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200+ High-Calorie Meal Ideas For Hardgainers

by Nader Qudimat
Updated December 6, 2023

I've been where you are right now - a skinny guy looking to pack on some serious muscle. I started my fitness journey as a 100-pound guy, struggling to gain size and muscle.

Today, I weigh around 200 pounds, can press more than 120 pounds in each hand, and have over 15 years of gym experience. 

My transformation is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and informed fitness practices.

But enough about me, let's talk about you. 

You're here because you want to gain weight, and you're looking for high-calorie meal ideas to help you achieve that. 

Well, you're in the right place.

The Best High-Calorie Meals For Muscle Gains

If you're in a rush, here's the quick answer:

To gain weight, consume more calories than your body burns. High-calorie meals, rich in proteins, carbs, and healthy fats, can help you achieve this.

In this article, I'll share over 200 high-calorie meal ideas that can help you pack on the pounds and build muscle.

Understanding High Calorie Meals

Simply put, these are meals that are rich in calories. But it's not just about piling on the calories.

It's about choosing the right kind of calories - those that provide you with the nutrients you need to build muscle and stay healthy.

High-Calorie Breakfast Ideas

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they're not wrong.

A high-calorie breakfast can set you up for a day of successful muscle-building.

Here are some ideas:

  • Protein Pancakes: Mix protein powder into your pancake batter for a protein-packed breakfast. Top with peanut butter and bananas for extra calories.
  • Avocado and Egg Toast: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Pair with eggs on whole-grain toast for a balanced, high-calorie breakfast.
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit for a high-protein, high-calorie breakfast.
  • Protein Pancakes: Mix protein powder into your pancake batter for a protein-packed breakfast. Top with peanut butter and bananas for extra calories.
  • Avocado and Egg Toast: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Pair with eggs on whole-grain toast for a balanced, high-calorie breakfast.
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit for a high-protein, high-calorie breakfast.
  • Oatmeal with Nuts and Fruit: Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs. Top with nuts for healthy fats and fruit for added vitamins and fiber.
  • Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Avocado: Eggs are a great source of protein. Add cheese for extra calories and avocado for healthy fats.
  • Protein Smoothie: Blend your favorite protein powder with milk, a banana, and a spoonful of peanut butter for a quick and easy high-calorie breakfast.
  • Bagel with Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon: Bagels are high in carbs and calories. Add cream cheese and smoked salmon for a dose of protein and healthy fats.
  • French Toast with Syrup and Berries: French toast is a delicious and high-calorie breakfast option. Top with syrup for extra calories and berries for added vitamins.
  • Breakfast Burrito: Fill a large tortilla with scrambled eggs, cheese, beans, and avocado for a high-calorie, protein-packed breakfast.
  • Granola with Full-Fat Greek Yogurt: Granola is high in calories and carbs. Pair with full-fat Greek yogurt for a protein boost.
  • Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burrito: Fill a tortilla with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Chia Seed Pudding with Nuts and Fruit: Chia seeds are high in calories and fiber. Top with nuts and fruit for added calories and nutrients.
  • Sausage and Cheese Omelette: Sausage and cheese add extra calories and protein to a classic omelette.
  • Blueberry Muffins: Blueberry muffins can be a high-calorie breakfast option, especially if made with full-fat ingredients.
  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes: Add chocolate chips to your pancake batter for a sweet, high-calorie breakfast.
  • Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Cheese: A hearty breakfast casserole can provide a lot of calories and protein.
  • Bagel with Lox and Cream Cheese: Lox (smoked salmon) adds protein and healthy fats to a high-calorie bagel and cream cheese.
  • Biscuits and Gravy: A southern classic, biscuits and gravy is a high-calorie breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Pizza: Top a pizza crust with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your favorite breakfast meats.
  • Croissant Sandwich with Ham and Cheese: Croissants are high in calories and can be made into a high-calorie sandwich with ham and cheese.
  • Breakfast Tacos: Fill soft tortillas with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meat for a high-calorie start to your day.
  • Banana Nut Muffins: These sweet treats are high in calories and make for a quick and easy breakfast option.
  • Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole: This hearty casserole is packed with protein and calories, perfect for starting your day.
  • French Toast with Syrup and Whipped Cream: A sweet and high-calorie breakfast option. Use whole grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Breakfast Quiche: A quiche filled with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat or vegetables can be a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Pancakes with Butter and Maple Syrup: A classic high-calorie breakfast. Add a side of bacon or sausage for extra protein.
  • Breakfast Burger: A burger topped with a fried egg, bacon, and cheese makes for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant: A buttery croissant filled with ham and cheese is a high-calorie and portable breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Skillet: A skillet filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meat is a hearty and high-calorie breakfast.
  • Eggs Benedict: This classic dish includes English muffins, ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Breakfast Nachos: Tortilla chips topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meat for a high-calorie start to your day.
  • Banana Pancakes: These sweet treats are high in calories and make for a quick and easy breakfast option.
  • Sausage and Egg Breakfast Pizza: This hearty pizza is packed with protein and calories, perfect for starting your day.
  • Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting: A sweet and high-calorie breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Enchiladas: Tortillas filled with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat or vegetables can be a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Pancakes with Nutella and Bananas: A classic high-calorie breakfast. Add a side of bacon or sausage for extra protein.
  • Breakfast Burger with Hash Browns: A burger topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheese, and hash browns makes for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole: A casserole filled with ham, cheese, and eggs is a high-calorie and portable breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Skillet with Sausage and Peppers: A skillet filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese, sausage, and peppers is a hearty and high-calorie breakfast.
  • Eggs Benedict with Avocado: This classic dish includes English muffins, ham, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and avocado for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Breakfast Burrito: A tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meat for a high-calorie start to your day.
  • Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup: These sweet treats are high in calories and make for a quick and easy breakfast option.
  • Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich: This hearty sandwich is packed with protein and calories, perfect for starting your day.
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins: A sweet and high-calorie breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Tacos with Avocado: Tortillas filled with eggs, cheese, and avocado can be a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Pancakes with Blueberries and Cream: A classic high-calorie breakfast. Add a side of bacon or sausage for extra protein.
  • Breakfast Burger with Avocado: A burger topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheese, and avocado makes for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Ham and Cheese Omelette with Mushrooms: An omelette filled with ham, cheese, and mushrooms is a high-calorie and portable breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Skillet with Sausage and Onions: A skillet filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese, sausage, and onions is a hearty and high-calorie breakfast.
  • Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon: This classic dish includes English muffins, smoked salmon, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and avocado for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Breakfast Quesadilla: A tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meat for a high-calorie start to your day.
  • Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Maple Syrup: These sweet treats are high in calories and make for a quick and easy breakfast option.
  • Bacon and Egg Breakfast Wrap: This hearty wrap is packed with protein and calories, perfect for starting your day.
  • Chocolate Croissants: A sweet and high-calorie breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Tacos with Sausage: Tortillas filled with eggs, cheese, and sausage can be a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream: A classic high-calorie breakfast. Add a side of bacon or sausage for extra protein.
  • Breakfast Burger with Sausage: A burger topped with a fried egg, sausage, cheese, and hash browns makes for a high-calorie breakfast.
  • Ham and Cheese Omelette with Spinach: An omelette filled with ham, cheese, and spinach is a high-calorie and portable breakfast option.
  • Breakfast Skillet with Bacon and Tomatoes: A skillet filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese, bacon, and tomatoes is a hearty and high-calorie breakfast.
  • Eggs Benedict with Ham and Hollandaise Sauce: This classic dish includes English muffins, ham, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and avocado for a high-calorie breakfast.

