3000-Calorie Meal Plan 

Fuel your journey to greatness with this mouthwatering 3,000-calorie meal plan, featuring three delectable days of nutrient-packed options crafted by experienced dietitians just for you!

Why you will love this 3000-calorie meal plan: 

  • Each recipe includes ingredients, directions, calories, and macronutrients
  • Three different combinations of meals to make an example meal plan
  • All of the 3000-calorie meal plans meet the MyPlate Guidelines.

Who should follow a 3,000-calorie meal plan?

An individual’s caloric needs depend on several factors, including height, weight, gender, age, and activity level. 

Both men and women can use a 3000-calorie diet for various purposes. Here are some common reasons why someone might consume 3000 calories a day:

Highly active individuals: Athletes or people who engage in intense physical activity daily may require higher calorie intake to support their energy expenditure, fuel performance, and maintain weight.

Weight gain: For some, 3000 calories would be an adequate amount of calories for weight gain. Remember, to gain weight; you must eat more calories than you burn per day. 

Weight loss: For individuals with a high activity level or a large frame, eating 3,000 calories daily would put them in a calorie deficit, causing weight loss. 

What to include in a 3000-calorie diet?

Include foods from the five food groups outlined in the MyPlate recommendations. These food groups include low-fat dairy, lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Ideally, consuming the following servings of each food group: 

Low-fat dairy: 3 servings (cups) per day.

Lean protein: 5-12 oz per day *more or less depending. 

Whole grains: 3-5 oz of whole grains per day. 

Fruits: 1&½ – 2&½ cups per day 

Vegetables: 2&½ – 4&½ cups per day. 

These values are based on the USDA recommendations for adult males and females. 

Macronutrient ratios for 3000 calories

The recommended macronutrient ratios are 10-30% protein,  25-35% fats, and 45-65% carbohydrates. For a daily intake of 3000 calories, it’s suggested to consume 300-900 calories from protein, 750-900 calories from fat, and 1350-1950 calories from carbohydrates.

Protein and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, while fat contains nine calories per gram. Based on the calorie ranges recommended, consume between 75-225 grams of protein, 83-100 grams of fat, and 337-487 grams of carbs daily.

You can use your current weight and activity level to calculate your macronutrient targets. You can gauge your macro target for weight loss or weight gain, depending on your goals. You can go into more detail by reading the macros for cutting or building muscle. 

I used Cronometer Tracking app to create this meal plan. Using this link, signup to Cronometer.com and save 10% on gold subscriptions.

3000-calorie meal plan 

This 3000-calorie meal plan includes two different example days.  

Day #1: 

3000 calorie meal plan

The first day of this 3000-calorie plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks. 

Breakfast: Denver Omelet with Oatmeal

Ingredients: 
Ingredients: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Whole eggsNA3 whole eggs 
Egg whites150 g4 oz
Green bell pepper 56 g¼ cup 
White onion56 g¼ cup
Tomato56 g¼ cup 
Mushrooms56 g¼ cup
Spinach NA1 hand full
Oatmeal 45 g¼ cup
Honey22 g1 Tbsp 
Blueberries150 g1 cup
Directions: 
  1. Start by whisking together eggs and egg whites in a bowl. 
  2. Chop up your vegetables and add them to the egg mixture. 
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the egg mixture. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Flip the omelet over and continue cooking until the eggs are cooked. 
  5. Prepare your oatmeal and add the blueberries and honey.
  6. Enjoy! 
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
73246 g83 g25 g11 g

Snack: Nuts, yogurt, and fruit

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Greek yogurt150 g5.3 oz container
Almonds 28 g1 oz
BananaNA1 whole
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
38023 g48 g15 g13 g

Lunch: Turkey sandwich 

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Whole grain bread90 grams2 slices
Deli sliced turkey breast. 98 g5 slices
LettuceNA2 slices 
TomatoNA2 slices 
Cheddar cheese28 g1 slice
Mustard NA1 tbsp
MayoNA1 tbsp 
Oven-baked potato chips50 g1 serving
Directions: 
  1. Assemble your sandwich and enjoy! 
Calories and macros:
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
70441 g87 g24 g13 g

Snack: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 

peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Whole grain bread90 grams2 slices
Peanut butter28 g1 tbsp
Jelly 56 g2 tbsp
Directions: 
  1. Assemble your PB&J and enjoy!
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
42814 g73 g11 g9 g

Dinner: Salmon

Salmon White Rice and Broccoli
Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Salmon 115 g4 oz 
White rice150 g1 cup 
Steamed Veggies75 g½ cup
Directions: 
  1. Season and cook salmon (I like to use a honey mustard glaze) 
  2. Prepare the rice
  3. Steam veggies
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
65032 g65 g28 g4 g

Snack: Cottage cheese and peaches

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Cottage cheeseNA½ cup 
PeachNA1 whole
Honey 56 g1 tbsp
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
22316 g42 g2 g3 g

Summary of day one: 

Calories: 3003
Protein: 171 g
Carbs: 395 g
Fats: 94 g
Fiber: 50 g
Sodium: 2600 mg
Saturated fat: 24 g

Day #2: 

3000 calorie meal plan

Day two of the 3000 calorie meal plan will include breakfast lunch and dinner with two snacks.

