Gaining weight, losing weight and maintaining weight all comes down to meeting a certain calorie goal each day. calories in VS calories out is the key to building muscle and losing fat. To Gain weight and build muscle you need to make sure your supplying your body with more calories than it expends (burns) each day. This is known in the bodybuilding world as bulking. Many people take this as an opportunity to eat whatever they want and as much as they want. However, there is only so many calories your body can effectively utilise for muscle growth before it starts to store any excess calories as body fat.
To make sure your not gaining more body fat than muscle you only want to be eating around 200-400 calories above your maintenance requirements each day. (your maintenance requirements are the amount of calories your body needs each day to maintain your current bodyweight). These 200-400 extra calories should be sufficient to see steady weight gain.
Another variable that comes into play when bulking is how many calories are coming from Protein, how many from carbohydrates and how many from fats. This is where it starts getting a bit complicated. To make things easy I have created a table that has calculated your protein, fats, carbohydrates and calories for you, you simply have to pick the row closest to your bodyweight in pounds and you are good to go. All the numbers below are in grams.
If your bodyweight is not on this table, here is the formula that I used to calculate these numbers:
- Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day
- Eat 2.2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day
- Eat 3 grams of fat per 3 pounds of bodyweight per day
These numbers will be a great starting point, you want to be seeing steady weight gains of about 1-2 pounds per week so make sure your tracking your weight weekly. Although this is a great starting point, for some it might no be anywhere near enough calories to make steady weight gains. Some lighter individuals may need up to 4000 calories to see this kind of weight gain. I myself have to eat close to 4000 calories a day to see any weight gain. If your not seeing any weight gain add an extra 300 calories to your daily goal for a week or two to see if these extra calories increase your weight. An easy way to add 300 calories would be to eat an extra 75 grams of carbohydrates each day. On the other hand if your gaining more than 2 pounds a week you should decrease your calories by around 300 calories a day.
You should also be seeing consistent strength gains each week while your bulking, if your not, you may need to make a slight adjustment to something. As you gain weight you will also have to steadily increase your calories to match your new weight.
Keep track of your food for 1-2 weeks and make small changes if needed. When you have found your sweet spot of calories, you simply make yourself a meal plan and stick to it as best you can. If you go a little over or under each day you shouldn’t even notice it. A great way to keep track of your food each day is to download a free APP that you can log your food and meal plans into. One that I always recommend to my friends and family is My Fitness Pal, so definitely go check that out.
Thank you very much for reading guys if you found this information on how to start bulking useful feel free to get in touch, leave a comment and share with your friends and family on social media. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.