The Best Diet for Vegetarians Who Want to Gain Weight

Are you a vegetarian looking to gain weight? You’re not alone. Many vegetarians struggle to put on weight while maintaining a healthy diet. In this blog, we explore the best diet for vegetarians to add muscle and reach weight goals.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Vegetarian To Gain Weight

  • ✅ Eating Protein-Rich Foods is Essential for Vegetarians to Gain Weight – Harvard School of Public Health
  • ✅ Eating Healthy Fats is Crucial for Vegetarians to Gain Weight – Healthline
  • ✅ Eating Frequently is Key for Vegetarians to Gain Weight – Medical News Today
  • ✅ Eating Calorie Dense Foods is Important for Vegetarians to Gain Weight – American Council on Exercise
  • ✅ Consuming Whole Grains and Complex Carbs is Essential for Vegetarians to Gain Weight – Authority Nutrition


For vegetarians who want to gain weight, finding the right type of food that is both healthy and filling can be a challenge. To ensure optimal health while gaining weight, it is important to maintain a balanced diet. This includes getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, while consuming enough calories to promote a healthy body weight. Additionally, it is important to include nutrient-rich sources of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in your diet.

By following some smart dietary choices and focusing on consuming more calories than you burn each day, you can successfully see an increase in body weight as desired. This article provides an overview of the best diet for vegetarians who want to gain weight.


Macronutrients are the three primary sources of calories in our diet: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. When it comes to gaining weight, it is important to understand how these macronutrients work and how they contribute to a vegetarian diet. Let’s take a look at how to get the right balance of macros in your diet:

  • Proteins – important for building muscle and for overall health.
  • Carbohydrates – provide energy and are important for maintaining blood sugar levels.
  • Fats – provide essential fatty acids and are important for healthy skin and hair.


Carbohydrates are one of the three essential macronutrients that the body needs to function properly. Since carbs provide energy, they’re essential for athletes and people who need to gain weight. For vegetarians who want to increase their calorie and nutrient intake, it’s important to include plenty of carbohydrates into their diet.

Carbohydrates can be found in a wide range of foods and come in both simple and complex forms. Examples of complex carbs are brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, oats, beans, lentils and other whole grains. Simple carbs can be found in fruits, dairy products such as yogurt and fruit juices. Refined carbohydrates such as white breads and pastries should be avoided or eaten in moderation due to their high glycemic index levels which could cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

Eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates is important for vegetarians trying to gain weight since it helps replenish glycogen stores which are lost during exercise or intense physical activity.


Protein is a macronutrient essential for overall health, growth, and development. As the body’s building blocks, proteins are required to build muscle and facilitate tissue repair. For vegetarian athletes and bodybuilders looking to gain weight, consuming enough protein is particularly important.

Vegetarian sources of protein include:

  • Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products such as tofu or tempeh, some grains (such as amaranth or quinoa),
  • Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese,
  • Nut butters (e.g., almond butter),
  • Spirulina (an algae-based supplement),
  • Nutritional yeast flakes (a vegan alternative to cheese), and
  • Hemp hearts.

Eating a variety of these foods every day will help ensure you are getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet.


Fats are an important macronutrient that vegetarians need to ensure they include enough in their diet. Fats are important for hypothalamic, endocrine, and reproductive health, as well as providing cellular energy and proper functioning of the cells’ structures. Fats also provide essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s which can help reduce inflammation and support heart health.

Good sources of fat for vegetarians are:

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Nuts (especially almonds and walnuts)
  • Seeds (especially chia seeds)
  • Coconut products (such as canned coconut milk or canned light coconut milk for lighter recipes)
  • Nut butters (such as almond butter)
  • Tahini
  • Olive oil
  • Nut oils (like walnut oil or pecan oil)

In addition to these foods mentioned above, other foods like full-fat dairy products (including cheese and yogurt) can be included in a vegetarian diet for gaining weight.

Vitamins and Minerals

When following a vegetarian diet for gaining weight, it’s important to focus on obtaining an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. This can help to ensure that your body is receiving the essential nutrients it needs to reach your weight gain goals. Let’s take a look at some of the key vitamins and minerals you should aim to include in your diet:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the body. It assists in the formation of nucleic acid, DNA and red blood cells, and is essential for healthy nerve cells. It also helps to maintain energy levels and regulate appetite.