High-Calorie Lunch Ideas

Lunch is your mid-day fuel. Here are some high-calorie lunch ideas to keep you going:

  • Chicken and Avocado Wrap: Fill a whole-grain wrap with grilled chicken, avocado, and your choice of veggies.
  • Quinoa Salad with Salmon: Quinoa is a high-protein grain, and salmon is packed with healthy fats.
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich: A classic high-calorie option. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Chicken and Avocado Wrap: Fill a whole-grain wrap with grilled chicken, avocado, and your choice of veggies.
  • Quinoa Salad with Salmon: Quinoa is a high-protein grain, and salmon is packed with healthy fats.
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich: A classic high-calorie option. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Tuna Salad: Mix canned tuna with mayo, celery, and onions. Serve on whole-grain bread or with crackers.
  • Chicken Pasta Salad: Combine cooked pasta, grilled chicken, veggies, and your favorite salad dressing for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Beef and Bean Burrito: Fill a large tortilla with ground beef, beans, rice, cheese, and salsa.
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich: Use thick slices of ham and cheese on whole-grain bread. Add mayo or mustard for extra flavor.
  • Chicken Caesar Wrap: Fill a wrap with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Turkey and Avocado Club Sandwich: Stack turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado on whole-grain bread.
  • Pasta with Meat Sauce: Cook your favorite pasta and top with a hearty meat sauce. Add grated cheese for extra calories.
  • Chicken Caesar Salad with Croutons: Add grilled chicken and croutons to a Caesar salad for extra calories.
  • Tuna Melt Sandwich: Tuna is high in protein and healthy fats. Add cheese and grill for a high-calorie sandwich.
  • Macaroni and Cheese: A classic high-calorie dish, macaroni and cheese can also be a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken Quesadilla: Fill a tortilla with chicken and cheese and grill for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: Pulled pork is high in protein and calories. Serve on a bun with coleslaw for a high-calorie lunch.

