Vegetarian Weight Gain Tips (Part 1)

This is the first of a two-part series featuring vegetarian weight gain tips.

We already know that not eating meat, poultry, fish, and seafood can lead to a healthy lifestyle, not to mention a slimmer body. But what if you want to gain weight? Can a vegetarian diet help you build up body mass?

Yes, adopting a vegetarian diet can help you gain weight.

The Difference Between Vegans and Vegetarians

Some vegetarians avoid all foods sourced from animals. These vegetarians are called vegans, and if you’re one of them, I’ll be writing a special blog post for you in the future. However, vegetarian in this post will refer to lacto-ovo vegetarian, which is more common. I’m happy to say that if you’re this type of vegetarian, you can add calories to your daily meals more easily than a vegan typically can.

While a vegetarian diet doesn’t include meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, it can include eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. These provide proteins and minerals to help you add pounds and be healthy.

Want to know exactly how to gain weight the healthy way as a vegetarian? Just read and follow these weight gain tips.

Eat Proteins and Carbohydrates

One of the most common weight gain tips, whether you’re vegetarian or not, is to increase your intake of calorie-dense foods. Calories, as you may know, measure the amount of energy food provides. Sources of energy include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars.

As a vegetarian, you have your work cut out for you. Your diet mostly consists of plant-based products, and you’ve already substituted your protein sources with beans, legumes, and seeds. The next best thing to do is to increase the proteins as well as the carbohydrates in your diet.

Although beans and legumes contain high levels of protein, they provide incomplete proteins. Combining them with other sources, such as eggs, increases your protein intake and your ability to build muscle.

Balance your meals with foods rich in carbohydrates. Pasta is one example. Cook it al dente to slow down your digestion of the carbohydrates.

Work on Your Muscles

Vegetarian diets are usually slimming because they cut common sources of fat. But inevitably, the avoidance of animal sources also decreases the amount of proteins your body receives for energy consumption. This lack may result in muscle loss.

Although muscle loss works well for people who want to get thinner, it also poses a health risk. After all, muscles serve an important function in body movement and within the skeletal system. Each muscle group needs nourishment, and proteins help in their healing and cellular recovery. If you want to gain weight the healthy way, you have to work on adding muscle mass, not just fat.

If you’re naturally thin, gaining weight may be a challenge. Your faster metabolic rate may lead to a lack of muscle development. For this reason, you must actively engage in exercises that build muscle.

Start with Simple Exercises

When you plan your fitness program, make sure you give each muscle group your attention. Do a variety of exercises ranging from body weight routines (using your own weight as resistance), to weight lifting exercises (using gym equipment).

If you’re just starting out, you may not have so much strength and endurance. So start with your weight training exercises slowly. Start with simple body weight exercises until your body gets past the muscle ripping, building, and healing stages. As your body tears muscle tissue, more flesh develops as part of its reaction to protect itself. Afterward, you can do advanced exercises to tighten your muscles and increase your strength and endurance as well.

Choose a Balanced Exercise Schedule

Schedule your fitness program so that you distribute an even amount of time and energy on each muscle group. Some women opt for full body workouts three times a week. There are intervals in order to give the body time to recover. Other women split the schedule according to major areas of the body, focusing on chest and abdomen one day, lower body the next, and so on.

Stay tuned to How to Gain Weight the Healthy Way. More vegetarian weight gain tips are coming next week!

Image credits: Vegetables from Wikipedia; eggs by pietroizzo; Women in the Gym by edsonhong1.

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