Whatever reason it may be, whether you’re an athlete in a sport that requires you to bulk up, or feel you just need to add a few extra pounds to your frame to satisfy your own comfort level, vegans can frequently run into situations where weight gain is necessary. Although not as quick a route to take as meat eaters, it’s actually quite more achievable than you may think, and certainly as efficient as consuming animal products.
Add Oil To Whatever You’re Preparing
This may seem kind of obvious given the amount of fat oils are known to contain, but oftentimes people shy away from fat in general due to the popular belief that weight gained by fat is bad. Although yes, fat, like carbohydrates in excessive amounts, can make you fat, understanding the purpose of unsaturated fats in our bodies and consuming them in small amounts are key to not just your digestive health, but also for weight regulation. However, If you have an ectomorphic, thin and slender body type, it may be a little harder for you to gain weight on demand, especially since your diet isn’t naturally heavy in calorie-dense foods. A potential fix? Add more oils to your diet. Here are some easy and common dishes you can try this with:
- Salads- Add a little extra Italian dressing along with a few extra croutons and another slice of tomato to your salads. To go the extra mile in calories, add a teaspoon of olive oil to your salad and mix it in with the Italian dressing.
- Tofu Stir-Fry- Fry your vegetables and tofu in olive oil. You can also add nuts like almonds, cashews, or walnut for more omega-3 fats and the extra calories.
- Spaghetti- When the sauce is boiling, pour some olive oil into the pot and mix it into the sauce. For even more calories that count, cut up a little more tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms to put into your sauce.
You’re Encouraged to Eat Late Night Snacks
Yep. You heard right.Relax and enjoy your late night guilty pleasure. Hey the goal is to gain weight right? It has become a stigma to eat after certain hours of the day because our bodies wind down and we’re unable to be as active during the night as we can during the day. However, to pack on the pounds, you have to shed this mentality and indulge in some late night goodies. The key, of course, is both in what you eat, and also moderation. You don’t necessarily want to scarf down some noodles with broth in it that contains enough cayenne pepper to guarantee a night back and forth between the bed and the john. You also have to be mindful of any digestive or inflammatory responses that may occur as a result of late night indulgence in powerful spices or heavy foods. Instead of reaching for the Cheetos, try these healthy, G.I. tract-friendly snacks that can help to put on the right weight:
- Fruit Cups- Fruit cups are awesome because they’re so easily accessible once the time has been spent preparing them. Or if you’re shorter on time and can afford it regularly, buy some fruit cup packs at Walmart, Target, or your local farmer’s market.
- Back To Nature Wheat Crackers with Hummus- These crackers are non GMO, trans fat free, no cholesterol, and contain no egg. You can get these and a tub of hummus at your standard supermarket as well.
Who Said Being a Meathead is the Only Way to Pack on Pounds?
I can’t speak for myself in terms of eating vegan, so I can’t relate to the different challenges and rewards of the diet. I did, however, try going vegan once upon a time while also trying to strength train and gain solid weight in muscle, so I know it can be challenging to gain healthy weight without the easy calories of meat and dairy. I also have good friends and colleagues who happen to be vegan, and I tend to ask questions when I can if the topic arises. Of course, these tips aren’t the only way to go about gaining weight as a vegan, but they are simple ways to reach body and fitness goals without compromising one’s diet and lifestyle. It’s also a great way to experiment with the many different dishes you can add oils to!
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