This vegan weight gain guide gives you 7 tips on how to maintain and build curves while keeping a healthy plant based vegan diet.
*Editors note: This is not intended for people with serious under weight issues or eating disorders. If you’re experiencing any of the following I highly encourage you to seek professional help.
“I want to go vegan but I don’t want to lose my butt!”
I know that is what you are thinking. OK well that’s what I was thinking hence the entire reason for starting this blog. (You can read my body transformation here.) Vegan weight gain is more than possible and in this article I will show you how. Now let’s answer this question…why do women want a curvy figure? A desire to have more curves isn’t just about vanity, it is also science. Most women desire a curvy figure because it signifies youth, good health, and fertility. A curvy body states that you are properly nourished and are capable of nourishing another life.
So how do you make vegan weight gain possible? How do you build curves while on a meat less diet? On a very basic level you consume more calories than you burn. Specifically below, I go into what weight is, how to avoid unhealthy weight gain, and specific steps on building curves while on a vegan diet. These are tips I have learned over the years through my own trial and error.
What is weight?
Weight is our birthright. It validates our existence here on Earth. Just think of the phrase “it doesn’t hold much weight.” That is the same as someone saying they don’t give it much proof of existence. Most people who desire to gain weight, whether it is muscle or curves, have a desire to prove something or to be seen.
With the recent trend of surgically enhance butts, it is easy to be tempted to take a quicker route to achieve your desired look. But not only is surgery risky, it’s expensive. Plus it looks rather odd sometimes. (No shade to folks who go that route). Another solution women opt for is eating all kinds of high calorie junk food. This is also a mistake because you risk gaining weight in undesirable places PLUS gaining some health issues along with the way. You do not want to add waste to your body. The goal is to accomplish healthy vegan weight gain; BUILD NATURAL CURVES that fit YOUR SPECIFIC BODY SHAPE and become healthier while doing so.
Building your proof of existence (aka vegan weight gain), can be done naturally without, surgery, animal products, or junk food. Below I have laid out 7 steps on how I personally was able to achieve healthy vegan weight gain and built curves on a vegan diet.
7 Vegan Weight Gain Tips
1. Eat Calorie Dense Nutritional Foods
When I first started my vegan weight gain journey, I would literally stuff my face all day. A lot of times I would eat even when I was not hungry. That was until I discovered calorie dense foods.
Calorie dense foods are high in calories, but the portions are small. They are awesome additions to add to a meal that might be low in calories like salads or green smoothies. Now we are not talking about junk foods like soda or fast food burgers. We are talking about foods that pack a lot of nutrition. Examples include healthy high fat foods like avocados, nut butters, healthy oils, and soaked and/or sprouted nuts and seeds.
Related: Read in-depth list of Full Fat Calorie Dense Foods
If you try to increase your food portions right away, your mind will automatically reject that idea because you are not used to it. However, adding calorie dense foods to your diet will give you a caloric boost without the double portions. This way you are easing your body into eating more without the overwhelm. Eventually your appetite will naturally increase overtime, but for now focus on quality not quantity, and make every meal count.
2. Lift Weights
Strength training is the number one way to sculpt your body, achieve vegan weight gain, and build curves (naturally that is). Repeat after me; “muscles are curves, muscles are curves, muscles are curves!” Okay you get the point lol
In the Summer Olympics both marathon runners and sprinters compete. (Follow me, I promise there is a point to this.) Marathon runners do not weight train. Their primary focus is to run far and fast for as long as they can. So when they are in the gym, their workout regimen consist of….well, running. On the other hand sprinters primary focus is to move with force and power. So their workout routine includes weight lifting which in turns gives their body more curves and shape. (Have you see seen the butt on a sprinter? Gives me a run for my money honey!) This is a prime example on why lifting weights is CRUCIAL in building curves.
“But Gina I do not want to get big and look like a man!” Lifting weights will NOT make you overly muscular unless you take the extreme steps necessary to do so for that desired look.
