Everyone should know about “How many calories do I need to gain weight“. It’s a question you don’t hear that much in our modern generation. Unlike the generations before (the last 2-3 generations), this question never comes up much while talking about measuring our eating habits: How many calories do I need to gain weight?
People in the past, generally speaking, from the 1970s and beyond, usually don’t hear the question: How many calories do I eat to lose weight? People those days didn’t have a surplus of nutrition.
If you are struggling with either one of these questions, you have to reflect on whether or not you are counting your calorie or whether the types of food you consume on a daily basis are right for your goals.
How many calories do I need to gain weight?
For people needing to gain weight, a caloric surplus is all you need and if you think that it’s impossible for you to gain weight even though you eat a lot, the answer is usually by measuring your caloric intake and you’ll be surprised to see that you’re getting insufficient calories throughout the day and that is the root cause of it all.
For the people needing to lose some extra weight, a caloric deficit diet will do the trick followed by some basic exercises.
The type of food should be taken into account, people today are eating calorie-dense foods, and the reason why can be chalked up to the growth of capitalism.
Let’s face it, fast food is cheap, ‘cheap’ bring in gains, money, and anatomy, but it’s never recommended for you when answering the questions: How many calories do I eat to lose weight?
In fact, eating greasy, fatty, processed sugar or even overly processed food products is strongly not recommended, even though it’s the common types of food used for getting calories to gain weight fast, they usually come at a cost, to your gastrointestinal health as well as your overall health.
These types of food are easily available, no one can walk a mile without seeing or smelling some deep-fried, savory goodness or glazed up pastries, and all the healthy foods you come across are always followed by tags, such as Veggies recommended, calorie intake to lose weight; tasty health foods for weight loss; or dieting foods.
But eating the right amount of calories of the right food can do wonders for your weight gain.
It is highly recommended to follow the method for getting calories to gain weight fast by age groups and also some other parameters. From a child to adolescent, to young adults, adults, and ultimately the age where the body’s basal metabolism slows down.
With all that being said, understanding one’s own reaction to food needs to be considered. A doctor’s consultation is of chief importance. All the information provided here is based on estimates, so adjust to your own needs appropriately.
How many calories should I eat a day by age?
Let’s dissect this question by using stages that show the recommended amounts based on how old the person is:
- Ages 4-13: The age identified by rapid growth, it’s not surprising that the range in calories is the broadest in this stage, from 1,200-2,600 calories per day. Now, for a person in this age group, where you fall on the spectrum depends on a few factors, most important of them are physical activities and gender. For someone who is not that physically active, the amount of calories needed per day is somewhere around the lower end of the range, while the active person is on the upper end. For boys, it is usually 1,200 calories for a sedentary lifestyle and below 2,600 for an active lifestyle. The consumption amount eventually increases with age. And for girls, the non-active individual’s caloric intake is usually the same as boys, usually at 1,200 calories per day and for active individuals, the limit can go up to 2,100 calories per day.
- Ages 14-20: This age group marks the stage of the adolescent youth undergoing physical changes that comes under the process of puberty and therefore, they require more calories, about 1,900-3,200 calories per day. These changes require the individuals to substantially increase their calorie count to meet the ever-increasing changes happening at this period of time. For boys, starting to develop muscular growth, the amount of nutrition needed by the body requires them to increase their food intake by quite a factor, mostly this is in the form of proteins. Non-active individuals need about 2,000 calories per day whereas active boys need about 2,800 to 3,200 calories per day. For females, the increase isn’t as large as their male counterparts, so for non-active individuals, the caloric intake is about 1,900 calories per day and for active girls, the intake is about 2,200-2,400 calories per day.
- Ages 21-35: Individuals in this group are the healthy young adults that generally require maintenance above all else. 1,900-3,000 calories per day are the general estimate for this age group. Caloric balance is essential for maintaining a healthy body size in this group, while it is not as difficult to regulate the weight of the individual, it is certainly very beneficial. Males caloric intake tends to range from 2,400-3,000 calories per day. The size of the male plays a significant role in determining the number of calories needed. Females tend to remain the same size from the onset of puberty towards their adult years, and generally speaking, the size of the average woman isn’t as diverse as compared to their male counterparts. So, the range in calories needed to maintain their levels is somewhere around 1,900-2,300 calories per day.
- Ages 36-50: Bodies are not meant to last, and it’s very evident at this stage in life. The metabolic process starts slowing down as age progresses further and it is most noticeable at this age. The range is 1,800-2,800 calories per day, as the ability of the body to break down food decreases, the number of calories an individual needs should also go down, proportional. Men usually take about 2,200- 2,800 calories per day, as exercises can still play a vital role in slowing down the aging of muscles and internal organs, the active individuals are still able to take in a substantial amount of calories. Women tend to need about 1,800-2,000 calories per day.
