If you are trying to gain weight, the amount of food you consume should total a caloric surplus. In other words, the number of calories you eat should be more than how many you burn off. A consistent caloric surplus will result in noticeable weight gain. For some, trying to gain weight is more difficult than others. A fast metabolism or a lack of appetite can make things a bit more demanding. Fortunately, there are weight gain supplements that can help to fill in this gap. But, how many calories do you need to gain weight? Here is what to know and consider:
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written throughout the content of our website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. What you choose to do with the information provided is at your own risk and discretion. Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, be sure to contact your health practitioner.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU NEED TO GAIN WEIGHT? – THE BASICS:
Your current weight, height, age, and gender all play a role in how many calories you need to gain weight. There are calorie calculators available online that can tell you what your recommended daily calorie consumption is. First, find what your recommended daily calorie consumption is to maintain your current weight. To gain weight, you are going to have to consume 300-500 calories more than what is recommended to maintain your current weight. This will get you to reach a consistent caloric surplus. Otherwise, you will continue to maintain or lose weight if you are not consuming an excess of calories.
For example, say a 21-year-old 5”5 female with limited exercise activity needs 1,575 calories a day to maintain her current weight. To gain weight, she would need to consume around 1,875-2,075 calories a day. The number of extra calories to consume for weight gain can depend on your physical activity level and metabolism. For those who do heavier training, you are going to want to lean towards the higher spectrum of extra calories to supplement for those burned off through exercise.
If you don’t exercise as frequently you can still gain weight with around an extra 300 calories more than recommended. However, keep in mind that exercising while trying to gain weight is important. It helps you to tone and shape where the added weight goes, and strength exercises can further aid in increasing your overall body weight. Additionally, gaining anywhere from 0.5 lbs. – 1 lbs. per week is a healthy range.
CONSIDER YOUR METABOLISM:
How many calories do you need to gain weight? Consider your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate, or metabolism, is the rate at which your body breaks down foods and converts them into reusable energy. Everyone’s metabolic rate is different. There are individuals who may want to gain weight but have an accelerated metabolism that makes it difficult to do so. While it is certainly not a bad thing to have, for those who want to gain weight it can become a hindrance. If you do have a fast metabolism, leaning towards the higher spectrum of extra calories to consume will provide more benefit.
Since your body is breaking down foods faster with an accelerated metabolic rate, it may be more difficult to retain a caloric surplus. This is where a weight gain shake or supplement can be of great help. Boosting your caloric intake with the aid of a weight gain supplement will make it easier to reach and retain an excess of calories in your diet.
Another tip is to try to eat at least 3 meals per day and increase your proportions to help maintain a surplus of calories. This can benefit your metabolism whether it is accelerated or not. There is no way to naturally and deliberately slow down your metabolism permanently. However, as we age our body’s metabolic rate does naturally slow down.
INSTEAD OF JUST “EATING MORE”, TRY TO MAKE YOUR MEALS COUNT
An additional tip when trying to find out how many calories do you need to gain weight, is to make your meals count. Making your meals count means getting a considerable number of calories in one sitting, as opposed to trying to eat as much as possible. Trying to find an extra source of calories/foods to eat can become a bit demanding, especially if you have a lack of appetite. One way to alleviate this is through high-calorie, nutrient dense foods. Some examples include nuts, potatoes, beans, lean cut meats, and more.
Consuming higher calorie yet nutrient-dense foods will aid in attaining a caloric surplus, but with the benefit of healthy nutritious sources in the process. This also aids in gaining weight healthily. Weight gain smoothies, trail mixes, etc. are some other examples of snacks you can prepare that contain a high number of nutrient-dense calories, all the while still leaving room for other meals. This makes maintaining a caloric surplus a little easier. Additionally, if you have a lack of appetite that makes gaining weight a bit difficult, aim for high-calorie nutrient dense foods as well.
If you find difficulty in consuming extra calories for weight gain, check out these weight gain supplements that can help: