One of the side effects of when people first transition to a vegan diet is losing weight. For some people, losing weight is exactly what they are after when they go vegan, but for others, losing weight is definitely not something they welcome.
There are many different factors that play a role in why an individual may lose weight on a vegan diet, but really, there is only 1 crucial thing that determines whether you gain or lose weight.
Want to find out what it is? Keep reading!
Is It Possible For a Vegan To Gain Weight?
Yes, it’s absolutely possible to gain weight on a vegan diet. The secret sauce is calories!
The more calorie you consume, the chances of you gaining weight increase. Calories in vs out is where the deal is at. If you consume more calories than you burn, this will result in weight gain. It really is that simple.
Most vegans also start out by buying food at the store that’s labeled ‘vegan’ this is often junk food or food that contains high amounts of fat, calories, and salt.
When you go to the fruit and veg aisle, you don’t see carrots with a sticker on them that says it’s vegan right? This is where people get veganism wrong when they first transition. They go after packaged foods that have this magic label that says vegan.
Why Do I Lose Weight On a Vegan Diet
When people first go vegan, they tend to be quite unaware of what they can and cannot eat. This often leads to eating less, just because they are unsure what is vegan, or if they do eat, they tend to eat safe foods, such as fruit and veg.
Fruit and veg are very low on calories, you will need to eat a lot of them in order to gain or maintain your weight.
When you eat less, you don’t consume enough calories to maintain your current weight, which results in weight loss. Furthermore, switching to a vegan diet will often unwillingly result in eating healthier.
Cutting down on greasy processed foods such as bacon, butter, cheese, etc, and replacing them with whole grains will shift your metabolism and your fat burning.
How Can a Vegan Gain Weight Fast?
Gaining weight fast is not always a healthy approach. However, if you want to gain weight quickly on a vegan diet, the answer is very simple, just eat more.
I recommend that you find out roughly how many calories you need a day, some calorie calculators can help you calculate that.
Once you have a rough number of calories you need to gain weight, start noting down what you eat and the calories of each meal/snack.
If for example, you need 2,600 calories a day to gain weight, here’s a quick sample menu for the day:
- Oatmeal with berries and peanut butter 400-500 calories
- Snack: 1 banana 120 calories
- Lunch: Soup with 2 slices of bread and vegan butter 600 calories
- Snack: 1 granola/protein bar 250 calories
- Dinner: Vegan burger and sweet potato fries: 800 calories
- Snack 1: Vegan cornetto ice cream 187 calories.
- Snack 2: Chips and salsa: 300 calories
Total calories for the day: 2,657-2757
Tracking your calories is key. If you are someone who exercises, make sure you also include the calories you have burnt during exercise.
For example, if you need 2,600 calories a day to gain weight, but you exercise and burn 600 calories, you will need to add another 600 calories to your 2,600, so you will need a total of 3,200 calories total.
High-Calorie Vegan Foods To Gain Weight
The easiest way to up the calories on a vegan diet is to simply add more high-calorie foods to your meals.
I will drop a list of healthy and not-so-healthy vegan high-calorie foods:
Healthy Vegan High-Calorie Foods
- Nut Butter (e.g Palm-Oil Free Peanut Butter And Free Of Sugar, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, etc)
- Dried Fruit
- Dark Chocolate
- Rye Bread
- Vegan Protein Bars
- Energy Balls
- Baked Potato
- Vegan Plain Yogurt
And the list goes on!
Less Healthy High-Calorie Vegan Foods
- Ice Cream
- Vegan Meat (e.g burgers, sausages, mince, etc)
- Vegan Butter
- Vegan Pastries
- Hot Chocolate
- Roasted Potatoes
- Vegan Cheese
- Vegan Flavoured Yogurt
- Biscoff Spread
- Vegan Milkshakes
And the list goes on.
1. Are Most Vegans Underweight?
No, not all vegans are underweight. When people first transition they are likely to lose a bit of weight in the beginning, but they often regain it.
2. Does Being Vegan Make You Skinny?
Not necessarily. Vegans do tend to have a healthier diet compared to non-vegans, however, what matters is how much they eat.
Some vegans will be skinny, depending on how much they eat, others might be eating too much and be a bit chubby.
3. How To Gain Weight As a Vegan Woman
Increase your daily calorie intake. Track calories and make sure you are eating more than you are burning.
There is a very simple formula when it comes to gaining or losing weight, it all comes down to the calories.
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, if you burn more calories than you intake via food, you will lose weight.
it really is that simple. Whether you are a vegan or not, it doesn’t matter, calories are all made equally, whether you eat meat or tofu, too much or too little of anything will result in either weight gain or weight loss.