How to Gain Healthy Weight on a Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian losing weight, wants to gain healthy weight with no processed food

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I have been a vegetarian for a little over a year now. I have completely ceased eating fast food because when I did it eat on occasion, it made me feel sick. I have also given up most processed foods. Eating plant-based meals definitely gives me more energy.
My dilemma is that I am a vegetarian woman who is 5’7 and weighs between 110 -115 lbs (it’s been awhile since I’ve weighed myself), and I find that I am losing too much weight. I don’t like the way I look in my clothes. I would like to gain at least 30 pounds. Do you have any advice on how to do this in a healthy way on a vegetarian diet?  S. P.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Dear S.P. –  That IS thin for someone 5’7″! It’s quite possible you need more calories, and the best way to do that without eating processed food is to add more good fats to your diet, in the form of nutrient dense foods.

15 Satisfying Ways to Increase Calories & Nutrients at the Same Time:

  • Add a small amount of flax or hemp seed oil to salad dressings or cooked cereals
  • Add nuts and seeds – toasted or raw – to salads, stir fries, sauces, dips, and spreads
  • Eat soaked nuts and seeds as snacks (a small handful a day)
  • Add hemp milk or almond milk to cooked cereal, puddings or cream soups
  • Saute your veggies in a little olive oil, or add a sauce or dressing to steamed veggies
  • Eat avocados, bananas, yams, potatoes, and other high cal but healthy foods
  • Eat bigger servings of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley etc, bean dishes, hearty soups, sprouted breads & tortillas
  • Eat dried fruit, soaked or in cereal or with stewed pears or apples or in puddings such as rice pudding
  • Add a little coconut milk and curry powder to stir fried veggies (has saturated fat, but a little is actually good for you – if you’re trying to gain weight) or sauces
  • Eat ground chia seeds or flax seeds in smoothies or cereals or sprinkled on or in things
  • Add nutritional yeast to sauces, salad dressings, popcorn
  • Eat hummus and nut butters with snacks or lunches
  • Eat what feels good and satisfies your hunger
  • Continue to eat 6 – 8 servings of fresh fruit and veggies daily along with the above foods
  • Drink at least 2 quarts of water, and plenty of other fluids daily

Besides all that, be sure that you’re getting enough B12 and Vit D – fortified foods and supplements are good ways to do that, plus a women’s nutritional supplement might be an idea  – Rainbow Light makes a good one-a-day for women.
I’m also 5’7″, and lose weight easily. (yes, I’ve been told how sickening I am). So I eat as above, and have no trouble keeping my weight above 140 lb. If my weight gets above 145, I get more active and skip the snacks. Take a good look at Savvy Veg recipes – they are nutritionally balanced, satisfying, and you’ll find all of the above tips incorporated in the recipes. Nutrition info is now included with most of the recipes.

I’m not a dietitian or nutritionist, so it would be worth your while to consult a veg friendly medical practitioner about your weight loss problem. If you aren’t taking in enough calories, you’re at risk for a variety of nutritional deficiencies, and you may need to get some blood tests done.

I don’t want to scare you, but what’s happening to you seems scary to me.
Hope you can get to a healthy weight soon – Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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2 Responses to “How to Gain Healthy Weight on a Vegetarian Diet”

  1. Kendra says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily scary. I’m 5’8″ and often between the same weight and I eat a ridiculous amount of food. Breakfast this morning was a raspberry banana smoothie with ground flax, 1/4 cup of raw almonds and walnuts, and a bowl of whole wheat flakes with almond milk. I would say that’s a fair amount and my weight stays the same. Good luck gaining!

  2. […] added dairy back in because I was losing too much weight. I follow nearly all of the suggestions in this article at SavvyVeg. I eat flax seed and oil, nuts and seeds, saute my veggies in plenty of olive oil, eat […]

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