HEALTHY weight gain tips

does anybody have any for me?

*before reading any further, if the subject of weight is at all triggering to you, please do not read the rest of this post. please. it would break me heart if my words were responsible for anyone’s discomfort.*

with that said, i’m feeling unsure of what to do right now. i’m unintentionally back at my lowest weight, and i don’t know how this can be possible. i feel like i eat a lot. and it’s not as if i don’t eat substantial food. i eat tons of carbs and fats and am not depriving myself of calories. at least i don’t think i am! i don’t know because i don’t count. i’m supposed to be working my way to a normal weight, but it’s just not happening. i admit that i haven’t really been trying to gain weight, i’ve just been eating normally. but i shouldn’t be losing! without going into full detail, i lost a ton of weight about a year ago from becoming overly obsessed with health, and became extremely UNhealthy as a result. i was not an overweight person to begin with, and lost far more weight than my body had to lose. i’m healthy now in the sense that i have light in my eyes again, color in my face, energy to function, and the ability to wear a short-sleeve shirt and shorts without freezing to death. according to my blood results, my levels are back to normal. the problem is that my weight has not risen enough. since first trying to gain weight, i haven’t been able to put on more than 6 temporary pounds (which are missing in action at the moment.) i know that you guys aren’t professionals, but most of you do have experience with this subject. do you think that it’s necessary for me to put on pounds, even though i’m healthy? or am i not actually as healthy as i think i am, considering i’m still underweight? i have a check-up/follow-up appointment with my doctor next week, so i’m sure he’ll be able to answer a lot of these questions for me, as well as give me some advice. but i just want to ask some of you about this, since i value your opinions. so for those of you who have successfully put on weight, how did you do it? do you have any special tips? keep in mind that i’m vegan, am NOT willing to give up exercise, am very health-conscious, and don’t want to resort to feeling uncomfortably full all the time. ideally, i should probably gain about 10 pounds (some people would probably say more, but let’s say 10.) anyway, to ANYONE AND EVERYONE, even if you don’t have experience with healthy weight gain, please feel free to comment on this post with anything that you think might be helpful. even if you just have a few words to throw out there, please do.

*and just so everyone is aware, i was not vegan when i lost the weight. i was actually able to put on weight after becoming vegan. but like i said, this weight comes and goes.*

to move on from the seriousness, i have a couple of eats to share. for part of my lunch yesterday i made some yummy tofu salad! i mixed it with flavorful black olives, grated beets, and grated carrots. i spread some dijon mustard on two flourless sprouted grain tortillas, topped each one with the tofu mixture and some avocado, folded them up, and let them get nice and warm in the panini press! i had these babies alongside an amazingly fresh salad consisting of grated zucchini, the best cherry tomatoes i’ve ever had, cucumber, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. DELICIOUS! i could have eaten just a HUMUNGOUS bowl of this salad and i think i would have been happy. (or not…i love my carbs!)



^ i unfolded one of the tortillas so that you could see the amazing color! beets are like dye! ^

for an afternoon snack i had frozen grapes, a chocolate coconut chew larabar, and a glass of coconut water. yes, i ate frozen grapes and a larabar with a spoon because…why not eat them with a spoon?! πŸ™‚


eventually dinner time rolled around and i didn’t have a plan. i ended up making a veggie stir-fry, and put it on top of aduki beans. on the side i had curry flavored toast. it was all average. nothing supa special going on.


i really felt like a bowl of coconut bliss last night but we didn’t have any in the freezer! grrrr. it’s not often that i want dessert after dinner. but some sweet, creamy, coconutty ice-cream sure sounded delightful! if you’ve never tried coconut bliss, go get some! anyway, this is getting long (like most of my ramble-filled posts.) so friends, i’m going to depart from you now.

have a fantastic friday! love you all!


