Can a vegan gain healthy weight? Yes they can! In this article you will discover the key components on what it takes to create a meal plan for weight gain on a vegan diet.
I had to write a “meal plan for weight gain as vegan” article because recently I was hit with an unfriendly inbox on Facebook. This male said that there is no way I could obtain my curvy figure without eating a ton of soy. He stated his girlfriend, who he claims is an Olympic power lifter, is a strict vegan (which probably means she restricts certain vegan foods) and she does not have a shape like mine. So when I explained to him how I achieved my figure and that I do not consume large amounts of soy, he basically called me a liar. Also he stated that because he has been around vegans and vegetarians for 10 years (tho he is not one himself) that it goes against everything he believed to be true about a vegan having a curvy physique. In his world, only eating meat or a massive amount of soy can give one curves or muscles.
Related: View proper ways and recommendations on Consuming Soy
For the record I am NOT anti soy and I do include it in my meal plan for weight gain. However, it is NOT the main source of my diet meal plan. I do not binge on soy products or ANY one food for that matter. Okay maybe oatmeal and rice but that’s it. So let’s address and dispel his claims.
- His girlfriend does not look like me because she is NOT ME. I say this all the time, you have the be the fit and curvy version of YOURSELF.
- If she is an Olympic power lifter that means she is working out for HOURS a day. She uses A LOT more calories than I do and would need a CRAZY amount of calories to retain or gain muscle and/or curves.
- Being a strict vegan usually means that someone is gluten-free, or oil free, or nut free, or soy free, or alkaline based, etc. I am a vegan. Period. If it is animal free I will consume it. When you start to have restrictions within your vegan diet, you will eliminate a lot of foods that can possibly help give you desired results.
- He is not vegan! Experience trumps everything! I never claimed to be some vegan guru. I am a Midwestern gal sharing her journey and experience on what works because I LIVE THIS REALITY. There are folks out there that have more book knowledge than I do. But reading books on something does not mean you know something. Being around vegans and vegetarians for 10 years means zero if you yourself are not living that lifestyle.
There is NO ONE FOOD that can make you gain or lose weight.
There are foods that you can add to your meal plan for weight gain that can help you gain healthy weight as a vegan. But there is not one particular magical food that will do the trick on it’s own. Think about it for a second. If that were true, then why do we have thin vegans who eat nothing but processed and soy food? Why do we have thin meat eaters?
If you want to gain healthy weight and build curves you have to consume a surplus of calories over time. And the more variety you have in your vegan diet, the more you open yourself to a wide range of nutrients. There is no way around it. Trust me if tofu had that power, butt surgery would go out of business
In my 7 Tips on How to Build Curves on a Vegan Diet article, I listed 3 things that are essential on a curvy vegan diet:
Now of course this is coupled with a good weight training program but since diet is a major part in achieving the goals you desire, I decided to do a meal plan for weight gain as a vegan to give folks a guideline on what to eat when desiring to build curves on a vegan diet.
If you want a more comprehensive look on what to eat as you build curves, make sure you grab the FREE Curve Building Recipe Guide where I include a 10 recipes (9 of which are not on the blog) and a full 6 day meal plan. You can download your copy HERE. Updated: As of March 2018, I no longer offer the Free Curve Building Recipe Guide. However when you sign up for the newsletter you will get detailed weekly tips vegan curve building tips sent to your inbox. Click HERE to signed up!
Sample Meal Plan for Weight Gain as a Vegan
Green smoothie typically averages around 270 calories
Tips to Make it Curve Building Friendly
•Use fresh squeeze UNPASTEURIZED fruit juice. You can do this yourself OR purchase juices from your local farmer’s market or local grocery store chain. 1 cup of juice is approximately 100 calories.
•Add 1/4-1/2 of avocado. Avocado is a very calorie dense food. It will add anywhere to 60 to 120 calories to your smoothie.
Your 270 calorie green smoothie is now a 500 calorie green smoothie.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate. Carbs are key in building curves. Typically a serving of oatmeal is about 158 calories. Sprouted oats are always preferred. I always keep a big bag of prepared sprouted oats in the pantry. I use this brand here.
Tips to Make it Curve Building Friendly
•Add shredded nuts. A serving of nuts has 170 calories and 7 grams of protein. It is both calorie dense and contains a healthy amount of amino acids (protein) on top of the protein already in the oats.