Vitamin B12 can be found in animal-derived foods such as fish, eggs, poultry and dairy products, but Vegetarians who are looking to incorporate it into their diet will have difficulty doing so without supplementation or fortified foods.

Fortified cereals are an excellent source of Vitamin B12 that is suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. Other food sources include

  • fortified soy products (such as soy milk),
  • nutritional yeast,
  • spirulina powder,
  • certain types of mushrooms
  • and some seaweeds.

There are also some Vitamin B12 supplements available which contain no animal derivatives – these can be taken orally or injected into the body to fulfil daily requirements.


Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. Vegetarian diets are typically low in iron, so if you’re a vegetarian looking to gain weight, you need to be aware of and monitor your iron intake.

Iron can be found in animal sources such as beef, fish, and eggs; vegetarian sources include dark leafy green vegetables (spinach and kale), legumes (beans), nuts, and fortified cereals. Additionally, adding vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits or bell peppers can help improve the absorption of iron by your body.

If you think that you may have an iron deficiency ask your doctor for advice or to run tests to determine your levels.


Calcium is a mineral vital for healthy bones and teeth, as well as muscle and nerve function. It helps build strong bones and teeth, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and minimize the risk of fractures.

Vegetarians who want to gain weight need to ensure they are getting enough calcium in their diets.

Fortified vegetarian foods such as dairy alternatives, breakfast cereals, and some soy products provide calcium without animal sources. Eating leafy greens such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, broccoli, okra or cabbage can also help meet your daily needs for calcium. Calcium-fortified juices and plant milks are additional sources of calcium that vegetarians whose weight gain is not enough from foods alone can turn to.

Foods to Eat

Eating the right types of food is the key to gaining weight as a vegetarian. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, and grains can help you to get the nutrition you need to gain weight.

In this article, we will look at some of the best foods to eat if you are a vegetarian looking to gain weight:


Legumes are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber and essential amino acids, making them a healthy food choice for vegetarians who want to gain weight. Legumes include all types of beans such as kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans. Lentils, peas and soybeans are also considered legumes.

Legumes can be added to casseroles, soups and salads for added flavor and nutrition. If a vegetarian is looking to increase their calories without eating large amounts at meals, adding legumes to snacks such as veggie burgers or roasted chick peas can be helpful in achieving their dietary goals. Having a variety of legume-based dishes in one’s diet helps ensure that the vegetarian is getting the necessary protein they need while still maintaining an overall healthy diet.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an excellent source of carbohydrates and are an essential food group in vegetarian diets. Whole grains include oats, wheat, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and brown rice. They also provide a great source of dietary fiber, B-vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin), trace minerals (magnesium and selenium), antioxidants that can give the body protection from cancer and other serious diseases.

Whole grains are very low in fat and cholesterol which supports healthy weight gain. Eating whole grains on a regular basis can help stabilize blood glucose levels, reduce the risk for obesity-related chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Whole grains also play an important role in gut health by promoting healthy digestion by adding bulk to stools to ensure a regular bowel pattern. Eating whole grain foods is an easy way to add calories to your diet while providing valuable nutrition to your body.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are an excellent food for vegetarians who want to gain weight. They are packed with essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, and fiber. In fact, a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly 9 grams of protein and over 12 grams of fat. Nuts and seeds also contain magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and other minerals that help strengthen your bones and muscles. Furthermore, they’re rich in antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can lead to illness.

For vegetarians looking for a healthy snack to add calories to their diet plan nuts and seeds are an ideal choice since they can be eaten raw or added into salads as well as baked goods like muffins or granola bars. They provide a delicious crunchy texture while filling you up without added sugar or unhealthy ingredients like preservatives.

With their powerful nutrient profile, nuts and seeds are the perfect edible addition to any meal plan for those looking to gain weight in a healthy way.

Dairy Products

Dairy products can help vegetarians gain weight and are important sources of calcium, protein, and fat. Examples include milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter. Full-fat dairy products such as whole milk provide more calories than low-fat versions such as skim milk.

Soy products are also a good source of dairy for vegetarians since they are fortified with calcium. Other dairy options include kefir, a fermented drink made from cow’s milk; ricotta cheese; and cottage cheese.

Eating a variety of dairy products on a regular basis is recommended in order to get all the benefits that each one has to offer:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Soy products
  • Kefir
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Cottage cheese

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of weight-gaining nutrition for vegetarian diets. Fruits such as bananas and apples can provide quick energy as a snack or part of a meal. As for vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of protein to add to salads or stir-fries. Consider adding avocados to sandwiches and omelets to increase healthy fat intake.