Breakfast: Strawberry peanut butter and banana smoothie

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Strawberries2201 cup 
BananaNA1 whole
Whey protein 31 g1 Scoop
Greek yogurt 62 g¼ cup 
Oatmeal 20 gNA
Peanut butter16 g1 tbsp
Chia seeds 10 g1 tbsp
Low-fat milk NA1 cup
Directions: 
  1. Add your ingredients to a blender, blend, and enjoy. 
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
64348 g87 g15 g14 g
Strawberry banana peanut butter smoothie on a marble counter top.

Snack:  Cereal, string cheese, and fruit

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
String cheese28 g1 oz
Cold cereal (Wheaties) 36 g1 cup 
MilkNA1 cup
Blueberries148 g1 cup
Honey21 g1 tbsp 

Calories and macros: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
44020 g81 g7 g8 g

Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Buffalo Ranch Chicken 115 gNA
Whole wheat tortilla NA8 inch  
LettuceNA1-2 leaves 
Tomato NA1-2 slices
Avocado 60 g½  sliced 
Shredded cheese 28 g1 oz
Apple NA1 large 
Directions: 
  1. To make the Buffalo Ranch Chicken, add 2-3 lbs chicken, ½ cup of hot sauce, ½ cup of chicken broth, and ½ cup of Greek yogurt to a crockpot, cover and cook for 4-6 hours. On low. 
  2. Once cooked, shred the chicken and assemble your wrap using the ingredients above. 
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
69349 g65 g28 g14 g

Snack: Granola bar and trail mix

Ingredients:
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Nature Valley bar NA1 pack
Almonds 28 g1 oz
Dried fruit 80 g½ cup
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
59010 g98 g21 g10 g

Dinner: Ground Beef Taco Bowl

Ground Beef Taco Bowl Meal Prep
Ingredients: 
Name: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Ground beef >90%NA2lbs
Taco seasoning NA2 tbsp 
Tomato paste NA3 tbsp
BrothNA¾ cup
LettuceNA8 cups
SalsaNA½ cup 
Ranch seasoning NA1 tbsp 
Greek yogurtNA½ cup 
Shredded cheese NA8 oz
White riceNA8 servings
Directions: 
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add ground beef and stir it with a spatula to break it up. Cook it for 7-9 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
  2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water. Stir until the sauce and seasonings blend well with the beef. Keep cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it gets heated thoroughly. Finally, season it with salt and pepper to your taste.
  3. To make the Salsa Ranch dressing, mix salsa, Greek yogurt, and ranch seasoning in a small bowl until smooth and well combined.
  4. Assemble the bowls with red onion, jalapeno, white onion, cilantro, and limes.
Calories and macros: 
Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
58640 g50 g25 g5 g

Summary of day two: 

Calories: 2953
Protein: 168 g
Carbs: 381 g
Fats: 95 g
Fiber: 50 g
Sodium: 2200 mg
Saturated fat: 26 g

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you gain if you eat 3000 calories a day?

As a dietitian, I can tell you that weight gain from consuming 3,000 calories per day depends on several factors, including your age, gender, current weight, and activity level. If you are of average size and consume 3000 calories, you will be in a 500-700 calorie surplus daily. 

This could lead to a weight gain of approximately 1-2 pounds per week. However, individual results may vary.

How much protein do I need, 3000 calories a day?

The amount of protein you need is around 15-35% of 3000 calories per day, giving you a range of 75-225 grams daily. You can also use your body weight to calculate your ideal protein intake. Multiplying your weight in kilograms by 1.2-1.7 gives you the ideal amount of protein. 

Will I gain muscle if I eat 3000 calories a day?

Yes, you can grow muscle by eating 3000 calories per day. It is important to note that the ideal conditions for building muscle are consuming enough calories and protein inaddition to strength training. 

Why am I not gaining weight but eating a lot of calories?

If you are not gaining weight but feel like you are eating a lot of calories, chances are you need to eat more. Often when I see clients struggling to gain weight, it is because of a need for more consistency. You need to increase your calorie intake every day of the week, not just a few days in a row.

Final thoughts 

Consuming 3000 calories per day can be difficult. This meal plan aims to provide two examples and guide you on what foods to include in your diet. 

Disclaimer

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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