Well for the past two months I've been trying to gain weight back and all I have gained is about 3 pounds! I am so tired of being "miss. toothpick" and I need to gain at least 10-15 more pounds so that I look better and feel better about myself! I have been adding more calories to my veg diet and I have been doing weight training like 4-5 times a week(I'm also pretty active...hiking, soccer, running...) So, what am I doing wrong and any tips for the vegetarians who need to gain weight/muscle?
When it comes to weight gain, calories are key. If you don't have surplus calories, you're not going to gain; and even when you think you're adding more, you may not be getting enough to really see results, especially if you're very active. Do you know how much you eat each day? If not, consider setting a daily caloric goal to try to meet each and every day (breaking it down further into smaller per-meal goals to meet, if you like). Make sure to cover any calories you burn exercising, too.
To figure out how much you need to eat to gain, enter your stats and average daily activity in here: http://www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expend iture-advanced
This will give you the number of calories you burn in a day. To gain 1 pound per week, you then add 500 calories onto that for your daily caloric goal. To gain 2 pounds per week, add 1000 calories. (3500 kcals = 1 pound; 500 x 7 = 3500, 1000 x 7 = 7000)
If you don't see results after a couple of weeks of reliably eating the goal amount, then increase it by increments of 200-500 until you do start gaining. It may seem like a lot of food at first, but it helps if you break it down into several meals a day (ex. breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack), and focus on calorie dense foods like nuts, full-fat dairy, oily fish, etc.
Hope that helps, and ask away if you still have questions or need advice. :D
Thank You :) for your help! Yep, some days I eat too little calories and other days I do just find, so I think I need to keep all my calories the same each day. Okay I have another important question that I am not really sure about... how much protein should I consume each day to keep my body healthy and my muscles working properly and what are some REALLY good sources for vegetarians?
It's definitely possible gain weight as a vegetarian. I gained weight in ED-recovery on a vegetarian diet, and still managed to eat plenty of protein. Some of my favorite healthy gaining foods are:
- Nut butters/seed butters (pb, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, soynut butter, etc.) YUM! :)
- Full fat tofu
- Soy milk with Genisoy protein powder
- Granola, muesli, etc.
- Full fat yogurt (if you eat dairy)
- Legumes (great source of protein)
- Thick, seeded breads (LOVE Dave's organic sprouted bread)
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
- Dried fruit
I'm struggling with weight gain too without meat, but there are lots of good weight gain options open to vegetarians. Try peanut butter (or any nut butters in general), nuts like almonds and walnuts are also calorie dense and do not get you tooo too full. Another thing that I like is protein powders, I have one that is 150 calories and 14g protein for a spoonful and so I can add a couple spoonfuls to a drink and not be stuffing myself grossly. I'm sure there is more calorie-dense protein powders out there too. The key is to make sure your eating more calories than you burn, then you should be good! Good luck with your weight gain!
i gained from 38kg to 50kg on a vegan diet, since february. thanks to lots of peanut butter, nuts, avocado, oats, soymilk, olive oil and regular meals. i do yoga and walk about 20mins a day also.
Adding to the protein powder comment, I add protein powder to my cereal/oatmeal every morning. The flavour might get to you at first, but I honestly don't like it without it anymore! So even if I'm having a bowl in the evening I add a little. Also, protein bars, great protein source and definitely high in calories. Nuts and nutbutters for sure. Once I actually made a peanutbutter and avocado sandwich (not sure how normal that is haha) and it was quite tasty. Yeah, be creative! There are lots of things you can do, boca burgers have lots of protein, I don't really eat them cause I don't like the idea of meat replacements but I tried one with my friend the other day and they were pretty decent. I myself am a pescatarian so I get good protein from fish. Hmm, yeah. Some good suggestions from other posters already:) Mm, work in carbs! Good for energy and calories. Good luck! You can do this:)
Ya, that protein powder thing sounds pretty easy and tasty! I always put globs of peanutbutter in my oatmeal in the morning, so thats another great idea for me! I always wanted to use protein powder, but I'm not sure which ones are the best and of course the tastiest :) Any suggestions for types of protein powders?
I actually think that veggie diets have an advantage for weight gaining in one way, because many of the natural veggie protein sources are high in fat too. So you get a good energy density. Stick to the nuts, full fat dairy and good sized portions and you will get enough protein without having to supplement it with expensive protein shakes and bars. Peanut butter, seeds, and full fat yoghurt are all very good sources of protein and healthy fats... and dense breads and cereals are also high energy although a little bulkier.
And on a side note, I think that adequate protein rather than High protein is more beneficial for weight gain since the energy cost of digesting protein is high and the satiating effect of it actually supresses appetite compared to carbs and fats. Focus on increasing the starch and fat content in your diet rather than the protein, which you will get enough of on a balanced diet.