15 Healthy 1000 Calorie Meals for Bulking

Typically, it’s not recommended that you eat 1000-calorie meals to achieve your fitness goals. But there are some situations in which such a diet can be of great help.

For example, if you are a professional bodybuilder, your average caloric intake should be higher than that of an average adult. Moreover, people trying to cut down meal frequency can also benefit from eating thousand-calorie meals.

But when you’re eating calorie-dense foods for bulking, it’s important to balance the macronutrient and micronutrient content in your meals. That is extremely important if you want to use the extra calories for bulking instead of gaining weight unhealthily.

Consuming meals that are 1000 calories can also lead to digestive issues or fatigue because of the sheer volume of food that you need to eat in one sitting.

To help you avoid these complications, we’ve compiled a list of 15 recipes using healthy ingredients to aid your bodybuilding journey.

Key Takeaways

  • As per the directives of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average male adult needs around 2,400-3,200 calories daily, while the average female adult needs around 1,800-2,400 calories.
  • Bodybuilders with high energy requirements can benefit from consuming 1000 good calories in just one meal.
  • For bodybuilding, a healthy 1000-calorie meal should be a balanced one, with 40%-60% of the calories coming from carbohydrates, 25%-35% from protein, and 20%-30% from fats.
  • The most effective (and healthiest) way to increase the calorie count of your individual meals is to decorate them with extra oil, nuts, seeds, and other high-calorie, nutrient-rich ingredients.
  • It’s important to combine your 1K calorie meals with an active workout regimen to see effective muscle growth. A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with high-calorie meals, can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Can You Eat 1000 Calories in One Meal?

Yes, it is possible for anyone to consume 1000 calories in a single sitting. While it’s not the most common practice, bodybuilders with high energy requirements follow such a bulking diet plan to keep pace with their muscle-building goals and training programs.

There are, however, many considerations for keeping up with such a demanding bulking diet plan.

The most important thing is preparing balanced meals. It’s easy to mess up the macronutrient profile of your foods while trying to increase the calorie count. People end up using unhealthy, fatty ingredients.

According to research, an unbalanced diet without a healthy macronutrient distribution can harm health and even trigger rebound weight gain.

For these reasons, it’s important to stick with healthy whole foods, even if preparing calorie-dense bulking meals with them can be challenging.

Relying on processed and junk food options can be easier when you are looking at just calories. But their consumption will have severe negative consequences on your body and muscle gain objectives.

Can You Gain Weight Eating 1000-Calorie Meals?

Yes, it’s highly likely that you will gain weight if you consume 1000 calories in a single meal. But it also depends on your lifestyle and meal frequency.

You will not gain weight if you consume foods with 1000 calories in one go and do not eat anything for the rest of the day.

That’s because your weight gain trajectory will ultimately depend on your overall caloric intake for the day. If you’re in a state of calorie surplus, you will gain weight. If you are in a state of calorie deficit, you will lose weight.

Eating several 1000-calorie meals per day, on the other hand, will definitely help you on your weight gain journey.

15 Healthy 1000-Calorie Meals for Muscle Growth

Healthy 1000-Calorie Meals for Muscle Growth

It’s tough to spend hours at the gym to see little to no results. In such a situation, one of the things you could be doing wrong is not eating enough (or eating the wrong things).

To help you with that, we’ve prepared a list of 15 protein-rich, nutrient-dense, and high-calorie bulking meals that you can enjoy while accelerating your muscle-growth journey.

Chicken Salad with Bacon, Cheese, and Avocados

At first glance, it wouldn’t look like something as light as salad can get you 1000 calories in a single sitting. But that’s where you’re wrong.

Salads are easily customizable. You can add healthy ingredients to increase the calorie count to whatever is suited to your requirements.

Besides, salads are easy to prepare and can taste delicious with the right kind of dressing.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 4 pieces of chopped chicken breast – 187 calories
  • 4 slices of chopped bacon, fully cooked – 172 calories
  • 1 cup of celery – 15 calories
  • Half an avocado, chopped according to taste – 160 calories
  • ⅓ cup of cheddar cheese – 150 calories
  • ½ cup of green onion – 15 calories
  • ¼ cup Caesar salad dressing – 310 calories

Total Calories: 1009

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

When we’re talking about easy high-calorie meals, a breakfast burrito should always be the first choice.

