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5 Ways to Healthfully Gain Weight on a Vegan Diet

mocha maca banana smoothie

So many vegans cite the benefit of the diet as a way to lose weight, which is great for those who need to. But what about those of us looking to maintain the same physique, or with health problems that make it dangerous to slim down? You don’t have to sacrifice your tastes, ethics, or health to gain weight.

Glazed and spiced mixed nuts

1. Get nutty
Cashews, almonds, peanuts, pistachios – all pack a punch of protein and fat. Season them with salt and wasabi or mix them with your favorite dried fruit and dark chocolate chips. Either way, you’re reaching for a healthier snack than chips. And if the salty crunch and trail mix get stale; start exploring all the wonderful uses of nut butters beyond the PB&J. Banana and almond butter smoothie? Throwback to grade school with “ants on a log”? The sky is the limit.

easy guacamole recipe

2. Midnight snacks
Have you ever run into dieters who avoid anything besides water an hour before bedtime? That’s because when we sleep, our bodies burn fewer calories. We can use this to our advantage by eating a snack rich in protein, fat, or carbs right before bed. So before you brush your teeth, reach for some whole-grain toast or chips with store-bought or homemade hummus, an apple with peanut butter, or chips and guacamole.

Chia seeds - varieties

3. Know which vegan foods have fat – and which ones you like
On a vegan diet, we only have a few sources of fat. To avoid missing out on them, it’s worthwhile to get to know them: Avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils. Make sure to have some high-fat food every day. A whole avocado with salt and chili powder makes a great afternoon snack, and a tofu or tempeh stir-fry with veggies is a wholesome and fat-friendly dinner. Seeds are a concentrated source of nutrient-dense calories. Sprinkle chia, hemp,or flax seeds on your oatmeal.

Chocolate cherry bomb smoothie

4. Liquids, liquids, liquids
Fool yourself into getting more calories by opting for easy-to-consume smoothies and drinks. Silken tofu makes a base for fruit smoothies that are high in protein and fat. You can also try a rich chocolate soy or coconut milk for an indulgent treat that’s a great source of protein. And don’t forget, if you’re making a smoothie, to toss in some chia seeds or nut butter. See Carrie Forrest’s Chocolate Cherry Bomb Smoothie, for example (shown above).

Easy Jamaican Rice and Peas

5. Be smart about beans
Legumes are a varied source of proteins and vitamins, but make sure you’re getting the most out of them by pairing them with a grain. Rice and beans, a quinoa-lentil chili – there are so many hearty dinners to explore. Jamaican Red Beans and Rice (above), cooked with coconut milk is an easy and yummy example.

A vegan diet is about compassion, health, and enjoying delicious food. By just being a little mindful of your habits, you can stay at the weight you want by eating the food you love. Happy snacking!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Healthy Hut
    October 16, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I am trying to increase my weight and find it tough for me. I have slightly less weight as require. I have found some useful tips from your content and these technique looks like I did not try before. After reading your ideas, I feel confident To gain weight. Thanks

  • Reply
    Health master
    October 19, 2017 at 2:11 am

    I am trying to increase my weight and find it tough for me. I have slightly less weight as require. I have found some useful tips from your content and these technique looks like I did not try before. After reading your ideas, I feel confident to gain weight. Thanks

  • Reply
    marcia L StOnge
    January 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    been vegetarian since 1996. got sick in sept 2017 from meds i’m on. side effect is weight loss. can’t seem to gain the last 5 pounds back. ate badly which caused my cholesterol to sky rocket. lots of sugary desserts, drinks and fried foods. now i’m try to be vegan for february 2018 to see if i can lower cholesterol but gain weight. any ideas.. help

  • Reply
    Nancy stewart
    July 11, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Need to gain weight on a vegan diet with no sugar

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