How many calories are too many? Is there a limit? We know it is important to be calorie conscious, and more calories might be needed to gain muscle, but Is it normal to eat 15,000 calories a day?
Here is the quick answer, no it is not normal to eat 15,000 calories a day. In fact, it is not necessary and could potentially cause you to gain much unwanted body fat and put your overall health at risk.
Let’s talk more about this and how to find your ideal calorie intake range.
Is It Normal To Eat 15,000 Calories a Day?
Eating 15,000 calories per day is not recommended, and is unsafe for most people. It is well above the calorie needs for even the largest and most active individuals, and could lead to rapid weight gain and potentially serious health problems.
The Role of The Basal Metabolic Rate and TDEE
Your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is the number of calories you burn at rest.
This is the absolute minimum amount of energy (calories) your body needs to maintain all of its vital functions, including breathing, circulating blood, digesting food, and more.
Your BMR is determined by many factors, including your age, weight, height, gender, and includes the following factors:
- Resting energy expenditure (REE): the number of calories your body burns when you are at rest
- Thermic effect of food (TEF): the number of calories your body burns to digest, absorb, and process food
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): the number of calories your body burns through everyday activities like walking, talking, and fidgeting
The BMR is what determines your daily calorie needs.
You can use a formula to calculate your BMR, or you can use an easy online calculator.
There are a few common formulas for calculating BMR, but the most common formula is:
- Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
- Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
Let’s use this formula and apply it to a person to show that 15,000 calories of daily intake is not needed.
Let’s take for example someone who weighs 200 pounds and is male. This person is 25 years old and 5’11. This person will require about 1,914 calories per day just to maintain their body weight.
Of course, most people are not resting all day. They are up and about, doing various activities which require energy. This may include exercise.
The more active you are, the more calories you will burn above your BMR.
So, if this person did moderate activity, this person could then calculate their TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
Your TDEE is simply your BMR + physical activity.
When calculating the TDEE for this individual, we see this person would require 2,967 calories to maintain their current weight including exercise that they may do daily.
Using these calculations, we can see that there is absolutely no reason for this person to consume 15,000 calories per day. Not to gain muscle, and not to shed body fat.
If this person consumed 15,000 calories per day, they would only gain body fat and likely reach a very unhealthy weight.
Related Post: How To Create a Calorie Deficit With a Low TDEE
Using BMR or TDEE to Calculate Calorie Deficit or Surplus
Once you have calculated your BMR or TDEE, it is easy to calculate calorie needs.
To lose body fat, a calorie deficit is needed. There is no other way known to man to lose body fat other than a calorie deficit.
If you want to lose weight in a calorie deficit, you would need to consume 200-500 calories below the number calculated for your BMR or TDEE.
If you want to gain muscle, you would need to consume slightly above this amount, about 200-300 calories in a surplus.
Related Post: Is a 700 Calorie Deficit Too Much?
Will Eating 15,000 Calories a Day Make You Gain Weight?
Eating 15,000 calories per day will undoubtedly cause you to gain weight.
Your body will not able to process and use all of those calories for energy, so it will store the calories it does not use as fat.
For the average person, consuming 15,000 calories per day could cause a weight gain of 40-50 pounds a month!
This is due to the fact that by eating upwards to 15,000 calories per day, you will be putting yourself into a massive calorie surplus.
A calorie surplus is when you consume more calories than you burn in a day and is the exact opposite of a calorie deficit.
A calorie surplus will cause your body to store the excess calories as fat because it knows it can use those calories later as energy. Your body will not need to utilize these excess calories, so by nature, it is going to save them for later.
Is Eating 15,000 Calories a day Dangerous?
Consuming 15,000 calories per day can be dangerous, and is never recommended.
Why is consuming this amount of calories dangerous? Easy, it will lead to unhealthy weight gain at a very quick pace and is not a sustainable way of eating.
Your body is not designed to process that amount of food, and over time, you will begin to suffer from the effects of carrying an unhealthy amount of weight.
Your organs will become fatigued from processing all the food, and you will likely experience other health problems as well.
Some of the health problems that you can expect as a result of eating 15,000 calories every single day over time are:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Mobility Issues
- Skin Issues
- Kidney disease or Kidney Failure
These are just a few of the many health problems that carrying excess weight can lead to and not an exhaustive list.
As you can see, eating 15,000 calories a day is not only unnecessary, but it is also dangerous to your health. If you are looking to gain weight, there are much healthier and safer ways to do so.
Is Consuming 15,000 Calories Per Day Good for Muscle Growth?
