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How to Increase Your Calorie Intake
Want to know how to increase calorie intake? Here are tips to help you get the most from your food while ensuring you’re getting enough calories each day.
How To Increase Your Calorie Intake
Trying to bulk up? We’ve got you. While increasing calorie intake might seem simple enough, there’s more to it than you may think. After all, not all foods high in calories have the same nutritional impact. Plenty of fried and sweet foods are loaded with calories and low on fiber or protein. Though they make for delicious treats, they aren’t the best choice when you’re trying to increase caloric intake. That’s why we believe it’s better to focus on nourishing foods with many nutritious elements to see the best results.
(Yes, there’s still room for treats!)
In this article, our team will share how to increase your calorie intake in healthy ways, as well as share some of our favorite ways to eat foods high in calories. If you have more questions about this topic, get in touch with us!
What’s So Important About Calorie Intake?
Everything that your body does, whether it’s play a sport, walk through your house, or digest food, requires energy. That energy comes in the form of calories—and when your body uses that energy, the calories you consume get burned away. Because of this, everybody’s ideal caloric intake is different.
For folks hoping to lose weight or fat, they must maintain a daily calorie intake lower than the energy required to move through the day. When their daily caloric intake reserves run out, their body starts burning stored fat instead, leading to weight loss. If you want to gain weight, the opposite must happen—when you consume more calories than you burn in a day, those extra calories will be stored in your body as fat.
How To Increase Calories: Our Tips
If you want to increase calorie intake, we’re here to help. Check out our list of caloric intake recommendations below, and be sure to reach out to our team if you would prefer personalized professional nutritional counseling.
1) Look for Balanced, Nutritious Choices
As we mentioned, lots of foods have a high calorie count. That doesn’t mean that they’re all great choices for increasing your calorie intake. Look for foods with plenty of vitamins, fiber, protein, and complex carbs. We also tend to avoid regularly consuming lots of foods high in added sugar, sodium, or hydrogenated oils.
2) Have a Food Adventure
Life’s too short for boring food! If you are feeling unimpressed with your high-calorie meal options, it’s time for a refresh. We recommend doing some research on high-calorie, healthy foods and ingredients. Once you select a few that appeal to you, it can be fun to use social media or a library to look into recipes and preparation styles from other countries or cultures.
For instance, beans are a beautiful high-calorie ingredient that offer plenty of fiber and protein—and they are prepared hundreds of ways around the globe. Most food accounts or cookbooks will have several bean recipes for you to try. This makes your calorie increase a lot more fun!
3) Look for High-Protein Choices
Protein is a key food group when you’re bulking and can lead to improved lean mass overall. It’s also a crucial element to muscle recovery after intense physical activity. In fact, if you are engaging in intensive strength training, we recommend that you wait no longer than an hour after your sesh before consuming a hefty portion of protein (around 15-20 grams). This post-workout meal will help your muscles heal from your session and grow larger and stronger.
4) Have a Drink
When you’re busy, increasing your caloric intake can feel exhausting. This is doubly true if you don’t particularly like cooking or food preparation, or find yourself getting too full too fast. This is where “drinkable calories” come in. They don’t require much preparation or cleanup at all, they’re tasty, they provide all the calories you need, and don’t leave you feeling overly full.
However, when we say “have a drink,” we are referring to specific items. While drinks like fruit punch or cola have plenty of calories, they mostly come from added sugars and aren’t very nutritious otherwise. Instead, reach for a homemade smoothie, a tall glass of milk, or a protein shake—we like Huel!
5) Break It Up
Who says we need to eat three huge meals a day? If you find yourself exhausted by trying to cram down calories in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try something else. We are huge fans of consuming multiple, smaller meals throughout the day, so you eat every one to three hours. This way, your body is always receiving energy, but never more than you can handle at once.
6) Work With a Pro
Eating habits are complex.
Everybody has a different diet, and it’s likely been shaped over time by many factors. Everything from your family’s culture to the socioeconomic circumstances of your hometown will affect the way you look at food and how you eat. That’s why increasing your calorie intake can be harder than it seems—these changes take time and real effort.
We recommend making these types of big lifestyle changes with the help of a professional nutritional counselor. They will both support you and offer tips and suggestions to increase your caloric intake in a way that feels healthy and realistic for you.
Our Favorite High-Calorie Healthy Foods
If you need some help getting started on your caloric intake journey, our team is here to help. Here are just a few of our favorite nutritious foods high in calories—and some tasty ways to try them yourself.
Beans are the best! As we mentioned earlier, this superfood is packed with fiber and protein and can be prepared in countless dishes. Some of our favorite ways to eat beans include refried beans, seven-layer dip, rice and beans, stir-fry with fermented black bean sauce, or in a soup, stew, or chili.
We’re nuts for nuts! These tasty morsels can be consumed whole as a snack, blended into a butter, pulverized into a flour, baked into a loaf, or simmered into a curry or stew. We love using nut butters as the base for a tasty dressing or sauce, like satay. Plus, when you need calories but can’t be bothered to cook, a quick spoonful is a great solution.
Certain oils are fantastic ingredients for healthily increasing calorie intake. Plus, they taste great! Use them to make salad dressings, or to finish dishes that need a little something “extra.”
If you’re looking for a tasty way to consume plenty of oil without too much cooking fuss, we have an idea for you: toum. This delicious dip comes from Lebanon and consists of only two ingredients—oil and garlic. When blended together, it emulsifies into a fluffy, creamy garlic sauce that can be served with grilled meat, as a dip, or however else you want to eat it—it’s absolutely delightful.
…and this is only where the list begins! All sorts of ingredients, from yogurt to coconuts, are marvelous items to eat when you want to increase your calorie intake. With the help of your nutritional counselor, you’ll be able to find which ones best suit your taste and lifestyle.
Looking for More Support?
At Jack City, we have everything you need to reach all of your fitness goals. Whether you want to increase your caloric intake for bulking, are seeking help developing your ultimate workout routine, or need a supportive space to exercise and meet like-minded people, you’ll find what you need at our Boise fitness center.
Call (208) 999-1111 today to learn more! We’ll invite you for a FREE fitness consultation at our gym, plus a chance to tour our facility and meet our team of nutritional counselors and personal trainers. Once you sign up to become a partner, you’ll have immediate 24/7 access to our entire facility, plus the ability to join some of our amazing workout classes.
We are here to support your goals, and we can’t wait to be a part of that journey.