Weight Gain Calculator – How Many Calories To Eat To Get Big?


Use our weight gain calculator to find out how many calories you need to gain weight and pack on some mass. You will also find out how many grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat you need to add extra weight to your physique. If you want to gain weight, you absolutely have to consume more calories than you burn. Remember, you need to eat big to get big. One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories, so eating an extra 500 calories per day will cause you to gain one pound per week. Along with increasing your calories to gain weight, you should also increase your level of exercise in order to increase lean muscle mass.

Age:  Years

Current weight: 
Height:  Feet   Inches
Activity:  Based on 3 weight training sessions per week and little or no cardio
Meals per day:  Five    
Calorie booster*: 
  * Required only if you are naturally very lean and have a hard time putting on any weight.

*Saturated fats should make up only 1/3 of this amount.


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    This site made it extremely easy to understand and there was no headaches like most sites. I have always had tremendous trouble gaining weight so I will be putting these results to the test. Thanks for your help!

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    I like what I’m seeing. 2,475 in calorie intake is not bad. I thought it would be more to gain a pound for me. Thanks for the advice 🙂

    • shapefit

      Hi Jabbar – Yes, one of the best high calorie foods that you can take with you anywhere are nuts! You can easily pack them in a small bag and they contain lots of healthy fats and a bunch of calories. By snacking on walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts in between your regular meals, you will be able to easily add 500 to 1,000 calories to your daily intake.

    • shapefit

      Hi Ankit – You can use the calculator on this page to find out the specific details. If you consume an excess of 500 calories per day then this will equal 1 pound per week (4 pounds per month).

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    paras gangwar on

    I want to gain weight. I am 19 years old and my height is 5 foot 11 inches and my weight is 50kg. How many calories should I eat daily? What type of foods are full of calories and easy to eat? I know gaining weight is a slow and long process. Can you help me?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Paras – Our weight gain calculator says you need 2,520 calories per day based on your stats. Focus on eating healthy fats like nuts which are very easy to carry with you during the day to snack on. A few handfuls of nuts in between your regular meals can add up to a lot of extra calories each day. Along with healthy fats, make sure your protein intake is high. Try carrying around a shaker bottle with you and add add your favorite whey protein powder along with some 4% milk to your shake. You can get a huge protein boost by drinking 2-3 of these shakes during the day.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Angela – You’re better off going with a whey protein powder along with some healthy fats like almond butter or all-natural peanut butter (no sugar added). You can make a quick and delicious smoothie with lots of clean calories and muscle building protein.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Max – You will need to choose the “Calorie Booster” option in order to add the additional 500 calories to your daily total. Without the calorie booster box checked, it will provide your daily intake based on an activity level of “Very Active”.

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        ShapeFit could you tell me what EXACTLY the “Calorie Booster” is? I am diabetic and keep losing weight and I want to gain 20 pounds to be at my pre-diabetes weight of 175 pounds. The calculator states: Daily Calorie Intake (3,103), Carbs (374 grams per day), Protein (169 grams per day), Fats (103 grams per day).

        • ShapeFit

          Hi David – The calorie booster simply adds about 500 calories to your total and adjusts your macronutrients to the new number. It’s probably best to start out with the base number and stick with it for 4-6 weeks before upping the calories. Since you’re a diabetic, always consult with your doctor before starting any nutritional plan just to be on the safe side.

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    I am a 5 foot female and I’ve been consuming at least 2,600 calories a day and there has been no difference in my weight. Why is that?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Lucy – This could be due to a number of reasons like your metabolism and overall genetics. If you have a naturally lean physique (ectomorph body type) then you might need to consume even more calories to gain weight. It could also be your current fitness routine and overall exercise output. If you perform a lot of cardio, you might try cutting back for a few months to see if you start gaining.

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    I’m a female who is 20 years old, 5’11” tall and weigh 119 pounds. I need help gaining weight. What is the best type of protein to use?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Teanna – A few high quality whey protein powders on the market include Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey and AllMax IsoFlex whey protein. They are both packed with quality muscle building protein and taste delicious.

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    I’m 17 years old, 5’10” and weigh about 86 kg (190 pounds). I’m currently undergoing a bulking diet in which I need to consume 4,000 calories per day, which I’m easily exceeding. I’m gaining about 1 kg (2 pounds) per week. I feel this isn’t enough! Have any tips?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Cameron – A weight gain of 2 pounds per week is very good and you probably don’t want to exceed that amount since you might start packing on body fat. Be patient and keep eating a lot and lifting hard. Gaining 8 pounds per month equals 96 pounds per year which is a lot of weight!

