Gaining weight can be quite challenging as opposed to shedding kilos, especially if you have to do it in a healthy manner. When the experts talk about healthy weight gain, they actually refer to gaining muscle and not fat. Healthy weight gain is often recommended to athletes who have lost weight abnormally or to genetically underweight people.
If you are a vegan, gaining weight can be tricky since options are limited for you. A few of the main components for healthy weight gain are chicken, milk, and eggs which cannot be consumed by those who follow a vegan diet. However, the good news is that it is not impossible. With a few delicious options for vegan breakfast for weight gain or vegan lunch/dinner/brunch, you too can build muscle in a healthy fashion. So, read on to learn different vegan recipes for weight gain.
Ideal Vegan Meal Plan for Weight Gain
An ideal vegan meal plan for weight gain should include key components such as proteins, fibre (soluble as well as insoluble), healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, probiotics, vitamins and minerals and lots of liquid for hydration and better absorption.
1. Vegan Breakfast
· Oatmeal porridge: Whether you are a non-vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan, classic oatmeal porridge with lots of seeds, dried fruits, and berries will never fail to satiate you in the morning. Just ensure to use coconut milk or coconut-based yoghurt because both are higher in fat content and pack in a good amount of energy. Almond milk which has fewer calories is a better option if weight loss is your end goal.
· Bagel sandwich: You can layer your sandwich with avocado, tofu, lots of veggies, pickles, and sauce (depending on what you like). And your healthy vegan breakfast for weight gain is ready with no hassle!
· Chilla (vegan omelette/Indian pancakes): Besan chilla is a staple breakfast item across Indian households on most mornings. Made from chickpea flour, it is healthy, tasty, and easy to make. Make sure to add lots of chopped veggies (carrots, onions, green chillies, and coriander leaves) and shredded tofu if you are looking for filling and high-calorie vegan meals.
2. Vegan Lunch
· Wrap: A vegan meal plan for weight gain can include whole wheat hummus veggie wrap or a falafel wrap and bananas.
· Smoothie: When looking for high-calorie vegan meals, peanut butter banana smoothie packs in a good 800 calories. The combination of sweet and salty works wonders on your palette and is extremely easy to make. Another great vegan weight gain smoothie is a chocolate keto protein smoothie made with coconut milk, peanut butter, avocado, cacao powder, and stevia.
· Rice, dal and stir-fried veggies: Those trying to lose weight are often found steering clear of rice and especially white rice. If you love rice, you can plate your lunch with about 100-200 gm of white rice (even brown rice is a great option), a bowl of dal, and some of your favourite veggies stir fried.
3. Vegan Dinner
· Mushroom-quinoa burgers: Vegan dinner recipes for weight gain can include burgers made out of mushrooms, veggies, and quinoa along with a serving of green salad. The total calorie count for this meal comes around 509. If you want to go for the classic burger and fries combination, then you can opt for some crispy air-fried sweet potatoes which are a healthier option than your regular deep-fried potatoes.
· Pasta: For dinner, if you are looking for quick and easy vegan recipes for weight gain, then the one-pot tomato and basil whole wheat pasta is a great idea. You can also add toppings such as roasted chickpeas or sautéed mushroom for added flavour.
· Rice, rajma and tofu kebabs: Rice and rajma (kidney beans) form the classic combination you can never get enough of. They make for a delicious vegan meal plan for healthy weight gain. However, if you feel like you have had enough rice for the day (during lunch), then you can replace it with whole wheat rotis. Additionally, you can make some tofu kebabs by grilling them in the oven with a drizzle of barbeque sauce.
Health problems associated with being underweight
The world is abuzz with the health problems associated with obesity and weight gain. But rarely do people talk about the ill effects of being underweight. A few health risks you are likely to face due to being underweight/poor nutrition are:
- Iron deficiency can cause anaemia
- Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies lead to osteoporosis
- Poor immune system
- Risk of higher complications during and after a surgery
- Brain growth and developmental issues in growing kids
- Infertility and other hormonal issues caused by fluctuating menstrual cycles
Options for vegans when it comes to high-calorie breakfast, lunch, and dinner might be sparse but there are delicious recipes available if the research is done right. Your aim for a vegan meal plan for weight gain should always be focused on nutrient-rich, high-calorie food items. To make things interesting, have your meals pre determined and change your meal plan daily so that you can ensure maximum nutrition intake throughout the week.