Gaining Weight on Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarians eat mostly vegetables, fruits, and grains, though some also eat dairy products and eggs. Since it has no meat, you might find that you lose weight when you first start a vegetarian. Don’t fret, though! Even on a vegetarian diet, you can gain weight by choosing your foods thoughtfully.
Calculate your calorie needs. A vegetarian diet offers many calorie-rich options that will help you increase calo-
caloric intake without having to cut down on the exercise or activity that keeps you healthy.
• One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. For every 3,500 calories you take in without burning them off, you will gain one pound of weight.
• Your calorie needs will depend on your age, sex, and height. Since you are trying to gain weight, eat slightly more than that amount every day — but don’t go crazy! Eat about 500 extra calories per day to add up to 3,500 calories by the end of the week. At this rate, you will gain one pound per week.
• Snack throughout the day on foods that have “good fats,” like avocados, beans, nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter.
• Drink your calories! Including drink water, drink juices, protein drinks, and smoothies that will bring in calories without filling you up.
• Add easy calories through garnishes. For example, add olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fruits, to salads.
Eat protein-rich food to build muscle mass. A lack of protein is the main issue seen with vegan and vegetarian diets. Those following these diets should consistently consume protein. Complete proteins, such as those from animal sources, soy and quinoa, are necessary due to their complete panel of amino acids. However,
vegans and vegetarians can consume various protein options that complement one another (called complementary proteins) to form a complete protein that has all 9 essential amino acids. An example of this would be brown
rice and beans.
• Beans are a go-to protein substitute for meat, but they’re also a great source for calories! Ideally, you should eat at least 3 cups of beans every week, though you can eat more than that without fear of health repercussions.
• Nuts and seeds are protein-rich, but some varieties can add too much cholesterol to diet. Look for pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, but avoid macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts.Explore soy alternatives. Soy protein is the vegan’s best friend, and is even thought to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels. Tofu and tempeh don’t have much flavor on their own, but they take on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked
with while increasing your protein intake
• Increase your carbohydrate intake. Foods rich in healthy carbohydrates can give you a calorie boost
without filling you up as much as an equivalent amount of vegetables or beans. To gain weight, include
carbohydrates like rice, pasta, quinoa, and whole wheat breads in your diet.
• Eat six-seven mini-meals throughout the day. If you get full quickly, you might have trouble getting
enough calories through three square vegan meals. In that case, eat six to seven smaller meals spread
evenly throughout the day. You don’t have to eat to the point of feeling stuffed, but small, frequent meals
will result in higher calorie consumption throughout the day.Snack often, Even between your small meals, you
can take in calories by eating small, nutrient-rich snacks designed to fuel the body. A spoonful
of peanut butter, a protein bar won’t fill you up, but they’ll help you gain weight.
• Use Generous amount of oil to your food. The healthiest oils are unrefined oils such as olive, coconut, canola, palm, and butter. Less healthy but still acceptable sources of oil are those high in omega-6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory) such as safflower, sunflower, and peanut oils.
• Eat Fruits — Choose dense fruit – bananas, pears, apples, pineapple, dried fruit over watery fruit-oranges, peaches, plums, berries, watermelon.
• Take good Sleep
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