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How To Gain Weight On A Vegan Diet?
How Can Vegan Men Gain Weight?
First of all, I want to say how much I enjoy your website and all the information you provide. You've been a real inspiration and have helped me lead a more healthy and kind lifestyle.
My husband and I have been vegan for the past two years. We feel great and have no interest in eating meat or dairy but my husband, who is 6'3", is getting a little too thin. Lately he's been eating double portions of food and exercising 3-4 times a week to try to build more muscle mass. What other tips can you provide for ways he can gain 5-10 pounds?
First of all, thanks for the compliments! I'm glad you like the site. Congratulations to you on changing your lifestyle.
Second of all, this is a great question. Many people struggle with losing weight and find the vegan lifestyle as a great answer to their problems. However, sometimes a thin person might struggle with the opposite problem and might need to gain weight on a vegan diet. I know this is a sensitive topic for men too, who often want to maintain a strong physique and not be too thin.
You are on the right track. He probably needs to eat larger portions. The weight loss/gain challenge is not all about calories (of course), but generally speaking, the more calories you consume, the more likely you are to gain weight. However, as evidenced by The China Study, many cultures have a history of consuming more calories than other cultures but still are much thinner.
Instead of simply eating more calories, he also needs to consume more dense calories filled with healthy fats. Great sources of healthy fats are nuts, avocados, coconuts, seeds and olives. These foods are rich in monounsaturated fats and protein and will give your husband tons of energy. He should pack a bag of nuts and seeds and keep them at his desk to snack on throughout the day.
Also, for years nutritionists have recommended that we stay away from saturated fats. However, recent research shows that coconut oil is a rare exception. Though it is high in saturated fats, it is one of the healthiest oils on Earth. It is composed of medium-chain triglycerides rather than the long-chain triglycerides in things like milk, eggs, and vegetable oils. That’s all fancy nutritional jargon for the fact that coconut oil doesn’t harm your cholesterol levels and protects against heart disease. Consider it an entirely different type of oil, and add it into your diet. You can use it for cooking as well as baking, and you can use coconut milks to substitute for other types of non-dairy milks.
If your husband has a high metabolism, he will burn all those calories off much quicker, so he will simply need to more often. Every couple hours, when he gets hungry, he should have a snack. This is also where his weight lifting will come in handy. As a male, he needs good portions of whole grains and beans, as well as leafy greens, to ensure he has plenty of energy for building muscle.
Using these tips it should be no problem for him to gain 5-10 pounds. I would definitely recommend checking out some of the amazing vegan male athletes as examples. Brandon Brazier’s Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness and Rip Esselystyn’s The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds are both great examples for your husband.