At the moment I’m working to increase my muscle mass as efficiently as possible. What that means is that I have to be in a calorie surplus to make sure that I’m well fuelled to train intensely as well as recover fully between each workout. In the bodybuilding community, this is known as ‘bulking’. There are two kinds of bulking diets. Dirty bulking and clean bulking. In your typical dirty bulk, you’d simply eat as much of anything and everything you can get your hands on so long as it pushes you in to that caloric surplus; whilst on a clean bulk you’d eat much of the same foods as you would when dieting but in greater quantity.
Setting the Baseline
I tend to always have an idea of how much I’m getting, whether I’m maintaining weight or cutting so when I move over to a bulking diet, It’s just a case of me gradually increasing my calories to where I want them. Before trying to work out calorie requirements, it’s important to know that Carbohydrates and Proteins are each valued at four calories per gram, whilst Fats are valued at 9 calories per gram.
When bulking I usually aim for 17 calories per pound of body weight. At my current weight of 235lbs (107kg) that’s approximately 4000 calories per day. From this I’ll look to take on 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight, which equates to approx 280g (1130 calories) protein at my current weight. From carbohydrates I’ll take on 2.4g per pound of body weight, which in this case equates to 564g carbs (2260 calories). Now that I have my protein and carbohydrate figures, I simply subtract those from the total requirement to get my fat figure of 67g (610 calories).
Tracking My Macros
Once I’ve got my figures for proteins, carbs and fats, I throw these numbers in to my Macronutrient Calculator that I made. I can then add my food choices and track the figures with relative ease.
I put these figures together myself after using some of the other methods that are widely available. It’s okay to use any method to get your set point but you should remember that calorie set points aren’t an exact science. My body will respond differently to yours and yours will respond differently to the next person’s. It’s good practice to keep an eye on the scale to make sure you’re not gaining more than 0.5lbs a week.
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