How to bulk up on a vegan diet

bulking up on a vegan diet cover

A vegan diet can be great for general weight management. But what if you’re looking for gains and want to put on some pounds?

This is also possible on a vegan diet, a well planned one that is. This post is going to take you through how to bulk up on a vegan diet, and some tips to follow for newbie vegans trying to evolve in the gym. 

Eat lots of calories

This goes without saying, but it’s important to ensure you eat your calories worth when you’re bulking up, especially on a vegan diet. 

Make sure you’re not in caloric deficit

There was a long time where I’d eat slightly bigger portions and be shocked as to why I never gained any weight. Picture this: I had a protein smoothie for breakfast, with a bowl of fruits soon after, lunch I’d have something big, and dinner will be a nice meal. 

I tell you I was baffled when I noticed how low my average daily caloric intake was. When trying to bulk up, make sure you’re getting your calories in. You can choose to use a calorie counter, I just use my phone’s notepad.

Get to know which vegan foods are quick calories

That being said, have a few foods on hand that you know can quickly boost your daily calories. When I’ve eaten a bit lighter than usual, I tend to go for a peanut butter banana sandwich (271 calories), or a handful of peanuts (300 calories) or a banana (105 calories) to boost calories. 

That was just snacks, get to know how much calories are in your cup of rice, your lentils, chickpeas, etc. Memorise these, it’ll be helpful when planning out meals.

I always like to have a balanced meal with 1.5 cups of legumes, 1 cup of some type of grain, some roasted sweet potato and avocados if I have them on hand. Adding seeds to your meals is another healthy way to boost its nutritional content as well as its calories. 

My favourites are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and black sesame seeds. Whatever suits you best!

Meal prep

Bulking up can be difficult over a long time. It can be a lot of effort to eat all day and eating majority home-cooked food. 

Meal prepping can come in handy here. Having 3 different meals prepared for your week on rotation can do bits for your bulking up routine. It will help with portioning too, so you won’t have to measure out a cup and a half of quinoa every time you want 333 calories (you’re welcome). 

Meal prep is something I should be doing more, and always advocate for when it comes to a conversation about bulking up. 

plant based chickpea quinoa

Get your healthy fats in

Healthy fats can be a great way to add extra calories to your meals when bulking up. Fat in its nature is over double the calories of protein and carbohydrates, gram for gram.  

Healthy vegan fats can be in the form of hummus (or tahini), avocado, olives, as well as raw seeds and nuts. 

Carbs carbs carbs

When bulking up, a good general rule of thumb is to have around 40% of your caloric intake being in the form of carbs. The good news here, is that carbs are a vegan’s best friend. 

You can get your carbohydrates from legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. As well as potatoes, sweet potatoes, oh and how can I forget? Fresh, whole, fruits. Aim for 5-7g per kilo of bodyweight, per day. 

Whether I’m bulking or not, I always eat a nice bowl of fresh cut fruit in the morning, the healthiest carbs there are. 

How do you eat so much food in a day?

It may sound daunting at first, but with good planning, you can easily (as a vegan) eat your way to a bigger body. I like to space it out, but make sure I eat every few hours. 

Start slow, with a smoothie, then some fruit, then lunch, a snack, then supper. Count the calories, adjust portions if need be, and hit them goals.

I hope this post gives new and seasoned vegans hope on bulking up. No-one said it will be easy, but no transformation comes without some discomfort. 

Thanks for considering veganising it for your vegan advice today, be sure to share with a friend if you like it. Thanks again for stopping by, and stay blessed.