Switching over to plant-based meals and cutting out the saturated fats from your body equation helps life turn for the better. Now, it is true that people often turn to plant-based foods in order to correct several aspects of their physical and mental health, and one that promptly stands out is weight loss. When you find yourself packing on pounds, and see the scale tipping, the thought of grabbing a bowl of salad rather than a tub of ice cream, will become instinctual. If you are planning to look slim for the wedding season, then that is all good. But, what about for those who follow a plant-based regimen every single day, consistently?
The situation can be troublesome for them, as they will have difficulty in holding onto weight, especially when they are in the phase of transition. There is evidence that suggests that those who follow a plant-based diet have had higher incidents of being underweight. When someone is 20% below their ideal weight for their height, then they are said to be underweight.
With the right mindset, however, you can gain and maintain a healthy weight just with whole, plant-based foods and nothing else. Let us take a look. Read on…
Ridding Yourself Of The Wrong Mindset
There is no shortage of guides and ‘how-to’ books and articles all over the place; after all, the obesity epidemic has hit America, and in time it might spread all over the world. But the mindset that you are usually fed has many fundamental errors. They usually say:
- Don’t snack in between your meals
- Eat slowly
- Serve your food in smaller sized plates
- Eat less and burn off more
- Don’t drink in your calories
The first couple of steps to getting into the right weight gain mindset involve you flipping the script. Rather than seeing them as rules, here is how you can make it easier for you to put on pounds healthier:
- Chuck the plates for bowls. Yes, go bigger!
- Embrace the snacking, but healthy snacking nevertheless
- Eat larger healthier portions
- Don’t shy away from nuts and smoothies
The idea is for you to overcome these unwanted restrictions, which have very little value when it comes to putting on weight while you are sticking to a plant-based diet.
How To Eat More: Pack On The Calories
The concept of putting on weight is nothing more than putting on calories. This essentially means the source of nourishment really doesn’t matter, all that matters is the calorie intake. This is why bodybuilders can live off of eating burgers and fries, and stay in shape and slim, by just keeping track of their calorie intake.
In the case of plant-based foods, having sources that are rich in fiber and water content does the job of fooling your body in making it feel like it is full. Because of this, you stop eating, even if the calorie intake for the day is not achieved, and you feel bloated and can’t eat another morsel.
The solution to this issue is calorie density. What this essentially means is that you must jam-pack your plate with sources that are calorie rich. Let us take a look at how different plant-based food sources stack up when we are putting them down with calorie in every 100 grams:
- Vegetables: 25 calories
- Avocado: 167 calories
- Fruits, potatoes and starchy vegetables: 60 to 70 calories
- Soy products such as edamame and tempeh: 110 to 195 calories
- Nuts: 600 calories
- Rice and grains: 125 calories
Taking a simple look at the numbers, you will get an idea that chowing down a big bowl of veggies and salads is not going to cut the deal even; you will certainly not achieve your weight gain goals that way. Now, with that being said, veggies, fruits and other low-calorie foods need to be a significant part of your meal. But at the same time, it is important to balance the bulk of the foods containing more calories, that too in the same volume.
It may be counter-intuitive to eat calorie-dense foods, but over time you will find it easier to incorporate them into your regular diet.
Some Simple Strategies For You To Put On The Pounds
- Make salad dressing that is rich in calorie dense foods like seeds, nuts and avocados
- To pack a punch, coat the fruits with nut butter
- Add in finely ground flaxseed to your oatmeals
- Make use of tracking applications to visualize how many calories you will be putting in
If you can’t make the change quickly, that is alright. For some, the body takes a while to adjust to the extra calories. Gradually increase the amount you eat and over time you will feel it as normal!