The reality of our lives is that celebrities have made even the most confident people a tad bit conscious of their body’s appearances. For some, it can be a good thing, while for others, it can be an obsession. There is really nothing wrong with wanting to look good. What is unhealthy is when these desires turn into illogical passions as well as when eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are developed. Same goes if there is an obsession with surgical augmentations. Why not ask, “How many calories should I eat to gain lean muscle?” instead of torturing yourself?

Anyone who is serious about muscle growth and have a leaner body or who has a sculptured body with well-defined muscles will tell you that their calorie intake is very important to them. The best advice any such person could give you is to tell you that you should conduct your own research to determine your own calorie intake as one body differs from another. As such, the required amount of calories will differ. You should also not just jump into taking protein supplements. Rather, be cognizant that everything you consume can be measured according to calories.

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Gain Lean Muscles?

There are seemingly a number of ways to calculate the required calorie intake needed to gain lean muscles. The usual determinants, though, is the weight of the individual and the activities she or he does.

According to some experts, the ideal and simplest way to determine how much calories you need per day is to calculate it using your body weight. It may seem like the most obvious place to start, but it is recommended that you multiply your body weight by at least fifteen calories or a maximum of seventeen calories. So, a person weighing one hundred pounds will need to have a daily intake of 1500 to 1700 calories per day. However, if you try this method for a couple of weeks but you do not experience any visible results, consider increasing your calorie intake by ten percent.

The key to a calorie weight gain is to eat more calories than your body burns. So, for persons who lead active lifestyles, it may be necessary to start your calorie diet with 110% to 130% increase in your diet. That is because, to gain muscle, you will need to burn fat to minimize their gains while maximizing muscle.

How Can You Achieve the Required Calorie Intake?

Now that you have identified the answer to the question “How many calories should I eat to gain lean muscle?”, the next thing you need to figure out is how you would achieve it. The main reason is that, despite increasing your calorie intake, you will also need to ensure that you get your calories from the relevant food groups. As such, below, we have provided a guide for you.

Meal Planning

It is important that you get the right proportion of food from each food group because, obviously, it is impossible to get all the calories you need in one meal. Some individuals would need to eat up to six meals daily to get their required calorie intake, and this does not include meals that are consumed pre and post-workout. This can be a bit stressful, so meal planning should be at the forefront of your mind when you are considering gaining lean muscle.

  • Protein

Ideally, it is recommended that you eat one gram of protein for each pound you weigh. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should consume 100 grams of protein. Depending on your weight goals, you may choose to increase it to 1.5 or two grams per pound of your body weight. If you take too much protein, your body is most likely store the excess as fat or allow you to excrete it.

  • Carbohydrate and Fat

Whether you consume more carbohydrate than fat or vice versa, will depend on how you react to the intake. If you feel tired after having carbs, then you should eat more fat-rich food than the ones loaded with carbohydrate. If you do not feel tired after consuming it, then you can have more carbohydrates than fats in your diet.

As rule of the thumb, it is advised that your carbohydrate intake should be equivalent to 100 grams and your fat intake should be 15% of this. Ideally, your ratio should be 30:30:40. Meaning that 30% of your intake will be proteins and carbohydrates, while 40% is fat.

Time of the Day

It is always recommended that you start your day with a meal rich in protein so that you can get proteins to your muscles fast. This is why a lot of people consume protein shakes first thing in the morning. On the other hand, your carbohydrate and fat intake should be in the simplest form. So, you can consume a tablespoon of peanut butter and a fruit to get you going. In the afternoon, your protein levels should be maintained, but it is important to feed your body its necessary nutrients. At night time, you should have a simple meal; hence, seek out food that builds muscle but takes longer to digest.

Did You Gain Lean Muscle or Fat?

Now that you know how to calculate and adjust your calorie intake, you should also learn how to identify whether you gained lean muscle or not. Weight gain is one of the ways to determine whether you have gained muscle or not. However, you should keep in mind that not all gain weight is healthy or related to muscle gain. With that said, a healthy gain rate for men is two pounds in a month, whereas for women, it is one pound per month.

If your weight gain seems a bit faster than this, then your calorie intake is not necessarily healthy and what you are gaining is actually fat. Hence, you need to reduce your fat intake and increase your protein consumption. Likewise, you should measure your weight each week.


While you may stick to the calorie intake that is recommended and ideal for your body weight, it is important to know that not all calories you take are healthy. To test whether or not you are eating right, you can look at three factors. These include examining whether or not you are gaining or losing at the appropriate rate and whether or not you have maintained the same weight. Depending on the answer you get, you may need to adjust your calorie intake.

It may actually take some months before you actually get it right in terms of meal preparations and what food you should and should not eat. However, you should not be disheartened. It is also recommended that you seek expert advice or conduct your own research for the best results.