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How do I maintain my body weight on a wholefood plant based diet?

Eating a Wholefood plant based diet can work wonders for your health including helping you to lose weight. However, if you aren’t looking to lose weight and in fact are someone who needs to maintain or even gain weight then here are some tips for doing this the Wholelife way.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil. As part of the Wholelife challenge we recommend using a maximum of 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive per day. Consuming more than this may contribute to weight gain, but for those that are wanting to maintain their weight then relaxing this a little might be necessary. We would still recommend avoiding other types of oils, avoiding fried foods and processed foods with added fat, but you might want to be a little more generous with your olive oil, for example adding it to salads as a dressing (try in combination with lemon or lime juice, balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar) or using it to fry your onions etc. when making a sauce.

  2. Nuts and seeds. Our usual recommendation for nuts and seeds is 1 small handful per day. Again, you might find it useful to increase this to 2 handfuls. Aim for a variety of nuts and seeds so you are getting useful nutrients such as calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins at the same time.

  3. Regular meals and snacks. Make sure you are eating regularly and not missing meals. It may be helpful to make sure you have snacks mid-meals. Aiming to eat every 4 hours is a helpful guideline. Snacks might include: fresh or dried fruit, toast with peanut butter, hummus and vegetable sticks, no added sugar soya yoghurt with fruit (frozen fruit cooked up is good with this), Ryvita with avocado, rye bread with mashed banana on top; and from the cookbook: cacao nut cookies, banana bean brownies or sweet potato oat cakes.

  4. Plant milks. Oatly Barista milk is higher in calories and can be a good addition to your porridge or milky drinks to up your energy intake.

  5. Protein. Ensure you are eating enough protein. Check out our Protein resource here:

  6. Portion sizes. Make sure you are eating adequate portion sizes. We don’t talk about portions on the course as in general those wanting to lose weight don’t need to worry about portions and calorie counting when eating a wholefood plant based diet. However, if you have a small appetite you may not be eating enough. As a guide here are some suggested portion sizes:

    • Tofu = 150g

    • Beans/lentils = 1/2 cup (about 80g)

    • Bread = 2 slices

    • Pasta / rice = 75g uncooked

    • Fruit: 1 apple / 2 satsumas / handful grapes / 1 banana / 2-3 dates or dried apricots / 2 plums / one third punnet of strawberries / heaped tablespoon of raisins

    • 250ml soya or oat milk

If you struggle to eat these portions then eating even more regularly might be a good idea e.g. every 2 hours.

If you are concerned that you are losing weight or already have a low body weight and don’t want to risk losing any, then please email the team to arrange a 1:1 consultation for more personalised advice.



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