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    Great info here! I’m 5’9″, 145 pounds and I eat around 2,700 calories a day. I lift 4-5 times a week but have such a hard time gaining weight because I’m naturally lean. I drink a shake as my breakfast because it’s fast calories when I’m rushed. Your calculator says I need 3,300 which seems like a lot. Should I just try to add more calories to my shake with nuts, etc?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Jeremy – Yes, it’s a great idea to add high fat items like raw nuts, peanut butter and almond butter to your shakes in the morning to quickly increase your calorie intake. If the calculator says you need 3,300 calories a day then try to shoot for that number. If you’re not growing and gaining weight at this level, then kick it up a notch and try to eat 4,000 calories per day. A great tip is to bring a big bag of nuts (walnuts, almonds) with you during the day and snack on them in between meals. You can easily add 300-500 calories per snack this way. Make sure you’re also eating nutrient dense whole food meals as well. Before bed, drink another high protein shake with 3-4 scoops of peanut butter and whole milk. That shake alone should contain about 1,000 calories. Along with your high calorie diet, make sure to include the right exercises in your workouts. Read our Best Mass Building Exercises article to learn more.

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    I am 31 years old and I’m 5’0″ and weigh 92 pounds. I want to gain 15 pounds in 2 months. How many calories do I need to consume per day?

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    I’m a female who is 21 years old and I’m 5’11” and weigh 45kg. I want to gain 5kg in a month. I have a problem trying to eat more. Can I reach my goal by drinking one shake a day which totals 600 calories (I drink it with my breakfast)? Or should I have 2 shakes a day (one in the morning and one at night) which would be 1,200 extra calories a day? I also lift 5 times a week.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Ayesha – You can drink shakes but eating nutrient dense whole foods will always be your best choice when it comes to gaining weight. Start with 1 shake a day and see how your weight goes over the course of 1-2 weeks. If you’re not gaining, increase it to 2 shakes a day for 3-4 weeks and see how you do.

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    I’m 18 years old, 4’10” and weigh 83 pounds but I’m not able to eat a full plate of food even if I’m very hungry. What would be the best thing for me to do so I can weigh at least 120 pounds?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Mary – If it’s difficult for you to eat normal food, you might try adding protein shakes to your daily meals. Choose a quality whey protein powder and add high fat items like peanut butter to your shakes to increase the calories.

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    My height 5’2″ and I weigh 105 pounds. I want nice abs and a nice butt. I used the calculator and I got 2,311 calories per day. It’s not easy for me to gain weight and build muscle since I have a fast metabolism. Should I eat more calories and how many pounds should I be gaining each week?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Jenna – Yes, you should increase your calories if you’re currently not gaining weight. Focus on a 1-2 pound weight gain per week and remember that along with eating more calories, you need to include weight training exercises with heavy weight and lower reps (6-8 reps per set) to build muscle mass.

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    I’m 70 years old, 6 feet tall and weigh 135 pounds. I was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) about 2 years ago. The doctors are concerned with my weight and want me to put on 10-20 pounds. I am finding that very difficult since I have only varied between 135 to 142 pounds. I can get to 142 pounds but will lose it all in a week’s time. Recently, I have discovered olive oil which contains 120 calories per tablespoon. I am drinking 10 Tbs 3 times a day (3,600 calories). As for nuts, I used to love them, but now I just don’t enjoy them or even peanut butter very much. Any suggestions or comments?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Don – In regards to different foods to get your body weight up, you might try drinking protein shakes. Syntha-6 by BSN is a delicious protein powder that contains around 200 calories per scoop. Add some coconut oil, almond butter and fruit to it for a calorie boost (600-800 calories per shake). You might also want to ask your doctors what they think about TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) for gaining weight and adding lean muscle to your physique along with how this type of therapy will react with your ALS.

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    I hope your week is going well so far! I’ve been having difficultly trying to figure out how much to eat because some websites are too complicated. Glad to find this one that is easier to use. I have a question for you, hopefully you can help. I am a 5’4″, 24-year-old female and I weigh 114 pounds. I have a straight “boyish” body frame. I workout 4-5 times a week with strength training using heavy weights. I work at a desk job. I am currently bulking to gain more muscle before I start cutting for summer. The calculator states to eat 2,210 calories. Should I click calorie booster to bulk or just simply add 500 calories to the 2,210 that was given to me from the calculator? Just want to clarify before going off the numbers. Right now I’m eating 1,658 calories (results of another website calculator) and I don’t think I have a problem gaining weight. Anyway, thank you SO much for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate your help!