•Add your favorite dried fruit. Dried fruit a simple carbohydrate and is calorie dense. One serving contains about 130 calories.
Your 158 calorie oatmeal is now 458 calories oatmeal.
Total Breakfast 958 calories
Nut Butter Toast On Sprouted Wheat Bread
Whether you like organic peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, etc adding nut butters to your diet will give you a calorie boost for sure! Nut butters are crucial to add in a meal plan for weight gain. In the beginning of my journey I LIVED off this stuff (I still do).
•Sprouted Wheat Bread has about 60 calories per slice and 5 grams of protein
•One serving of nut butter contains about 190 calories and 7 grams of protein
Total Snack 250 calories
Ahhh the go to salad. The thing that everyone thinks vegans live on. Yes salad can be a very healthy additional to anyone’s diet and it is a quick and easy lunch. But it can also be very boring and typically very low in calories. That is great if you are desiring to release weight; not so great if you have a desire to gain healthy weight, especially on a vegan and/or plant-based diet. A typical green salad has anywhere from to 100 to 200 calories
Tips to Make it Curve Building Friendly
•Make a Quinoa salad instead. The based of your salad DOES NOT have to always be kale or spinach or romaine lettuce. Break those salad rules! You can still add raw greens to it because a quinoa salad can be eaten warm or cold (marinated raw kale works well in this) Quinoa is rich in both protein and complex carbohydrates. A cup of quinoa is about 220 calories. You can bulk this up by adding a serving of black beans (110 calories) and 1/2 cup of cooked diced sweet potatoes (57 calories)
Related: View why quinoa should be a Curvy Vegan Pantry staple
Total Lunch 387 calories
Vegan Protein Shake
Vegan protein shakes are an EXCELLENT addition to getting an extra calorie and nutrient boost. There are so many different ways to make a vegan protein shake. You can mix different plant-based milks (100 calories) and fruits (100 calories). But the two main ingredients will be your choice of a vegan protein powder and nut butter.
•Hemp Protein Powder has 130 calories and 15 grams of protein (contains 20 amino acids)
•Nut Butters: I personally prefer either organic peanut butter or cashew butter. Cashew butter has the most neutral taste when adding them to shakes but peanut butter is the most affordable and I like the taste of peanut butter. But any nut or seed butter will do. You can add anywhere from 2 – 4 tablespoons (which is 1 -2 servings and app. 190 – 380 calories). I would recommend starting off with one serving and increasing over time based on your needs.
Total Snack 520 calories
Pasta in itself is curve friendly. I would stay clear of white pasta as much as possible. I recommend using a gluten-free or sprouted wheat pasta. Spelt pasta is also an excellent choice. One cup of pasta is approximately 200 calories. Most people who make vegan spaghetti only add veggies to their sauce (onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc). Us curvy vegans bulk it up by adding beans to it as well. I love the addition of lentils or kidney beans to my spaghetti sauce.
•Start off with a fresh green raw veggie salad (100 calories) and sprinkle a serving of hemp seeds (170 calories) on top.
•Pair your salad with a serving of vegan spaghetti and add a serving of beans! (110 calories)
Related: Read Pasta Recommendations
Total Dinner 570 calories
Total Day’s Calories 2685
As you can see, this was meal plan for weight gain shows and prove it is more than possible to get enough calories on a plant-based vegan diet without the need of soy if you choose not to consume it. Now do not let that number scare you! We have been conditioned to low-calorie this and low-calorie that. But as I stated earlier, if you want to gain weight you have to eat a surplus of calories. You want to start off with at least 2200 calories a day and increase from there if needed. Coupled with a good weight lifting program (do not just eat this amount and not strength train) and very little to no cardio (at least in the beginning phases) and you will be well on your way to building your curvy physique!
A good meal plan for weight gain will require a good calorie calculator. I recommend using a My Fitness Pal to keep track of the amount of calories you are getting in a day. I know counting calories can be a pain in the you know what, but it will be a good way to keep track of what you are eating to make sure you are getting enough calories in your diet.
IF YOU LIKE THIS ARTICLE, you will love 7 VEGAN FOODS THAT HELP YOU GAIN WEIGHT where you will learn,
- 7 top vegan curve building foods
- what properties these foods have that make them curve building friendly
- how to use these foods in recipes, their advantages and disadvantages
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