How many calories should I eat to gain weight?

In this brief guide, we will address the query ‘how many calories should I eat to gain weight?’. We will also talk about how you can consume 3000 calories and what you should eat to gain weight. We will further discuss if you can take hypercaloric supplements to help with this objective.

How many calories should I eat to gain weight?

You may eat up to 1000 calories more than you burn each day to gain weight, but this value can vary. 

To gain weight, it’s simple math: you must eat more calories than you burn.

In fact, to make sure you are consuming the calories you need to start gaining weight, the best thing for you to do is to look for a nutritionist and calculate how many you will need on a daily basis.

The average calories intake for adult humans is around 2000 cal, but this is not exactly valid for everyone. Gender affects the quantity needed as much as height, health condition, age and level of activity.

For example, Olympic athletes eat around 3000-4000 calories a day, because they spend lots of energy. A sedentary person wouldn’t need all of that. 

On the other hand, children from 4 to 8 years need an intake of 1200-1400 calories a day, and from 9 to 13 years they would need around 1600-1800 cal.

People – from children to adults – who suffer from eating disorders, obesity, or other health problems related to weight, may need different quantities of calories to gain or lose it. That’s why you should always search for a specialist before going on a diet.

How can I consume 3000 calories in a day?

You can consume 3000 calories by eating three meals plus two snacks a day, in general. Remember: to gain weight healthily, you must balance what you eat, so you can take the calories you need without craving for fast foods and just snacks.

There are several menus and tips available on the internet telling you what you can eat to reach 3000 calories. Of course, these tips are not necessarily made for everyone, so you need to search for one who fits you.

For a woman of 25 years, weights 176 lbs and it’s 5.7 feet tall, a good option on how to get 3000 calories a day would be:

Breakfast (689 cal)

One serving of Hawaiian Pineapple scrambled eggs + one cup of strawberries;

Lunch (760 cal)

Two servings of Corn Tuna Salad + Two servings of rice cake with cheese snacks;

Dinner (858 cal)

Breakfast burrito + spinach with shallots.


Eat grapes and cheese slices

You can find recipes and more menu options for eating 3000 calories here!

What should I eat to gain weight?

You should eat proteins, carbohydrates and fat normally, but eat frequently and in small meals, also check if what you’re eating has the calories you need to overcome the calories you burn.

Make sure your diet is healthy! Don’t dive into fried and fast foods, this will make you gain weight, but mostly in the form of accumulated fat and bad cholesterol. 

Some examples of what you can eat that is highly caloric and still healthy are:

  • Pasta;
  • Dried fruits;
  • Avocados (you can add them to sandwiches and salads);
  • Nuts and seeds like Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.;
  • Granola;
  • Protein bars;
  • Bagels and other white breads;

Can I take hypercaloric supplements to gain weight?

Yes, you may take hypercaloric supplements (or gainers, as they are called) to gain weight. But they are not worth it alone, you must take them with solid and healthy food.

Normally, people with very low weight search for gainers to get some help with the gaining weight process. If used correctly, they can be very effective.

The problem with gainers is that for people who have trouble gaining weight, the gainer can be illusory. You will take the supplement and after you have gained the kilos you wanted, you will stop taking it. 

If you don’t replace the calories you were consuming from the gainer with solid food, your body will lose weight again and you will be back to where you started.

So the best path – if you want to take hypercaloric supplements – is to align it with your foods and, after you stop taking them (because you will stop eventually), continue to eat the extra calories.

You should also do exercises and be active when you are trying to gain weight. A sedentary lifestyle can make you accumulate fat, because your body won’t have much to do with that many carbs you’re eating. 

Find the proper activity to help you gain the kilos you want along with your new diet!


In this brief guide, we addressed the query ‘how many calories should I eat to gain weight?’. We also talked about how you can consume 3000 calories and what you should eat to gain weight. We then discussed if you can take hypercaloric supplements to help with this objective.


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