21 Responses to “HEALTHY weight gain tips”

  1. veganfritz Says:

    Okay hear’s the deal, you may be consuming a lot more nutrient dense foods than before and therefore, are unintentionally not eating as much. Have you read Brendan Brazier’s ‘Thrive’? Ina nut-shell one of the things he talks about high net gain foods meaning nutrient rich plant based foods. Judging from the spectrum of foods you eat, you are highly varied in your diet and are receiving all of most of the vital mineral to survive. This may make your body not send signals to want more to feel satiated. Does this make sense….I don’t know, caloric wise everything is in check. If you are functioning properly & have good to high energy, then the weight you are at should be alright. A number is not a good indicator of how ‘healthy’ a person is.

  2. Allison Says:

    The question you need to answer (to yourself only, lol) is are you getting a period. If you’re not, then your weight is too low for your “healthy place” no matter how healthy you feel. I know that I felt perfectly healthy when I was underweight, but I wasn’t getting a period, and it turns out my weight was so much lower than my body wanted it to be that I could’ve had a heart attack because my muscle mass was so low (even though I ran and lifted weights) and your heart is a muscle. Please take care of youself before it’s too late! Asking for help is a huge first step.

    a lurker

  3. Allison Says:

    P.S. Please feel free to email me if you want someone to talk to! I’ve been there, done that!

  4. ohsoravenous Says:

    Is it possible at all to see a dietitian/nutritionist?

    Sometimes our EDs trick us into believing we are eating more than we actually are. I’m NOT accusing you of this, but it’s always a possibility.

    Most importantly, you have to keep in mind that our metabolisms speed up, FAST. When I was gaining weight, regardless of whether I gained or not, my nutrish always always upped my intake for the following week – your body catches up quickly.

    And I don’t mean to start stuff up, but I COMPLETELY disagree with the comment above – being underweight should NOT be acceptable. The long term consequences are too many.

    I say you should probs go to a professional.

  5. Emily Says:

    Do you also get to see a dietitian in conjunction with your doctor? Just wondering. πŸ™‚ I know a lot of people hate dietitians, and I’ll admit that there are some really bad ones out there, but most are trained to help you gain weight in a healthy way. Weight gain or loss is a basic equation. If you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. There may be tiny things you can do, like adding an extra tablespoon of nut butter to your oats or having an additional scoop of ice cream at night. I would definitely talk to your doctor and a dietitian if you are concerned to see if he recommends gaining weight.

    Keep us posted!

  6. Nora Says:

    I love frozen grapes! They’re like little popsicles.

    I too lot too much weight before even going vegan, and then gained some of it back as a vegan. I don’t have much more input than that, but just saying.

  7. Nora Says:


  8. danielle Says:

    oh girl- you are such a sweetie.
    and i applaud you for writing this and being so open and honest with yourself & all of us.

    here is my background- i’ve never had a ED, but i saw, supported and helped me sister through hers. so i’m going to be honest + open with you.

    i agree with allison- about getting your period. it is simple as that.
    if you are not getting it, then this can cause more damage than you know…
    so please check in with your doctor about that. for females this is SO important.

    also YES, you are eating healthy carbs, fats, proteins, etc… but it might NOT be enough. yes it’s a lot- but not enough.
    and especially since you are exercising– calories in = calories out–therefore you are eating a lot, but with your exercise factored in there could be a deficit in calories. which is dangerous when you are at such a low weight- especially with high intensity work, and your heart!! like allison said, their is a risk of heart problems…. so pleaseee be careful. i’ve seen young girls have heart trouble, as my husband is a surgeon….and has told me some scary stories.

    and YES, you can feel healthy, BUT boy oh boy SO much is going on inside your body that you simply don’t know about, and SO much damage that can accumulate of years of being underweight etc… sorry to be so honest, but sometimes people need to hear the hard stuff!
    you must BE honest with your dr, and speak to them about seeing a nutritionist. they will be able to help you add more calories in , in a safe manner and in line with your lifestyle.

    and you do not have to give up exercise, but the intensity might have to brought down until you gain those pounds back, its hard to do!! but in the long term, your body will thank you!!!

    well girl, i hope this does not come across in a rude way!
    i just want you to be healthy & gain the weight back so you are health- both physically and mentally.

    all the best.


    ps- i also don’t agree with the first comment- i don’t want to start something at alllll, and it is not my place to judge, but one can feel healthy and have lots of energy, and still be suffering from a ED disorder or be mentally sick…. and weight and BMI is a reality and is there for a reason.

