HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I EAT TO GAIN WEIGHT
Just like losing weight requires reducing the number of calories you eat, gaining weight requires consuming more calories.
To build muscle or gain weight, a “caloric surplus” is the number 1 requirement. Caloric surplus means eating more calories than the body requires, which means you have to be above your calorie maintenance level. Getting enough calories of the right types will fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to build muscle and gain weight, However, attempting to gain weight is not your free pass to munch on whatever ludicrous lousy food you want.
Some pills like these ones found here on Amazon could just do the trick for you without the risk of getting hooked to junky food.
A high-quality diet is equally essential for weight gain as it is during weight loss. Although junk food can be high in calories, it’s low in nutrients and bad for your health and compromises two leading sources of empty calories, refined grains and added sugars, both of which contribute to chronic diseases, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of public health.
How to create your ideal caloric surplus
- Okay, you want to gain weight or build muscles, this is NOT the same as getting fat, so the two important goals you need to keep in mind when creating your ideal caloric surplus is that you need to,
Maximize muscle gain
- Minimize fat gains.
You want to gain weight, not get fat and therefore there are two main factors that dictate what the size of the caloric surplus should be:
- The surplus has to be big enough to build muscle as effectively as possible.
- The surplus needs to be small enough to avoid gaining unnecessary fat.
There’s a limit to the amount of muscle the human body is capable of building and the rate at which it can be built; this means there’s also a limit to the number of calories your body is capable of using to build muscle/ gain weight.
Too many calories will be stored as fat, too little will not make any difference, this is the reason why the caloric surplus shouldn’t be too big or too small, the surplus should just be right!
The ideal caloric surplus for men is 250 calories per day, and for women, it’s 125 calories per day. For example, if you are a woman and your daily calorie maintenance level is 2000, then you should now eat about 2125 calories per day to gain weight or build muscle.
Whatever your calorie maintenance level is, just add 125 calories above each day to gain weight. The same applies to men; just add 250 calories a day.
So, if you know your estimated calorie maintenance level, create your ideal caloric surplus and gain weight the way you want. That’s simply how many calories you need to eat a day to gain weight or build muscles.
If you properly create the ideal caloric surplus and eat the right amount of calories every day, you will gain weight at the perfect rate. What makes this rate ideal is that if you exceed it, you’ll be gaining fat, not mass. If you fall below it, well, you are not doing anything at all.
Okay, since you now know how many calories you should eat a day to build/ gain weight, it’s time to figure out where the best calories come from and how you should take them.
Increase the size of your three main meals each day and add a morning and afternoon snack to boost your caloric intake.
(1) Add healthy calories to your diet by boosting your intake of nutrient-dense, energy-dense foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and include hearty whole grains, dried beans, peas and lentils.
(2) Drink milk and other high-calorie beverages
Drink milk, smoothies and shakes. Go for full cream milk rather than skim. Try traditional nutritious drinks from around the world, kefir, horchata, chia fresca, lassi and telba are all high in calories and proteins.
(3) Protein is crucial for weight gain.
Red meat can help you gain weight, primarily if you are working on building muscle. Salmon is high in calories and healthy fats. Yogurt is high in protein. Oily fish can also help you gain weight.
(4) Stay away from junk-food.
While scaling up your calorie intake would be a lot easier if you just ate fast food every meal, your health would suffer in every other way. This is why it is in your best interest to, focus on preparing your food if you have time. But if you hate cooking or are too busy, find healthy ways to eat out. Stores that list all the ingredients of your meal and beverages are a good bet.
You can also build muscles with strength training; muscles weigh more than fat, so you’ll gain weight as you build muscle. Have strength training exercise at least twice a week; you can strength train at home by doing crunches, lunges, and squats.