How to gain weight as a vegan?

How to gain weight as a vegan?


Gaining weight as a vegan may seem challenging since plant-based diets are often associated with weight loss. However, with the right approach, it is entirely possible to achieve weight gain while following a vegan lifestyle. This article will explore various strategies and tips to help individuals gain weight healthily and sustainably on a vegan diet.

Caloric Surplus: The Key to Weight Gain

To gain weight, regardless of dietary preferences, it is essential to consume more calories than your body burns. This concept is known as a caloric surplus. However, it is crucial to focus on nutrient-dense foods rather than empty calories. A vegan diet can provide an abundance of nutrient-rich options that support weight gain.

Include Energy-Dense Foods

To increase calorie intake, incorporate energy-dense foods into your meals and snacks. These foods are high in healthy fats and carbohydrates, providing a substantial amount of calories in smaller portions. Examples of energy-dense vegan foods include avocados, nuts and nut butters, seeds, coconut milk, tofu, and whole-grain products like quinoa and brown rice.

Consume More Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an excellent source of calories and essential for overall health. Include foods rich in healthy fats, such as avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds, in your diet. Adding a tablespoon of nut butter to your smoothies or spreading avocado on whole-grain toast can significantly increase your calorie intake.

Focus on Protein

Protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair. To support weight gain, ensure you are consuming an adequate amount of protein. Vegan protein sources include legumes (such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans), tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa, and edamame. Incorporate these protein-rich foods into your meals to promote muscle development.

Meal Planning and Frequency

To ensure you are consuming enough calories, consider meal planning and increasing meal frequency. Plan your meals in advance, including calorie-dense ingredients, and make sure to have snacks readily available throughout the day. Aim for three main meals and two to three snacks to increase your overall calorie intake.

Smoothies and Shakes

Smoothies and shakes can be a convenient way to increase calorie intake. Include ingredients like plant-based protein powder, fruits, nut butter, seeds, and plant-based milk in your smoothies. These nutrient-dense beverages can provide a significant number of calories while also offering essential vitamins and minerals.

Strength Training

Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine can help promote muscle growth and weight gain. Strength training stimulates muscle development, which can contribute to a healthy increase in weight. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows to target multiple muscle groups.


Gaining weight as a vegan requires a strategic approach that focuses on consuming a caloric surplus from nutrient-dense foods. Incorporating energy-dense foods, healthy fats, protein-rich sources, and planning meals and snacks can help individuals achieve their weight gain goals. Additionally, incorporating strength training exercises can promote muscle growth and overall weight gain.