Note: this is in the case of someone who just freshly finished a cutting phase, potentially to a point where they hit a new PR in terms of leanness
Many fret and over-analyze how much they should up their calories by, and how to find the optimum sweet-spot with their calorie surplus.
My philosophy on this is actually quite simple: you’ve adopted a lot of good food habits and structural rules over the course of your diet, so the simplest way to transition into a lean gaining phase without getting crazy with your caloric surplus is by maintaining much of the same diet structure, while easing up on certain elements.
I myself have more or less stopped tracking my food immediately, but kept the structure more or less unchanged.
I still keep my meal frequency, my protein intake and distribution quite structured, but I allow my energy intake to autoregulate itself from moderate palatability, lower energy density foods. Believe it or not, when you’re at your peak leanness, it’s quite easy to get into a small surplus eating fruits and veggies for your carb sources.
Of course, this structure and the food choices will likely change over time. More starchy things may come in, and the amount of non-starchy veggies may decrease over time just to keep the rate of weight-gain going
The key point though is that you need to treat your body with respect after a tough diet. You’re capacity to eat food is higher than ever, your threshold for food reward is very low.
This of course has its pros and cons. The good news is that its very easy to make yourself happy with simple foods. The bad news is that if youre not careful, its easy to find yourself wrapped up under your kitchen table, having devouered the third box of cereal after you snapped.
So be smart from the get-go, and enjoy the crap out of your bro foods, initially at least 😉