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How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Gain Muscle

Putting on weight isn’t the fight. But, putting on healthy weight is a difficult task. Gaining weight does not mean eating anything without any control. Gaining weight requires a strategic approach towards nutrition and exercising regularly to benefit from it.

Gaining muscles is very similar to weight loss. You need to regulate the calories you intake every day and train efficiently. With this article, we discuss everything about the calories your body needs daily to gain muscle mass.


What is bulking?


Bulking is a common word used in the bodybuilding world. It means eating the calories beyond your body’s requirement and doing intense weight training along with it.

Bulking is one of the first phases of bodybuilding before cutting and maintenance. Building a muscular body is a patient task, and it cannot be done overnight.

Thus, you need to remember that bulking and training alongside is a patient process, and you need to be dedicated and consistent throughout the thing.


How to gain weight?


Your body burns weight constantly when you exercise. So, gaining weight happens when you eat more than you burn.

When you intake food, your body stores it in the form of body fat or muscle. When you exercise, your body uses this fat or muscles in the form of energy.

Gaining weight is as tough as losing weight. Because when you lose weight, you burn body fat and lose muscle mass. But when you gain weight, you gain both fat and muscle, and it is necessary to cut the fat and keep the muscles.

Muscles give us various health benefits. If we don’t cut the excess fat, it can lead to many health problems. We need to get rid of excess fat as fat is just stored energy.


How to differentiate between muscle weight and fat weight?

muscle weight and fat weight

As we grow older, what keeps us healthy and fit are our muscles. They help us recover from illness and injuries and play a significant role in controlling obesity and health problems like diabetes.

Remember that between muscles and fat, muscles are more metabolic. Muscle burns more calories than fat ever does. When one pound of fat can burn only one or two calories, a single pound of muscle can burn 6 to 7 calories.

Muscles, glycogen, and amino acids are certain vital nutrients that are stored in our muscles. When you say, you want to gain muscle it means that you want to add weight and look fit which has become a very common and highly desirable look.

So, the real question should be, how to gain muscle mass and avoid fat side by side? Now, you need to know that fat takes more space than muscle because it supplies more energy per gram.

Muscle is much denser than fat so, it takes less space than fat. Gaining muscle often means that you will gain weight but it won’t be much visible on your body. If you gain the same weight as fat, it is much more noticeable in layers.


How to check body composition?

Body composition means how much percentage of fat, muscle, or bones does your body contain. It plays a significant role in determining the nutrition and training you need to achieve the bodybuilder figure you have in mind.

It is crucial to understand the amount of fat you have gained as compared to your muscle mass. Several methods can help you calculate your body mass composition. Some of them are more accurate than others, especially when it comes to precisions.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that regardless of the technique you choose to calculate body mass index, you have to use the same technique throughout your progress.


How many calories should I take to gain muscle mass?

gain muscle mass

There is no magical number that we are going to unveil in front of you. There is no fixed universal amount that can help you decide how many calories you should intake to gain muscle mass. It highly depends on the goals you have for your body as well as your current body composition.

One kilogram of muscle can be built with 6,000 calories per day. But, this does not essentially mean that consuming this many calories will help you in muscle gain.


Maintenance Calories

The first step is to decide your maintenance calories. Maintenance calories are your everyday energy expenditure. You can calculate them using an online calculator or the following method.

Step1: Multiply your current weight with 10 (for women) or 11 (for men).

Step2: According to your training level, multiply the suitable number with step one’s result.

No exercise: 1

Mild training for one to three days per week: 1.1

Moderate exercise for two or more days per week:1.2

Hard exercises for three or more days per week: 1.4

Intense sessions for two times a day: 1.6


Calorie Surplus

As the name suggests, calorie surplus is the number of extra calories you intake that contribute to your muscle gain and not to your energy bank.

A lot of trainers suggest increasing the calories by 5 to 10% of the total required. For instance, if you eat 2000 calories a day, then increase 200 calories for muscle gain. But, it highly depends on the diet, training, and the individual’s capacity to eat.

Lean mass builds faster when you are not training. People with low body fat percent have to go through bulking and cutting, while people with a higher body fat percentage should consider cutting instead of bulking.

Lean and untrained individuals can add around 300 to 1000 calories per day to their diet. Whereas, if you are lean but highly trained then you should add only 100 to 300 calories a day.



Calculating your macros means dividing the calorie intake into different portions of proteins, dietary fats, or carbs. This is called deciding your macro ratios.

Your protein intake must be in grams equal to twice as much as your body weight in kilograms. For example, if a person weighs 50 kg, they need 100 grams of protein every day. There are various protein-rich foods and supplements available in the market, for instance, whey protein.

Around 30 percent of the calories you intake must come from fat. Suppose you need to intake 2500 calories per day. Then, your fat intake should be 0.3 multiplied by 2500 that is 750 calories. The remaining portion of your calorie intake should be fulfilled by carbs.


What should I eat to gain muscle mass?

Now, the practical thing is that not every fruit and vegetable comes with labels about how many calories, fat, protein, or carbohydrates they contain. But we can suggest some good foods that can help in boosting your muscle gains.

Fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, pineapples, and pomegranates can help in improving muscle gains. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers are very good for gaining muscle mass.

Seafood, dairy products, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables, legumes, and certain meats are very good for gaining weight. Eggs are the go-to food for any bodybuilder.


People who want to gain muscle mass faster should focus on a diet that is full of glutamine. Glutamine-rich foods have proven to grow muscle mass faster.



  • Can I gain muscles and lose fat at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to gain muscle mass and lose fat at the same time. When you have a high amount of body fat., then you are actually having a calorie deficit. If you want to reduce weight and gain muscle mass, you need to make sure that high quantities of proteins have been incorporated into your diet and you are undergoing strength training regularly.


  • Does weight decrease when you lose muscle mass?

Yes, when you stop exercising, the toned part of your body starts losing its shape and it loses muscle mass. As the muscle mass gets reduced, your body might experience weight loss. This weight loss isn’t healthy for your body because maintaining muscle is essential for health.



Gaining weight isn’t a piece of cake. It is as difficult as losing weight especially when you only want to gain healthy muscles and lose the excess fat. However, this process requires dedication and sincerity.

You need to avoid junk and focus on healthy food. You need to calculate your calorie intake every day. If you are undergoing strict training, then you must have a strict diet too.

We hope that this article answered your question about the number of calories you need to intake. If you have any other queries, reach out to us in the comment section given below.

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