While most diets are geared towards weight loss, some people struggle to keep the weight on. A 3,000-calorie diet is a high-calorie diet that can help those that need to add pounds to their frame. It is also a weight maintenance diet for active men between the ages of 19 to 50. Like any good diet plan -- even a high-calorie diet plan -- it is always important to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to ensure you get all the nutrients you need for good health.
3000-Calorie Diet Basics
To fit in all the calories, you need to eat three meals and three snacks a day on your 3000-calorie diet. A healthy and balanced 3000-calorie diet includes 10 ounces of grains, 4 cups of vegetables, 2 1/2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of dairy and 7 ounces of protein foods. An ounce of grain is equal to one slice of bread or one-half cup of cooked pasta or rice, while 1 cup of vegetable equals 1 cup of cooked vegetables or 2 cups of salad greens. One cup of fresh fruit or one-half cup of dried fruit is considered 1 cup of fruit, and dairy serving sizes include one cup of milk or yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese. One ounce of protein equals 1 ounce of meat, poultry or seafood, or one-half-ounce nuts or one-quarter cup of beans.
Serving Up a Healthy Breakfast
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you make half your grains whole-grain. Breakfast is a good meal for whole-grains. Two cups of whole-grain cold cereal with 1 cup of nonfat milk and 1 cup of sliced cantaloupe makes a healthy breakfast option on your 3000-calorie diet.
Mid-Morning Snack Attack
One cup of nonfat yogurt with a small banana makes a nutritious mid-morning snack. If you're having a tough time eating all your meals and snacks, drink fluids in between meals -- rather than with them -- to leave room for food, suggests EatRight.org.
Loading Up at Lunch
For lunch, you might enjoy a healthy stir fry made with 3 ounces of shrimp, 2 cups of mixed vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and Chinese cabbage, with low-sodium soy sauce, and served with 1 1/2 cups of brown rice.
Energizing Mid-Afternoon Snack
Keep the afternoon lows away with a high-energy snack consisting of one slice of whole wheat bread spread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and served with one-half cup of raisins.
Hungry for Dinner
A healthy dinner meal on your 3000-calorie diet might include 3 ounces of broiled pork loin with 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, 1 cup of green beans, 2 cups of mixed greens with salad dressing and one-half cup of applesauce. Including mostly lean meats helps decrease your intake of saturated fat, which helps keep cholesterol levels down.
Finish your day with a healthy snack consisting of five whole-grain crackers and 1 1/2 ounces of low-fat cheddar cheese.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: My Daily Food Plan Worksheet: 3,000 Calories
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Healthy Weight Gain
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Are Grains?
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Why Is It Important to Make Lean or Low-Fat Choices from the Protein Foods Group?