Vegan Gains & How?
Being underweight has severe consequences on the body. From feeling cold all the time, being pale, feeling tired/low energy levels, losing hair, feeling weak and dizzy, to hormonal imbalances, reduced bone density and risk of osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, low immune function, poor wound healing, low heart rate and blood pressure, low blood sugar, digestive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, mood irregularities, arrhythmia, nutrient deficiencies, heart disease…the list goes on.
There’s a misconception in society that it’s impossible to gain weight on a vegan diet. Again, not true. Gaining weight in the first place is JUST as difficult as losing weight, if not more. Not only is it hard to come to terms with mentally, seeing that number on the scale go up and feeling clothes get tighter, but it’s also extremely hard physically. People underestimate just how much food is needed to gain weight, especially on a vegan diet where most foods are naturally lower in calories and higher in fiber and water content. Here are a few foods and methods to aid weight gain on a vegan diet.
Space Out Your Vegan Meals Throughout the Day
Intermittent fasting is a popular dieting strategy that entails having a ‘eating window’ of 6-8 hours and then fasting for the rest of the day. It’s going to be way more difficult overeating when you’re limited to only a few hours of eating. This almost always results in a reduced total calorie intake. For the purposes of vegan weight gain it’s advantageous doing the exact opposite, to space out the meals throughout the day from morning to evening. What this allows for is someone with a smaller appetite to not have to deal with becoming uncomfortably full during meals, which allows for a greater total calorie intake at the end of the day.
Eat Less Salad and Low-Calorie-Dense Vegan Foods
For someone that is struggling with getting enough calories in though, salads will work against your goal of weight gain. A lunch consisting of 200 g of spinach, some tomatoes, a red onion, carrots, cucumber and some chickpeas will fill you up pretty well – but doesn’t provide any significant calories.
Of course, you shouldn’t eliminate salads because your body thrives on the nutrients found in greens and veggies, but if you’re really struggling with vegan bulking consider cutting down on them and replacing them with dried fruits, nuts, red lentils and so on.
Always Keep Nuts and Seeds in Your Pockets
You will want to embrace nuts and seeds, as well as all kinds of nut butters. Why?
A gram of fat provides 9 calories whilst a gram of carbohydrate or protein provides 4 calories. Therefore, rich plant foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados are extremely potent weight-gaining tools. Compared to your typical starches they are super calorie dense.
For instance, 2 small handfuls of walnuts (~50 g) provides 327 calories! Considering the small volume this is a very efficient way of downing substantial amounts of calories. 327 calories is about the same amount of calories found in 100 g oats. This talk boutou en inis a medium-large bowl of porridge. A couple of extra handfuls of nuts per day, or tablespoons of your favorite nut butter, will add several hundred calories. This is a sure way to increase your body weight.
Fats are not evil or bad by any means if consumed as whole foods i.e. nuts, seeds and avocados. If you would like to try out some wholesome nut butter.
Make Sure to Consume Dried Fruits
When you dry fruits they lose more or less all their water content and thusly become more calorie-dense. So along with your nuts and seeds, you should also gorge yourself on dried fruits:Dates, raisins, apricots, figs, peaches, prunes. Or chuck a few dates into your smoothie or oatmeal and enjoy a tastier meal.
Drink Your Vegan Food
Drinking your food is so much easier on the stomach than having to eat the same quantities. Make sure to have at least one energy and nutrient-dense smoothie per day to give an added boost. Once your meals and snacks have reached a certain size, it’s a much better idea to add in a few nourishing smoothies per day on top of those meals/snacks. This is better than trying to increase to crazy big portions. It also makes it easier to maintain your weight afterwards, as you can simply remove some of these extra drinks if needed. This way, you do not have to worry about decreasing what you’re eating.
Frozen bananas, mango and berries, together with oats, chia seeds, flax seed meal, vegan protein powder, vegan yoghurt, avocado, nut butter and plant milk are great ingredients to pack into nourishing and delicious smoothies. Other ideas for drinks include fruit juice, hot chocolate, chai or turmeric lattes made with plant milk, or drinking coconut water throughout the day to replace some of your water. Another great addition would be clean Vegan Mass gainers available. To try out some ultra-clean nutritious Vegan Mass Gainers.
So don’t just eat lots of food to see Gains; eat right and eat smart to really make a difference!