Do you want to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight?

It can be challenging to know how many calories you should eat daily. 

For the average person, a 3000 calorie meal plan puts them in a surplus. If this applies to you, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Prioritize foods that are high in protein and packed with nutrients.

It can be more difficult for some people to gain weight and muscle because of certain factors I’ll discuss today. But if you’re consistent, it’s doable.

Many people only think of losing fat when it comes to fitness goals. However, there are those of you looking to gain weight to improve your health, become stronger, and heal from eating disorders.

I have been a nutritionist for a few years now, and have helped many people add mass to their frames. 

I can tell you that who was successful really came down to who was consistently providing their body with the nutrients it needed to grow.

Keep reading to find out what you should optimally eat on a 3000 calorie bulking meal plan!

What is a 3000 calorie meal plan?

3000 calorie meal plan

A 3000 calories meal plan allows the average person to gain weight because they are in a caloric surplus. 

If gaining muscle is the primary goal, ensuring enough calories are consumed from protein is ideal.

You also want to be sure that you consume 3k calories a day worth of nutritious food that your body will benefit from. Your health will prosper much more from a clean bulk than a dirty bulk.

How much calories should I eat to gain weight?

While we don’t recommend the average person follow a 3000 calorie meal plan, here are a few different factors that may affect your daily calorie needs.

Genetics

Genetics tends to be a significant factor in how quickly your body processes calories. If you have a higher metabolism because of your genetics, you will need to eat more than the average person to gain weight and keep it on.

Gender

Men typically need to eat more than women to gain weight. This is because the average man is larger and carries more muscle mass.

In general, the more muscle mass someone has on their frame, the more they need to eat to maintain it and grow further.

Age

As you age, your metabolism will slow down. So essentially, the older you are, the easier it is for you to gain weight because you can quickly be in a caloric surplus.

This is what makes it difficult for older people to lose weight, but if you are trying to gain weight, it shouldn’t be too tricky!

Height

Going along with how men have to eat more calories than women to gain weight due to average size, a taller person burns through more calories in a day than a shorter person. Because of this, they would need to eat more calories to gain weight.

Training Type

How you exercise is a huge determinant of how many calories you need to gain weight. 

Different types of exercise have you burning various amounts of calories, which contributes to what number will put you in a surplus.

For example, if you only do yoga and walking, these are more gentle activities that won’t have you burning an insane amount of calories. 

On the other hand, exercise forms like weightlifting and HIIT will require you to eat more to gain weight.

Your Diet Goals

Because your diet goal is to gain weight, you want to be in a caloric surplus.    

On the other hand, if you wanted to lose weight, you would need to be in a caloric deficit.

How to calculate your daily calorie needs?

3000 calorie diet

If you want to gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus. For many people, this means following a 3000 calorie diet. 

A healthy goal would be to gain one pound a week. While part of this pound will end up being fat, you can worry about losing that when you cut later on.

There are 3,500 calories in one pound, so you want to eat 500 calories more than your daily maintenance calories. 

Your maintenance calories are what you consume to stay at your current weight.

What does 3000 Calories look like? 

Protein

In general, hitting a protein goal should be prioritized over both carbohydrates and fats in your 3000 calorie diet. Protein is an excellent macronutrient because of the following:

  • The body burns more calories to digest protein than it does carbs or fats.
  • It is the most satiating macro, so you will be full for longer after consuming it.
  • It is fuel for your muscles. Gaining muscle mass isn’t possible without a steady and sufficient source of protein.

If you are exercising regularly, aim to eat at least one gram of protein for every pound that you weigh. 

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would have 200 grams of protein daily. This amounts to 800 calories.

Figure this number out before paying attention to the number of grams of carbs and fats you will have. Of course, it is very dependent on your weight, but people typically get between 25% and 35% of the calories from protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body and are responsible for making your workout sessions effective and intense. 

While many people view carbs as bad, this really isn’t the case.

It is just very easy for people to snack on unhealthy carbs like chips and candy, and this leads to overeating and weight gain. 

If you instead have carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you benefit your body by providing it with various nutrients in a low-calorie meal or snack.

What percentage of your 3000 calorie diet comes from carbs is ultimately determined by how your specific body is. Some people feel better when they eat more fats, and others thrive on a high-carb diet. 

So which one are you? Either way, you will likely fall between 35% and 55%.

