Recent years have seen an increase in the number of people following a vegan diet. A study shows that in 2018, there were around 8% vegans globally, this number has increased in the last year. Their reasons can be anywhere from health, environment, or ethics. Vegan is a bit different than being vegetarian.
When you are a vegetarian, you don’t eat a meal or non-veg, but you consume dairy products like milk, yoghurt, or cheese. If you are a vegan, you have a completely different lifestyle. You don’t eat anything which comes from animals, even dairy. Also, vegan people don’t consume any clothing item manufactured using animal produce.
They believe in natural products, and for milk or yoghurt, they use plant-based items like almonds, soy, or oats. Choosing a vegan diet is great for your health, and may even help you lose weight. It does lack some nutrients, but if you follow this diet the right way, you won’t face any problems.
One problem that many vegans face is not able to gain weight with this diet. If you are skinny and want to put on some pounds with a vegan diet, it can be frustrating when you don’t. What are you doing wrong? You are eating a lot of vegan food, fruits, and vegetables, but still not able to gain a few pounds? Why?
The reason for this could be your slow metabolism or you intake fewer calories than required. In this article, we will explore some effective tips that will help you gain weight without going off your vegan diet.
To know why you are not gaining weight with a vegan diet, understanding the calorie density concept is important. A lot of vegan food items have low calories per gram. For instance, vegetables have only 25 calories per 100 grams. So, if you eat a handful of vegetables and fruits, that have a density of 60 per 100 grams, you are eating fewer calories.
But your stomach is full as they are heavy, and your brain gives out the signal that you are full. It makes it impossible for you to eat anything more, which is great when you are trying to lose weight.
In other words, eating too many vegetables or fruits refrain you from gaining weight. That is easy with eating meat or consuming animal dairy products.
So, what can you do? Well, you can increase your intake of fruit juices or dried fruits or nuts or refined carbohydrates. Don’t gauge on them, include them once in your whole-day diet to gain a few pounds.
Also, continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables for nutrients that your body craves for.
There are tons of food items that have high calories and are vegan. It is best to include them in your diet. They are:
Avocadoes: They have 322 calories in one piece. Rich in fiber and healthy fats, including this in your diet can help you gain weight, and get nutrients like folate, and vitamin C. Make a smoothie or add it on toast or so on.
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews if eaten daily in moderation can promote healthy weight gain. Also, they are rich in healthy fats and protein. You can even use nut butter like peanut and almond butter in your diet for weight gain.
Olive oil: It is one of the healthiest oils which is rich in antioxidants, and increases good cholesterol levels. Drizzle it on salads or foods or cook in it to gain healthy weight.
Sweet potatoes, legumes, rice, and quinoa can also help you gain a few pounds.
Your body has a calorie requirement which you need to fulfill every day. When you eat less than that calorie requirement, you lose weight, if you eat more, you gain weight.
Now, while following a vegan diet, you may feel full, even though you have not reached your calorie intake limit.
So, to make sure you do, create a diary and log all your food. You can also use an app for the same. Note everything you eat in a day including your tea and coffees and snacks. If the number of calorie intake is low, try to add a few more food items in your diet to gain weight.
You can use the Canva planner to create a diet plan for the entire week keeping in mind your calorie intake. This way, you won’t be eating less or more than the required calorie.
Drinking smoothies regularly for people trying to lose weight is not a good idea. But when you are trying to gain weight, a healthy smoothie every day or every alternate day is not a bad idea. Do keep your calorie intake in mind though.
It can create tons of healthy smoothie which are rich in fiber or proteins using vegan food items. For instance, blend half an avocado, mint, and spinach with ice to create a healthy green smoothie. Similarly, you can use plant-based milk or yogurt with banana and strawberries or any other fruit to create a healthy smoothie.
Tip: it is important to keep the calories in mind, a smoothie has over 400 calories per glass. So, make sure the rest of the day you eat a certain number of calories required for healthy weight gain only.
Veganism has tons of dairy options like soy milk or almond or oats milk. There is not pee-protein milk which can help in healthy weight gain. Include that in your diet.
We eat with our eyes first, so making your food look delicious is an important factor. If yo u have plain beans and a pizza in front of you, you will go for pizza. So, why not make a vegan pizza that is healthy and can help you gain some weight too.
Tons of YouTube tutorials show you how to make vegan friendly and tasty dishes like one-pot pasta or curry or so on. Try them.
When you eat food fast, you consume more calories and you can gain weight quickly. It is an extreme measure, and don’t use it unless you are desperate.
Your food choices can make you lose or gain weight, it has nothing to with going vegan. Be healthy, eat healthily, and consult a dietician for more insights.