T Nation

High Kcal Diet Experiences?


Hi all,

At the moment I need like 4800kcal on trainingsdays and like 3800-4000kcal on restdays to gain a bit of body weight per week. Current bodyweight: 81,5kg or 180lbs. I'm not a cardio freak or whatsoever, my body just needs such an amount of kcal nowadays after 3 years of lifting to gain more weight. I do ride my bike a bit each day (just to get from A to B 10-15km each day, low intensity) and when I train 4-5 times in the gym.

My question is how others make up their macro's on such a high kcal diet? It's pointless to work with % as such a high kcal diets.

At the moment my macro's look like this during my bulk period.
4800kcal*: 250g protein, 650g carbs, 120g fats
The macro's dont fully match the kcal count, since the macro's are exclusive some kcal (like 100-200kcal) for fibre. That's the way I've always done it. So it doesn't matter since I've already worked with this.

Diet consists of mostly brown rice, pasta, oats, skimmed yoghurt, half-skimmed milk, quark, chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, tuna, eggs, all sort of veggies, olive oil, mixed nuts, coconut oil, whey, omega-3 caps and from time to time some whole grain bread slices. 1x per week a junkmeal such as pizza etc.

Anyhow, what would you guys increase on the macro's if I would need like 5000 or 6000kcal per day to gain weight?

Just curious about how others would divide their kcal between the macro's on 5000 or 6000kcal a day.

P.s. on juice I would up the protein also a bit btw. Althought 250g protein is on the high end for my bodyweight, I know.


at 180lbs I think you're where you need to be. I can't see any good coming from upping the cals to 5 or 6 thousand.

I suppose you'd increase the shit out of your carbs if you really wanted to. Can't see the benefit of putting your protein much higher.


At the moment I am indeed (almost) on my sweet spot, but I was wondering how others would make up your macro total when they eat or would eat 5k-6kcal each day.

I don't mean to increase my kcal to 6k at this moment, but I might need to in like 1-2 years when I'm heavier, though. But that's a problem for later.

Just curious about what you guys got to say about such a high kcal diet.


Not too many people with that kind of metabolism demands,

You could research ifbb pro Juan morells diet strategies if you are interested though. That guy eats extremely high calories

Pretty much anything over 4000 i think you need to go go junk food mode, either fatty foods like burgers and pizzas or things like Poptarts and kids cereal. Jay Cutler alledgedly ate candy corn and has said he had dieted on 1000 grams carbs before.


Yeah, I don't know why I need such an amount of kcal to become heavier. Ah well it's just the way it is.

Hmm, hehe. I saw some vid's from Juan yes. Might want to switch to full milk, more fatty beef etc.

At the moment I am able to get in like 4800-5000kcal of only clean food.


Like any other diet systematically add the calories your body tolerates best. Some people that is fats. Some people that is carbs. Just keep adding them in smart amounts. Also are you actually tracking your cals? ie weighing each meal and plugging it into a calculator? If not start doing that as well.


Has anyone else noticed their appetite increasing as they've gotten bigger? I'm sure a lot of it is probably just getting used to eating the volume required to grow over the years, but I definitely eat way more than I used to without even trying, and it's not a case of force feeding; I get hungry more often.


Hehe, everything I eat is first dropped on the weighing scale before I eat it. So yes, I keep track of really everything I eat, so that I can make adjustments according to my results. I've always tolerated more carbs better than high in fat for some reason.

Weighing everything and calculating has helped me gain more lean mass and checking etc. Just the way I've always done it and it works for me.


Should be normal I guess. I can remember I started eating for bodybuilding goals when I was 60kg bodyweight. I started with 3200kcal a day and I thought my stomach was going to explode the day I ate those 3200kcal.

Now I can easily eat 4000-4500kcal a day without a problem, but I'm also 20kg heavier now.
So, yes. More muscle mass needs more kcal and therefore increased appetite.


I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. A while back I was on 5/3/1, biking frequently and doing a bit of cardio before lifting then again on it's own day. I maintained at 1,800-2,000 calories and gained fat at around 2,300 calories. The ONLY good thing about my situation is I save a lot on food compared to someone with a proper metabolism.


That will save quite some cash each month indeed. Most of still goes to the supermarket in this sport for sure.

You might need more in the future when you're heavier tho :slight_smile:


This may have already been mentioned but im not going to read every single post:

How long have you been eating near 5000 cals like this?

Just wondering cause i was the same way for a time, but i learned from experience that it can catch up to you really quick when the insulin sensitivity kicks


Were you previously overweight before?

I've read quite a few anecdotal accounts like this, where guys who had previously lost quite a bit of fat, such as myself, and who now are paying attention to detail with regards to macros and calories seem to have the same unique body composition issues, i.e., can gain muscle and/or fat at a far lower caloric intake than many who need to be on mass gaining diets or otherwise can still drop body fat at far higher caloric intake levels. I'd make an assumption that there is a direct correlation between a lower basal metabolic rate and the ability to more easily store fat, and some people do really have more of turtle's metabolism, others perhaps more like a hummingbird.


@ jr249:

My weight has always fluctuated quite a bit. I was a skinny kid until around age 10, then I got fat. I kept gaining and weighed around 170 lbs in 8th grade at about 5 feet tall. I dieted down that spring and summer and started my freshman year at 118 lbs. By the time I graduated I was 5'8" and a fat 200 lbs.

I lifted and got up to about 220 lbs then got into boxing and slowly cut down to the mid 160's. I dabbled with mma, had my last fight as a welter weight when the wife was 5 months prego, I was 26.

Had two kids in rapid succession and ballooned up to a very fat 220 with no lifting. Got back into lifting and hovered around 190 then ate 1,000 calories or less per day and starved myself to 164 doing basically all bodyweight exercises with some light weights thrown in, spring of 2013, 33 years old.

My weight has been creeping up since then and peaked at 203 december 30th. I'm now around 193 and leaning out thanks to thyroid meds and trt.

I've been a fat ass a few times in my life.


I'd keep the diet the same but go batshit crazy on cheat day/ do Defrancos hour of power...



I think I'm eating around that kcal for like a few months now. I ended my cut and started upping my kcal from 3600-3800kcal with 100-200kcal each week until I would gain weight. I reached the point of maintenance now at the moment.

I simply started increasing kcal from my kcal intake where I lost kcal and ended up on 4800kcal on trainings days and like 4000kcal on rest days. Can't help it either..

What did catch up with you?