If you are in a weight gain phase or an athlete, your caloric intake might be very high. It could reach 3,000 kcal. This many calories may sound overwhelming to achieve. However, in practice it can be very easy to follow keto and have a 3,000 kcal intake.
In this article, you will learn about the 3,000 kcal ketogenic diet plan, including its benefits and drawbacks, the best way to start doing the plan, and which foods to eat and avoid. Plus, a one-day meal plan and a shopping list to help you get rolling.
A 3,000 kcal keto diet plan is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat meal plan composed of 3,000 calories per day.
The number of calories you need depends on your age, gender, weight, and height. For someone who wants to build muscle or trains 2 hours 5-6 times a week, the energy requirements could potentially be very high, reaching 3,000 kcal or even more.
The macronutrient composition of the 3,000 kcal keto diet plan follows the traditional keto composition:
It is intended for those with a large energy requirement, such as people in a weight gain phase, athletes, or bodybuilders.
It is not intended for those with a sedentary or moderately active lifestyle: most people do not need this many calories (the daily average for an adult is only 2,000 kcal). Keto, in general, is not recommended for women who are pregnant or in lactation, nor for those with diabetes type 1.
There are several possible benefits of following a 3,000 calorie plan. Depending on your activity level, you could achieve weight gain or weight loss.
Although it is rare for somebody to have an energy requirement of over 3,000 calories, it could be possible. For example, if you have an energy requirement of 3,500 calories, dropping down to 3,000 will make you lose weight, which could be one of the most significant benefits of following this meal plan.
On the other hand, if you have an energy requirement of 2,500 calories, increasing to 3,000 will make you gain weight.
At the end of the day, it depends on how many calories your body needs and what your goals are. If you’re not sure, calculate your recommended calories for your body, lifestyle and goals with this free calculator.
There are other benefits you may experience following a 3,000 calorie keto plan. Here are some of the most common positive effects of ketogenic diets:
Although there are several benefits of following a 3,000 kcal keto plan, there are several drawbacks.
The first drawback is the keto flu. During the first week of keto, you might experience nausea, fatigue, and headache. This is commonly known as the keto flu. The symptoms can be decreased if you have the standard intake of 2,300 mg of sodium daily.
Another common drawback is reduced performance. While you wait for your body to adapt to the new changes, you might want to decrease the intensity of your workouts. After a couple of weeks, you may feel ready to return to your regular levels of exercise.
Constipation is another negative effect you might experience. When reducing the carb intake, you also reduce your fiber intake. Ensure to reach 42 g of daily fiber to prevent this from happening (14 g per 1,000 kcal = 42g/day needed on a 3,000 kcal diet). You can do this by eating fiber-rich vegetables, such as artichokes or broccoli.
Finally, it can be challenging socially. Finding an appropriate restaurant or a social gathering that caters to your dietary needs can require an extra effort..
Before you begin the 3,000 kcal keto plan, it is recommended that you talk to your primary healthcare provider to check if you are suitable to follow this meal plan.
After they give you the thumbs up, you need to determine if you need to consume 3,000 kcal daily, depending on your activity level, body size, and goals.
When the calorie intake is determined, you need to calculate your macronutrients. The carb intake ranges between 38-75 g. The protein intake should be around 150 g and the fat intake between 233-267 g.
Once you have the macros, planning is key. Decide how many meals and snacks you want to have during the day, and plan what to eat ahead of time. This way, you can save time by doing meal prep beforehand and have everything ready before the day begins.
So, which foods can we include in our meal plan, and which ones do we need to avoid?
Let’s start with those to avoid. High-carb foods like sugars, honey, pastries, cookies, and cake are too high in carbs to achieve ketosis, so they should be eliminated altogether. Highly processed foods should also be eliminated or reduced to focus on whole foods.
There are some carbs that you can include in moderation. Beans, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes are ok to have due to their nutritional value, as long as you measure the portion size and count them in your total carb intake.
So what should we be focused on eating?
Low-carb vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds will add a variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients to your diet. These foods do contain carbohydrates, so it’s important to keep track of how much you eat and stay unders your daily limit.
Protein is one of the essential macronutrients you need to consume to help maintain your muscle mass. Include foods like eggs, fish, seafood, meat, plain Greek yogurt, and cheese to obtain a good protein portion at every meal.
Finally, the group we want to consume in large quantities is fats. These will provide us with energy throughout the day. You can include healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts. Sources of saturated fat, like bacon, butter, and mayo, should be eaten only in moderation.
Now that we know which foods to avoid and which ones to eat, it is time for the fun part: grocery shopping! Here is a list of foods to add to your cart next time you go to the store.
Eating over 3,000 calories might sound like a lot. Here is a one-day sample menu so you can see what that many calories looks like.
Calories: 3,025 | Macros: 74.2 g net carbs, 161.3 g protein, and 228.5 g fat
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Scrambled eggs with parmesan and bacon with avocado||Eggs||3 units||215||1.1||18.9||14.2|
|Olive oil||2 tablespoons||238||0||0||27|
|Parmesan cheese||1 tablespoon||21||0.7||1.4||1.4|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Protein shake with MCT oil and blueberries||Coconut milk||1 cup||76||7.1||0.5||5.1|
|Protein powder||1 scoop||109||2||24.2||0.5|
|MCT oil||1 tablespoon||120||0||0||14|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Steak with cauliflower mashed "potatoes" and cooked tomatoes||Steak||150 g||299||0||45.3||12.8|
|Olive oil||1 tablespoon||119||0||0||13.5|
|Cherry tomatoes||1/2 cup||14||1.6||0.4||0|
|Garlic powder||1/2 teaspoon||5||1||0.2||0|
|Onion powder||1/2 teaspoon||4||0.8||0.1||0|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Plain Greek yogurt with almonds and strawberries||Plain Greek yogurt||7 oz||194||8||18||10|
|Almonds||1 oz (28g)||170||2.9||6||14.9|
|Strawberries||1 cup halves||49||8.7||1||0.5|
|Lemon zest||1 teaspoon||1||0.1||0||0|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Buttered salmon with mushrooms and asparagus||Salmon||4 oz||144||0||23.2||4.9|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoons||3||1||0||0|
|Olive oil||2 tablespoons||238||0||0||27|
|DAILY TOTALS||3,025 cal||74.2 g net carbs||161.3 g protein||228.5 g fat|
If you still have some questions about the 3,000 keto plan, we got you. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
It depends on the type of keto that you are following. For a traditional keto that ranges from 5-10% of carbs. This means that you might consume 38-75 g of carbs daily.
Fats are very energy-dense. This means that you get a lot of calories in a small volume. Add olive oil to your veggies or your eggs. Add some avocado to your salads, or add chia seeds to your water. All of these methods will increase your caloric intake without adding too many carbs.
It depends on your goal. If your goal is to gain weight, not eating enough may make it more difficult for you to gain muscle mass. On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight, you might still achieve it. It depends on how different the calories are.
Have as many meals as possible. Since fats tend to decrease your hunger levels, trying to reach 3,000 kcal in just 3 meals can be hard. So you can try having 4 to 6 mealtimes. It depends on your lifestyle and your satiety levels.
Since keto has an average of 20% of protein, you need to consume around 150 g of protein.
It’s recommended that you have as many meal times as possible to reach a high caloric intake. For example, having 5 meals times means having around 600 kcal per mealtime.
If you have 6 meal times, that would mean having 500 kcal per mealtime.