Building Lean Muscle (Caloric Surplus Diet)

To build muscle, you need to create a caloric surplus. Meaning, you need to be ABOVE your calorie maintenance level so that you’re consuming more calories than you burn. When that happens, your body will have the extra calories it needs to create new muscle tissue.


Calorie Intake For Weight Maintenance

Weight Maintenance level is Calories In = Calories Out.


Little/No Exercise (Desk Job)

Exercise 1-3 Days a Week

Exercise 3-5 Days a Week

14 - 30

1,600 - 1,800

1,800 - 2,200

2,200 - 2,400

31 - 50

1,600 - 1,800

1,800 - 2,000

2,000 - 2,200


1,400 - 1,600

1,600 - 1,800

1,800 - 2,000


The following chart is a very general recommended daily calorie intake for WEIGHT MAINTENANCE (Not Muscle Building). This guideline is based on age and level of exercise. Please bear in mind there are many other factors such as weight, height, ethnicity, metabolic rate (the speed of you metabolism is), thermic effect of food etc. that also affect your recommended calorie intake. 

For a more accurate measure, please consult with a qualified nutritionist or other methods.


Calorie Intake for Muscle Building 

Whatever your daily calorie maintenance level is, you should be about 20% above it each day to create a caloric surplus.  For example, someone with a daily calorie maintenance level of 2500 calories would use the following formula:

2500 calories x 0.20 = 500 (20% of 2500 calories is 500 calories)

2500 calories + 500 calories = 3000 calories

This means you should create a caloric surplus of 500 calories each day. In this example, that would mean eating 3000 calories per day.


Calculating Calories From Food Packaging

A basic rule to workout Calories from Kilojoules on the back of a packet of food is to divide the KJ’s by approximately 4.2. This will give you the amount of calories in the food item.

Example: 800kj / 4.2 = 190 calories per serving



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