3500 Calorie Meal Plan

Are you searching for a muscle-building meal plan that delivers 3500 calories and plenty of protein? Look no further! You’ve discovered the perfect solution here.

In this blog post, we will run through one example day of 3500 calories with about 200 grams of protein, 450 grams of carbohydrate, 100 grams of fat, and 50 grams of fiber.

Macros for a 3500-calorie meal plan

I used the macronutrients for this 3500-calorie meal plan during my 2021 bulking period. Tailored for a 5’11” male weighing 190 lbs who was training intensely for five to six days a week, this diet regimen took me from 190 to 220!

MacroGramsCalories% Calories
Protein 200 g800 calories23%
Carbs 450 g1800 calories51%
Fats100 g 900 calories26%

This blog post was written by registered dietitian nutritionist Noah Quezada. Although I am a medical professional with an extensive background in nutrition, you may need a different recommendation. Please talk to your physician before drastically changing your dietary intake. This meal plan does not take into account any allergies or intolerances.

Example Day 

Protein sources: beef jerky, whey protein, epic meat bars, egg whites, salmon, bison, chicken breast, eggs.
Meal #Meal Name Recipe
Meal #1BreakfastVeggie Omelet and Toast
Meal #2Snack Greek Yogurt w/ Berries
Meal #3LunchTurkey Chili
Meal #4Snack Post-workout Shake and Bagel 
Meal #5Dinner Salmon Potatoes & Broccoli 
Meal #6Evening Treat Ice cream

This meal plan was designed using Cronometer.

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3500-calorie meal plan

Breakfast (Meal #1) 

Veggie Omelet Fruit and Toast 

Ingredients: Grams Volume/Quantity 
Whole eggsNA4 whole eggs 
Egg whites200 g7 0z
VegetablesNA1 cup
Whole grain toastNA3 slices 
Jelly40 g2 Tbsp 
Fruit (berries) 150 g1.25 cups 

Directions: 

1. Start by whisking together 4 eggs and 200 grams of egg whites in a bowl. 

2. Chop up your favorite vegetables and add them to the egg mixture. Popular options include bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes. 

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. Toast 2 slices of your favorite whole grain bread and spread 1 teaspoon of jelly on each slice. 

6. Slice up your favorite fruit and enjoy. 

If you want a quicker breakfast option that offers high protein and higher calories, check out the high-calorie smoothie recipes.

Nutrition Facts: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
85158 g98 g22 g15 g

A.M. Snack (Meal #2) 

Greek Yogurt with Berries and Honey 

Ingredients: Grams Volume 
Greek yogurt 122 g½ cup 
Blueberries150 g1 cup 
Almond butter15 g1 tbsp 
Granola28 g1 oz
Honey21 g1 tbsp 

Directions: 

1. Take a bowl and scoop out some Greek yogurt. 

2. Rinse and drain blueberries, then add them to the bowl. 

3. Drizzle almond butter and honey over Greek yogurt and blueberries. 

4. Add a few spoonfuls of granola for added crunch.  

Nutrition Info:

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
45220 g60 g18 g7 g

Lunch (Meal #3) 

Turkey Chili

Be sure to check out the full recipe, including a video tutorial on making this Macro Friendly Turkey Chili. Just be sure to change the serving size to ~800 grams. 

Ingredients: Grams Volume 
Ground turkey 453 g1lb
White onion 194 g1 large 
Bell peppers3282
Diced Tomatoes 850 g15 oz 
Canned red kidney beans425 g15 oz 
Canned black beans425 g15 oz 
Canned corn164 g1 cup 
Olive oil14 g1 tbsp 
Fresh garlic6 g2-3 cloves 
Chili powder8 g1 tbsp 
Onion powder6 g1 tsp 
Cumin6 g1 tbsp 
Paprika8 g1 tbsp 
White Flour8 g1 tbsp 
Bowl of macro-friendly chili on a white cutting board with the letter N

Directions: 

1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Once the oil is hot, add diced onions and garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. 

3. Add ground turkey to the pan, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon.

4. Cook the ground meat until it’s browned and cooked, about 7-10 minutes. 

5. Add diced tomatoes, red kidney beans, black beans, corn, and seasonings in a crock pot. Mix everything so that it’s well combined. 