  • Chicken and Rice Bowl: Combine grilled chicken, rice, and your favorite veggies for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Beef and Bean Burrito: Fill a large tortilla with ground beef, beans, rice, cheese, and salsa for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pasta: Combine pasta, chicken, bacon, and ranch dressing for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Meatball Sub with Extra Cheese: A sub filled with meatballs, marinara sauce, and extra melted cheese is a high-calorie lunch option.
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cheese: This hearty casserole is high in calories and protein, perfect for a filling lunch.
  • Tuna Pasta Salad with Mayo: Combine cooked pasta, canned tuna, mayo, and your choice of vegetables for a high-calorie salad.
  • Chicken and Avocado Club Sandwich with Bacon: Stack chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado on whole grain bread for a high-calorie sandwich.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles: Stir fry beef and your favorite vegetables and serve over noodles for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken Caesar Salad with Extra Dressing: Add grilled chicken and extra dressing to a Caesar salad for extra calories.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich with BBQ Sauce: Pulled pork is high in protein and calories. Serve on a bun with BBQ sauce for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken and Rice Bowl with Avocado: Combine grilled chicken, rice, avocado, and your favorite veggies for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Beef and Bean Burrito with Cheese: Fill a large tortilla with ground beef, beans, rice, cheese, and salsa for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pasta with Extra Cheese: Combine pasta, chicken, bacon, ranch dressing, and extra cheese for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Meatball Sub with Extra Cheese and Bacon: A sub filled with meatballs, marinara sauce, extra melted cheese, and bacon is a high-calorie lunch option.
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole with Extra Cheese: This hearty casserole is high in calories and protein, perfect for a filling lunch.
  • Tuna Pasta Salad with Mayo and Cheese: Combine cooked pasta, canned tuna, mayo, cheese, and your choice of vegetables for a high-calorie salad.
  • Chicken and Avocado Club Sandwich with Extra Bacon: Stack chicken, extra bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado on whole grain bread for a high-calorie sandwich.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Extra Sauce: Stir fry beef and your favorite vegetables with extra sauce and serve over noodles for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken Caesar Salad with Extra Dressing and Croutons: Add grilled chicken, extra dressing, and croutons to a Caesar salad for extra calories.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich with Extra BBQ Sauce and Cheese: Pulled pork is high in protein and calories. For a high-calorie lunch, serve on a bun with extra BBQ sauce and cheese.
  • Chicken and Rice Bowl with Extra Avocado and Cheese: Combine grilled chicken, rice, extra avocado, cheese, and your favorite veggies for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Beef and Bean Burrito with Extra Cheese and Sour Cream: Fill a large tortilla with ground beef, beans, rice, extra cheese, sour cream, and salsa for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad with Extra Dressing: Combine romaine lettuce, chicken, bacon, croutons, Caesar dressing, and extra cheese for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Meatball Sub with Extra Cheese and Pepperoni: A sub filled with meatballs, marinara sauce, extra melted cheese, and pepperoni is a high-calorie lunch option.
  • Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with Extra Cheese: This hearty casserole is high in calories and protein, perfect for a filling lunch.
  • Tuna Pasta Salad with Mayo and Olives: Combine cooked pasta, canned tuna, mayo, olives, and your choice of vegetables for a high-calorie salad.
  • Chicken and Avocado Club Sandwich with Extra Mayo: Stack chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and extra mayo on whole grain bread for a high-calorie sandwich.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Extra Rice: Stir fry beef and your favorite vegetables with extra sauce and serve over extra rice for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Chicken Caesar Salad with Extra Dressing and Bacon: Add grilled chicken, extra dressing, bacon, and croutons to a Caesar salad for extra calories.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich with Extra BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw: Pulled pork is high in protein and calories. For a high-calorie lunch, serve on a bun with extra BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
  • Chicken and Rice Bowl with Extra Avocado and Sour Cream: Combine grilled chicken, rice, extra avocado, sour cream, and your favorite veggies for a high-calorie lunch.
  • Beef and Bean Burrito with Extra Cheese and Guacamole: Fill a large tortilla with ground beef, beans, rice, extra cheese, guacamole, and salsa for a high-calorie lunch.

High-Calorie Dinner Ideas

Dinner is your chance to end the day on a high note.

Here are some high-calorie dinner ideas:

