Calories for Muscle Building

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Daily calories to build muscle: An in-depth guide

For anybody who happens to be trying to build muscle, and perhaps burn fat at the same time, you'll know right off the bat that the easy part, relatively speaking of course, is actually working out and training in the gym. The harder and much more difficult part comes in the form of diet and nutrition. It's been said time and time again that bodybuilding and building muscle in general, is considered a combination of around 30% training, and 70% diet and nutrition, so if you aren't willing, or able, to take your diet seriously, you may as well throw in the towel and save your time. Sure, by training in the gym, you will look a little better, but why would you want to just look a little better, when you could look a lot better by just changing your diet and nutrition? In regards to building muscle, the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis will play a vital role in your gains, which is why we'll be looking at daily calories to build muscle right now. Not only will we be looking at roughly how many you need, and why, we'll be looking at where they should and should not come from in the process. so, without any further hesitation, here's an in-depth guide on daily calories to build muscle.

How many calories do you need? – Wouldn't it be easy if we could say that “in order to build muscle, you need approximately 2000 calories per day”, or another straightforward answer like that? Well, sadly, we can't, because like all things in life, nothing is quite as simple or as straightforward as that. In order for anybody to build muscle, they will need to be consuming more calories than their bodies are able to burn off, which means consuming more calories than would be required for maintenance alone. Remember, the key here is to BUILD muscle, and in order for the body to do that, it needs the right nutrients and the right amounts of energy in the process. As for how much you need, however, well, that's a whole different matter entirely. For example, a 170 pound man would require far less calories per day, at maintenance, than a 250 pound man. Therefore, a 170 pound man may require, 1800 calories, whereas the 250 pound man may require 2300. You can easily work out how many calories you require for maintenance, by taking a quick look online and using a specially designed calculator. These calculators will take your age, gender, height, weight, and activity levels, and then give you with a pretty accurate number. Once you know your maintenance levels, it's time to work out how many more calories per day you require.

How many more calories above maintenance should you have? – A lot of people use the fact that they're “bulking up” as an excuse to binge eat and consume vast quantities of junk food. In reality, however, you need to make sure that you're consuming just the right amount of calories so that you keep body fat and water retention levels under control, whilst still giving your body what it needs for new muscle growth. In terms of daily calories to build muscle, ideally you should aim for around 300 – 500 calories more than you require each day. So, if your maintenance levels were 2000 calories a day, you should ideally be consuming 2300 – 2500 calories per day. This will lead to slow and steady muscle growth, without having to worry about body fat levels creeping up too quickly.

Where should these calories come from? – Lately, there's a lot of talk online about “flexible dieting” so we'll pause for a moment and take a quick look at this. Many “coaches” and “trainers” will tell you that you can eat whatever you like each day, and still burn fat and build muscle and get shredded, providing it fits into your daily macronutrient requirements. Now, whilst this is indeed true, this is not a healthy way to live. Flexible dieting, as they call it, encourages people to eat unhealthy junk foods, just making sure that they track their macros and eat at maintenance, or slightly under in order to lose weight. In order to grow and be healthy, you need to consume foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that actually promote general health and well-being. As you're trying to build muscle, your daily macronutrients should look something like this: 20% fat 35% carbohydrates, and 45% protein. Your fats should be clean fats, including: oily fish, avocados, coconut oils, organic nuts, olive oil etc. Your carbs should come from mainly complex sources such as: rice, potatoes, pasta, whole grain bread, oats, etc, and your proteins should also be clean and natural sources, which come from foods such as: chicken, turkey, lean steak, organic eggs, fish, seafood, and protein supplements. On top of that, you should also make sure that you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with plenty of fresh water.

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