Lets discuss a common problem when starting out with fitness: How many calories to gain muscle? We will go through this process step by step so you know exactly what you need to gain muscles, lose weight or retain. For your body type.
How many calories to gain muscle – everybody is different
I wish there was some way I could just tell you a generic number. But to be honest, it is different for every single person, because we all have different energy needs just through our day-to-day life. Whether you work a really physical job like construction, or you’re a student and work at a desk most of the day, you see you’re going to burn a lot more calories during the construction than you are just sitting at your desk all day. On top of this we all have different body types.
Step 1- Know your current goal
So the first step that you really need to do is you need to know your current goal And this could be a number of things. Do you want to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain your current weight? So to gain weight, you need to eat a surplus of calories . In other words you need to eat more calories then you burn in a day. Which is the exact opposite of losing weight. And then if you want to maintain weight, it is equal. So you’re going to eat the exact amount that you are burning through your day to day activity. Once you figure this out, lets move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Figure out your BMR
next you calculate your BMR a:basal metabolic rate. And this is the amount of energy that you need just to survive. Let’s say you were not doing anything, just laying in a bed. This is how many calories you would need for your body just to keep going, because believe it or not, you do need calories, for your heart, breathing, digesting etc. All of that takes energy. So going on a no calorie diet is really dangerous and you shouldn’t do it. So to figure out your BMR, you need to know four things and I’ve made up an example person here, pretty similar to what I am in real life.
You also need your gender and age. You need to know how tall you are in feet and inches (use Google in case you need to change your metrics). Once you have all this use a BMR calculator and plug it all in.
Step 3 – Find your activity factor
Now that we have our BMR we know how many calories we burn at total rest, next we have to take into account our activity factor. And this is a part where it’s really different for everyone based on your job and how often you work out. You can find activity rates here in this link. But to clarify they go from very minimum activity to a very very active lifestyle and you have a factor from 1.2 til 1.9.
A factor of 1.2 is sedentary, and this is basically nothing. You sit on your computer all day. You don’t have a job that is really physically demanding and you don’t really work out at all. So if that’s you, you remember that you’re sedentary.
While 1.9 is super active and you do lots of physical work and activities by day.
Hopefully you can look at these categories right here and determine which one suits you the best. So both the BMR and the activity rate vary from person to person.
SO BMR is the base rate and the activity rate goed on top of it.
So if we for example have 2050 calories, we’re going to do is multiply that by our activity factor. Lets say this person is very active, we are going to multiply it by this number right here. So active is 1.7, and we get roughly 3,500 calories. And this is if he wants to maintain his current weight, because remember what we did was we took his basal rate and multiplied it by his activity factor. And this number is going to be a good indicator of what he should eat every single day, just to maintain his weight.
How many calories to gain muscle – what is you want to loose weight?
If you guys remember back to step one, I said that you should know your current goal gain, lose or maintain your current weight. This should be taken into consideration when you want to gain muscle.
If you want to loose weight you just have to do some basic addition or subtraction. Most of the math is out of the way besides this part right here. So let’s look at weight loss first.In that case you subtrack 500 to 600 calories from the calorie amount you calculated earlier.
How many calories to gain muscle
And then on the other end of the spectrum, we have a surplus. So our example would be eating more calories in a day than he burns putting them into a calorie surplus. And just for this, I would put around 300 calcories.
So now you have what you need to get in calories to gain, retain and loose weight.
These numbers are really just starting points. And this is a good place to start. If you have no idea what you’re doing and over time, if you’re tracking your macros and your calories, you can weigh yourself periodically or just kind of look in the mirror and say, how do I feel? How do I look?
Do I really think I’m gaining enough weight? Or maybe you’re gaining too much weight. In that case, you can cut back on the calories and just tweak it. It’s trial and error, like I’ve said, and it’s something that takes a long time to get down, but this is probably the most accurate way to figure it out. And it’s a great starting point.