Other fruits and vegetables that are good sources of calories include:

  • Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Legumes (beans)

Eating these nutrient-rich foods will help vegetarians gain weight in the healthiest way possible by providing the body with essential vitamins, minerals and calories needed for weight gain.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is an important part of any diet. Finding the right balance between healthy and filling food can be difficult for vegetarians who want to gain weight. To ensure adequate nutrition and calorie intake, it is important to plan meals ahead of time. This article will provide tips and guidance on how to plan meals that will help you reach your weight gaining goals.

Eating Frequency

Eating frequency is an important part of any meal plan, especially for vegetarian diets. Eating frequent and smaller meals throughout the day can help vegetarians stay fuller, provide steady and sustained energy, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, support metabolism, and help them meet their caloric and nutrient needs. Eating at least three meals a day is recommended for weight gain. If needed and desired, snacks can be added in between meals or during the day to increase calorie intake.

It’s important to keep in mind that having balanced vegetarian meals is key to gaining weight healthily. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods like grains, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy products (if not vegan), white potatoes (available with or without skin), plant-based oils like coconut or olive oil into your diet should be prioritized over eating processed sugary vegan snacks that offer no nutritional value.

Portion Sizes

When it comes to meal planning for vegetarians who want to gain weight, portion sizes are essential. To gain weight, you should be consuming more calories than you would when trying to maintain or lose, so it’s important to track your food intake and adjust your portions accordingly.

Protein should make up 10-35% of your calorie intake and is a key part of gaining weight as a vegetarian. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds provide vital nutrients while helping promote the feeling of fullness. Whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are also important components in any vegetarian diet plan for weight gain.

It is always best to aim for nutrient-dense meals that include plenty of whole foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks. Try measuring out single portions with cups and spoons or using smaller plates or bowls so that you aren’t overeating without realizing it.

When planning meals for vegetarians who want to gain weight remember to focus on portion sizes along with the types of foods you are eating in order to maximize your calorie intake.


When meal planning for vegetarians who want to gain weight, snacks should be a part of that plan. Snacks offer an additional opportunity to increase daily calorie intake in between meals. Additionally, snacks provide extra nutrition and can be a good way to ensure nutrient needs are met.

When selecting snacks for vegetarian weight gain plans, aim for foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates. Examples of some vegetarian weight-gain snacks include:

  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Trail mix with nuts and seeds
  • Hummus with vegetables or crackers
  • Smoothies/protein shakes made from plant-based proteins such as plant-based protein powder and nut butters

Other high calorie snack ideas include nut butter or cheese sandwiches on whole grain breads or muffins made from whole grains and a variety of nuts or nut butters.


Vegetarian diets are a healthy, nutritious way to gain weight. When doing a vegetarian diet to gain weight, it’s important to focus on foods with high caloric density like nuts and nut butter, avocados, wheat germ, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu. Foods like energy bars and protein shakes can also be helpful for bulking up. It’s also important to get enough calories throughout the day as well as eating regular meals and snacks.

Eating healthy fats like olive oil and nut butter is essential for vegan athletes looking to increase their overall body mass. Finally, it’s essential that vegans get adequate amounts of protein through plant-based sources such as:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts/nut butter
  • Quinoa
  • Tempeh/tofu
  • Edamame

With careful planning a vegan diet can provide both adequate nutrition as well as an effective way to gain weight in a safe way.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Vegetarian To Gain Weight

Q: What diet should vegetarian follow to gain weight?
A: A vegetarian diet for weight gain should include plenty of energy-dense foods such as nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, legumes, quinoa, whole grain breads and pastas, tofu, tempeh, and dairy products.

Q: What are some healthy snacks for vegetarian to gain weight?
A: Some healthy snacks that vegetarians can eat to gain weight include smoothies made with nut butter and banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hummus and crackers, yogurt, trail mix, granola bars, and guacamole.

Q: What kind of food and supplements should I take to gain weight?
A: Foods to eat to gain weight as a vegetarian include nut butters, avocados, legumes, whole grains, tofu, tempeh, dairy products, and high-calorie smoothies. Supplements such as protein powder, creatine, and weight gainers can also help vegetarians to gain weight.

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