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If I go vegan, will I lose a lot of weight?

by Kathleen
(North Carolina)

Dear Cathleen,

I haven't fully committed to being vegan yet, but it is something I am considering for the future. I just have one problem: I am the type of person who is thin and it is very hard for me to gain weight. I'm afraid that if I give up meat then I will become even skinnier. Do you have any suggestions for vegan foods that can help me maintain/gain weight? Thanks!

~Kathleen, N.C.

Hi Kathleen!

I'm sure many people are jealous that you have a problem like this! Whether you're on the thin-side or the curvy-side, we're all looking for ways to be comfortable in our own skin, and your question just proves that.

There are several really good heart-healthy fats that I would add to your diet if you don't eat them already. Olive oil, safflower oils, coconut oil, and other pure, unrefined oils are great for cooking and dressings.

Avocados, nuts, and seeds are all also really good for you. I would add flax seeds to your diet daily so you can ensure you are getting enough Omega fatty acids. You can also find great nut spreads like almond butter, cashew butter, soybean butter, sunflower butter, etc at most grocery stores nowadays. You can buy nuts in bulk and then pack a small bag of them to snack on throughout the day.

You could also try to stimulate your appetite by eating smaller meals, and eating more often. Also, adding small amounts of simple exercise throughout the day would help improve your appetite as well.

Overall, I think if you do decide to move to a more plant-based diet, you will be doing your body a great deal of good. Plant fats are much healthier than animal fats, and never have cholesterol. Even though you may be thin, your body could still be overwhelmed with cholesterol and saturated fats, as well as animal protein, which are not healthy for you.

A lot of people think that because they are thin, they are healthy, and that's not always the case. It's hard to know from looking at the outside exactly what's going on inside, and it's always better to protect your body before you have obvious problems.

I hope that helps!

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