You do not need to consume 15,000 calories a day to gain muscle. All you need is a slight calorie surplus if you are serious about gaining muscle.
Creating a Calorie Surplus for Muscle Gains
In order to create a calorie surplus for gains that is safe and effective, you want to make sure that your surplus is not too drastic and excessive.
You should aim for a calorie surplus of 100-200 calories to start.
From there, you can monitor your weight and see how your body is responding to the extra calories before making any adjustments.
If you find that you are not gaining any weight after a few weeks, then you can slightly increase your surplus by 100-200 calories and continue to monitor your progress.
What you don’t want to do is do something drastic and unnecessary such as upping your calorie intake to 15,000 calories per day and eating every single thing in sight.
Many bodybuilders or individuals who are serious about putting on muscle make this mistake, and they all usually end up regretting it.
Why? Because they put on 40-50 pounds of body fat and have to lose it all in a cutting phase, which puts them at a higher risk of losing any muscle they just gained.
Also, when you gain this amount of body fat, it is harder to see the muscle that you worked hard to put on because it is buried underneath a layer of body fat.
The best thing to do is to start small, and work your way up. This way, when you want to cut again, you will have nowhere near as much body fat to lose.
Related Post: Ultimate Grocery List for Cutting
Is It Normal To Eat 12,000 Calories Per Day?
Consuming 12,000 calories per day is not necessary, and will cause an unhealthy amount of body fat gain.
You may be able to get away with consuming this many calories if you have a very high metabolism, which is not extremely common but for the average person, eating this much is going to cause weight gain and unwanted side effects and even disease.
If you are looking to put on muscle, you will want to aim for a calorie surplus of 100-200 calories per day. This is far more doable and is just smarter.
Let’s look at some famous people known for their calorie intake over the years:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – When he was bodybuilding, he is reported to have consumed up to 3,200-3,500 calories per day.
- Ronnie Coleman – The 8x Mr. Olympia is reported to have consumed up to 5,500 calories per day when he was trying to put on mass.
- Jay Cutler – The 4x Mr. Olympia is said to have eaten around 4,700 calories per day when preparing for competitions.
- Dorian Yates – The 6x Mr. Olympia is reported to have eaten around 5,000-6,000 calories per day during his prime years of bodybuilding.
- Michael Phelps – The American former Olympian admitted he used to consume on average up to 10,000 calories per day.
As you can see, none of these people ever needed to consume 12,000 calories per day.
They actually did not need to consume above 10,000 calories per day. That was just Michael Phelps.
Now I am not saying that any of the people mentioned above were natural by any means and it is common knowledge that some of them were not, but even so, consuming high amounts of calories that is unhealthy is not needed to put on size or to compete.
The average person who is trying to put on size does not need to consume extreme amounts of calories to do so and can start with a small calorie surplus.
You will save yourself a lot of headache avoiding super high calorie intake amounts like the plague.
Related Post: Can You Grow Glutes in a Calorie Deficit?
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How Many Calories Are Too Many to Eat In a Day?
Your Basal Metabolic Rate or TDEE is what determines how many calories are too many to consume per day.
For sedentary people, this is going to be lower than for those who have an active lifestyle.
If you want to know how many calories you should be eating per day, there are online calculators that can help you estimate your maintenance calories based on your age, weight, height, gender and activity level if you do not want to use the formula I included above.
You will need to calculate your own Basal Metabolic Rate or TDEE (BMR + physical activity.)
If your goal is to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit and eat less than your BMR or TDEE amount.
This means if your maintenance calorie amount for the day is calculated at 2,000 calories, you should not be eating above this number. This would be your maximum amount of calories if you are trying to shed some fat.
Related Post: How Many Calories Does The Body Absorb?
If you are trying to put on some muscle, you only need a slight calorie surplus, which would mean you can add 100-200 calories to this number and trial it for awhile and monitor progress.
You do not need to go overboard and eat 10,000 calories like Michael Phelps did. This is just way too much and is unnecessary. The average person is not swimming as much as him every single day.
Eating double or triple your maintenance calories is not going to help you put on muscle any faster, it is just going to make you extremely overweight.
Consuming 15,000 calories per day is not needed and is only going to make you unhealthy in the long run.
You will not put on muscle any faster by doing this and is just going to be a waste of time and not to mention, your hard earned money.
If your goal is to put on muscle, start with a small calorie surplus and increase it gradually as needed.
If your goal is to lose weight, start at a calorie deficit and only move down if weight loss has stalled.
There is no need to go overboard with your calorie intake as it is not going to benefit you in any way, shape, or form. Save yourself the headaches!
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