Health Tips

Calorie Surplus: What Is It?

A calorie surplus is an excess of calories we consume than the calories we burn in our normal routine. As for calorie consumption increases, there is an obvious increase in the body mass index of a person. Body mass index is important to maintain a proper physique and healthy lifestyle.

For any person who is trying to lose weight, there must be a strong check and balance on the number of calories consumed. The calorie count is important in weight maintenance and weight loss.

In addition, it is also important if you are trying to gain muscle mass or weight. For gaining weight, you require a calorie surplus or more calories.

Calorie surplus to build muscle:

Weight loss is a common problem among obese people. Besides this, many gym-goers are interested in gaining weight to build their muscles.

Clean bulking helps build muscle for athletes and fitness experts. In addition, it provides favorable results rather than just gaining fat only.

What is Clean bulking?

Clean bulking is a sustained calorie surplus with proper resistance training to build muscles and increase strength. It helps gain weight in the form of muscles and fat. But the most desirable result is muscle buildup rather than fat deposition.

It is an excess amount you are consuming to build muscle. Resistance exercises help to regulate the calorie surplus in the best manner to increase effective results.

Calorie surplus to build muscles contains processed whole food. These high-calorie foods are used with proper maintenance to achieve a lean body shape.

This process is quite slow to gain weight. That’s why this clean bulking approach is not useful for everyone.

Calorie surplus to gain muscle:

Muscle gain is actually to increase muscle strength. Muscle buildup is an increase in muscle volume because of muscle hypertrophy. Muscle gain requires different levels of calorie surplus and different training exercises.

A dirty bulk is extremely beneficial for gaining muscle and strength rapidly. There may be some undesirable effects of dirty bulking, including fat gain, sluggishness, high cholesterol, and sugar levels.

Calorie surplus diet

The diet contains more calories than the calories we usually burn. It is highly beneficial for gaining muscles and strength. Calorie requirements depend on several things that are important to consider. These factors are as follows:


At rest, women burn 5 to 10% fewer calories than men of the same height.


As the height increases, you need more calories to sustain your weight within a normal limit.

Chronological age:

As age increases, the number of calories you burn at rest decreases.

Physical activities:

Physical activities increase the demand for calories to maintain proper weight.

There are different calorie surplus diet plans for clean bulking and dirty bulking. Both have different impacts on the person’s weight gain. Let us have a clear look at the calorie surplus diet.

Calorie surplus diet for clean bulking:

Clean bulking with proper training exercises helps to build muscle with proper lean body shape. These are the diet ingredients to follow for clean bulking.

  • Lean proteins that include fish, chicken, beef, yogurt, egg whites, eggs, protein powders, and lower fat cheese
  • Healthy fat content that is unsaturated fats and includes olive oil, avocado, nuts, and fatty fish
  • Legumes include beans, chickpeas, and all kinds of beans that are a source of protein and beneficial carbs.
  • High-quality carbs include grain pasta, oats, sweet potatoes, and rice.
  • Fruits
  • Non-starch vegetables
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Beverages including diet soda, water, tea, and coffee

Calorie surplus diet for dirty bulking:

There are no such hard and fast things to avoid in dirty bulking. In addition, you can eat enough to bulk your bellies to gain muscles and weight. These are some of the diet plans to consider.

  • High protein foods
  • Protein powder or shakes
  • Mass gain powders
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • High carbs
  • Baked and fried products
  • Whole eggs
  • Fast foods
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Avocados

How to eat in a calorie surplus?

A calorie surplus diet is important to gain weight and muscles. But there is a problem. Some people feel it is difficult to eat the diet because of less appetite.

Clean or dirty bulking with less appetite is a challenging diet modification for weight gainers. There are some ways that can help you to increase appetite and behavioral modifications to provide the best effective results.

