How Long Does It Take to Gain Weight? How Can You Eat 3500 Calories a Day?

Your body can gain weight when you are in a calorie surplus (Image by John Arano)
Your body can gain weight when you are in a calorie surplus (Image by John Arano)
Tooba Hashmi

For someone who is underweight, the idea of gaining weight is often appealing. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than your maintenance amount. The latter refers to the calories your body burns to carry out its basic essential functions called the basal metabolic rate. The number of calories required to gain weight will differ from person to person.

As a general rule, eating 300โ€“500 calories more per day than your maintenance quota is usually enough to maintain a calorie surplus, leading to weight gain. A person may need to consume up to 1,000 more calories per day to acquire weight more quickly.

Many people underestimate how many calories they consume daily. Keeping track of your daily calorie intake for 2โ€“3 weeks can be beneficial. This can assist a person in determining how to change their diet to gain weight at a reasonable rate.


People attempting to gain weight should also be aware of their food. Consuming high-sugar foods, for example, is a simple method to increase calorie intake, but it also raises a person's chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

How long does it take to gain weight?

For a variety of reasons, some people actively want to gain weight, and these reasons could be:

  • Improving athletic performance
  • Gaining muscle mass to achieve a fitness or aesthetic aim
  • Getting better after a terrible illness
  • Weight gain after an unexpected or unwanted weight reduction

The rate at which you acquire weight is determined by various factors, including your body size, gender, amount of activity, calorie intake, and overall health.

This article discusses how long it takes to acquire weight, some starting tactics, and notable things to keep in mind.


What factors influence weight gain?

You can gain weight by eating surplus calories. However, the speed at which you acquire weight is determined by a variety of factors, including:

  • How many calories do you consume over what you need to stay in shape.
  • Size, build, and metabolism are all inherited variables that influence your weight.
  • Your amount of daily activity and dietary habits.
  • Your age, sex, and hormonal status.

Gaining weight from muscle vs fat

Whether you gain muscle or fat largely depends on the rate at which you gain weight, the type of exercise you undertake, and your macronutrient breakdown. Slowing down can help you grow muscle more effectively.

This entails gradually increasing your calorie intake and engaging in frequent resistance training. This is also referred to as bulking in bodybuilding.

Where do I begin?

When you initially begin, you must determine your maintenance calories or the number of calories you require each day to maintain your weight. You can do this by using one of the many internet calculators available.

After that, add at least 500 calories each day to gain weight. The first 5 pounds (2.2 kg) may be gained rapidly. However, much of this could be due to the buildup of water and glycogen. Weigh yourself on a weekly basis to keep track of your weight gain journey and to timely improvise.

How long will it take?

To give you an idea of what to expect, we'll use a typical case. Keep in mind that based on the parameters indicated above, the quantity and rate you gain may change from this, which is alright.

Using the method outlined above, a person might gain an average of 15 pounds (6.8 kg) in 6 months by eating 500 more calories every day. This slower strategy would prioritize muscular growth. If you take a more aggressive approach to weight gain, more of your weight will likely be fat rather than muscle.

Some people, for example, may increase their daily calorie consumption by as much as 1,000 calories. Over the next six months, eating 1,000 extra calories a day may result in around 25 pounds (11.4 kg), though a bigger portion of this gain may be fat.


The rate at which you acquire weight will vary depending on your body size, goals, and several other factors. It's also crucial to remember that weight gain is not linear, so you'll probably have to keep upping your calorie intake to see results consistently. Your body reacts to the increase in daily calories by altering your metabolism.

How can I eat 3500 calories a day to gain weight?

Most people's nutritional demands are met by a 2,000-calorie diet, which is considered quite normal. However, you may require more depending on your activity level, body size, and objectives.

This article covers everything you need to know about a 3,000-calorie diet, including why you should do it, what foods to consume, how much you should eat, and a sample meal plan.

According to food experts and nutritionists, several factors influence your daily calorie consumption such as weight, height, physical activity, sex, body composition, and more.

How can a 3500-calorie diet plan be followed everyday?

Even for very active individuals, 3500 calories is excessive, as previously stated. However, there are certain strategies you can use to fulfill your daily calorie goal. Here are a few examples:

1) Eat more frequently

If you want to consume 3500 calories, forget about the three meals a day eating strategy. To meet this goal, you will need to eat small meals regularly. Instead of two or three meals every day, divide your meals evenly into five or six.

2) Foods that will help you gain weight quickly

If you're on a 3500 diet to gain weight, you should consider adding meals that will help you in this specific endeavor. Some of the nutrient-rich meals you can add to gain weight safely and quickly, according to Medical News Today, include:


It contains a healthy balance of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. Milk's protein content is crucial for anyone wanting to gain muscle mass. Milk should be included in a 3500 calorie diet for muscle building. Other dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, can also be incorporated.


Rice is a healthy source of carbs and offers about 200 calories per cup. Carbohydrates are an important food group because they supply energy to the body. They also contribute to weight increase and can be beneficial to those who are underweight (5). Brown rice has fiber, which can aid with digestive health.

Red meat

Research shows that consuming red meat can help you grow muscle and weight. Steaks have two essential elements that aid muscle growth. Leucine and creatine are two of them. It also has fat and protein, which aids in weight gain.

Cereals with Whole Grains


Whole grain oats are another food to include in this meal plan. Whole grains is an essential word here. Some cereals are refined, with a lot of sugar and a few complex carbs (5). These types of grains should be avoided.

So, when you go food shopping, please pay special attention to the cereal labels and read them thoroughly. Choose cereals with high amounts of nuts and whole grains. Make sure they're also high in fiber and antioxidants.

3) Drink Smoothies

Smoothies can also help you meet your daily calorie goal of 3500 calories. They're all made with substances that are high in calories. When mixed, they produce a drink with an average or high-calorie count. It is entirely dependent on the elements you select.

Before attempting a smoothie recipe, consult your dietician or nutritionist. Remember that some smoothies can help you lose weight while others can aid in gaining weight. Depending on your needs and goals, they can suggest items that add calories and protein to your smoothie.


People seek to gain weight by putting on muscle for visual appeal, enhancing their sports ability, or recovering from an illness.

It is easy to gain weight in an unhealthy fashion by eating all the sugary, processed and packed food items loaded with massive amounts of empty calories. However, it can do serious harm to your health. So to eliminate that problem for you, we have covered all the required aspects of gaining weight the healthy way.

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