  • Steak with Sweet Potatoes: Steak is high in protein and calories, and sweet potatoes provide healthy carbs.
  • Chicken Alfredo Pasta: This creamy pasta dish contains calories and protein.
  • Salmon with Quinoa and Veggies: Salmon is high in protein and healthy fats, and quinoa is a high-protein grain.
  • Steak with Sweet Potatoes: Steak is high in protein and calories, and sweet potatoes provide healthy carbs.
  • Chicken Alfredo Pasta: This creamy pasta dish contains calories and protein.
  • Salmon with Quinoa and Veggies: Salmon is high in protein and healthy fats, and quinoa is a high-protein grain.
  • Chicken Curry with Rice: A hearty and flavorful dish. Serve with basmati rice for extra calories.
  • Beef Stir-Fry with Noodles: Stir-fry beef with your favorite veggies and serve over noodles.
  • Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti: Breaded chicken covered in marinara sauce and cheese, served with spaghetti.
  • Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes: Grilled or baked pork chops served with creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Shrimp Scampi with Pasta: Shrimp cooked in a buttery garlic sauce, served over pasta.
  • Beef Tacos: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs: Skewer chicken and your favorite veggies. Grill and serve with rice.
  • Spaghetti Carbonara: This Italian dish is high in calories and includes spaghetti, eggs, cheese, and bacon.
  • Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo: A creamy, high-calorie dinner option with chicken, broccoli, and Alfredo sauce.
  • Beef Stroganoff: This hearty dish includes beef, mushrooms, and a creamy sauce, served over noodles.
  • Chicken Pot Pie: A comfort food classic, chicken pot pie is high in calories and includes chicken, vegetables, and a creamy sauce.
  • Shepherd's Pie: This traditional dish includes ground meat, vegetables, and is topped with mashed potatoes.
  • Beef and Bean Chili: A hearty chili can be high in calories and protein.
  • Baked Ziti: This pasta dish includes ziti, marinara sauce, and cheese.
  • Chicken Fried Rice: A stir-fried dish with chicken, rice, vegetables, and egg.
  • Beef Tacos: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Lasagna: This classic Italian dish is high in calories and includes layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce.
  • Chicken Alfredo: A creamy, high-calorie dinner option with fettuccine, chicken, and Alfredo sauce.
  • Beef and Vegetable Curry: This hearty dish includes beef and vegetables in a rich curry sauce, served over rice.
  • Chicken and Dumplings: A comfort food classic, chicken and dumplings is high in calories and includes chicken, vegetables, and dumplings in a creamy sauce.
  • Beef and Mushroom Pie: This traditional dish includes beef, mushrooms, and a rich gravy, topped with a pastry crust.
  • Chicken Parmesan: Breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce and cheese, served over pasta.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry: Stir beef and vegetables and serve over rice for a high-calorie dinner.
  • Baked Ziti: This pasta dish includes ziti, marinara sauce, and cheese.
  • Chicken Fried Rice: A stir-fried dish with chicken, rice, vegetables, and egg.

  • Beef Tacos: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Lasagna with Extra Cheese: This classic Italian dish is high in calories and includes layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce.
  • Chicken Alfredo with Extra Cream: A creamy, high-calorie dinner option with fettuccine, chicken, and extra creamy Alfredo sauce.
  • Beef and Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk: This hearty dish includes beef and vegetables in a rich curry sauce with coconut milk, served over rice154. Chicken and Dumplings with Extra Butter: A comfort food classic, chicken and dumplings is high in calories and include chicken, vegetables, and dumplings in a creamy and buttery sauce.
  • Beef and Mushroom Pie with Extra Gravy: This traditional dish includes beef, mushrooms, and a rich gravy, topped with a pastry crust.
  • Chicken Parmesan with Extra Cheese: Breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce and extra cheese, served over pasta.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Sesame Oil: Stir fry beef and vegetables in sesame oil and serve over rice for a high-calorie dinner.
  • Baked Ziti with Extra Meat: This pasta dish includes ziti, marinara sauce, lots of cheese, and extra meat.
  • Chicken Fried Rice with Extra Egg: A stir-fried dish with chicken, rice, vegetables, and extra egg.
  • Beef Tacos with Guacamole: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
  • Lasagna with Extra Cheese and Meat: This classic Italian dish is high in calories and includes layers of pasta, extra cheese, and meat sauce.
  • Chicken Alfredo with Extra Cream and Parmesan: A creamy, high-calorie dinner option with fettuccine,chicken, and extra creamy Alfredo sauce topped with Parmesan.
  • Beef and Vegetable Curry with Extra Coconut Milk: This hearty dish includes beef and vegetables in a rich curry sauce with extra coconut milk, served over rice.
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Extra Cream: A comfort food classic, chicken and dumplings is high in calories and includes chicken, vegetables, and dumplings in an extra creamy sauce.
  • Beef and Mushroom Pie with Extra Cheese: This traditional dish includes beef, mushrooms, and a rich gravy, topped with a pastry crust and extra cheese.
  • Chicken Parmesan with Extra Cheese and Pasta: Breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce and extra cheese, served over extra pasta.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Extra Noodles: Stir fry beef and vegetables in sesame oil and serve over extra noodles for a high-calorie dinner.
  • Baked Ziti with Extra Meat and Cheese: This pasta dish includes ziti, marinara sauce, lots of cheese, and extra meat.
  • Chicken Fried Rice with Extra Egg and Soy Sauce: A stir-fried dish with chicken, rice, vegetables, extra egg, and soy sauce.
  • Beef Tacos with Extra Cheese and Guacamole: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, extra cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
  • Lasagna with Extra Cheese and Sausage: This classic Italian dish is high in calories and includes layers of pasta, extra cheese, sausage, and meat sauce.
  • Chicken Alfredo with Extra Cream and Bacon: A creamy, high-calorie dinner option with fettuccine, chicken, bacon, and extra creamy Alfredo sauce topped with Parmesan.
  • Beef and Vegetable Curry with Extra Rice: This hearty dish includes beef and vegetables in a rich curry sauce with extra coconut milk, served over extra rice.
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Extra Chicken: A comfort food classic, chicken and dumplings is high in calories and include extra chicken, vegetables, and dumplings in a creamy sauce.
  • Beef and Mushroom Pie with Extra Beef: This traditional dish includes extra beef, mushrooms, and a rich gravy, topped with a pastry crust.
  • Chicken Parmesan with Extra Cheese and Garlic Bread: Breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce and extra cheese, served with a side of garlic bread.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Extra Beef and Rice: Stir fry beef and vegetables in sesame oil and serve over extra rice for a high-calorie dinner.
  • Baked Ziti with Extra Meat and Garlic Bread: This pasta dish includes ziti, marinara sauce, lots of cheese, extra meat, and garlic bread.
  • Chicken Fried Rice with Extra Chicken and Egg: A stir-fried dish with extra chicken, rice, vegetables, egg, and soy sauce.
  • Beef Tacos with Extra Cheese and Sour Cream: Fill hard or soft taco shells with ground beef, extra cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole.