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Mia – This calculator already adds the 500 calories to your daily calories, so you don’t need to click the “calorie booster” unless you want to add an additional 300 calories to your total calories per day which would equal a total of an 800 calorie surplus per day. I ran your stats using our Calories Per Day Calculator to get your baseline calories (using the “lightly active” activity level) and it came back at 1,711 calories per day. So this weight gain calculator automatically adds the 500 additional calories which correlates with the 2,210 calorie total you received. In regards to bulking, it’s a trial and error process that takes a lot of tweaking to get right, so don’t be too stringent on sticking with an exact number of calories. Adjust them up and down gradually and track your progress using the “mirror method”. If you start packing on body fat, cut back a little and if you’re not gaining quick enough, bump up your calories. Best of luck to you 🙂

      • Avatar

        Thank you SO much for the quick reply and thorough info! I have one more question: on my “off” days should I start around my 1,711 calories per day or still try and hit the 2,210? Like you said, I’ll be tracking my progress through the mirror and increasing/decreasing the calories that fit. But, what about off days when I’m not hitting the gym to rest?

        • ShapeFit

          Hi Mia – It really depends on whether you are gaining enough weight. You might want to cut your calories down to 1,711 on your off/rest days for the first 1-2 months and see how you do. If you’re still not gaining the size you want, try upping the calories to 2,210 on those non-training days. Even though you’re not working out, you are still recovering so your body needs those extra calories and nutrients to recover and grow.

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    I’m a 23 year old male and I’m 185cm tall. I have a slim body and hardly ever put on weight. I’m normally around 65-67kgs. I never eat breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal and I should start doing it. I love having 2 poached eggs on 2 pieces of toast for lunch with a bit of melted cheese almost every day. Is that good?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Liam – Yes, your lunch looks healthy but you really need to start eating a solid breakfast if you want to pack on weight and build muscle. Even if it’s just a protein shake, you need to focus on getting something into your body since it’s been fasting overnight and it’s screaming for nutrients and calories. In the morning, your body is in a very catabolic state (high cortisol levels), so it’s crucial that you “break the fast” and eat something as soon as you get up.

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    I’m 5’5″ and 19 years old. I want to gain 20-25 kg in 2 months. How many calories do I need every day? Are there any cheap ways to buy lots of healthy foods?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Abhik – You can use the calculator on this page to figure out how many calories you need to eat. Shoot for an additional 500-800 calories per day over your normal daily amount. If you start packing on body fat, cut your calories back. For cheap foods, look into farmer’s markets or bulk stores like Costco or Sam’s Club.

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    I currently weigh 60 kgs and I want to gain 20 kgs. If I consume 4,000 calories per day then how much time will it take to reach my goal?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Chirag – It depends on your overall body stats. Did you use the calculator on this page and get your “calories per day”? When you get that number, then you will have your basis. Just add 500 calories per day to gain 1 pound of body weight per week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

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    I’m a female who weighs about 103 pounds at 5’3″. For a while, I’ve been burning about 450-550 calories 6 times per week with a 2 mile daily run followed by a mix of more cardio or resistance intervals (some high repetition with light weight and some low repetition with heavy weight). I’ve been eating about 1,300 calories during the week and I’m much more relaxed with my diet on the weekends. I’ve had steady progress losing weight and gaining muscle, but within the last few months I’ve started to look underweight. I recently switched to shorter workouts to burn less calories and I’m only doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but I don’t think this will help me gain weight fast enough. I’m now considering doing Yoga only and upping my intake to 1,500 calories per day. I’m not concerned with gaining more muscle right now (I’m afraid I’ll be too big and muscular with my small frame) and think I just need to add about 5-10 pounds of body fat (I’d like to get to a point where I can just focus on maintenance). So, do you think an activity with a very small calorie burn (ie. Yoga) and a modest calorie increase will work or should I up my calories to 2,061 (based on the calculator) and switch to all low rep, heavy weight training? Thank you so much!

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Alyssa – It’s probably best to start out by increasing your calories to at least 1,500 per day and go from there. Cut way back on your cardio since you’re burning way too many calories doing it. Focus on weight training with light weights and higher reps along with some Yoga. Try this for 4-6 weeks and see how you do. If you still need to gain a little more weight, then increase your calories up to 1,800 per day and track your progress for another 4-6 weeks. Making small changes is the key to finding out what works best for your body.

      • Avatar

        Thank you so much for the reply! That sounds like a great plan! Would you say I should cut cardio completely or maybe just do around 10 minutes per day? Also, I’m wondering if I should do weight training (alternating muscle groups) and yoga on the same day or do them on alternate days? Thank you again!

