A 6,000-calorie meal plan is an extremely high-calorie meal plan. You may find this meal plan beneficial if you have had a recent weight loss and are trying to gain weight or you are an extreme athlete. This is probably not a good plan for you if you are trying to lose weight.
You can get the best results from a 6,000-calorie meal plan if you select a healthy balance of foods from all the basic food groups including grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and meat. You should also avoid excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. In addition, you should have one milliliter of water per calorie; on a 6,000-calorie diet this means twenty-five 8-oz. cups of water per day.
To provide 6,000 healthy calories per day, your meal plan should include at least 24 grain servings, 6 milk servings, 12 fruit servings, 6 low-calorie vegetable servings, 6 high-calorie vegetable servings, 16 oz. of meat or soy protein, and 16 fat servings from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat choices. Calories in each serving include 80 calories per serving of grains, 60 calories per serving of fruit, 25 calories per serving of low-calorie vegetables, 80 calories per serving of high- calorie vegetables, 120 calories per serving of milk or dairy product, 75 calories per ounce of cooked lean meat and about 45 calories per serving of healthy fats.
Balanced Meal Plan
You can achieve optimum results from a 6,000-calorie meal plan if you balance your intake. This means choosing foods from each food group with every meal or snack. A typical breakfast might include 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, 2 slices whole grain toast with margarine, 2 fried eggs, 1 large banana, 6 oz. of hash browns, and 16 oz. of milk, all of which provide about 1,450 calories. For a mid morning snack, you could have 1 cup of granola, 8 oz. of orange juice, 1 cup of baby carrots and 1 cup of flavored yogurt for 600 calories. Lunch could include a 5 oz. bagel, 5 oz. of deli meat, 1 Granny Smith apple, 1 cup of sweet potato fries, and 1 oz. of cream cheese, which all total about 1,300 calories. An afternoon snack might be 15 high fiber crackers, 2 oz. of tuna with 3 tbsp. of mayonnaise, 8 oz. of apple juice, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, and 1 oz. of string cheese, all of which provide about 700 calories. For dinner, you can have 2 cups of rice, a 5-oz. cooked chicken breast, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 cup of mashed potatoes, 8 oz. of milk, and 4 oz. of gravy, which provide about 1,300 calories. You can finish the day with an evening snack of 2 slices of whole grain bread, 2 oz. of deli meat, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, a large banana and 2 oatmeal cookies for a total of 650 calories. You should also drink water with all your meals and snacks.
If you are trying to lose weight, a 6,000-calorie meal plan may produce weight gain. Most individuals can maintain a healthy weight on 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. If you are rehabilitating from an extended illness causing weight loss, starting this meal plan without working up to such a high calorie intake may cause problems with digestion and/or electrolyte imbalances, which would be hard on your heart and kidneys. Proceed with caution.