Nutrition Tip: What is a caloric surplus?

A caloric surplus is when the number of calories that we consume is higher than the number of calories we burn. In a caloric surplus, our body mass increases.

For someone who is trying to lose weight, they would need to eat a lower amount of calories than they are burning in a day, where as if your goal is weight maintenance, you should be aiming to consume the same amount of calories as you are burning. If you are looking to increase your weight or muscle mass, this is when you will require a caloric surplus and will need to eat a higher amount of calories than your body buns.

For muscle gains to occur, a sufficient calorie surplus is required, usually 10–20% additional calories for most people. ‘Dirty bulking’ usually exceeds this range, thus likely contributing to sizable muscle and strength gains for most people when combined with a proper resistance training regime.

A caloric surplus gives your body the extra calories it needs to create new muscle tissue. It’s important to keep in mind that a caloric surplus is not a one size fits all approach. There are many factors such as age, weight, exercise routine, etc. that determine the size of the caloric surplus and how that surplus affects the individual’s progress.