Fats

We have determined that carbohydrates are not actually bad, but are fats? It really depends on the source. 

Of course, you want to avoid the obvious, such as fried foods, but there are plenty of sources of healthy fats that greatly benefit your body, especially your heart, brain, and hormone levels.

As mentioned before, how many grams of fat you consume depends on whether you thrive more with carbs or fats. The typical range for fats is lower, between 20% and 30%.

What are the foods you should include in your plan?

3000 calorie a day meal plan

If you want to gain muscle but not go through a “dirty bulk,” you need to include nutritious and high-protein foods in your 3000 calorie a day meal plan.

Because it is a whole process to gain muscle, your body needs all the clean energy it can get through lean meats, fruits, veggies, whole grains, nut butters, nuts and seeds, and more.

If you are worried that you still won’t be getting all the vitamins you need just from food daily, try taking a multivitamin as a backup.

What are the foods you should avoid?

While it may be hard for some people to naturally consume 3000 calories a day, this doesn’t mean you should fill up on high-calorie junk foods. 

It would undoubtedly make hitting your calorie goal more manageable, but it would be very difficult to get enough protein and nutrients.

Here are a few foods that it is best that you keep to a minimum or avoid altogether:

  • Pastries
  • Candy
  • Fried foods
  • Ice cream
  • Sugary drinks
  • Soda
  • Alcohol 
  • Fast food

7-Day Simple 3000 Calorie Meal Plan for Muscle Gain 

3000 Calorie Meal Plan for Muscle Gain

The following example meal plan is for someone who needs to eat 225 grams of protein a day, and the percentages of fat and carbs vary.

Having a 3000 calorie meal prep planned out will make following a food plan to gain weight more realistic and achievable.

Day 1

Breakfast: Protein Oatmeal With Berries

Ingredients:

  • 53 g quick oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 scoops protein powder
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup blueberries 
  • Calories: 705
  • Protein: 52 g 
  • Carbs: 71 g
  • Fat: 27 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Tuna on Sourdough and a Banana

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans drained tuna
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 banana
  • Calories: 695
  • Protein: 49 g
  • Carbs: 54 g
  • Fat: 32 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ c granola
  • 70 g strawberries
  • Calories: 354
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Carbs: 33 g
  • Fat: 13 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: Chicken, Veggies, and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicken
  • 1 ⅔ c rice
  • 44 g broccoli
  • ½ bell pepper
  • 1 oz cashew pieces
  • 2 tbsp Teriyaki sauce
  • Calories: 738
  • Protein: 61 g
  • Carbs: 92 g
  • Fat: 18 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 56 g popcorn
  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 42 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 2

Breakfast: Blueberry Protein Pancakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup protein pancake mix
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Calories: 700
  • Protein: 33 g
  • Carbs: 120 g
  • Fat: 14 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Asian Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz salmon
  • 2 cups Asian chopped salad mix
  • Calories: 560
  • Protein: 44 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Fat: 29 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: String Cheese and Fruit

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces string cheese
  • 1 apple
  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: Ground Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz ground turkey
  • ½ cup pinto beans
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup red kidney beans
  • 3 fl oz marinara sauce
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • Calories: 868
  • Protein: 93 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 27 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: HaloTop

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla Halo Top
  • Calories: 300
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 63 g
  • Fat: 6 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 3

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Peanut Butter Toast

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • Calories: 701
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Carbs: 36 g
  • Fat: 44 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Sandwich and Protein Bar

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices protein bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 5 slices smoked turkey breast
  • 2 slices Colby Jack cheese 
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 protein bar
  • Calories: 783
  • Protein: 59 g
  • Carbs: 51 g
  • Fat: 40 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ c granola
  • 70 g strawberries
  • Calories: 354
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Carbs: 33 g
  • Fat: 13 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: High-Protein Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 high-protein tortilla
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • Calories: 651
  • Protein: 71 g
  • Carbs: 26 g
  • Fat: 32 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks

Snacks: Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 56 g popcorn
  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 42 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 4

Breakfast: Protein Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Moo’s Protein Muffins
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • ½ c almond milk
  • Calories: 635
  • Protein: 67 g
  • Carbs: 74 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Sushi and Protein Bar

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls of sushi
  • 1 protein bar
  • Calories: 998
  • Protein: 49 g
  • Carbs: 140 g
  • Fat: 26 g 