High-Calorie Snacks And Desserts

Who says snacks can't help you gain weight?

Here are some high-calorie snack and dessert ideas:

  • Protein Bars: These are a convenient and tasty way to add extra calories and protein to your diet.
  • Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola: This is a high-protein, high-calorie snack that also satisfies your sweet tooth.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is packed with protein and calories, making it a great post-workout snack.
  • Protein Bars: These are a convenient and tasty way to add extra calories and protein to your diet.
  • Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola: This is a high-protein, high-calorie snack that also satisfies your sweet tooth.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is packed with protein and calories, making it a great post-workout snack.
  • Trail Mix: Mix nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and cereal for a high-calorie snack you can take on the go.
  • Cheese and Crackers: Choose full-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers for a high-calorie snack.
  • Hummus and Pita Bread: Hummus is high in protein and healthy fats. Pair with pita bread for added calories.
  • Avocado Toast: Top whole-grain toast with mashed avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Protein Shake: Blend your favorite protein powder with milk and a banana for a high-calorie snack.
  • Full-Fat Greek Yogurt with Fruit: Greek yogurt is high in protein. Add fruit for added vitamins and fiber.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: A classic high-calorie snack. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Chocolate Milk: A delicious and high-calorie snack that also provides a good amount of protein.
  • Almond Butter on Whole Grain Bread: Almond butter is high in calories and healthy fats. Pair with whole-grain bread for added fiber.
  • Cheese Quesadilla: Fill a tortilla with your favorite cheese and grill until melted.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and can be a quick and easy snack.
  • Mixed Nuts: Nuts are high in calories and healthy fats, making them a great snack for weight gain.
  • Tuna Salad on Crackers: Tuna is high in protein and healthy fats. Serve on crackers for a high-calorie snack.
  • Avocado and Chicken Wrap: Fill a wrap with chicken and avocado for a high-protein, high-calorie snack.
  • Protein Muffins: Make muffins using protein powder for a high-protein, high-calorie snack.
  • Full-Fat Cottage Cheese with Fruit: Cottage cheese is high in protein. Add fruit for added vitamins and fiber.
  • Oatmeal Cookies: Oatmeal cookies are high in calories and provide good fiber.
  • Cheese and Crackers: Full-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers make for a high-calorie snack.
  • Peanut Butter and Apples: Slice an apple and serve with peanut butter for a high-calorie snack.
  • Trail Mix: A mix of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate can be a high-calorie snack.
  • Greek Yogurt and Granola: Full-fat Greek yogurt served with granola can be a high-calorie snack or dessert.
  • Protein Shake: Blend protein powder with milk and a banana for a high-calorie snack.
  • Cheese Quesadilla: A tortilla filled with cheese and grilled makes for a high-calorie snack.
  • Guacamole and Chips: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Serve with tortilla chips for a high-calorie snack.
  • Chocolate Protein Bar: Many protein bars are high in calories and can make for a quick snack on the go.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: A classic high-calorie snack. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Ice Cream: While it's a treat, it can be a high-calorie dessert option.
  • Cheese and Crackers: Full-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers make for a high-calorie snack.
  • Peanut Butter and Apples: Slice an apple and serve with peanut butter for a high-calorie snack.
  • Trail Mix: A mix of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate can be a high-calorie snack.