- Ages 50 and up: With the loss of muscle mass, decreased physical activity, and aging organ, the average human being, at this stage in life, doesn’t require that many calories throughout the day. Physiotherapy can help in getting the body active enough to need more calories and keep the metabolism from deteriorating too quickly. The average individual has an estimated caloric intake of about 1,600-2,400 calories per day. Men, as usual, require more at 2,200-2,400 calories per day and women at 1,600-2,000 calories per day.
There is more information that needs to be understood about calculating the number of calories a person needs for weight gain or weight loss purposes. Many factors come into play and the significance of their roles can sometimes differ from person to person.
Along with the ones already mentioned above (age, sex, and level pf physically activities), these additional factors include (but are not limited to):
- Height: This one is easy to understand, a taller person requires more calories to gain weight because of the larger body proportions. More body mass means you need more amounts of food as compared to a shorter person who needs lesser calories to gain weight.
- Body frame: Apart from height, the width of a person can also determine the difference in caloric needs. The frame of a person depends on bone structure, muscle, and fat proportions. Even if two individuals of the same height eat the same amount of calories per day, the one with the larger proportion of muscles compared to fat will burn more calories and therefore require more calories per day.
- Genetics: Factors such as the Resting Metabolic Rate– which is the calories burned during rest or sleep and the Thermic Effect of Food– the number of calories needed to be burned to digest food, are important in determining the caloric intake of an individual. People are born into different basal metabolic rates, which means that they inherited factors from their parents that are not controllable, these initial metabolic rates are what they started with and what they have to work with.
Doctors play a critical role in determining your desired caloric intake. Along with doctors, other professionals such as dietitians can also be consulted.
Since every individual is different from the next, tests performed by doctors are vital in determining the sets of factors innate to an individual.
After the test, the doctor can recommend the most appropriate diet plan as well as the appropriate physical activity.
- Doctors will tell you that gaining weight from acquiring more muscle mass is a better deal than packing on weight by increasing your fat percentage. It is healthier and more satisfactory to the individual.
- Doctors will tell you that building a caloric surplus diet, with the goal of gaining weight, goes hand in hand with a proper exercise routine. Along with helping the individual gain weight faster, it is a safer direction to take than just eating extra calories.
- The doctor will also recommend the foods needed for the diet of the individual. The food suggestions come after completing the appropriate test needed and information about the individual’s history with certain foods. Protein-rich foods such as white meat, milk, eggs, nuts, legumes, and some green vegetables are commonly suggested for gaining healthy weight.
- Suggestions about the supplements that can be incorporated into the diet of the individual can be given. The particular supplements are incorporated by considering the individual’s medical history and conditions. Protein shakes like Whey protein powder and Creatine powder are popular supplements used for gaining muscle mass as well as gaining weight. Depending on the test done to determine the deficiency of mineral and electrolyte in the body, and supplements that can accompany intensive physical activity, certain supplements that can be prescribed are Magnesium supplements, Calcium supplements, Vitamin D, Omega 3 fatty acid, Vitamin B12, Iron supplements, Zinc supplements, Vitamin C and many more.
- The Body Metabolic Rate of the individual is also taken into account. This rate can also be performed at home using ‘Body Metabolic Rate Calculator’ or ‘BMR calculator’ which can be found on google or by using apps.
- Certain defects can also have a hand in the metabolic rate of a person. The defects like thyroid defect can increase or decrease the metabolic rate of an individual abnormally. A doctor can check your thyroid by performing a test to determine your thyroid function after such a test appropriate treatment can commence.
For the person searching about the caloric intake to lose weight or the calories to gain weight fast, in summary, age cannot be overlooked, along with some other important factors, all of which have been categorized in the above article.
Another important detail mentioned above is the need for a doctor consultant or even a dietician, a professional can save you a lot of trouble and time.
At the end of the day, gaining knowledge about the caloric intake of the body and all the factors that dictate the number of calories that the body needs, will guide you to success in your journey.
- Can eating more than usual be good for gaining weight?
Ans. Eating more than you would normally eat can help with your weight gaining process but it is advisable to incorporate healthy caloric dense foods along with the physical activity.
- What are the exercises for gaining weight?
Ans. Hypertrophic exercises are the best for giving you mass as well as improving your physique. Strength training exercises are considered to be the fastest route in helping an individual gain weight, although they come with the risk of higher injury rate compared to hypertrophic exercises.
- Can I get the calories without eating too much food?
Ans. Certainly, people often drink a lot of dense caloric drinks that are packed with essential nutrients without having to eat solid foods. Drinks like protein shakes, milk, and vegetable and fruit smoothie.
- Can eating too much food be dangerous?
Ans. There is a very real risk of upsetting your stomach and the gastrointestinal tract but consuming too much food. Regularly eating too much can cause problems like a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburns
- Can certain foods cause me to burn a lot of calories?
Ans. Yes, certain foods like green tea and lemon are used for dieting purposes, to help with weight loss.
- Is sugar a good source of calories?
Ans. Sugar is very rich in calories but can also lead you to develop many health problems like diabetes.
How many calories do I need to gain weight – Tutorial
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