        • ShapeFit

          Hi Alyssa – Try cutting out cardio completely and see how you look and feel after a few weeks. When doing weight training and yoga, try doing them on separate days. That way you can really focus on each training method and give your workouts the attention they need.

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    Victor sweets on

    I’m 30 years old at 6’1″ and only 135 pounds. How many calories do I need to eat each day and what should I eat?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Victor – You can use the calculator on this page to find out how many calories you need to eat. In regards to which specific foods you should eat, take a look at our Nutrition 101 article for an extensive grocery list of items to include in your diet along with a few sample meal plans.

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    Hi there! I am a 41-year-old female and I want to gain 15 pounds. Right now, I weigh 94 pounds and I am 5’1″. Using the weight calculator, it showed I should consume 1,912 calories per day. Should this work? I’m desperate to gain weight. Please help!

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Simone – It will work if you stay consistent with eating this amount of food each day along with keeping your protein intake high and lifting weights to build muscle mass. Don’t be scared to use heavy poundage and lower reps when you are weight training in the gym (6-8 reps per set) since this is very important for overloading your muscles and making them grow.

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    I want to add muscle on my legs since they are really skinny. It says to consume 2,289 calories. Do I have to eat that much on my rest days in order to maintain a flat stomach?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Crystal – You can drop the calories a little on the days you don’t train (reduce by 300-500 calories). If you have an ectomorph body type (very lean) then your goal should be to eat a lot of high quality, nutrient dense foods and perform heavy weight training exercises for your lower body like barbell squats, leg press and lunges. This will help spur growth so you can add some quality muscle onto your legs.

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    I’m wondering if my calorie intake is correct? It says I’m supposed to consume 2,549 calories. I weigh 185 pounds, 5’4″ and I’m 45 years old. I’ve been lifting for a while, 4 times a week with 2 days of cardio. I have seen good results so far just not sure if I should consume 2,549 calories or more. I’m eating 5 meals a day and consuming 2,200 calories. All my meals consist of healthy meals and I eat one cheat meal a week.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Gabby – If you’re currently doing fine at 2,200 calories per day and gaining muscle and strength, then stay at that caloric intake level. Only kick it up to 2,549 calories per day if your results start to plateau and you’re not gaining any longer. It’s a balancing act between calories and training to make sure you don’t gain too much fat while bulking up, so keep detailed records and go from there.

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    I’m a 24 year old male and weigh about 125 pounds. I’m kind of new to everything and want to know if 3,056 calorie intake and 137 grams of protein daily is too much.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Sukhjit – You should start out by creating a 500 calorie surplus over your base calories each day. You can increase your calories over this amount but you might start packing on some body fat. For protein, shoot for 1 gram per pound of body weight which will be 125 grams of protein per day divided up into 5-6 meals.

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    I’m 16 years old, 5’7″ and 132 pounds. How many calories should I be consuming per day and how many pounds will I gain in a month if I do consume this certain number of calories? I want to bulk up and my goal is to hit 160 pounds. How long do you think it will take me?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Jose – You can find out how many calories you need to eat per day by using the calculator on this page. That is the number you need to start out with in order to bulk up and gain weight (1-2 pounds per week). If you don’t gain any weight after 2-3 weeks then increase the calories another 500 per day above the original number until you start gaining weight. Your training is also a critical component so make sure you implement compound muscle building exercises into your workout routine. You can read our Best Compound Multi-Joint Exercises article for more information on specific exercises to include for the best results.

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    Scarlett Robinson on

    I’m 52 years old, 5’5″ and weigh 140 lbs. I am naturally slim but have an athletic body type. According to the calculator, I need to consume 2,552 calories a day to gain weight. I am trying to get to about 150 lbs. My metabolism is high. I workout 4-5 days a week alternating between strength/weight training and some cardio. I can’t even imagine consuming these many calories in a day. I’m not vegan, but somewhat vegetarian. I only eat meat about 1-2 times a month. What should I focus on eating to gain weight?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Scarlett – First, make sure to get your protein requirements each day which will be 1 gram per pound of body weight (140 grams per day). Divide this total up into 5-6 meals per day (23-28 grams of protein per meal). In regards to getting enough calories per day to gain weight, the easiest way to get more nutrient dense calories is by eating healthy fats like nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts) along with almond butter and all-natural peanut butter. If you drink a protein shake during the day, try adding 2-3 tablespoons of almond butter to it which will easily bump it up another 200-300 calories. Also, try to add healthy oils like olive oil and flax oil to your regular meals throughout the day.

