T Nation

Finding the Right Caloric Surplus

Well between being deathly sick and cutting down, I’ve gone from 210 to a lean 190 in the last 4 weeks. While I don’t think I’ve lost too much muscle, I’m feeling like I should try and adjust my diet so that I can still gain muscle while maintaining how lean I am.

Right now I’m 190# at 5’10 and probably 9-10% body fat. I’d like to stay around the percentage but continue to increase muscle mass.

Questions are, how do I determine my caloric maintenance level, and beyond that, how do I determine how many calories to add that will let me gain muscle without gaining the fat?


do a 3 day food diary, making no changes. calculate your avg calories, this assuming you’re maintaining, is roughly your maintenance level

Problems is I dont know if Im maintaining. Its hard to tell if one is losing muscle. It would be obvious if I were losing a lot, but just a little is difficult to interpret.