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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since going fully vegan 2 months ago I have been trying to eat tonnes because I know I have a ridiculously fast metabolism (I was never able to gain when I tried, and have always been underweight). I don't keep scales in my house (past ED issues) but when I went to my parents' house for Easter I weighed myself and it turns out I'd lost a lot of weight. I feel absolutely fine and healthy now but I am very underweight and if my weight continues to drop I'm afraid my health might suffer. The thought of gaining weight is very daunting - I'm just never really hungry! I have to force myself to eat half the time as it is. I think I probably just don't eat enough to outstrip this metabolism. I'm feeling a bit lost as far as meal plans go...

I am aware that all I have to do is eat more calories, but I would really like to avoid being meticulous about counting etc. because in the past this led to things that were NOT GOOD and I don't want a repeat!

My typical daily diet consists of something like:


* Cereal with soy milk, smoothie

* Fruit or toast (PB+J!)


* Huge bowl of salad (avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, rocket, balsamic vinegar dressing, mixed seeds)

* Sandwich with houmous, tofutti or something


* Soy yogurt with flaxseed and banana

* Nuts - I tend to graze on mixed nuts throughout the day


* this varies but I mostly stick with the starch and 2 veg thing, out of habit. Usually a pasta, rice or quinoa dish of some description.


* More cereal (I'm a cereal-a-holic

I'm sure there must be other people who have been through the same problem with accidental weight loss.

What did you do? Eat more of the same things? Or did you change your diet? And if so what sort of things were you eating in a day? (any examples and ideas would be really really helpful here!!)



242 Posts
Hi Helen,

I am constantly dealing with the same problem - underweight longtime vegan, who runs and is very active on a daily basis. To add to that, I don't have a gallbladder, so fat digestion is challenging for me.

A few things that I find help me with trying to gain weight (not that I've been too successful, but I haven't lost more):

-Cutting back on fiber. A vegan diet is naturally very high in fiber, and it is important, but excess fiber a) fills you up, and b) flushes out calories. I suggest eating white starches and grains, and getting fiber from fruits and veggies. A woman needs around 25g of fiber a day, and I'm sure you get MORE than that right now. This way you'll be able to eat more frequently and have more snacks, etc.

-Dense calories: raisins, nuts, energy bars.

-Liquid calories...juice and soymilk, all day long!

-Don't drink water with meals, it fills you up.

I am eating a ton of starch - I can't eat much fat, so I have to eat alot of bread products (white - so I don't get full) and drink lots of juice/smoothies and protein. I add maple syrup to smoothies, always put something on my bread or muffins (jam, molasses, etc), and generally just sneak extra calories into everything I put in my mouth.

I also cut back on veggies - too filling - so I get maybe 3-4 servings a day instead of 6-7 that I used to. This helps me because I can eat more during a given day if I don't fill up on huge salads.

Finally...indulge in things like cookies, cake, soy ice cream, etc. They aren't "healthy" but it looks like you get ALOT of healthy food in a day, and you need the extra calories, so go for it!

I hope this helped...sorry it was just a jumble of random advice. But I hope it made you feel bit less alone with all this. Good luck!

3,528 Posts
If you can take the extra fat, start adding it. Put margarine on your toast, add flax oil to your smoothie, olive oil to your dinner, etc. If you love cereral granola is very calorie dense w/o being too filling. You can probably keep your diet pretty much the same just add some fat and don't skimp on the treats. You might want to replace the salad, though with the nuts, dressing, avacado, etc. it might be ok.

33 Posts
On a non-nutrition note, are you doing strength and weight training? The reason why I'm bringing this up is because drastic weight loss is also usually associated with muscle loss - never a good thing.

Strength training will help you to bulk up while not getting fat. And the great thing is that fitness experts recommend that you eat a protein-rich snack (like a soy smoothie) before AND after you've done a strength/weight lifting routine to increase weight, so you have an excuse to eat more
I gained 5 lbs. following this (I weigh 115 lbs. currently), but my clothes actually fit much better nowadays, and I even took off 2 inches off my waistline.
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