Just to give you guys some background. I am a 29 year old female and I have always maintained a +-5 pounds from 120 since I can remember and I am 61 inches tall(around 5'1). My diet is a vegan whole foods diet but I eat meat when I go out sometimes. lately the weight keeps piling. I have gone from 120-145 in four months.

This is what my diet looks like:

Breakfast: breakfast smoothie with power greens blend, coconut milk, flax seed meal,banana, and a cup of mixed berries, totaling 360 calories.

Lunch: beans and lentils with collard greens included= 433 calories and apple =80 calories

Snack: homemade hummus = 163 calories, with carrots =40 calories or with celery

Dinner: tofu kale salad with sesame oil = 320 calories

Daily total = 1376calories, lots of water throughout the day.

I also have lots of energy

Here is my work out routine:

Monday: I do strength training. Qquats with weight, jump lunges, and all those leg machines you see at the gym which I don't know what are called, but I do a full lower body workout for 30mins, then I run for 30mins.

Tuesday: I do upper body. Lifting, pushups, and also all those upper body machines at the gym for 30mins, then I do the stir master for 30 mins afterwards.

Wednesday: I do core for 30mins and light bicylcing at the gym for about 15 mins.

Thursday: I go swim laps for 30mins.

Friday: I eat a bunch of junk food at the office and don't exercise

Saturday: sometimes i go for a two mile walk and sometimes I'm just a couch potato.

Sunday: I go to Yoga, then start all over again on Monday.

I've been doing weight training for about 3 months. Before that, my exercise was just running a lot and hiking a lot, but since I added weights, I seem to be gaining weight and my mid section is looks bigger.

I am supposed to eat 1280 cals a day to lose 2 pounds a week, but I find my self eating about 1300-1600 calories a day now.

That being said: Can someone please explain to me why I am gaining weight instead. I don't look leaner. I probably look the same or a little bigger. Also, what would you suggest I do for my stomach. is it normal to experience weight gain when I seem to be doing the right thing. Also, is it possible that getting older has slowed down my metabolism? Would you guys recommend sticking to the strict 1280 calories a day even if I workout?

I know I don't get enough proteins because of my diet, is there a way for me to get more protein on a vegan diet? my goal is to lose the extra 15 pounds I have gained in a healthy manner. Thanks a lot in advance.

  • 1
    Do you eat the same stuff every day except for junk food day? How much do you eat on that junk food day? Have you also tracked your body dimensions with a measuring tape?
    – Raditz_35
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:12
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    If you just measure your hip/waist and so on, you don't have to guess if you got leaner or not, you know it for sure and it takes little time. But I'd recommend a lot of things that would work for me and not others. I'd also recommend skipping the cheat day and eat a more interesting variation of food so you don't feel like you need it or at the very least track it so you know if you have just eaten your deficit for the week. Without it, it's impossible to tell what's up. But I know a lot of people work with very boring meal plans + cheat days and are doing just fine.
    – Raditz_35
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:35
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    So...you added weights and you are eating more. What is the question again? (Oh, and the whole 3500 calories = 1 lb gain/loss is a bad myth).
    – JohnP
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:38
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    I'm saying, you are eating more and lifting weights. Increasing muscle. Muscle is dense and weighs a lot in comparison to other body tissues. Weight gain is a natural consequence if you are in a caloric surplus.
    – JohnP
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:51
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    Have you tried a calorie tracking device to see what you're burning vs what you're consuming? For me (everyone is different) I saw results after I combined counting calories in with calories expended. I notice you didn't supply a calorie value for Friday (cheat day), junk foods add up faster than I thought when I actually wrote them all down the first time. Feb 23, 2018 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


Getting protein on a vegan diet is pretty simple. You can get it from tempeh, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, numerous types of beans, nutritional yeast, soy products and more.

As for the weight gain. It looks to me as if you've just started adding weight training to your primarily cardio based routine. This combined with the fact that you know you eat more calories than you need in order to lose weight makes the fact that you gain weight pretty logical to me.

If you've gained weight as in muscle mass, that's probably the reason why you gained weight. If you mainly gained fat, there is another issue at hand.

  • So will it be logical to just stick with the calorie limits which i need to lose the 2ibs/per week, or eat in addition to that the colories i lost while working out? i am so confused as to what i actually need. Nutritionist says for my height and weight, i need to eat 1280 a day to lose 2 lbs a week. but i get so hungry when i work out.
    – Nadege
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:53
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    I don't know exactly what you want to achieve. I don't think you should work towards a goal weight in lbs but rather set a goal to feel healthy and look the way you want to look. If you weight 10lbs more but are more healthy and look more healthy, whats the harm in weighing 10lbs more?
    – MJB
    Feb 23, 2018 at 15:09

It’s entirely possible that you need to do a metabolic reset. Your body may have adjusted to consuming too few calories, and because of that it isn’t managing your caloric intake properly. If it isn’t that, it may be something else. Below is a quick checklist of things that it potentially could be off the top of my head...

  • Metabolism: Can be fixed with a metabolic reset, and can be determined by strict daily calorie consumption over a few weeks.
  • Hormones: Might be “fixable” by visiting the doctor, can probably be determined only by visiting the doctor.
  • Overcomsumption: Can be fixed by eating less, sometimes we just eat more than we realize.
  • Lack of activity: Can be fixed by being more active, the body may simply be used to more activity and the comparative lack thereof is telling the body to store what it normally uses.
  • Intolerance: Can be fixed by removing certain foods, and certain foods may need removing because your body doesn’t tolerate them well.
  • Other? There could be many things going on, but I would double check what I could through this list first, and then see what the doctor thinks if no clear answer presents itself.

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