Also keep in mind that when lifting weights make sure you lift heavy RELATIVE TO YOU. You will hear this “lift heavy” advice often, but what folks fail to mention is what’s heavy to me, is not necessarily heavy for you. Do not go to gym squatting 100 lbs if you never even squatted 20 lbs. The folks you see doing that on Instagram and/or YouTube, have been training for YEARS. Sometimes they are not even doing a full workout. A lot of times it is for the camera to impress you. (I call it ego lifting) I went from a 36 inch hip to a 40 inch hip NEVER lifting more than 40 lbs! Your body does not know “weight” by numbers. All it knows is tension and failure. You want to make every rep count and burn out your muscle. That is how it will grow. Of course as you get stronger you will require heavier weights for your muscles to actually work. But please START AT YOUR LEVEL. Challenge yourself yes, BUT NO EGO LIFTING.
So ladies get off that treadmill and give these guys a run for their money. Muscle gives your body shape which essentially gives your body curves.
3. Increase Your Protein Efficiency
A vegan talking about protein is NOT an oxymoron.
Protein is very important for your vegan weight gain goals. Protein is not automatically synonymous with animal flesh. Protein is the collection of 20 different amino acids. 11 of those are naturally synthesized by the body. The remaining 9 you must get from food sources. We call those “Essential Amino Acids.” So what we really are acquiring are amino acids not protein per se and those amino acids are abundantly (and primarily) found in plant-based foods.
Related: Read in-depth list of Plant Based Proteins
When I say increase your protein efficiency, I am not just referring to increasing the amount of grams you consume. (Not entirely at least.) I am referring to the quality of protein you take in that allows maximum absorption. This is where plant-based protein comes into play.
Plant based protein is a better option than animal protein. Animal protein contains uric acid and that alone puts a lot of stress and strain on the human body. Animal protein is also very fixed and complex. That means your body has to punch in for overtime hours in order to break all that down and obtain the individual amino acids needed. However most plant-based sources of protein are not as complex, meaning they are ready and available to use freeing up your body to have more energy for other things like your next workout session :-). So while you are building your curves, you are actually getting more useful protein on a healthy vegan diet. Examples of plant-based proteins include raw leafy greens, sprouted and/or soaked nuts and seeds, sprouted and/or soaked grains, soaked and/or sprouted beans, sprouted and fermented soy, and clean vegan protein powders. My favorite vegan protein powder is Organic Hemp Protein Powder. I am not anti soy but I do stay away from soy protein powder as I found those products are soy isolates and not that great for health. (soy should be mainly consumed organic, sprouted and/or fermented for the most part). Hemp protein has given me great results and it’s affordable. It’s content is 50% protein. It has all the 9 essential amino acids and it’s a great balance of omega 3s and omega 6s. It’s very easy to digest. I consume the hemp powder in smoothies and I also use hemp seeds sprinkled in my salad at times. OK enough gushing over hemp, on to tip #4.
4. Go Carb Yourself!
EAT YOUR CARBS! Carbohydrates are CRUCIAL in your vegan weight gain goals even more so than protein. In fact protein needs carbohydrates in order to work. If you are to starve your body of carbohydrates, especially after an intense workout, it will cause your body to use protein as a primary energy source (which is the job of carbohydrates) which over time can break down the muscle proteins and totally contradict the curves you are trying to build.
Yes I know carbohydrates have gotten a bad rep. But carbs are NOT your enemy. They are your number one source of energy. The key is to get the RIGHT type of carbohydrates. Your carbs should consist mainly of whole foods of both simple carbs and complex carbs and not processed refined carbs.
Related: Read in-depth list of Curvy Carbohydrates
I want to make this very clear. White pasta, white bread, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, white sugar etc are NOT the type of carbs I am talking about. Those are dead foods and extremely detrimental to one’s health. (And can cause havoc on your teeth). When I say carbohydrates I a referring to vegetables, fruit and properly prepared grains.
