Eggs are used to help those in a ‘bulking’ phase of training to gain weight. However, the number of eggs you eat depends on several factors, especially if you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass (and not fat).
How many eggs do you actually need to gain weight? For most people 3-6 eggs per day will be enough to gain weight, which can come from both whole eggs and egg whites. The amount of eggs needed to gain weight is very individualized and will depend on your metabolism, your activity level, and what else you’re eating throughout the day.
After reading this article you’ll learn:
- How to determine how many eggs to eat to gain weight
- If eating eggs every day is actually good for your health
- If eggs are a good option for those wanting to gain weight
How Many Eggs Do You Need To Gain Muscle: 3 Steps To Find Out
The number of eggs that is best to gain weight depends on how much our body needs to gain weight, how many eggs we actually want to eat per day, as well as how many other sources of protein and fat we’re eating throughout the day.
Here are the 3 steps you need to follow to determine how many eggs you need to eat per day to gain weight:
Step 1: Determine Your Calories
The first step to determine how many eggs to eat to gain weight is to determine what our calorie and macronutrient targets need to be for us to gain weight.
To gain weight we need to eat more calories than our body burns throughout the day, this is called a calorie surplus. Without a calorie surplus, we will not gain weight no matter what foods we eat.
So we need to determine how many calories we need to consume to achieve this calorie surplus before we can say how many eggs we need to eat.
To do this we can use a multiplier based on our activity levels and our current body weight to get an estimate of how many calories we will need to gain weight.
- Lightly Active (<3 hours per week): 16-18 x BW (lbs)
- Moderately Active (3-7 hours per week): 18-20 x BW (lbs)
- Highly Active (>7 hours per week): 20-22 x BW (lbs)
For example, if I weigh 180lbs and I’m moderately active, I should eat between 3240 and 3600 Calories per day to gain weight. For this example, I’ll go middle of the range and choose 3420 calories per day.
Now that we have our calorie range for weight gain determined we know how many calories we should be consuming per day.
We could stop here and have great success gaining weight, however, if we want this weight gain to be mostly muscle mass and not fat mass then we need to pay attention to where these calories are coming from.
Are you bulking properly?
Proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Determine Your Protein & Fat Needs
To help ensure that the weight we’re gaining is from muscle mass, we need to consume between 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
If we’re lightly active then we’ll be on the lower end of the range, and if we’re highly active then we’ll be on the higher end of the range.
If I weigh 180 lbs this would be a protein range of 144 to 216 grams of protein per day. I’m going to say that I’m moderately active and choose the middle of the range at 180 grams of protein per day as my target.
To determine how many calories that this equals out to we can multiply the number of grams of protein by 4 because protein has 4 calories per gram.
In my example, this would be 180 grams of protein x 4 cals/gram = 720 calories allocated to protein.
We can subtract the calories we’ve allocated to protein from our overall calorie goal for weight gain to see how many calories are left for the other macronutrients (fats and carbs).
3420 (overall calories) – 720 (protein calories) = 2700 (remaining calories)
Fats and carbs can be divided up as we like as long as they’re adding up to the overall calorie goal that we’ve determined will help us to gain weight.
If we’re someone who prefers carbs then we may allocate 60% of the remaining calories to carbs and 40% to fats. Or if we prefer fats over carbs, then we could do the opposite.
In this example, I’m going to prefer carbs to fats, so my calculations will look like this:
- 2700 (remaining calories) * 60% = 1620 Carb calories
- 2700 (remaining calories) * 40% = 1080 Fat calories
To convert the calories of carbs and fat to grams, we can divide them by the number of calories per gram they each have. Carbs have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories per gram.
1620 (carb calories) / 4 (cals/gram) = 405 grams of carbs per day.
1080 (fat calories) / 9 (cals/gram) = 120 grams of fat per day.
Now we’ve calculated everything we need to gain weight and to help ensure that the weight we gain is more likely to be muscle than fat.
Step 3: Understanding the Macronutrient Breakdown Of Eggs
The third step to determining how many eggs to eat to gain weight is understanding how many calories, carbs, proteins, and fats that one egg has compared to what we need to gain weight.
One egg offers 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbs.
We can use this knowledge to understand how many eggs it would take to hit our protein and fat targets.
If our protein target is 180 grams per day, and our fat target is 120 grams per day then it would take at least 30 eggs to hit our protein target. However, this would put us over our daily fat allowance by 20 grams.
It’s absolutely unrealistic to attempt to reach our daily protein and fat goals by only eating eggs because I doubt anyone would want to eat that many eggs in one day.
