippie breakfast bowl. You’ll get 270 calories, 17g fat, and 8g protein.
For AM Snack
Take seedy hummus toast for 250 calories, 12g fat, and 11g protein.
Eat Gado-Gado bowl with quinoa. This meal contains 552 calories, 24g fat, and 20g protein.
For PM Snack
Take chocolate and peanut butter protein bars. You can get 190 calories, 12g fat, and 9g protein.
Have wild rice burgers. You’ll get 387 calories, 7g fat, and 15g protein.
2. Simply Eat More
If you can’t maintain this week-long diet, you can simply up your eating game. This will obviously not produce the same result as the meal plan for weight gain, but you’ll definitely benefit from it. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. You have to double your food intake, no matter what you’re eating. Even when you’re full, you have to keep doing it to fulfill your calorie, fat, and protein intake from those foods. To make things a little easier, you can add different spreads and sauces to your meals, nut butter in smoothies, seeds and nuts on your meals. But we suggest that you go through the gaining weight meal plan that we’ve discussed in the previous section. Trying some homemade protein shake recipes is also a good idea if you’re not a strict vegan.
3. Always Go for Calorie-Dense Food
The common misconception “you can’t increase your weight with vegan foods” comes from the idea that fruits and vegetables are low-calorie foods with high fiber content. If you’re not selective about your intake, you’ll end up eating a mountain of vegan food only to find out that they haven’t contributed anything to your weight gain.
While you’re on your search for meals to weight gain, reach out for the energy-dense foods. You can base your vegan diet on whole grain products like rice, quinoa, pasta, bread, couscous, potato, and sweet potato. Also, add protein components as lentils, beans, chickpeas, tempeh or tofu. Swap the lower calorie intakes with the higher calorie ones. For example, instead of eating noodles, you can go for brown rice or pasta.
4. Balance Carbohydrate and Fat Intake
While we’re trying to gain weight, we are conscious of our carbohydrate and protein intakes but we usually don’t tend to the fat intake. But without enough fat intake, this is almost impossible. Eating foods that contain fat also accelerates the weight gain process and makes it easier. It’s important that you eat foods that contain healthy fat and avoid the ones with unhealthy fat. You can get healthy fat from nuts, avocado, and tahini. Add these to your regular meals to perfectly balance out the nutrients’ intakes.
5. Drink What You’re Eating
The stomach processes liquid foods better than the solid ones. Make sure you have a smoothie that’s full of energy and nutrient. Slowly increase the number of smoothies as you settle in on your intakes. It makes the whole weight gain food plan more flexible. If you feel like you’re getting too much, you can always decrease your liquid intake rather than cutting short on the solid meals/snacks. You can make your smoothies with these ingredients:
- Mango/frozen bananas/berries
- Oats/flaxseed/chia seeds
- Protein powder (vegan)
- Vegan yogurt
- Nut butter
- Plant milk
Alternatively, you can make fruit juice, turmeric lattes or hot chocolate. Use coconut water or plant milk with these mixtures.
6. Train Your Body
Don’t exercise until you’ve reached the BMI that’s essential for your body or the exercise might cause extra stress on your body. But you can go for a leisurely walk, do stretches, or do light yoga exercises. Avoid doing any of the cardio exercises since they just burn out calories and make weight gaining much harder than it already is.
You can try strength building exercises, resistance exercises, and weight training exercises. Always select a qualified coach for your guidance and let him/her know about your weight gaining goal. But exercises aren’t necessary for everyone. If you’re not an exercise person, you can go for swims or yoga.
You have to rest well and sleep a lot if you’re going through an exercise routine. It will help you reach your desired goals from your weight gaining program sooner than your expectations. But don’t forget to eat more when you’re exercising.
7. Be Flexible on The Food Rules
Even if you follow the week-long diet we mapped out earlier, you need to relax with your food rules. If you’re over conscious about these rules, you may end up being overstressed about whether or not you’re actually gaining weight. So, after completing the weekly diet program, relax a bit.
Eat whatever you want to and eat as much as you can as long as you’re eating foods that help you gain weight. You can enjoy processed foods if you like. Eat some crackers, vegan bars, granola or bake some cookies, muffins or banana bread. Add sauces, salt or pepper to your meals and eat salads with dressings. Go for vegan pizza or sushi and enjoy yourself.
8. Be Patient
The time needed for weight gain depends on your food intake, ranging an average amount of time to a really long time. If you lose patience during this time, all of your hard work would just be in vain. You have to be consistent and patient with your eating plan to gain weight. Always take energy-filled snacks with you. Make sure you’re getting your daily nutrients even when you’re busy or outside.
9. Ask for Help
Reach out whenever you’re in need or in doubt. There’s nothing embarrassing about reaching out to friends, family or even a psychiatrist. Talking to friends and family will help you keep your goal straight.
Many people find weight gaining to be too hard a process and they get emotionally distraught when they’re unable to get their desired results in time. Seeing a psychiatrist helps in these situations. Consult with your health professional or doctor in case of any questions regarding your nutrient intake.
10. Fix up Your Mindset
Your body follows your mind. Picture yourself in a healthy weight and always keep that picture in your mind. This is an important aspect of the weight gain program since weight gaining depends 50% on your mindset.
Believe in yourself. You can be your best version. So, take any type of pessimism out of your mind. You might also need to shift your beliefs in some cases.
If you’ve followed us so far, you already know what you should do and what you should avoid when you’re on a vegan weight gain meal plan. A vegan diet is a very healthy diet to gain weight without any side effects that some weight gainers may have. But you have to try to avoid too much vegan junk food, like soy ice creams, vegan cheese and butter, white bagels, vegan cookies and cakes. Try to gain weight as naturally and in a healthy manner as possible. Otherwise, you’d just bulk up without getting to experience the benefits of a balanced weight. In case of any confusion or if you think your weight gain diet isn’t working as planned, consult a nutritionist or a dietitian for personalized guidance.