It is common knowledge that burning fewer calories than you consume is all it takes to gain weight. While this is perfectly right, gaining weight can be quite challenging for a vegetarian. This is because a vegetarian’s options exclude the high-calorie options found in poultry, meat, game and fish.
But that is not to say that a vegetarian cannot aspire to gain weight. There are highly effective diet plans that vegetarians can follow in order to gain weight in a natural way. The diets not only help in gaining weight but also make the body strong and resistant to infections.
How do I increase my calorie intake as a vegetarian?
You need a calorie surplus in order to keep growing new muscle tissue. How many calories you need depends on how much weight you want to gain. Your age, height and level of activity also have a bearing on your diet options.
In order to gain weight, that includes muscle and healthy lean mass, you should start taking a diet that is higher in proteins than you have been taking before. In order to ascertain the grams of proteins that you should be aiming for, simply measure your weight and multiply by 0.8.
There is a common misconception that in order for a vegetarian to add buy accutane in singapore weight, he needs to drastically change his daily diet. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can find creative ways to add extra calories to your meals without having to make huge changes to your dietary routine.
Weight gain diet that is perfect for vegetarian
6:00 AM – Broccoli and sweet potato
9:00 AM – Healthy breakfast (of your choice, Include vegetables and whole grains)
12:00 PM – Nuts, beans or cheese
3:00 PM – Lunch (Include vegetables and whole grains)
6:00 PM – A glass of milk with 2 bananas
9:00 PM – Dinner(Include vegetables and whole grains)
Here are vegetarian diet plans that will help you gain weight:
1. Healthy calories
Although it is easy to gain weight from unhealthy fatty food such as sugary pastries and French fries, you don’t have to sacrifice your health while doing it. There are healthier options of high-calorie foods. For example, you can take foods that have healthy fats such as
- sweet potato,
- hummus and
- almond butter among others.
2. High-protein foods for muscle mass
Sometimes, weight gain can end up making you look flabby or unhealthy. By gaining muscle mass, you can add some weight without worrying about looking unhealthy. Oatmeal is a great option for vegetarians who want to gain weight quickly. Oatmeal is protein rich and has a high amount of calories. Another high-calorie option is beans. Three cups of beans every week will do you a lot of good. Pumpkin seeds, pistachios and walnuts are also great options.
3. Soy protein
This is one of the most effective foods for vegetarians who want to add some weight. It also helps lower the level of bad cholesterol. Options include soy milk, soy cheese and soy cream. You can use these products to complement the calories in your salads, tacos or baked potatoes.
4. Complement your meals with dairy products
Milk products are a great option for adding calories to your meals. For example, an ounce of cheese (shredded) can add up to 100 calories to a plate of salad or baked potato. Sour cream (two tablespoons) can add up to 60 calories to your vegetarian chili. For your breakfast, you can add 37 calories with a spread of butter on your toast.
5. Boost your calorie intake by increasing your carbohydrates
When people want to lose weight, they reduce their carbohydrate intake. This is because carbs can lead to an increase in calories. So, a vegetarian looking to add some weight can increase his or her carbohydrate intake with foods such as pasta, rice, whole wheat bread and quinoa among others.
6. Regular snacks
In between your meals, you can increase your calorie intake by eating small portions of nutrient-rich snacks. Snacks help fuel your body without necessarily filling you up. Examples of snacks:
- A small portion of kale chips,
- A glass of granola and
- A protein bar.
In addition to fuelling your body, these snacks will also help you gain weight.
7. Supplements, vitamins and calorie-boosters
You can also augment your diet with meal boosters and supplements. For example, a good multivitamin will ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs. As a vegetarian, a lack of proper diet can lead to deficiencies that can cause lethargy or even anemia. A multivitamin is not a substitute for a full diet but it helps boost appetite and energy level.
There are several protein powders that can help vegetarians looking to add some weight. All you need to do is to confirm whether the powder has the amino acids that it takes to make up a whole protein. Although most powders do, it’s always good to confirm.
Can I pack muscle as a vegetarian?
Many people associate vegetarian dietary system with weight loss. Although this is true in some situations, vegetarians can also build muscle the same way meat eaters can. With strict adherence to a well-defined roadmap, you can maximize your nutrition and build your muscle mass.
Here are some rules that can help you:
1. Be careful about deficiencies
Micronutrient deficiencies have the potential to adversely impact your well-being. For example, calcium is important for making your bones strong and also helps in muscular contractions. A calcium deficiency can hinder your performance during workouts and also cause cramping. Sources of calcium include collard greens, spinach, kale and broccoli.
2. Eat well
Although this seems rather obvious, there are many vegetarians who are misinformed about their dietary options. It is not uncommon to hear of people who only survive on sweets, fries and ramen noodles. Such a diet can have serious consequences on your health. You need a good balance. Include fresh fruits along with vegetables.
3. Learn about plant protein
There are many plant-based foods that can give you the proteins you need. For example, soy proteins are not just protein packed, they are also very low in cholesterol and fat. Pea protein is also high in protein, cholesterol-free and is easy to digest. Hemp seeds are rich in protein and also have high iron and magnesium.
People decide to become vegetarians because of a variety of reasons. But one of the biggest questions that are asked about vegetarian diets is whether it’s possible to add weight without the help of different types of animal proteins. The answer is a big YES. With the right food combinations, you can add weight or maintain your current weight.