  9. damjana Says:

    hi jb, it’s my first time to be on your site but i like it a lot! Gaining weight is very hard for me, when it happens it is always accompanied by dehydration, decrease of exercise, stomach ache, being good thing. I don’t have any good suggestions though i’d like to have some.

  10. fearlessfabulousfulloflife Says:

    frozen grapes!!!!!! yummy!! πŸ™‚

    my love– i think your best bet is to talk to your doctor πŸ™‚ but i do know that the body doesnt function the same when it is underweight (i can attest to that myself!) let us know how it goes! wish you the best xoxoxoxoxox

  11. Katharina Says:

    Yeah, I agree with some of the above comments about having a period. That’s VERY important. Also, if you are honestly upping your calories (in the form of carbs, vegan forms of “dairy”, and fats), and still not gaining weight.. maybe see how much you’re moving around in a day. If all else fails, you should see a doctor because you could have a condition that’s beyond your control. Don’t want to freak you out though! I know for myself, my months of effort towards gaining weight seemed hopeless and I quit exercising all together and upped my calories but nothing happened. I finally got my weight to stabilize at least, but not go up. I constantly got my blood tested to see what was up and we found nothing. Then I went to go see an endocrinologist and I took so many tests and things started to come clear to me and now I’m working towards treating my condition. But yeah.. if upping the carbs, fat, and “dairys” doesn’t do anything (eat more than you burn), then seek some help from someone in the medical field. I wish you luck!!


  12. Bianca- Vegan Crunk Says:

    Eat cupcakes!!! Seriously though, from the looks of your food in this post, you seem to be eating mostly healthy fats (coconut water, Larabars, etc.). And those are awesome, but if you need to gain, those probably won’t help. Right now, you have the best excuse in the world to bake a cake and eat it too!

    Then again, your doctor will probably have much better advice. I’m kind of a cake pusher.

  13. Meg Says:

    Hey hun,
    I know you think that exercising is healthy and so you do not want to hear that you might have to TEMPORARILY stop it. But the truth is that exercise when one is underweight can not only be UNhealthy, it can be deadly. Like Allison said, your heart is a muscle, and when you don’t weigh enough, your heart is weakened and you’re thus more succeptible to sudden cardiac arrest while exercising. Please watch out! And kudos to you for going to see a doctor. You only get one body. Treat it well πŸ™‚

  14. burpexcuzme Says:

    Man I know what you are talking about. I’m eating tons, but barely gaining. Contrarily to what many might think, gaining weight is a tough job. And you need SO much more calories than you think you might need.

    But looking at what you’re eating, I do think you are lacking a bit in calories. Some people need more than 4000 kcal just to gain a lb a week! So you already know what you need to do. Jack up your calories. When you’re that underweight, there is no such thing as a “healthy weight gain.” What I mean is, don’t focus and obsess over nutrition and stuff because it may just lead you to another form of stress. Right now, seriously all food is medicine, all food is good for you.

    I also notive that you are eating a lot of fiber-rich food, which is good for you, but it can also lead to uncomfortable bloating issues. So maybe eat a bit less of the vegetables, or you can blend them into a smoothie or soup to make it easier. And eat more nutrient-dense foods, like nuts. Oh, and carbs is your friend. It is the most essential for weight gain…It’s the building block for muscles and all that!

    And talking to a nutritionist or doctor might help, though be careful to find a good one with experiences of weight loss issues. Some people are really ignorant abt such things.

