calories Restriction illustrationA calorie surplus is when you are eating more calories than you burn over a period of 24 hours. If you stay in a calorie surplus for a long period, your body will store the extra calories as fat, which can result in Gaining weight.

If you notice the bathroom scale reading rise significantly over a short period of time, like 2 weeks. Chances are high that you are on a caloric surplus

If this happens, just know that the calories you have been taking during that period have surpassed the number of calories your body needs within a 24-hour period. Generally, having a calorie surplus of between 500 and 1000 in a day can lead to you gaining about 1 to 1,5 pounds of fat every week.

The amount of weight you will gain during this period will depend on several factors like lean body weight, age, physical activities, and gender. On average, people who are physically active with more lean body mass will add less amount of weight as compared to the sedentary people.

The 500-calorie surplus is however important for people who wish to add more body muscles. Taking more calories, a day will help in providing the body with energy hence more strength to go through weight lifting and cardio exercises for building muscles.

Apart from training more than usual, the calorie surplus will help in faster recovery and reduction of the levels of cortisol.

It is good to know that one can gain an equal number of muscles whether on a calorie surplus or a calorie deficit. It is recommended for one to go on a 500-calorie surplus since it can make a huge difference in the intensity of your physical workouts which can result in greater hypertrophy.

An average person needs about 2000 calories per day. When on a 500-calorie surplus, you will consume an extra 500 calories making it a total of 2500 calories a day. This can be considered too many calories that can lead to weight gain or other health complications. Consult with your doctor before engaging in the 500 calories surplus diet.


A huge calorie surplus might lead to gaining more fat and create an unconducive ratio of muscle and fat gain. This will make you spend more time than expected burning the extra fats and calories.

In addition, it will reduce the time you can be in a calorie surplus before dropping back to calorie maintenance.

If you take more than 500 calories a day than the calories you burn, then this will lead to a new pound of body mass a week. Generally, ensure you take more food often, and eat more proteins and fats.


When in a calorie surplus, it will be very hard to lose belly fat. A calorie surplus will mostly make you gain fats combined with muscles. In the calorie surplus, you will be consuming more calories than your energy use and any extra calories that are not needed by the body will be stored as fats.

To lose belly fat, you need to have a relatively low-fat percentage in the body therefore you need to be in a calorie deficit and not a calorie surplus to lose fat.

For you to lose belly fat, you need to of course be in a calorie deficit, engage in low-density cardio, take a well-balanced diet with high amounts of proteins and ensure you engage in resistance training like weight lifting with cardio.


Man in the gym lifting heavy weights

Bulking is a process that involves the increase of muscles and body strength in combination with increased calories taken beyond what your body needs.

To be in the bulk phase, you need a calorie surplus whereby you need to consume more calories in a day than you are utilizing.

You need to calculate the number of calories you need per day by using a calorie calculator through a fitness tracker. Once you get the number of calories, add to any figure between 400 and 600 calories then that will be your daily calories to take in a day. This said, then the 500-calorie surplus is enough for bulking.

If you need to build a huge number of muscles, then the calorie surplus is the way to go. When on a calorie surplus, you will be able to get enough energy which will push you to train even harder without getting tired easily.

There are foods recommended to take when you want to bulk and they include;

As much as there are foods to include in the diet for bulking, there are some that need to be removed and they include;

  • Added sugars: Sugars give a lot of calories with very minimal nutrients to the body. Some of the food that has added sugars and should be avoided include cookies, ice cream, candy, doughnuts, cake, and sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and energy drink.
  • Alcohol: If alcohol is taken in excess, it can lead to the inability to build muscles and get rid of fats.
  • Deep-fried foods: When consumes in excess, they may lead to diseases and inflammation. Some of the deep-fried foods include chicken stripes, fried fish, cheese curds, French fries, and onion rings.

It is also important to avoid some foods before going to the gym as they may cause stomach problems and slow digestion hence destructing your workout session they include;

  • High-fat foods: They include creams,high-fat meats, heavy sauces, and buttery foods.
  • High-fiber foods: Beans, cauliflower, and broccoli.
  • Carbonated beverages: Diet soda or sparkling water.


As a whole, you do not need to use the calorie surplus to gain muscle. The growth and increase of body muscle cells are stimulated by the sufficient amount of protein taken and enough resistance training with continuous overload. As compared to thicker people, thinner people may require added calories of more than 500 to experience significant muscle gain.

Generally, you can gain muscles while on a calorie deficit and you don’t need more calories to do that. Gaining muscles requires you to just eat enough proteins in your diet daily. When you are in a calorie surplus, you will experience increased levels of hunger and appetite, reduced levels of melatonin, low energy expenditure, increased cortisol levels, and reduced testosterone and IGF-1.

While on a 500-calorie surplus, you will also build muscles but understand that you will also gain fats in the process. The 500-calorie surplus on its own is enough for building muscles. However, some bodybuilders generally eat more than the 500-caloric surplus.

To build muscles, you need energy and strength to push you through intense training sessions and the 500 -calorie surplus provides that. It will give you more fuel to workout harder and for longer periods.

Adding muscles for some people is their main goal. The thought of gaining fat and having to again create a caloric deficit to lose the extra fat is the main reason most people do not subscribe to the 500 surplus calorie plan.

You can as well gain muscles through other slower and methodical approaches to gaining muscles. It is good to know that the number of calories required to gain muscles will be directed by the speed you take to build muscles and your training regime.

It is also good for you to have a target in mind and monitor the muscles you are gaining for you to know if you are making any progress or not.



Adding the 500-calorie surplus to favor muscle gain is not that necessary except if your main goal is to gain muscles and are okay with adding some fats. The 500-calorie surplus may be beneficial to those people who have a hard time gaining extra muscle mass and also those who have a hard time with their performance while on a calorie deficit.

You can gain muscles through other processes that are slower and methodical and still not add any fats. Also, it is very vital to know that the number of calories taken to gain muscles will be directed by the speed you take to build muscles. It is also good for you to have a target in mind and monitor the muscles you are gaining for you to know if you are making any progress or not.

Therefore, you need to add nutrient-rich foods to your diet together with weight lifting and cardio exercise for muscle growth. Keep away from or reduce the intake of alcohol, deep-fried foods, and foods with added sugars.