If you are underweight or need to put on a few more pounds, it can be tough. You will likely have to increase the quantity of food that you are consuming and make significant changes to your diet.
One of the most popular methods of increasing your weight is to eat more meat, specifically high-protein meats. Unfortunately, this is not a viable option for everyone. Namely, if you are a vegetarian, you can’t use meat to increase weight.
If you want to gain weight while maintaining a vegetarian diet, one of your best options is to eat plenty of carbohydrates. To increase your weight safely, it is recommended that you avoid sugary foods.
Why Is It Important To Gain Weight?
If you are underweight, you should strive to reach a healthy weight based on your age and height.
Underweight people tend to have weaker immune systems and bones than people of a healthy weight. As a consequence, they are at a higher risk of becoming ill. Plus, they are more likely to feel fatigued and weak due to a lack of energy.
One method of determining whether you have a healthy weight is known as BMI (body mass index). This is a useful calculation that enables you to determine your body mass.
If you use this calculation and find that you are underweight, this is a sign that you need to make significant lifestyle changes. If you have an eating disorder, this will be particularly challenging.
How To Gain Weight As A Vegetarian
To help you gain weight as a vegetarian, here are some of the main food groups that you should be targeting:
Carbohydrates often form a large part of any meal. This can include rice, potatoes, pasta, or bread. These starchy foods will provide you with plenty of energy, as well as some nutrients, such as fiber.
These foods can also be high in calories. Though they may not be as calorie-dense as fats, carbohydrates still allow you to gain weight. Hence, you may wish to increase your carbohydrate intake.
If you are concerned about consuming empty calories, you can switch to whole-grain versions of these carbohydrates. They tend to be superior sources of nutrients.
If you want something with a more sophisticated flavor, use sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are renowned for their scrumptious taste and vibrant orange color.
These high-calorie carbohydrates are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, making them both nutritious and suitable for weight gain.
Nuts And Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butter, such as peanut butter, are magnificent sources of calories and protein. Therefore, they are a superfood for increasing body weight. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, and walnuts are particularly great.
Peanut butter in particular is a good source of calories and antioxidants. Simply spread a little bit of peanut butter on toast for a weight-increasing snack. Just make sure that you don’t have too much of it, as peanut butter is rather rich in saturated fats.
Increasing one’s nut intake can be as straightforward as adding a little peanut butter to your oatmeal, smoothie, or milkshake. Many weightlifters use this technique to increase their protein, allowing them to build muscle mass.
Non-Meat Sources Of Protein
Many people assume that meats, such as pork and chicken, are the only good courses of protein. The truth is that there are lots of other foods that are high in protein, namely dairy products. This food group includes cheese, yogurt, and milk. Excess protein results in increased fat, making it a useful tool for the underweight.
A simple change that you can make to gain weight is having whole-fat milk instead of skimmer or semi-skimmed. Even if you are merely adding this to your cup of coffee, this can boost your fat intake. There are also dairy-free alternatives if you don’t want to drink cow’s milk.
Fruits And Vegetables
Avocados have experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years, with many people respecting their creamy flavor. They provide a great balance between being high in calories and rich in nutrients, primarily fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
Consequently, you may want to crush some avocado onto your morning slice of toast. Alternatively, you can eat avocado alongside a salad.
Other foods you should try include coconut, figs, dates, and prunes, as they tend to have higher calorie counts than other fruits or vegetables.
Protein powder is widely used by athletes to build muscles. If used correctly, protein powder can be used to increase weight too.
The great thing about protein powder is that it can be consumed in the form of protein shakes, which are less filling than most foods. Moreover, you can bake with protein powder if you wish to add some calories to your food.
How To Safely Gain Weight
As important as it is to have a healthy weight, you should not consume lots of unhealthy foods to reach this goal. This is because you can do serious damage to your body. To ensure that your weight gain is not only successful but also safe, follow these tips:
- Don’t eat loads of foods that are high in sugar, such as candy and cakes. Though sugar can increase weight gain, it can also put you at risk of developing health conditions when consumed in large quantities. This can include cancer and heart disease. Not to mention, sugar results in tooth decay.
- Ensure you still eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Though they will not lead to much weight gain, they nonetheless provide essential nutrients.
- Continue to participate in the exercise. If you are worried that exercising will cause you to burn calories, you may want to try exercises that can be used to bulk up.
If you have an eating disorder, increasing your body weight is an uphill battle. To do this, you can gradually make changes to your diet until your weight begins to increase. With the help of the above tips, you should find yourself gaining weight in no time, even if you are a vegetarian!