How many calories should I eat to gain muscle?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How many calories should I eat to gain muscle?”. We will also talk about what foods to eat to gain muscles and what foods to avoid.

How many calories should I eat to gain muscle?

Active men performing 60 minutes of workouts daily to gain muscles need around 2600 to 3200 calories per day. Active women performing 60 minutes of workouts daily to gain muscles need around 2000 to 2400 calories per day.

The calorie requirements are based on the current body weight and activity level. Calorie needs can also be calculated according to the height, weight, and activity of the person.

If a female is exercising and is working out to gain muscle gain, 18 calories from each pound of body weight are required to maintain a healthy body and weight.

Keeping a daily journal can help track your calorie intake to ensure that you are sticking to your calorie plan. The use of a nutrition facts table to track the calories is a smart way of keeping on top of the muscle-gaining game.

The calorie count using the body weight is a very convenient and fairly accurate way of estimating calorie count.

What to eat to gain calories for muscle gain?

A careful combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fluids should be added to a meal. Here we will discuss further the types of food you need to eat to get the optimum result for calorie gain for building muscle.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are low in calories but high in fibre, antioxidants, minerals, and necessary minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables have water content which helps in replenishing the fluid content in the body.

They also boost weight loss and fat burning which makes them an important addition to the muscle gain diet.

Whole grains

Whole grains are full of fibre which helps in weight loss, digestion, and maintaining blood sugar levels. Whole grains are also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are necessary for the recovery and building of cells and tissues damaged during workouts.

Whole grains such as barley, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats should be added to the diet for workouts.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds like pistachios, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds are a vital addition to the diet as they are packed with necessary fibre, protein, and healthy fats.


Legumes are a source of protein, fibre, Vitamin B, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium which are necessary for the improvements in the body composition and reductions in belly fat which is needed for getting perfect abs.

Some examples of legumes are lentils, broad beans, peas, kidney beans, mung beans, cannellini beans, etc. 


Consuming fish that are high in fat content like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines is essential since they are packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids and protein which play a key role in heart health, brain function, inflammation, and weight control.


Replacing the fluid loss due to sweating and heavy breathing during exercise is necessary. For rehydration, drinking water is the best thing to do. Drinking electrolytes or coconut water or smoothies will also aid in reviving the fluid content of your body.

What are the foods to avoid to gain muscle?

As working out is a hard job, a proper diet with good foods needs to be consumed. There are a few types of food that need to be completely avoided as they do no good for workouts. Here are a few foods that should be cut out.

Sugary drinks and snacks

Sodas, fruit juices, cookies, candies, cakes, and sports drinks are all full of high calories. These food items should be completely avoided as they are responsible for weight gain and increase body fat.


Excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks should be avoided as it does not do good to your health or the body. Drinking alcohol makes you want to snack on unhealthy fat-rich fried foods and nuts which will aid in increasing body fat.

Fatty fried foods

Fried foods are not only packed with lots of calories but also contain trans fats which are a major contributor to weight gain and increased body fat.

Trans fat is produced by hydrogenation, a process that allows oils to remain solid at room temperature.

Fatty fried foods like french fries, onion rings, cheese sticks, chicken nuggets, fish and chips, and chicken strips should be completely avoided during workouts.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How many calories should I eat to gain muscle?”. We also talked about what foods to eat to gain muscles and what foods to avoid.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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