I think it’s more important to determine how many eggs per day we actually WANT to eat per day, and then we can fill in the gaps with other foods to hit our calories and macronutrients goals.
If we want to eat 4 eggs per day this would give us a total of 280 calories, 24 grams of protein, and 20 grams of fat. Then we would have 156 grams of protein remaining and 100 grams of fat remaining for the rest of the day.
We will also need to include some carb sources because eggs do not provide enough carbs for us to reach our daily carbohydrate goal. Carbs are important because they give us energy and are our body’s preferred fuel source.
Step 4: Plan Out What Other Protein & Fat Sources You Want To Include
Once we determine how many eggs we can realistically eat, we can determine what other foods we need to plug in to hit our calorie and macronutrient targets to achieve our calorie surplus and gain weight.
If we don’t enjoy other sources of protein or fat, then it makes sense to include more eggs in our diet so that we’re reaching our daily protein and fat goals.
However, if we enjoy eating a variety of protein and fat sources then we can probably eat fewer eggs daily.
Regardless of if we decide to eat 1 egg per day or 4 eggs per day, we will still need to include other foods into our day to make sure that we’re eating enough to gain weight.
We will need to include some carb sources into our day to make sure that we’re getting enough since eggs do not provide any carbs, and we will need additional protein and fat sources to hit our macronutrients goals for the day.
I suggest making a list of carbs, fats, and proteins that we enjoy and deciding how we want to combine them to form meals that will help us get to our daily calorie and macronutrient goals.
We should make sure that we’re being realistic with how many eggs we genuinely want to eat per day.
Although they are a relatively healthy food to include in our diet that can help us to gain weight when paired correctly with other foods, if we’re eating them to the point that we’re disgusted by them, then it isn’t worth it.
If we’re not crazy about eggs to begin with, then we shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to eat 4 of them per day. Any other food that contains protein and fats (meat, fish, yogurt, etc.) can replace eggs in our diet.
Check out our other resources on eggs:
- Are Eggs Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?
- Are Duck Eggs Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?
- 4 Eggs For Breakfast: Is This Healthy?
- Why Do Bodybuilders Drink Egg Whites?
- Drinking Egg Whites: Are There Benefits & Can You Drink Them
- Can You Mix Whey Protein With Eggs?
Can You Eat Eggs Every Day?
We can eat eggs every day if we don’t have high cholesterol and we are not at a higher risk for heart disease. If we do have high cholesterol or a higher risk of heart disease, it’s best not to eat eggs every day.
Eggs are a healthy protein source because they have many micronutrients, such as iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and more – all of which our body requires to function optimally.
Eggs often get a bad reputation because they do contain cholesterol, but the cholesterol that eggs have does not raise cholesterol levels the same way that processed or fried foods do. That being said, if we already have high cholesterol, then it’s best not to eat eggs in larger quantities.
- Eggs Help Us To Reach Our Protein Goals
- Eggs Provide Us With Healthy Fats
- Egg Have Lots Of Micronutrients To Offer
- Eggs Are Not High Enough In Calories For Bulking
- Eggs Shouldn’t Be Eaten As Frequently By Some Individuals
Looking for a scrambled eggs recipe? Try our Bodybuilding Scrambled Eggs with Veggies and Cheese
Are Eggs Good For Gaining Weight?
Eggs can help us gain weight by contributing to our calorie needs, but they aren’t the best option for gaining weight because they aren’t high in calories and therefore it will take a ton of them to be significant.
Eggs are a good option because of the protein that they provide, which helps ensure that the weight we gain is more likely to be lean tissue rather than fat gain.
However without a calorie surplus, it doesn’t matter how much protein we consume, we will still not gain weight.
To gain weight comfortably, it’s best if we consume foods that are a bit higher in calories because they tend to be lower volume foods that take up less space in our stomachs.
If we’re eating too many high-volume low-calorie foods, we will be too full to eat enough to reach our daily targets.
We can eat eggs and gain weight by making sure that we’re getting in enough calories throughout the day.
We can include eggs by pairing them with a good carbohydrate source like toast, a bagel, or oatmeal and perhaps some additional fat by cooking them in olive oil or adding cheese.
Related Article: 30 Ways To Increase Protein Intake Without Protein Powder
Have a FeastGood Nutrition Coach help you get results faster than trying to stick it out alone
The number of eggs we eat is important for weight gain but not as important as the total number of calories we’re consuming, and where the calories are coming from (protein, carbs, fats), especially if our goal is to gain more lean mass than fat mass.
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Egg Recipe Resources
About The Author
Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath. She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.