I’ve been able to determine the calories necessary to gain additional weight using a formula from Ian King’s The Book of Muscle.
|185 lbs (my weight) x 11 = Basic Caloric Need (assumes zero exercise)||Basic Caloric Need = 2035|
|2035 x 40% (my estimated activity level) = Metabolic Rate (adjust for exercise)||Metabolic Rate = 814|
|2035 (Basic Caloric Need) + 814 (Metabolic Rate) = Maintenance Calories||Target Calories for Maintenance = 2849|
|Add 500 calories per day to add 1 lb per week. I want 30 lbs in 30 days, or 7 lbs per week. 500 calories x 7 = 3500 additional calories needed per day to meet goal.||Total Target Caloric Intake for Project:Me = 6349|
So there you have it. During the experiment, I’ll need to consume an amazing 6349 calories every day to have any hope of gaining the muscle mass I’m after. This is in line with Tim Ferris’ estimated intake of 5000 – 8000 calories daily. Without this additional fuel, my body will have not have the necessary “material” to build the muscle.
I haven’t yet determined the correct mix of protein, carbs, and fat, but I’m getting close. Body builders and people who aren’t vegetarians always seem pretty concerned about protein, but there’s some protein in just about everything. I’m actually worried about getting too much! Intake recommendations are all over the board, but I plan to shoot for about 1.25 grams per target pound of body weight. That’s a lot, but I want to err on the side of more than enough. Assuming I still weigh 185 lbs when I start the experiment, that means my target weight will be 215 lbs. 215 lbs x 1.25 grams per pound = 269 grams needed daily.
If I assume that each gram of protein contains four calories (see the 4-4-9 Method of Calculating Calorie Ratios), that means approximately 1076 of my daily 6349 calories should come from protein. In other words, 17% of my daily intake should be in the form of protein.
In addition, I’ve found several sources that claim that the U.S. RDA for fat intake is no more than 30%. If I make my maximum 30%, that means that I’ll automatically have 53% available for carbs. So, for now, I’m leaning towards a target of 17% of my caloric intake from protein, 53% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat.