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How to eat enough calories as a vegan

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A vegan diet has a multitude of benefits. However, if you want to maintain or increase your weight, it’s more difficult when eating only plant-based foods. 

 

It might be difficult, but it isn’t impossible, so we are here to show you how to eat enough calories as a vegan. Adding mass on a plant based diet doesn’t need to be hard work. Like with any diet, you need to be conscientious about the foods you’re eating and be prepared in advance. Here are a few tips to show you how to eat enough calories as a vegan! 

 

Learning how to eat enough calories as a vegan

Prepare your meals in advance 

 

To make sure that you’re getting enough calories in the day, it can be useful to preplan what you’re going to eat using a calorie counting software such as MyFitnessPal. If you plan in advance then you’re able to learn how to eat enough calories as a vegan and whether you need to include more throughout the day. 

This isn’t only important for your calorie intake, but your macronutrient intake too. Another common issue that comes with choosing a plant based diet is not consuming enough protein. We typically know protein to come from animal products such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy. There are plant-based foods that have high amounts of protein, it’s just knowing what they are and ensuring you have enough on a day-to-day basis. Examples of high protein vegan foods include: 

 

  • Beans and pulses 
  • Lentils 
  • Pea protein 
  • Soybean products 
  • Nutritional yeast 
  • Oats 

 

By planning ahead, you can include a variety of these ingredients into your meals to ensure you’re getting enough calories and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body. 

 

If you’re short on time, then give our plant-based meal prep a go, to make sure you know that you are eating enough calories as a vegan as well as saving your time!

 

Choose high calorie foods 

 

Next up, when learning how to eat enough calories as a vegan, you need to remember that if you’re trying to add mass then you need to opt for calorie dense meals in order to eat a sufficient number of calories. This is the case whether you are eating a vegan diet or not! Food that is high in fat is usually the most calorie dense, so, opting for healthy fats is an ideal way to incorporate more calories whilst maintaining a healthy diet. High fat plant based foods include: 

 

  • Olive oil 
  • Nuts & seeds 
  • Nut butters 
  • Avocado 
  • Tahini 

Aside from high fat foods, there are carbohydrate and protein rich plant based foods that are also higher in calories, for example: 

 

  • Quinoa 
  • Oats 
  • Rice 
  • Noodles & Pasta
  • Lentils 

 

As well as eating more food, choosing high calorie foods is key when learning how to eat enough calories as a vegan. 

 

Bulk up your meals 

 

Think your plate is already full to the brim? Think again. If you want to know how to eat enough calories as a vegan, there are plenty of ways of adding calories to your meal without stacking food. For example, 30g of walnuts (which isn’t a lot) provides 180 calories and a whole lot of good fats. You can adjust under 200 calories to your meal with a few walnuts, Try sprinkling them over a salad or using them as a topping along with nut butter on toast. This is a great pre-workout meal idea too!

 

You can also include more calories by being smart about the way you cook your meals. 1 tablespoon of olive oil equates to 120 calories. Instead of choosing lower calorie options such as light sprays, cook your meals in olive and coconut oil. You can also use extra virgin olive oil as a dressing to get your numbers up. 

 

Final thoughts on learning how to eat enough calories as a vegan

 

Choosing a vegan diet has an overwhelming number of health benefits, and although it may be more difficult to consume a high calorie diet, it shouldn’t discourage you from choosing plant based foods. It just takes time. Animal products aren’t the only high calorie, protein rich foods out there. In fact, by choosing a plant based diet you get to discover a whole host of calorie and nutritionally dense foods that could have a positive impact on your health. 

 

Tawny

by Tawny

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