The vegan diet and weight gain

The good news is that veganism is becoming more mainstream.  Even here in the north of England it is possible to find vegan restaurants and cook schools (although we haven’t quite abandoned fish and chips yet!).  Veganism has a lot going for it not only in terms of your health and also for the health of the planet.  New vegans however may find to their horror that they gain weight. This may be due in part to eating too many carbs.   Now, I have nothing against carbs: they are an important part of the vegan diet but this doesn’t mean that you need to eat them for every meal.  Also try to make sure the carbs you do eat are wholegrains such as quinoa, oats, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, wholemeal bread or low GI fruits and vegetables. These keep blood sugar levels stable which is important when you are trying to lose weight or avoid weight gain. Carbs should make up between 45 and 65 per cent of your diet.  For a women with an average calorie requirement 2000 calories, this means between 900 and 1,300 calories worth but if you need to lose weight, you should adjust this according to your diet calorie allowance. Below are a few suggestions to help you cut carbs and look out for recipes in the coming weeks, incorporating these ideas.
  • Use alternatives to sugar (you may have noticed this blog’s recipes are all sugar free).  Sugar can cause candida overgrowth which can result in weight gain.
  • Try a soya milk, flaxseed and berry smoothie for breakfast instead of cereal or maybe soya yogurt with berries and a sprinkling of oat bran.
  • Top soya mince ‘cottage’ pies with cauliflower mash instead of potato.  Another idea would be to use carrot and swede mash as a topping.
  • Use a spiralizer to make pasta from vegetables such as courgettes.
  • Try cauliflower ‘rice’ in place of your usual rice.
  • Try roasted vegetables instead of chips- include red onion, aubergine, peppers, courgettes, and sprinkle with oil and herbs such as rosemary and thyme.  Delicious!
  • Shiratake noodles are zero carbs and make a great accompaniment to Japanese and Chinese dishes.
  • Use sliced aubergine when making a lasagne with soya mince.

Next week I will be talking about how protein can help you maintain a healthy weight and where vegans can get protein from.

Stay healthy, stay happy

Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell  


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