    • Avatar

      Just wanted to ask about eating too much whey protein powder each day as it pertains to kidney health. I eat certified grass-fed whey protein powder. How much is too much?

      • ShapeFit

        Hi Mike – It really depends on several factors. Have you ever had kidney issues in the past? The normal protein intake for men is around 1 gram per pound of body weight. Pre-workout and post-workout whey protein is fine, but you should be eating real whole foods throughout the rest of the day.

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    I’m very lean and I am trying to gain weight. I am working out every day. My height is 5’5″ and my weight is 48 kg. Please tell me what to eat to gain weight faster? I can’t drink protein powders like whey because it is not good for my skin.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Ankit – You can review our Nutrition 101 Guide for detailed information on which specific foods to include in your diet along with a few sample meal plans. Use our calculator on this page to determine how many calories you need to gain weight. If you don’t like protein supplements, then just stick with real, whole foods which are better for you anyway. Just remember that you need to eat big in order to get big. Best of luck!

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    Is there an easier way to consume all these extra calories? I’m not a picky eater, I just don’t like eating and it’s hard to push myself to eat 🙁

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Lily – Adding healthy fats to a protein smoothie is probably the easiest way to get more calories in each day. Just add 2-3 tablespoons of almond butter or peanut butter to your favorite protein powder along with a few cups of 4% milk and blend it up. Put it into a shaker bottle and take it with you. Just sip on it throughout the day and this will easily add an extra 1,000 calories to your diet per day.

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    I need 2,264 calories to gain weight! I currently weigh 134 pounds. I want to gain in my hips and need to know what type of meal plan I can use. I’m confused about this! What type of meat do I need to eat and what about shakes? Thank you!

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Candice – You can review our Nutrition 101 Guide for a sample meal plan. For meat, stick with lean sources like chicken, turkey and lean steak (top round, etc). You can also include fish like salmon which has lots of healthy fats (Omega 3s). For shakes, you can use a quality protein powder and add some fresh fruit and peanut butter or almond butter for additional calories.

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    I’m 16 years old and 5’8″. How much protein, carbs and fat should I eat per meal? If I include weight training, how long would it take to gain 30-35 pounds?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Buddy – Your macronutrients breakdown should start out at 50/30/20 (50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat). Follow this for 12-15 weeks and see how you do, then adjust the ratios if you’re not making gains. It will take some time to gain 30-35 pounds, so be patient. If you want to gain mostly lean muscle, it could easily take up to a year to pack on that much weight. Just eat a lot of nutrient dense calories and lift as heavy as possible to build mass and strength. Best of luck!

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    I am 27 years old, 5’9″ and I weigh 185 pounds. I have been lifting consistently for 2.5 years (5-6 times a week) but have not made much lean muscle gains. I want to tailor my diet to help me gain 15-20 of lean muscle in less than 6 months. Is this possible? The calculator says 3,180 calories per day and this seems pretty low to me as I have been eating more than that and not much progress. What should be the max intake and split in order to build more muscle than fat?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Charles – Gaining 15-20 pounds of lean muscle in less than 6 months is impossible unless you’re on performance enhancing drugs (anabolic steroids, HGH, etc). Gaining 5-6 pounds of lean muscle in 1 year is great for an all-natural athlete. The main things you need to focus on is eating surplus calories every day (500 to 1,000 calories past your TDEE) and lifting heavy using mass building, compound, multi-joint exercises along with plenty of rest.

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    I’m currently 240 pounds and 5’11”. I lost some weight and now I want to put on lean muscle, but I don’t want to go up on the scale. I do cardio, HIIT and strength training. I need to lose the fat in my chest area. Please help.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Cliff – How is your diet and what do you currently eat? Your diet is the key to losing body fat so let us know what your typical daily eating plan is and we will review further.

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    I’m 180cm and weight 53kg. I’m recovering from an eating disorder so I need to gain weight. I’m currently very sedentary and eating over 3,000 kcal a day (some days over 4,000 calories). I’m gaining about 2kg a week. Is this just right, too much or too little? I have been told that my metabolism will ramp up to cope with my intake and my weight gain will slow, is this true?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Lily – At 116 pounds, consuming over 3,000 calories seems like a heck of a lot of calories to be eating per day for your size. Are you working with a nutritionist or dietitian? Since you’re recovering from an eating disorder you really should be working with a specialist in your recovery. A professional in this area will be able to create a meal plan and calorie level that works for you in order to get you back to eating a healthy diet with just the right amount of calories per day.

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