Written by Iron Vegan
We’ve heard a myth that it is hard to gain or maintain a healthy weight when on a plant-based diet. We’re here to dispel this myth, because this Is possible. Gaining weight can be difficult and includes changes in both eating habits and lifestyle factors. Fear not - there are plenty of nutritious foods that you can incorporate into your meals for a plant-based boost!
There are many different reasons why protein is very beneficial not just for your overall health and well-being, but specifically when looking to target weight management. Higher protein intake increases thermogenesis (the generation of heat in the body when your body burns calories) and satiety, compared to diets of lower protein content.1
So, with that being said, we’ve put together our top 3 tips if you’re looking to gain or maintain weight while eating a plant-based diet:
Tip #1: Ensure you are consuming enough calories for your activity levels.
If you want to ensure you’re getting enough calories from protein, you can work with a health care practitioner, personal trainer or nutritionist.
Tip #2: Include calorie-dense plant foods at every meal.
Some of our favorite calorie and nutrient-dense foods include:
- Nuts and Nut Butters: Nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and calories, making them an excellent choice if you’re looking to gain weight. For example, a small handful of almonds (10) provides you with 70 extra calories, 3g of protein, and 6g of fat.2
- Avocados: Great on toast, in a salad, or in a smoothie, a full avocado provides 322 calories and is an easy way to boost your macro and micronutrients. Avocados are naturally rich in vitamin C, folate, pantothenic acid, and potassium.3
- Quinoa: It’s one of the few complete plant-based sources of protein, meaning that it provides all nine essential amino acids. Your body is unable to produce these on its own and must obtain them from food.4
Tip #3: Include Athlete’s Gainer as your protein powder of choice. It’s a functional, plant-based fuel made from non-GMO fermented pea & organic proteins, with added organic greens, whole grains, sea vegetables, and plant oils. Athlete’s Gainer is gluten-free, kosher, certified vegan and Informed Sport Certified (tested for banned substances).
Two scoops will provide you with:
- 42g of non-GMO plant-based protein
- 12g of fibre and only 1g of sugar
- 2.85 : 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio
- Added greens, fruit concentrates, sea vegetables, plant oils and sprouted whole grains
- A remarkably smooth and creamy taste – use it in smoothies, on its own as a shake, and even in your baking!
- Halton, T. & Frank B. Hu. (2004) The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23:5, 373-385, DOI: 1080/07315724.2004.10719381
- My Fitness Pal. Generic – Almonds. Accessed: Sept 17th 2020 At: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/114566067
- USDA Department of Agriculture, Avocados. Accessed: Sept 17th 2020 At: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/786651/nutrients
- De Ron, A. M., Sparvoli, F., Pueyo, J. J., & Bazile, D. (2017). Editorial: Protein Crops: Food and Feed for the Future. Frontiers in plant science, 8, 105. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.00105