  • Greek Yogurt and Granola: Full-fat Greek yogurt served with granola can be a high-calorie snack or dessert.
  • Protein Shake: Blend protein powder with milk and a banana for a high-calorie snack.
  • Cheese Quesadilla: A tortilla filled with cheese and grilled makes for a high-calorie snack.
  • Guacamole and Chips: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Serve with tortilla chips for a high-calorie snack.
  • Chocolate Protein Bar: Many protein bars are high in calories and can make for a quick snack on the go.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: A classic high-calorie snack. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Ice Cream: While a treat, it can be a high-calorie dessert option.
  • Cheese and Crackers with Salami: Full-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and salami make for a high-calorie snack.
  • Peanut Butter and Bananas: Slice a banana and serve with peanut butter for a high-calorie snack.
  • Trail Mix with Chocolate Chips: Nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips can be a high-calorie snack.
  • Greek Yogurt and Honey: Full-fat Greek yogurt served with honey can be a high-calorie snack or dessert.
  • Protein Shake with Peanut Butter: Blend protein powder with milk, a banana, and peanut butter for a high-calorie snack.
  • Cheese Quesadilla with Guacamole: A tortilla filled with cheese and grilled, served with guacamole, makes for a high-calorie snack.
  • Guacamole and Chips with Salsa: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa for a high-calorie snack.
  • Chocolate Protein Bar with Nuts: Many protein bars are high in calories and can make for a quick snack on the go. Choose one with nuts for extra calories.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Banana: A classic high-calorie snack. Add a banana for extra calories. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Ice Cream Sundae: While it's a treat, an ice cream sundae with toppings like nuts, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream can be a high-calorie dessert option.
  • Cheese and Crackers with Salami and Pickles: Full-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, salami, and pickles make for a high-calorie snack.
  • Peanut Butter and Bananas with Honey: Slice a banana and serve with peanut butter and honey for a high-calorie snack.
  • Trail Mix with Chocolate Chips and Coconut: A mix of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and coconut can be a high-calorie snack.
  • Greek Yogurt and Honey with Granola: Full-fat Greek yogurt served with honey and granola can be a high-calorie snack or dessert.
  • Protein Shake with Peanut Butter and Oats: Blend protein powder with milk, a banana, peanut butter, and oats for a high-calorie snack.
  • Cheese Quesadilla with Guacamole and Sour Cream: A tortilla filled with cheese and grilled with guacamole and sour cream makes for a high-calorie snack.
  • Guacamole and Chips with Extra Cheese: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. Serve with tortilla chips and extra cheese for a high-calorie snack.
  • Chocolate Protein Bar with Nuts and Dried Fruit: Many protein bars are high in calories and can make for a quick snack on the go. Choose one with nuts and dried fruit for extra calories.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Banana and Honey: A classic high-calorie snack. Add a banana and honey for extra calories. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Ice Cream Sundae with Extra Toppings: While it's a treat, an ice cream sundae with extra toppings like nuts, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherries can be a high-calorie dessert option.
  • Cheese and Crackers with Salami and Olives: Full-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, salami, and olives make for a high-calorie snack.
  • Peanut Butter and Apples with Honey: Slice an apple and serve with peanut butter and honey for a high-calorie snack.
  • Trail Mix with Chocolate Chips and Pretzels: A mix of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and pretzels can be a high-calorie snack.
  • Greek Yogurt and Honey with Berries: Full-fat Greek yogurt served with honey and berries can be a high-calorie snack or dessert.
  • Protein Shake with Peanut Butter and Berries: Blend protein powder with milk, a banana, peanut butter, and berries for a high-calorie snack.
  • Cheese Quesadilla with Guacamole and Salsa: A tortilla filled with cheese and grilled with guacamole and salsa makes for a high-calorie snack.
  • Guacamole and Chips with Extra Cheese and Salsa: Avocados are high in healthy fats and calories. For a high-calorie snack, serve with tortilla chips, extra cheese, and salsa.
  • Chocolate Protein Bar with Nuts and Caramel: Many protein bars are high in calories and can make for a quick snack on the go. Choose one with nuts and caramel for extra calories.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Banana and Nutella: A classic high-calorie snack. Add a banana and Nutella for extra calories. Use whole-grain bread for added nutrients.
  • Ice Cream Sundae with Extra Toppings and Brownie Pieces: While it's a treat, an ice cream sundae with extra toppings like nuts, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, cherries, and brownie pieces can be a high-calorie dessert option.

Meal Prep for High-Calorie Meals

Meal prep is a game-changer when it comes to maintaining a high-calorie diet.

Here are some tips:

  • Plan Ahead: Plan your meals for the week ahead. This ensures you always have high-calorie meals ready to go.
  • Cook in Bulk: Cook large portions and store them in the fridge or freezer. This saves time and ensures you always have a high-calorie meal on hand.
  • Pack Your Meals: Invest in some good quality meal prep containers. They make it easy to take your high-calorie meals wherever you go.
  • Use a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: These appliances can make meal prep easier by cooking large amounts of food at once.
  • Prep High-Calorie Snacks: Have snacks like trail mix, protein bars, cheese, and crackers on hand for a quick calorie boost.
  • Freeze Meals: Make large batches of meals and freeze them individually. This can make it easier to have a high-calorie meal even when you're short on time.
  • Use High-Calorie Condiments: Adding condiments like mayonnaise, salad dressing, or peanut butter can be an easy way to increase the calorie content of your meals.
  • Drink Your Calories: Consider drinking high-calorie beverages like protein shakes or smoothies if you struggle to eat enough.
  • Use a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot for High-Calorie Soups: These appliances can make meal prep easier by cooking large amounts of high-calorie soups, typically high in calories.
  • Prep High-Calorie Smoothies with Extra Protein Powder: Have ingredients for high-calorie smoothies on hand for a quick calorie boost.Full-fat yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, and extra protein powder can be used.
  • Freeze High-Calorie Casseroles: Make large batches of high-calorie casseroles and freeze them in individual portions. This can make it easier to have a high-calorie meal even when you're short on time.
  • Use High-Calorie Ingredients in Sandwiches: Adding ingredients like avocados, full-fat cheese, and mayonnaise can be an easy way to increase the calorie content of your sandwiches.
  • Drink Your Calories in the Form of High-Calorie Shakes: If you struggle to eat enough, consider drinking high-calorie beverages like protein shakes or smoothies. Add ingredients like full-fat milk, protein powder, peanut butter, and bananas.