    But lastly, I wanna commend you for taking charge of your body now and realizing what you need to do! I wasn’t as wise as you back then, and totally destroyed my own body. Best of wishes, my dear! Email me if you need to talk more or anything. πŸ™‚

  15. Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write Says:

    Oh my god, I would kill to have this problem. My mother deals with the same thing. She’s been looking for an answer for years. I’m eager to see what you end up doing.

  16. psychoj1 Says:

    Hey girlie!

    Hmm. I definitely think you should meet up with your doctor (or a nutritionist) to check things out. I definitely agree with what everyone else has said. Are you getting a period? That is one of the signals if your body is healthy or not. Boy do I have some weight gain suggestions πŸ˜€ Haha!
    Here’s my wonderous list of weight gain foods I’ve picked up over the year.
    –Peanut/Nut butter (add another scoop to your oats and it’s an easy and delicious way to get extra cals)
    –Whole Grain (calorie dense) Pastas like spaghetti, brown rice, etc
    –Calorie Dense whole grain breads Pepperidge (sp?) Farm breads are delicious and higher cals than others
    –Dark Chocolate
    –Dried Fruit
    –Trail Mix (you can even make your own!)
    –Juice (vegan?, I have no idea if juice is vegan or not, i’m sorry i’m totally spacing!)
    –Vegan Ice Creams
    –AVOCADO πŸ˜€

    Gaining weight shouldn’t be a stress. You don’t have to add 6 meals a day to gain weight. Obviously you do need to eat more, but it CAN be simpler than expected. Say you usually use 1/4 an avocado, simply use a 1/2 instead. Add another scoop (or more) of nut butter to your oats. Increase the size amounts. Try and cut down on fiber as well. I mean, not too much πŸ˜‰ But fiber is very filling and can leave you full for hours when you need to have another snack. You get what I’m saying! πŸ™‚ Top your sweet potato with almond butter.

    As far as exercise goes, I think I remember reading on your blog that you have upped your cardio. Even a simple 10 extra minutes makes a difference if you are eating the same. I say cut down on the cardio (I know it stinks!) or eat more extra, do more strength training, more yoga, you get it.

    Best of luck! If you want to ever talk, just email me πŸ™‚
    Love you!
    ❀ jess

  17. Jessica Says:

    I love what burpexcuzme said! All food is good for you. I wish I had thought like that a long time ago!

    I also think a dietitian, if you are able to see one, would be a great idea. I know that if I had gotten outside help I would probably have had a much easier time recovering. But!

    What I did was to slip extra food into everything I ate. A little extra nut butter and some chopped nuts in my morning oats. I switched to granola instead of cereal. I added hummus to everything (smelly smelly!) Try getting larger wraps, or make a sandwich and have a third slice of bread on the side. Slip carob chips into your desserts.

    It all adds up. But everyone is different and I completely agree that sometimes getting professional help is the best.

    Either way I think its awesome that you are so candid with yourself. Best of luck girl ❀

  18. broccolihut Says:

    I have experience with this too. I agree with Allison that a key indicator of your health is whether or not you are getting a period. If the answer is no, then yes, you need to consider gaining some of those MIA 6 pounds. The way I gained weight (and keep it on today) is my nightly shakes–the liquid calories don’t make me feel like I am eating a ton, like solid foods would. I remember trying to down PBJs everyday, but I would often get too full from them and lose my appetite completely–not good if you’re trying to lose weight. Anyway, I, too, am here to help in any way I can. Shoot me an e-mail if you want to chat further!

  19. thank you! « cardioVEGsular Says:

    […] cardioVEGsular heartily vegan « HEALTHY weight gain tips […]

  20. a soon-to-be “on this day in history” fact « cardioVEGsular Says:

    […] a STUPENDOUS saturday, everybody! thoughts on this post are still welcome. and on one last note, my co-op nor any of my whole foods have the new larabars […]

  21. nom nom nom « cardioVEGsular Says:

    […] creamy. i probably could have stopped half-way through, but i was enjoying it (and you know how i need the calories right now) so why not go for the whole cup?! it actually wasn’t that big (in my opinion, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: