In essence a calorie surplus is a way of effectively consuming more calories than you naturally burn. Thus leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. A calorie surplus is required if you ant to gain weight. To gain muscle you must be training equally as rigorous.
What is a calorie surplus? – The maths
As stated above, a calorie surplus is a way of consuming more calories than you normally would burn. If you eat 3,000 calories each day and burn 2,500, you’ve created a surplus of 500 calories each day. This is then transferred into muscle or body fat depending on your exercise routine.
Gaining weight requires a consistent weight surplus. It’s through consistency that you see results.
What is body fat?
Everybody has it. Our body stores energy as body fat. Especially when you’re on an excessive calorie surplus. Muscle growth is limited to approximately 10-15 pounds a year so anything over this gets stored by the body as fat. If you’re gaining fat as opposed to muscle then you’re probably eating too much. Keeping your surplus at a moderate level (500 excess calories above how much you burn eg. 3000 calories for every 2500 burnt) will help resolve this issue.
Healthy ways to create a calorie surplus
While it remains true that a larger calorie surplus leads to faster weight gain, that doesn’t mean you should be eating anything and everything you can get your hands on. Be smart about it and make the right choices.
You should be eating foods that are high in complex carbs, lean proteins and unsaturated fats: 100% whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, low fat/fat free dairy products and vegetable oils (particularly extra virgin olive oil).
You should be avoiding foods high in simple carbs, sugars and saturated/trans fats: fruit juice, soda, doughnuts, muffins, candy, potato chips and white bread (refined flour).