Calorie Manipulation - How to gain the right way.

Hi people, hope you are well. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this blog. We're hoping you find this and the many more to come helpful :) This is our 1st of many blogs that we will be posting fortnightly to the website. We will be covering many subjects and its all upto you what you want us to cover. You can either comment on the blog or go to our instagram @massaesthetics_ to let us know what you'd like us to cover. This can be anything from training, diet, health and fitness, mental health, how to start a clothing line...etc etc. This first blog will be covering the basics of calorie manipulation and how to count your calories to gain weight in a steady and optimal manner... lets begin. be able to gain weight/muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus. This means consuming more calories than you burn each day. 

Lets start from the basics. 

Every bit of food you consume will either contain CARBOHYDRATES, FATS or PROTEIN, or all three. These are called macro nutrients and are essential for life. 

Each one of these macro nutrients contain a certain amount of calories. Food calories are actually kilocalories and are usually shown on packaging as (kcal).

1 gram of CARBOHYDRATE contains 4 calories (kcal).

1 gram of FAT contains 9 calories (kcal).

1 gram of PROTEIN contains 4 calories (kcal).

So lets say I have a meal of steak, potato and veg. I will need to workout how many calories this meal consists of. This is where you need to make sure you have weighed your food.

 I weighed my food, and had 150g of steak, 150g of potato and veg all cooked weight.

 The reason I have not specified the weight of my veg is because it has minimal effect on the overall calories especially in a calorie surplus. Also if you are consistent with your veg, there will not be much variation each day.

  You will need to do your homework and find out what macronutrients are within each piece of food and the amount per 100 grams. There are many google searches where you can find these. I encourage you to find around 3 different sources of information and go with the average per each piece of food included in your diet and stick to it.  Again it all comes down to consistency. If you are using packaged food they will provide information on the macro nutrient breakdown and therefore you can refer to that. 

So back to the meal... 

I searched the amount of protein per 100g in steak and got an average of 28g cooked weight.

28g of protein =  28 x 4 (kcal)

This gives us 112 calories per 100g of steak.

My meal consists of 150G.

Therefore 112 x 1.5 = 168 calories. 

We now know that there are 168 calories worth of protein in our steak. 

Thats not the end of it, as most meat also contains fat. Again you will need to do your homework in finding out what macronutrients are in each piece of food you consume and the amount of grams per 100 grams. My search told me that steak consisted of 8g of fat per 100g.

So 8 x 9 (kcal) = 72.

We have 72 calories from fat per 100g of steak. 

Therefore 72 x 1.5 = 108. 

Now we just add the protein and fat together to give us the total amount of calories for our 150g of steak. 

168 + 108 = 276 (kcal)

 Now its time for the potato. 

I searched the amount of carbohydrates in cooked white potato per 100g and got an average of 20g

So, 20g x 4 (kcal) = 100 calories. 

My meal consists of 150g of potato therefore

100 (kcal) x 1.5 = 150 calories. 

Finally we can add the calories up of each piece of food. 

150g of steak = 276 calories

150g of potato = 150 calories. 

150 + 276 = 426 calories. 

There we have it. Our steak, potato and veg meal has around 426 calories in it. This is never fully accurate and it will be pretty much impossible to get the correct amount without being a scientist and doing all kinds of tests. 

  Apply this to each of your meals. It will get easier the more you do it as you will eventually know how many calories a certain amount of food contains, and with consistent meals there won’t be too much variation each day so the calculations will become less frequent. 

Once you have worked out the macronutrients per 100g a certain food contains, write it down and refer back to it.  

Right, so now you know how to workout how many calories each food and meal contains. 

The next step is to workout how many calories you personally need to consume to be able to gain weight at a steady pace without gaining too much fat. 

 There are a few ways of going about this. 

The way I am about to show you will take a week minimum but I feel is the most accurate way. This will all be about trial and error.

Right so this is it. We are about to embark on your transformation and get to work on building your physique.  

  For the 1st week of training you will need to :

  • weigh and workout the calories for every meal you consume per day. Do not change your diet for this week as you are just wanting to find out the calories you are consuming which will give us the base to work from.
  • Total up all the calories for the week 
  • Weight yourself on the 1st day of training before consuming a meal. 
  • Weigh yourself at the end of the week before consuming a meal. 

At the end of the week three things would of happened :

  1. Your bodyweight went up.
  2. Your bodyweight remained the same.
  3. Your bodyweight went down. 

You want to be looking to gain around 0.5-1 lbs per week. This is a realistic statistic on how much muscle men can put on each week with the right diet and training. This is also taking into consideration a bit of fat gain which comes with gaining muscle and when in a calorie surplus. This doesn’t seem much but over say a 16 week period, that is a potential of 8.5-17 lbs of body mass. Gaining weight WILL result in gaining fat in the process but if you stick to around 0.5-1 lbs of weight gain per week you will minimise fat gain as much as possible.

Combining the scales with the mirror you will get a good indication on how much fat you are gaining. If you feel the love handles getting thicker at a fast rate, its time to reduce the calories a little.  

So....after the week, if you happen to have gained weight, decrease your calorie intake each day by 250. 

Analyse your weight the next week and adjust again until you are gaining the required amount. 

  If you happen to not gain any weight, increase your calories by 250 and again see where you are the following week. 

  If your bodyweight went down, increase your calories by 500 and see where you are the following week. 

Your body adapts very well to changes therefore the calories you consume for the 1st 3 weeks most probably will not be the calories you will consume even 4 weeks in.

It works almost the same as progressive overload. You will need to be analysing your weight week after week and adjust calories accordingly to your weight. 

Say after 4 weeks you find your weight to have plateaued or even dropped, you will increase calories by the amounts I stated above. Your weight and calories should be tapering up consistently over the weeks. 

   Now you have worked out your calories it is vital your diet is as good as your training. 

There are many diets out there and all work as good as one another. The only difference is the individual and personal preference. Here I am giving you my macronutrient split which provides all 3 macronutrients in a split that creates a great environment for muscle growth. To work out how many calories you need from each macronutrient, start with your protein requirements. 




Protein requirements are essential for muscle growth. 

You want to be consuming around 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight.

Therefore if you weigh 80kg, you will want to consume around 176g of protein per day. 

Round this up to 180g for ease. 

180g of protein contains how many calories?

You got it, 180 x 4 = 720 (kcal) coming from protein each day.




You want to consume around 20-30% of your total calories from fats. 

Lets say you have worked out your daily calorie intake to be 2000 (kcal)

Therefore you want to be consuming 400-800 (kcal) from fats. 

For the purpose of this, lets take the average of 25% (You can choose the % that suits your needs)

This will give you 600 kcal coming from fats. 

How many grams will this work out to be?

Well theres 9 kcal per 1g of fat therefore:

600/9 = 66g of fat per day. 




To work out the amount of carbohydrates you will need per day to meet your daily calorie intake, all you need to do is take away your protein and fat requirements from your total calories for the day. 

Your daily calorie intake is 2000 kcal

Minus 720 from protein, minus 600 from fat. 

2000-720-600= 680 kcal.

    Therefore you will need to consume 680 kcal coming from carbohydrates. 

680/4 = 170g of carbohydrates per day. 

  So your daily macronutrient split looks like this :

Protein = 180g

Fats = 66g

Carbohydrates = 170g

You will want to spread these calories throughout the day into around 4-6 meals or less if needed to accommodate your day to day needs.




When you need to increase or decrease calories the best way is to take them from your carbohydrate allowance. 

  So, I said to increase calories by 500 per day if your bodyweight went down. 

500/4 =125.

Increase your carbohydrates by 125g in this situation. 

If you are struggling to consume the amount of calories needed, I suggest you get more of the calories from fats, as you know fats contains over double the amount of calories than carbohydrates. 

I will let you work out the rest ;)


Now all you need to do is to create a balanced clean diet. 

I am not going to provide you with all the foods you need or could eat as it could consist of pages and pages. 

It is a lot more to do with common sense, personal preference and knowing what are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. 

Your diet may already be good enough, it may just need a few tweaks here and there to replace a few ‘bad’ foods with ‘good’. 

Do a little research into the healthier food options. The key is to be consistent and create a diet that you can adhere to. 

Below is just an example of one day of eating for a 2,500kcal diet. Splitting the calories into 6 meals for the day. Obviously everybody is different and has their own food preferences, likes and dislikes but this is just an example.

Try to vary your sources of protein, carbs and fats for a balanced diet. This will increase your gut/digestive function and therefore allow the body to utilise the food you consume for more effective growth. 

MEAL 1 ; 40g granola + 2 whole eggs + 3 egg whites

MEAL 2 ; 100g sweet potato, 150g chicken breast+ 100 veg (broccoli, green beans, carrots.)

MEAL 3 ; 100g sweet potato, 100g chicken breast, 25g mixed nuts + 100g veg

MEAL 4 ; 100g sweet potato, 140g steak, onions, peppers + mushrooms

MEAL 5 ; 50g impact whey protein + 30g dextrose or 1 piece of fruit

MEAL 6 ; 1 slice of wholewheat bread, 100g salmon +70g chicken breast

I hope you all found this blog informative and helpful in some way and now theres no excuse to get that diet where you need it to be and start making those GAINZZZZ :)

Many thanks, 

Mass Aesthetics

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