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3000-Calorie Meal Plan

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
3000-Calorie Meal Plan
A bowl of granola and fresh fruit on a breakfast table. Photo Credit: martince2/iStock/Getty Images

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.

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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

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.

Nighttime Snack

Finish your day with a healthy snack consisting of five whole-grain crackers and 1 1/2 ounces of low-fat cheddar cheese.

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