I've read somewhere that if you eat the right combination of fruits and veggies you can actually gain weight. So will eating 2,000 calories worth of fruits and vegetables make you gain weight as if you ate 2,000 calories of beef, chicken, or pork?

If yes, I have a follow-up question: I am aware that 2,000 calories of fruits and veggies are harder to consume in large quantities so if your purpose is to gain weight, what's better: juicing it or eating it?

If no, then what do you suggest is the optimal way to gain weight without relying much on meat?

  • 3
    Are you talking about increasing fat, or muscle?
    – John C
    Oct 27, 2011 at 17:26
  • Well, generally gaining "healthy" weight that's not necessarily building up muscles like going to the gym.
    – IMB
    Oct 27, 2011 at 19:17
  • 1
    I suggest you think more about what you want to achieve. There's really only two things that are easily increased in the body, fat or muscle (bones can become slightly denser through exercise). If you eat enough sweet fruits/grain-based carbohydrates, you may increase your fat, but that's not exactly healthy. And I don't know of any foods that will increase muscle without also working out the muscles. (Note that doesn't require a gym - many fitness routines use only body-weight, easy to do at home).
    – John C
    Oct 28, 2011 at 14:39
  • Weight gain == calories in > calories out. That's it. Oct 29, 2011 at 16:00
  • 3
    @DaveNewton, not according to Gary Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calories. The type of calory does matter.
    – John C
    Oct 31, 2011 at 13:40

6 Answers 6


Disclaimer: I can't back any of this up with science.

Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, particularly juiced, and then not working out (as noted in your comment) might gain you some weight. (I bet it will be fat.) Foods are not fungible.

If you want to gain weight without eating meat, take a look at questions on the topics of getting enough protein as a vegetarian, high calorie vegan diets, and pescetarian/ethical-eater weight gain. (Hint: in order to gain weight that's not all fat, you'll need to work out.)


You forgot major protein sources...nuts and grains. With them added you certainly gain weight, but also build good muscle if you work out good enough.


I know about the cases with nuts. The idea is the same as for usual methods of getting weight: protein and carbohydrate windows after physical exercises.

But anyway if you only start to be vegetarian you will loss weight at the beginning. But it is not an issue because you will lose "low-quality" weight.

And again it is about nuts, not only vegi and fruits.


Juicing it is better, However, It would also be beneficial to monitor RMR,BMI, and calories burned. Then you would have some accuracy in determining and adjusting your diet for weight gain or loss.
Online calculators are available for RMR, BMI & Calories Burned. Enter your age, weight, height and activities you have done during the day. The calculator will do the rest and tell you how many calories you use for the whole day and when at rest. This could help you to know how to adjust your diet to either gain weight or lose weight.

  • 2
    Why is juicing better? Dec 6, 2012 at 21:19

If you take supplements its fine , otherwise you will literally die.

You need to eat nuts and lots of them , grains and mushrooms and roots too not just veggies and fruits...actually veggies are pretty much useless if you already eat fruits and by fruits i mean tomatoes,eggplants and apples ecct.

  • Can you back up your claim that "veggies are pretty much useless if you already eat fruits"? I find this a pretty bold statement.
    – MJB
    Feb 6, 2018 at 14:28
  • I dont need to back up anything just look up the nutrition and vitamins you get from fruits and vegetables , its the same thing but in greater quantity in fruits, veggies are even harder to digest some, of them to the point where you lose calories when digesting them.
    – user27778
    Feb 12, 2018 at 18:15
  • I have and there are vast differences. Which is why this answer is nonsense. And on a website like this, you do have to back anything up, that is kinda how this website works.
    – MJB
    Feb 13, 2018 at 6:50

juicing is better if: 1) you have trouble digesting fruits and vegetables since your body isn't used to eating raw food 2) you find it difficult to consume the amount of food required to hit your calorie target

more calories than your body needs = weight gain less calories that your body needs = weight loss

the type of weight loss and gain is determined by your activity. if you're not using your muscles much expect to gain mostly fat, and lose mostly muscle (as they say, if you don't use it, you lose it). if you're looking to gain muscle, then you must perform an activity that regularly challenges those muscles in order for them to grow.

you don't need to eat flesh of animals to build muscle. muscle is built with amino acids - the building blocks of life. the protein you eat is broken down by the body to amino acids which are used to repair tissue and build muscle. you can find amino acids in many leafy green vegetables, think popeye and his spinach. look at the diets of some of the strongest, most muscular animals on earth and you'll find they thrive on a diet of vegetation.

another thing to note, is in order for your cells to live, they need energy. sugar is energy. if you starve the body of sugar, cells die.

the body will break down carb sources into sugar. this does not mean you can go eat candy bars thinking your feeding your cells, this is not the kind of sugar the body thrives on. it thrives on sugar from fruits in their whole food source (sugar processed from fruits is not the same).

this is a very simplistic, big picture explanation, hope it helps.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.