4000 Calorie Meal Plan

A 4000-calorie meal plan includes pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout nutrition in addition to five meals. This meal plan is designed for athletes.

This meal plan includes nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, and fish, and may not be suitable for those with food allergies.

4000-calorie meal plan overview

This 4000 calorie meal plan includes five meals with the ingredients listed in grams and volume measurements. In addition, each recipe includes simple instructions and the calories, macronutrients, and fiber. See the plan below. 

  • Meal one: Egg scramble and oatmeal 
  • Meal two: Bagel sandwich 
  • Meal three: Grilled chicken sweet potato and broccoli
  • Meal four: Milk PB&J with fruit
  • Meal five: Salmon rice and asparagus

Of the 4000 calories, 20% come from protein, 30% from fat, and 50% from carbohydrate. See the table below.  

MacronutrientPercentCaloriesGrams 
Protein24%944236 g
Fat25%1017113 g
Carbohydrate54% (+fiber)2164541 g

Lastly, this meal plan includes a workout nutrition regimen, which consists of a pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout snack. See the snacks below. 

  • Pre-workout nutrition: Cereal, milk and honey 
  • Intra-workout nutrition: Gatorade 
  • Post-workout nutrition: Protein shake and fruit

Who needs to eat 4000 calories? 

Those who need to eat 4000 calories daily typically engage in sports, weight lifting, and wanting to maintain or gain weight. Energy needs are based on the individual’s sex, age, weight, height, and activity level. 

Here are a few examples of individuals needing 4,000 calories per day.

  • Student and adolescent male athletes (Read more at Nutrition With Wendi
  • Endurance (running, biking, or swimming) athletes 
  • Weight and muscle gain – Eating in a calorie surplus 
  • Lean bulking – Eating in a calorie surplus 

What to include in a 4000-calorie meal plan

Foods to include on a 4000-calorie meal plan are a variety of lean protein, dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Including various ingredients from each of the five food groups gives you the best chance to get the most possible nutrients. 

4000-calorie meal plan

This 4000-calorie meal plan includes pre, intra, and post-workout nutrition and 5 meals. 

I used Cronometer and the USDA FoodData Bank to create this meal plan. Please be aware that many different ingredients are offered for the same type of food. Each component will have varying nutrition information and may confuse when replicating this meal plan. 

Pre-workout nutrition: Cereal, milk and honey 

Timing: Plan on eating a full meal 2-4 hours before your training, then 60 minutes before your pre-workout meal.

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
Cheerios1.5 cups39 g
Milk (2%) 1 cup 240 g
Honey 1 tbsp 22 g

Intra-workout nutrition: Gatorade 

Timing: During your workout, specifically any workout that lasts more than 1 hour, plan on consuming 30-60 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates. 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
Gatorade20 oz bottle na

Post-workout nutrition: Protein shake and fruit

Timing: After your workout, consume some protein and carbohydrates to help replenish what was used during your workout. 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
FairLife protein 1 bottle NA
Dates 5 whole

Meal one: Egg scramble and oatmeal 

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
Eggs4 whole 200 g
Red bell pepper½ cup chopped 75 g
Diced onion¼ cup chopped 49 g
Spinach 1 cup 30 g
Low-fat cheese1 oz28 g
Oatmeal ½ cup 45 g
Blueberry 1 cup 148 g
Honey1 tbsp 21 g
Milk ½ cup 122 g

Directions: 

Egg Scramble:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat 
  2. Sauté bell pepper and onion, add spinach.
  3. Pour egg mixture, cook until set, and sprinkle cheese.
  4. Serve with oatmeal.

Oatmeal with Blueberries:

  1. Add oatmeal and milk to a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes
  2. Top with blueberries
  3. Drizzle honey
  4. Enjoy!

Calories and macronutrients: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
78545 g88 g29 g11 g

Meal two: Bagel sandwich 

Bagel sandwich 

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
Bagel 1 whole 95 g
Eggs 2 whole 100 g
Turkey bacon 2 slices 56 g
Swiss cheese1 slices 28 g
Banana 1 whole 112 g

Directions: 

  1. Toast the bagel.
  2. Cook eggs and turkey bacon.
  3. Assemble: Bagel, eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese.
  4. Serve with a banana.

Calories and macronutrients: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
55240 g73 g16 g9 g

Meal three: Grilled chicken sweet potato and broccoli

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams 
Chicken breast 5 oz142 g
Sweet potato1.5 cup225 g
Broccoli 1 cup 91 g
Olive oil (cooking) ½ tbsp 7 g

Directions: 

  1. Season chicken and grill until cooked.
  2. Dice sweet potato, toss with olive oil, roast (20 min at 400 degrees) 
  3. Steam broccoli until tender.
  4. Plate chicken, sweet potato, and broccoli.

Calories and macronutrients: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
54251 g52 g15 g10 g

Meal four: Milk PB&J with fruit

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams Grams 
Milk 1 cup 240 g
Jelly 2 tbsp 40 g
Apple 1 medium 182 g
Almond butter2 tbsp 31 g
Whole grain bread 2 slices 90 g

Directions: 

  1. Assemble PB&J
  2. Serve with an apple and a glass of 2% milk

Calories and macronutrients: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
740 25 g112 g26 g46 g

Meal five: Salmon rice and asparagus. 

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: Volume/Quantity Grams Grams 
Salmon 4 oz 113 g
White rice cooked1.25 cup198 g
Asparagus7 spears 112 g 

Directions: 

  1. Season the salmon
  2. Grill or bake salmon until done.
  3. Cook white rice according to package directions.
  4. Steam asparagus until tender.
  5. Plate salmon, rice, and asparagus. Enjoy!

Calories and macronutrients: 

Calories:Protein:Carbs:Fats:Fiber: 
51533 g60 g15 g3 g

Day summary: 

Calories: 4004
Protein: 236 g
Carbs: 541 g
Fats: 113 g
Fiber: 61 g
Sodium: 2788 mg
Saturated fat: 30 g

Final Thoughts

This is only one of an infinity of different combinations of foods that equal 4,000 calories. Use this meal plan as is, or feel free to swap ingredients and meals.

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.