Healthy simple carbohydrates digest quickly and only take a few minutes to fuel your body. An example of a HEALTHY simple carbohydrate is fruit. This is why you might see some folks eat a banana right before a workout because it gives them a quick fuel source. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest giving you sustainable energy throughout the day. Examples include soaked and/or sprouted whole grains (rice, oatmeal, etc) sweet potatoes, baby red potatoes, squash, yucca root, quinoa, and sprouted wheat bread. Certain pastas are OK sparingly but I wouldn’t overly rely on pasta not even the healthy versions. Pastas are heavy in flour so it’s best to have weeks where you don’t include to much in your diet. I like pastas for special occasions like the holidays when I do my Dairy Free Baked Mac and Cheese. Certain sprouted wheat breads are flourless and in my opinion OK to have regularly in your diet. Or you can make your own raw breads. The pastas I do recommend include sprouted wheat, spelt, kamut, or gluten free varieties.
Remember carbohydrates are not your enemy if your eating the right kind. Without a healthy amount of carbs you will NOT build curves.
5. Have the Right Mindset
There is a saying in the fitness community that body transformation is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Well I say that body transformation is 60% mindset, 20% nutrition, and 20% exercise.
Where your mind goes, your body follows. If you believe in your mind that you can accomplish vegan weight gain your body will follow suit.
The reason was able to keep going on my journey is because I had a STRONG belief that I could build curves without consuming animal products. PLUS I was determined to prove naysayers wrong. (I am pretty competitive) That mindset motivated me to do the necessary actions needed (dieting and exercising) even when progress was slow.
You have to visualize yourself how you desire to be and always keep that image constantly in your head. Also stay positive. You cannot hate yourself into a new body. You cannot look like anyone else. But you can be the best version of YOURSELF. You can be the curvy version of YOU. Transformation, whether physical or otherwise, comes from within. Your cells respond to all stimuli, that includes the words you speak.
Change your mindset! Use your mind to visualize, to shift your belief that it can be done, and to be kind to yourself.
6. Sleep Like a Baby (Rest and Relax; Life is more than protein, carbs, reps, and sets)
Rest is an overlooked factor in this “grind till I get it’ society.” They even have a hashtag for it
#TeamNoSleep This is a no no. The recovery process is essential in vegan weight gain. Too much stress in the body and in mind can led to burn out. Trust me I experience this first hand. You have to RE CREATE YOURSELF (aka enjoy some recreation) Life can be very difficult. On top of our every day issues, transforming something as personal as your body can be overwhelming. If you are over stressed, you could potentially kill your results. Yes I believe in working hard as long as it is in harmony and in balance with working smart and resting.
When you are stressed your foods do not digest well and those nutrients can’t properly nourish your body. Gains can’t grow in a space where there is stress and restriction. Relaxation allows your mind to be at ease which allows your muscles to be in that a relaxed state as well.
Get enough sleep. Book a full body massage. Engage in activities that bring you peace and joy. Make rest and relaxation a CONSISTENT part of you routine
7. Be Patient (Enjoy the process)
Yes ladies it is true, patience really is a virtue.
I know how frustrating it is to want something and not have it especially in this internet instant society we live in today. Everyone is selling “21 day booty programs” and “7 day shrink your waist wraps.” All lies and all gimmicks that do nothing but leave you feeling as if something is wrong with your body. It also creates a sense of desperation. But the truth is to achieve vegan weight gain, you must be patient and WAIT. Nothing can be built over night including your beautiful body.
Thoughts and mental images have the capacity to transform your feelings in an instant. Unfortunately that is not the case in the physical world. It takes a repeated amount of effort OVER TIME of thinking, visualizing, eating, exercising, and recovering. Yep just good old fashion consistency, discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. Those things NEVER go out of style.
I won’t do you a disservice and sell you hype that you can grow 3 inches in your hips in 30 days. You will find no microwave fads here. Just honest advice on what it takes to really build the body you desire. And what keeps you patient is enjoying the process. Enjoy the new foods you discover. Enjoy the new muscles you can now feel in your body. Enjoy feeling more energized and fit. The results will take care of themselves.
Anyone who has embarked on a journey of body transformation whether weight loss, building muscle, or gaining curves will tell you it takes consistent work to see some major results. Everyone is different. Be patient with yourself and be patient with your body.
IF YOU LIKE THIS ARTICLE, you will love my sample vegan meal plan for muscle (curve) building where you will learn
- what a sample curve building meal plan looks like
- simple ways to add more calories to common plant based meals
- why there is no one food that can make you gain healthy weight
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