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: String Cheese and Fruit

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces string cheese
  • 1 apple
  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: Tofu and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 255 g cubed extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ c sliced cucumbers
  • Calories: 504
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Carbs: 54 g
  • Fat: 20 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: HaloTop

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla Halo Top
  • Calories: 300
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 63 g
  • Fat: 6 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 5

Breakfast: Breakfast Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ bell pepper
  • ½ cup spinach
  • Calories: 627
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Carbs: 61 g
  • Fat: 25 g

Time: 6:30 am 

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Chicken and Veggie Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 2 high-protein tortillas
  • 8 oz chicken
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup black beans
  • Calories: 670
  • Protein: 77 g
  • Carbs: 55 g
  • Fat: 20 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ c granola
  • 70 g strawberries
  • Calories: 354
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Carbs: 33 g
  • Fat: 13 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: Salmon Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz noodles
  • 8 oz salmon
  • ⅓ cup alfredo sauce
  • Calories: 820
  • Protein: 57 g
  • Carbs: 108 g
  • Fat: 19 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 56 g popcorn
  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 42 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 6

Breakfast: Protein Oatmeal With Berries

Ingredients:

  • 53 g quick oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 scoops protein powder
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup blueberries 
  • Calories: 705
  • Protein: 52 g 
  • Carbs: 71 g
  • Fat: 27 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Asian Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz salmon
  • 2 cups Asian chopped salad mix
  • Calories: 560
  • Protein: 44 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Fat: 29 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: String Cheese and Fruit

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces string cheese
  • 1 apple
  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: High-Protein Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 high-protein tortillas
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • Calories: 895
  • Protein: 90 g
  • Carbs: 50 g
  • Fat: 42 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: HaloTop

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla Halo Top
  • Calories: 300
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 63 g
  • Fat: 6 g

Time: 9:30 pm

Day 7

Breakfast: Blueberry Protein Pancakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup protein pancake mix
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Calories: 700
  • Protein: 33 g
  • Carbs: 120 g
  • Fat: 14 g

Time: 6:30 am

Snacks: Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 55 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Time: 9:30 am

Lunch: Sandwich and Protein Bar

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices protein bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 5 slices smoked turkey breast
  • 2 slices Colby Jack cheese
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 protein bar
  • Calories: 783
  • Protein: 59 g
  • Carbs: 51 g
  • Fat: 40 g

Time: 12:30 pm

Snacks: Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ c granola
  • 70 g strawberries
  • Calories: 504
  • Protein: 48 g
  • Carbs: 39 g
  • Fat: 16 g

Time: 3:30 pm

Dinner: Tofu and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 255 g cubed extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ c sliced cucumbers
  • Calories: 504
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Carbs: 54 g
  • Fat: 20 g

Time: 6:30 pm

Snacks: Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 56 g popcorn
  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 42 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Time: 9:30 pm

3000 Calorie Meal Plan With PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 3000 calories a lot?

If you are an average person who is not trying to gain weight, then 3,000 calories is a lot and will likely put you in a caloric surplus.

How to eat 3000 calories a day?

Figure out how many meals you would like to eat per day, and then divide your total calories evenly between those meals to make following a healthy 3000 calorie diet more doable.

How much weight will I gain by eating 3000 calories a day?

How much weight you will gain from consuming 3000 calories a day depends on many factors, including height, current weight, age, activity levels, and more.

If your maintenance calories are currently 2,500, then you would gain one pound a week by eating 3,000 calories daily.

How many meals is 3000 calories?

How many meals make up your 3000 calorie meal plan to gain muscle is up to you. 3000 calorie meals are certainly a thing, but it may be better to divide it between three and six meals a day.

Can you build muscle on 3000 calories?

You can certainly build muscle from eating 3000 calories a day as long as that number puts you in a surplus and you are getting enough protein regularly.

Conclusion

We hope you found our guide to following a 3000 calorie meal plan to gain weight helpful! 

If this is the right amount of calories for you, and you are consistent with the plan, then you should start seeing steady progress in no time.

Gaining weight isn’t the easiest thing to do for some people, but a 3000 calorie bulking meal prep is typically what the average person needs to make it happen.

Comment below to share how your journey with gaining weight has been going so far, and don’t forget to share this article with anyone you think needs a meal plan for 3000 calories a day!