Some Examples Of Macros And Meals

  • Chicken and Waffles: Approximately 350 calories, 12g fat, 35g carbs, and 20g protein per serving.
  • Protein Pancakes with Extra Protein Powder: Approximately 220 calories, 3.5g fat, 24g carbs, and 24g protein per serving.
  • Eggs and Bacon with Avocado and Cheese: Approximately 530 calories, 31.1g fat, 40g carbs, and 26.6g protein per serving.
  • Protein Smoothie with Extra Protein Powder and Nut Butter: The macros can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used. For instance, a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from Jamba has about 650 calories.
  • High-Calorie Lasagnas: Approximately 602 calories, 32g fat, 35.6g carbs, and a significant amount of protein per serving.
  • High-Calorie Pizza: Again, the macros can vary greatly. For instance, a slice of pepperoni pizza has about 300 calories.
  • High-Calorie Burgers: A typical cheeseburger has about 319 calories, 15.15g fat, 31.75g carbs, and 14.77g protein.
  • Chicken Alfredo with Extra Cream and Bacon: Approximately 690 calories, 35g protein, 47g fat, 34g carbohydrates.
  • Beef and Vegetable Curry with Extra Rice: Approximately 525 calories, 33g protein, 17g fat, 65g carbohydrates.
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Extra Chicken: Approximately 350 calories, 25g protein, 12g fat, 35g carbohydrates.
  • Beef and Mushroom Pie with Extra Beef: I couldn't find the exact nutritional information for this meal.
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole with Extra Cheese: Approximately 236 calories, 14.73g carbohydrates, 11.74g fat, protein content not specified.
  • Beef and Bean Burritos with Extra Cheese: Approximately 547 calories, 58.12g carbohydrates, 21.97g fat, protein content not specified.
  • Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Extra Sauce: Approximately 186 calories, 6.45g carbohydrates, 10.07g fat, protein content not specified.
  • Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo with Extra Cheese: I couldn't find the exact nutritional information for this meal.

  • Chicken Breast (100g): Protein: 31g, Carbs: 0g, Fat: 3.6g
  • Beef (85g, cooked): Protein: 22g, Carbs: 0g, Fat: 17g
  • Bacon (1 medium slice): Protein: 3g, Carbs: 0.1g, Fat: 3.3g
  • Avocado (1 whole): Protein: 4g, Carbs: 17g, Fat: 29g
  • Cheese (1 slice): Protein: 6.28g, Carbs: 0.36g, Fat: 9.28g
  • Whey Protein Powder (1 scoop): Protein: 13g, Carbs: 3.5g, Fat: 1g
  • Nut Butter (2 tablespoons): Protein: 3.4g, Carbs: 9.4g, Fat: 8.9g
  • Rice (1 cup, cooked): Protein: 4.4g, Carbs: 53.4g, Fat: 0.4g
  • Beans (1 cup, cooked): Protein: 15g, Carbs: 45g, Fat: 1g
  • Broccoli (1 cup, chopped): Protein: 2.3g, Carbs: 5.6g, Fat: 0.3g
  • Alfredo Sauce (1 cup): Protein: 6.2g, Carbs: 6.2g, Fat: 99.82g
  • Curry Sauce (1 cup): Protein: 1.5g, Carbs: 9.4g, Fat: 9.7g
  • Dumplings (1 Meat Filled Dumpling): Protein: 11g, Carbs: 27g, Fat: 15g
  • Rice Casserole with Cheese (1 cup): Protein: 46.31g, Carbs: 46.31g, Fat: 12.44g
  • Pasta (1 cup, cooked): Protein: 8g, Carbs: 43g

The Art Of Meal Planning For Muscle Gain

When it comes to gaining muscle, your diet plays a pivotal role. It's not just about eating more; it's about eating right. The right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can make all the difference in your muscle-building journey.

Protein: The Building Block Of Muscles

Protein is crucial for muscle growth. It provides the amino acids your body uses to build and repair muscle tissue.

High Protein Foods

  • Chicken Breast: A 100g serving packs about 31g of protein, making it a lean and efficient source of this essential nutrient.
  • Beef: With 22g of protein in an 85g serving, beef is another excellent choice for muscle growth.
  • Fish: Salmon and tuna are protein-rich and provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt and milk offer a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats.
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Beans, quinoa, and nut butter are great options for those following a plant-based diet

Carbohydrates: Fuel For Your Workouts

Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source. They fuel your workouts and support muscle recovery and growth.

High Carb Foods

  • Rice: A cup of cooked rice provides around 53.4g of carbs, making it a staple in many muscle-building diets.
  • Pasta: With 43g of carbs per cooked cup, pasta is another excellent energy source.
  • Fruits: Bananas, apples, and berries are packed with healthy carbs and are also rich in fiber and antioxidants.
  • Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes and sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates.

Fats: Essential For Hormone Production

Fats are essential for hormone production, including testosterone, which plays a key role in muscle growth.

