Vegan here, needing to gain weight

I am 5'3" and currently weigh 87lbs. I need to gain around 20 to be in a healthy weight range. I wouldn't consider myself anorexic, as a lot of people seem to label me. My daughter got sick in May 2014 and taking care of her became my only priority. It was a long road to get her healthy, and I neglected myself during that time, hardly eating anything. Now it's just habit, after a year, to eat small amounts. I logged my first day of food, which is a typical day for me, and it's not even half of what i need to be having to gain weight. I love food, and I want to put on weight, but the volume of what i need to eat is where I'm having a problem.

I am under the care of my primary physician and a nutritionist. The nutritionist suggested this site to keep track of my calories. I will be doing some reading through the forums, but I'd like to know how you do it, if you're doing it? I realize different things work for different people, I'm willing to try anything.


  • seska422
    seska422 Posts: 3,217 Member
    If the volume bothers you, try eating more calorie-dense things. Nuts have a lot of calories in very little volume.
  • Katzedernacht
    Katzedernacht Posts: 266 Member
    Hi,I had the same problem I was eating barely my BMR, meaning the minimum to be alive while being on a coma,and all of this while lifting, I'm also a vegan so,well, broccoli can be nice but it has feeeew calories,so what I did was this :
    Nuts, pecans, chestnut,walnut,pistachos, a handful at least ,a day
    Whole wheat pasta and brown rice
    Some pre-made but kinda healthy sausages and nuggets and you know,stuff like that
    Tortillas ( I'm mexican :P )
    Avocado <3
    I went from 5 meals to 6 meals
    Adding oatmeals to my protein shake
    Fruits,not like 50 of them just say, 2-3 portions,maybe a bit more
    Legumes ( is that the correct name?) beans,chickpea,all good for protein AND calories

    :3 Feel free to add me,or well,answer to my request
  • StacyChrz
    StacyChrz Posts: 865 Member
    While I am quite on the opposite side of the weight spectrum I'd like to offer a bit of help. I did try to follow a vegan diet in the past and had a good experience using Life Time Life's Basics Plant Protein, I liked the unsweetened vanilla because it didn't have any artificial sweeteners that upset my stomach. The good thing about this powder is that it is made from pea, hemp, rice and chia and has a great profile of omega's and several necessary amino acids that are tough to get enough of when eating a vegan diet. It has 120 calories with 22 grams of protein per serving and can be mixed with juice or nut 'milk'. I would suggest talking to your nutritionist about it because you can blend it with some nut butter and fruit and sip it over 30-60 min so that you aren't trying to take in a large volume all at once but you're getting some really high quality nutrition.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,307 Member
    Fats!! You can get lots of calories for not much volume. Add oil to your cooking. 120 calories a Tbsp and you barely notice it. Peanut butter (and other nut butters) pack a lot of calories in a small package. If you like avocado you can eat it plain or make a guacamole and eat it with chips for even more calories.

    Ground flax is something like 45 calories per serving. You'll get some nutritional benefits as well as extra calories if you add it to oatmeal or baked goods-for not much extra volume.

    Baking in general is an easy way to add calories. Even if you're using vegan alternatives, you can bake with nut flours or coconut flour-and add extra nuts and/or chocolate/dried fruit/seeds. Again, lots of yummy calories for small volume.

    Best of luck, it's nice to hear you are taking care of yourself :smile:
  • salembambi
    salembambi Posts: 5,592 Member
    oreos are vegan lots of junk food is vegan it doesnt take much time to find out what just do some googling

    same with nuts , avocado,dates

    make stuff out of cashews lots of vegan recipes use cashews as a sauce base
  • Dex37
    Dex37 Posts: 55 Member
    Get off the vegan diet. You are anorexic at that weight and will begin to have health problems.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    Here is a list of high calorie foods. Clearly, many are not vegan, but go with what you can consume and make sure you work some of those into your diet:

    Also, drinking calories can help add calories without necessarily providing more volume (and keep you feeling full). Fruit juices are a good go to.
  • MakePeasNotWar
    MakePeasNotWar Posts: 1,329 Member
    Dex37 wrote: »
    Get off the vegan diet. You are anorexic at that weight and will begin to have health problems.

    Anorexia Nervosa is a mental illness; just being thin does not make a person anorexic. She has stated her reasons for losing weight, and a desire to gain. This is not indicative of anorexia.

    Also, there is no reason to abandon a vegan diet just to gain weight. There are plenty of high calorie vegan foods.
  • MakePeasNotWar
    MakePeasNotWar Posts: 1,329 Member
    I am also vegan and I have GI issues which make it difficult to eat at times. When this happens, I try to increase my fats and concentrated sugars as a source of non-filling calories.

    The main changes I make are:
    Fruit juice with meals instead of water

    Adding peanut butter to protein shakes and oatmeal

    Snacking on dried fruit and nuts

    Using creamy or oily salad dressings. A few ounces of full fat dressing can turn a 40 calorie salad into 300-400. Add nuts, avocado, seeds and dried fruit and 750 calories isn't hard to do.

    Cooking with oil as much as possible. In addition to frying in coconut or olive oil, I add it to chili, stews, and pasta sauce (usually olive for these; the coconut tastes too strong for me)

    Eating greens cooked, rather than raw (juiced would be even better) to concentrate the calories and nutrients.

    Protein bars are good concentrated protein and calories. Use ones with real sugar for extra energy and higher calorie count. I love Luna and Builder bars from Clif brand. The plain Clif bars are also pretty good.

    Avoiding too much fibre can help you get more calories in before getting full. Juice helps here, but you can also choose refined grains until you are ready for the heavier, more nutritious whole grains. Aim for the 25g minimum of fibre, but no more, until you are consistently eating enough calories comfortably.

    Last but not least, indulge if you want to. Cashew milk frozen dessert, dairy free dark chocolate, potato chips, and any other vegan treats you like can help round out your calories for the day. I like So Delicious cashew ice cream in Salted Caramel Clusters flavour, and a half cup is over 150 calories. Get your protein and high vitamin/mineral foods in first, but once that's taken care of, high sugar/high fat/low fibre foods can help fill in the calorie gaps.