  • Eat frequently, not all food at the same time
  • Less cardio to help you gain weight
  • Liquid calorie surplus diet
  • High calories protein shakes to increase muscle buildup
  • Increase your calorie surplus diet slowly every week
  • Don’t consume fibrous or fatty foods.
  • Have simple carb products
  • Wake up early and have some food to eat
  • Eat a healthy breakfast two times with a little bit of gap
  • Try to eat more
  • Don’t leave the routine. Stay consistent.
  • Try to lift weights frequently.

Calorie surplus for a lean bulk:

It is helpful to gain weight. But there must be a proper check on the daily calorie surplus diet. An excessive or less calorie surplus diet may not help you provide your desired results. There must be a proper borderline for the intake of calories to gain muscles.

It is suggested that a conventional excess of 300-500 calories per day is essential to build muscles and gain weight. In addition, it will also prevent excessive fat gain. Moreover, this range follows the clean bulking that tends to be a safe side.

For dirty bulking, usually more than 500 calories per day are effective to gain weight. In this way, this can also increase fat gain other than muscle gain.

How to calculate it?

Calories are the unit of measurement for energy. The most common method is to check your weight in the early morning. Try recording everything you eat in a week. In addition, weigh yourself every morning of that week. And see the results at the end of the week. Either you gain weight or not.

Several weight gain calculators will help you to estimate how much weight you will gain every week. In addition, you can use several bulking calculators to estimate the proper weight gain according to your height and gender.

Check Also: Lean Body Mass calculator

What are the benefits of it?

Calorie surplus can help you to gain weight and achieve a lean body shape. There are some potential benefits of clean bulking and dirty bulking. Let us have a detailed look at the benefits of these calorie surplus diets.

Clean bulking benefits:

  • Clean bulking is the intake of a calorie surplus diet with proper resistance exercises. This will help you to limit excess fat gain with proper muscle buildup. Exercises will help you to consume extra fat deposits.
  • Clean bulking can prevent you from different negative health effects including increased blood sugar and cholesterol. In this way, clean bulking balances an optimized calorie surplus without causing any harmful effects.
  • Clean bulking includes whole foods. These foods are higher in vitamins, protein, and minerals that are helpful to maintain an excellent nutritional status.

Potential benefits of dirty bulking:

  • Dirty bulking ensures an increased calorie surplus diet to gain weight. Dirty bulking offers a rapid increase in weight gain than the other bulking methods. Therefore, it is helpful for people who find it difficult to gain weight.
  • Dirty bulking can be used to promote strength and muscle gain. For muscle gain, it is essential to have more than 10-20% additional calorie surplus diet. Dirty bulking exceeds this range and is also helpful in rapid muscle gain.

What are the drawbacks of calorie surplus?

There are also some drawbacks of a calorie surplus diet that can hinder your healthy lifestyle.


Clean bulking includes some rigid diet plans to build muscles. It is difficult to be consistent throughout to build muscles. Some people are not flexible enough to continue a calorie surplus diet for the long term.

Health effects:

Dirty bulking can increase several blood markers of chronic diseases. In addition, dirty bulking increases fat gain that can be a cause of several diseases. Dirty bulking can increase blood sugar and cholesterol levels. These levels are harmful to human health.


Dirty bulking or high-calorie foods contain a large amount of sugar and sodium. These foods can lead to water retention and may affect sugar levels. These ingredients may induce a feeling of laziness after following dirty bulking. Simple carbs tend to have increased fatigue and anxiety.


A calorie surplus is an increased consumption of the calories than the normal calories we burn daily. It is important to lose or gain weight. There is a need to maintain a proper balance between calorie surplus and calorie deficit to lose or gain weight.

For weight gain, you usually need to increase calorie surplus for maintaining a proper lean body with optimum weight.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What is a slight calorie surplus?

A slight calorie surplus is an intake of lower minimum levels of a calorie surplus to gain weight. It is helpful to gain weight with a proper lean body shape.

How long is it necessary to maintain a calorie surplus?

It is essential to maintain a calorie surplus diet for about a proper time of 4-6 months to achieve desired results of weight gain.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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