6. Transfer the ground turkey, onions, and garlic to the crockpot and mix again

7. Add your veggies (green and red bell pepper) to the crockpot, mix well, and cook on medium to high for 2-4 hours. 

Nutrition Info: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
74748 g76 g29 g15 g

P.M. Snacks (Meal #4)

Post-workout – protein shake with bagel and jelly 

Scoop of whey protein powder
Ingredients: Grams Volume 
Whey protein powder 31 g1 scoop
Bagel 131 g1 whole 
Jelly 40 g2 tbsp 

Dietitian Talk: After a vigorous workout, replenishing your body with quickly absorbed proteins like whey protein and carbohydrates such as bagel with jelly will help you to recover. For more information on the best protein powder, check out the best low-calorie protein powder article.

Directions: 

1. Start by blending a scoop of whey protein powder with 8 ounces of water or your favorite plant-based milk until smooth. (Milk will alter the calories and macros) 

2. Toast a whole grain bagel and spread 1 tablespoon of jelly. 

Nutrition Info: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
577 38 g100 g3 g3 g

Dinner (Meal #5) 

Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Broccoli 

Picture of salmon potato and broccoli cooked on a white plate.

Check out how to make the sweet potato and broccoli recipe on YouTube. Cook the salmon how you like or follow the instructions below. 

Ingredients: Grams Volume 
Salmon 113 g4 oz
Broccoli 150 g1 cup
Sweet potato 140 g1 med
White potato 150 g1 small
Olive oil 7 g.5 tbsp 
Garlic powder NA.25 tsp 
Onion powder NA.25 tsp 
Salt & pepper NA.25 tsp 

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). 

2. Cut sweet potatoes into cubes and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

3. Grease a baking sheet with some olive oil and set aside. 

4. Place salmon fillets on the baking sheet and season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 

5. Bake salmon for 15-20 minutes or until done.

6. steam the broccoli for 5-7 minutes while the salmon is baking. 

7. Plate everything together and enjoy

Nutrition Info: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
58239 g72 g16 g12 g

Evening Snack 

Come nighttime, most of my protein consumption has been met. At this point, I fill the remainder with carbs and fat as desired – usually as a sweet treat such as ice cream. If you are looking for a high-protein dessert, be sure to check out my list of macro friendly dessert.

Ice cream 

Ingredients: Grams Volume 
Vanilla ice cream131 g1 cup 

Nutrition Info: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
2735 g31 g15 g1 g

Tips for following a 3500-calorie diet

Plan – Constantly eating 3500 calories can be challenging. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you make sure that you are getting the proper nutrition throughout the day. 

Distribute – When trying to maintain 3500 calories per day, especially when you are focusing on protein, complex carbs, vegetables, and healthy fats, it is important to spread out your meals throughout the day. 

Focus on meeting your fruit and vegetable requirements– Getting the right amount of fruits and vegetables is essential in any diet. It is especially important when consuming 3500 calories daily as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Focus on lean protein sources – When following a 3500-calorie diet,  it is important to focus on lean protein sources such as poultry, lean-cut pork, and fish. This will help you keep your saturated fat in check. 

Limit saturated fat/sodium intake – Limiting your saturated fat and sodium intake is important in any diet, especially when consuming 3500 calories daily. Limit processed and deep-fried foods,  and opt for lean protein, whole grains, and fresh or frozen fruits, and vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get 3500 calories a day?

Getting 3500 calories requires planning and meal preparation. Start by dividing your day into three core meals and adding two substantial snacks or smaller meals to reach your caloric goal. Be sure to include lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. 

How much food is 3500 calories a day?

3500 calories a day is about 3-6 servings of protein (15-30 g per serving), 25-38 servings of carbohydrate (15 g per serving), and 6 servings of fat (15 g per serving). 

Is 3500 calories good for bulking?

Depending on the individual, 3500 calories can be ideal for bulking up. However, it may not suffice or be too abundant for some. To determine the perfect caloric intake for your body, I recommend you figure out your maintenance calories and increase that number by 10-20%.

What does a 3500-calorie diet look like?

Regarding food, countless meal and snack combinations will yield 3500 calories. Every meal (3-5 meals per day) should consist of 1-1.5 servings of protein (30-45g), 1-1.5 servings of fat (15-22g), and 5-8 servings of carbohydrates (75-115g). 

Additionally, two snacks with a single serving each for protein and carbohydrates should be eaten throughout the day. Ending the day with a treat or snack. I like using the evening snack to fill some of my carbs and fats. 

Final thoughts 

If you want to bulk up, this 3500-calorie meal plan worked wonders for me. With the vast array of options for reaching that daily caloric goal, it is a relief to have a plan set out for you.

If you try this high-protein 3500-calorie meal plan, please let me know how you like it. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

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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