High-Fat Foods

  • Avocado: A whole avocado provides around 29g of healthy fats.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds and other nuts and seeds are excellent sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, and butter are rich in healthy fats and can be easily added to your meals.

Meal Ideas For Muscle Gain

Creating meals incorporating these nutrient-dense foods can help you reach your muscle-building goals. Here are some meal ideas for each part of your day:

Breakfast Ideas

  1. Greek yogurt with berries and a scoop of protein powder.
  2. Scrambled eggs with avocado and a slice of whole-grain bread.
  3. Oatmeal with milk, banana, and a handful of almonds.

Lunch Ideas

  1. Grilled chicken breast with a side of quinoa and broccoli.
  2. Tuna salad with a drizzle of olive oil and a serving of brown rice.
  3. Beef stir-fry with a variety of colorful vegetables.

Dinner Ideas

  1. Salmon fillet with a side of sweet potatoes and green beans.
  2. Pasta with a lean ground beef tomato sauce.
  3. Chicken and vegetable curry served over basmati rice.

Snacks And Desserts

  1. A smoothie made with protein powder, a banana, and a spoonful of nut butter.
  2. A handful of almonds or a slice of cheese for a quick protein-rich snack.
  3. For a satisfying dessert, Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of granola.

Meal Prep Ideas

  1. Prepare a batch of chicken breast, rice, and vegetables for easy, muscle-building meals at the start of the week.
  2. Cook a large pot of chili with lean ground beef and beans for a high-protein, high-fiber option.
  3. Make a tray of protein-packed egg muffins for a quick and easy breakfast.

Remember, variety is key. Not only does it prevent diet boredom, but it also ensures you get a wide range of nutrients to support overall health and muscle growth.

Gains Are Made In The Kitchen

Building muscle is more than just lifting weights; it's about fueling your body with the necessary nutrients to repair and build new muscle tissue.

By incorporating a variety of protein, carb, and fat sources into your meals, you can create a diet that supports your muscle-building goals.

FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions about high-calorie meals and weight gain:

Q: How many calories should I eat to gain weight?

A: The number of calories you need to eat to gain weight depends on age, sex, current weight, and activity level. Use a calorie calculator to get an estimate.

Q: Can I gain weight by eating high-calorie meals alone?

A: While eating high-calorie meals can help you gain weight, it's also important to incorporate strength training into your routine to ensure that your weight is muscle, not fat.

Q: Are all high-calorie foods good for weight gain?

A: Not all high-calorie foods are created equal. It's important to choose foods that are not only high in calories but also rich in nutrients.

Q: How many calories should I eat to gain weight?

A: The number of calories you need to eat to gain weight depends on factors like age, sex, current weight, and activity level. Use a calorie calculator to get an estimate.

Q: Can I gain weight by eating high-calorie meals alone?

 A: While eating high-calorie meals can help you gain weight, it's also important to incorporate strength training into your routine to ensure that your weight is muscle, not fat.

Q: Are all high-calorie foods good for weight gain?

A: Not all high-calorie foods are created equal. It's important to choose foods that are not only high in calories but also rich in nutrients.

Q: What are some high-calorie foods that are good for weight gain?

A: Foods high in protein, carbs, and healthy fats are good for weight gain. This includes avocados, nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy products, lean meats, and whole grains.

Q: How can I add more calories to my meals?

A: You can add more calories to your meals by adding high-calorie ingredients like avocados, nuts, seeds, and full-fat dairy products. You can also increase portions or add a snack or meal to your day.

Q: Can I gain weight without eating high-calorie meals?

A: While gaining weight without eating high-calorie meals is possible, it's much harder. Eating high-calorie meals can help you reach your calorie surplus more easily, which is necessary for weight gain.

Q: How can I make sure the weight I gain is muscle, not fat?

A: To ensure the weight you gain is muscle, it's important to incorporate strength training into your routine and eat a balanced diet rich in protein.

Q: Can I use supplements to help me gain weight?

A: Yes, supplements like protein powders and weight gainers can help you reach your calorie surplus and provide your body with the necessary nutrients to build muscle.

Q: How can I meal prep high-calorie meals?

A: Meal prepping high-calorie meals involves planning your meals, cooking in bulk, and using high-calorie ingredients. Having high-calorie meals ready to go can make it easier to reach your calorie surplus each day.

Q: What if I'm not hungry enough to eat high-calorie meals?

A: If you struggle to eat enough to reach your calorie surplus, try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. You can also add calorie-dense foods to your meals or drink high-calorie smoothies.

Bottom Line:

Gaining weight is a journey, and high-calorie meals are your fuel.

With over 200 high-calorie meal ideas, you're well on packing the pounds and building muscle.

Remember, it's not just about the calories, but also the nutrients.

Choose foods that are high in protein, carbs, and healthy fats. And most importantly, enjoy the journey.

After all, food is one of life's greatest pleasures.

References:

  1. Nutrition and muscle protein synthesis: a descriptive review
  2. Protein – Which is Best?
  3. Dietary fat and sports nutrition: a primer
  4. Variety in Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Puerto Rican Adults

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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