To increase the calorie count, you can prepare burritos with bacon and protein-rich eggs. You can also sprinkle a little bit of cheese on your meals to reach the 1000-calorie objective.

A breakfast burrito will have the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to support your bodybuilding goals.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 ounces of pure ground beef – 471 calories
  • 1 cup of brown rice – 215
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream – 50 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of salsa – 35 calories
  • Half a cup of corn – 75 calories
  • Half a cup of lettuce – 4 calories
  • ⅓ cup of cheddar cheese – 150 calories
  • ¼ cup of tomatoes – 8 calories

Total Calories: 1008

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Avocado toasts are easy to prepare and highly customizable. While we are giving you a list of ready-made ingredients for your convenience, you can also replace them according to your preferences and goals.

You can add proteins and white meats like salmon and cheese if you want to get a more wholesome meal. Otherwise, you can just go for a simple meal like we have planned.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 3 slices of whole wheat bread – 245 calories
  • 4 whole eggs – 288 calories
  • 1 full avocado – 320 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil – 119 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds – 52 calories

Total Calories: 1024

Fettuccine Alfredo with Roasted Green Beans

For best results, you can cook chicken alfredo pasta, which will give you ample calories and good protein distribution.

The side of roasted green beans is not high in calories, but it can elevate the taste as well as the macronutrient profile of the overall dish.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 cups of chicken alfredo: 831 calories
  • 200 grams of roasted green beans: 120 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil – 124 calories

Total Calories: 1075

Lean Beef with Coleslaw and Roasted Asparagus

If you are looking to eat protein-rich cuts of meat, lean beef is the best option as it is high in healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrate content.

However, it won’t help you get to 1000 calories on its own. So, you will have to prepare a bigger meal by adding more healthy ingredients.

Some of our recommendations are listed below.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 ounces of lean beef – 327 calories
  • 1 cup of Pizza Hut coleslaw – 268 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil – 120 calories
  • 10 spears (160 grams) of roasted asparagus – 75 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of butter – 204 calories

Total Calories: 994

Salmon with Side Salad

Salmon with Side Salad

Eating fish can be the healthiest way to get those coveted proteins. But when you are preparing for a high-calorie meal, salmon should be the most preferable main ingredient.

Unfortunately, white meat alone cannot get you to 1000 calories unless you are willing to eat a whole lot of fish!

The best way to achieve your calorie count is to prepare a side salad to go with your meal. While you may look for other alternatives, we recommend using Quinoa as it offers high-quality carbohydrates and fiber for effective muscle-building.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 6 ounces of cooked salmon – 354 calories
  • 2 cups of quinoa salad – 457 calories
  • 2 ounces of feta cheese – 150 calories
  • 1 and a half cups of broccoli – 46 calories

Total Calories: 1007

Pasta Bowls

Pasta bowls are easy to prepare and can be customized as per the whims and wishes of the bodybuilder. You can even add distinct ingredients based on your bodybuilding goals.

If you are looking to gain muscle while losing weight, you can use ingredients like cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. If you are looking to gain healthy weight, it’s better to use pasta rice, quinoa, and so on.

The possibilities are endless.

The only thing to remember is to use a high-protein ingredient like chicken or fish, include healthy fats, and also infuse healthy carbs and vegetables in the meal.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 cups of pasta – 336 calories
  • 4 ounces of chicken – 136 calories
  • 1 full avocado – 322 calories
  • Half a cup of cherry tomatoes – 23 calories
  • 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese – 85 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil – 119 calories

Total Calories: 1021

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Bacon and Eggs with Toast

Bacon and Eggs with Toast

When you’re looking for an easy 1000-calorie meal, you shouldn’t ignore the most basic ingredients.

What millions of Americans have for breakfast every day can easily get you to your caloric goals. Adding ingredients like cheese and butter can improve the nutrient profile of this basic meal and help you on your muscle gain journey.

The overall meal will be high in protein and carbohydrates to maximize the efficiency of your workouts at the gym.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 pieces of bacon – 215 calories
  • 4 scrambled eggs – 312 calories
  • 1 ounce of shredded cheddar cheese – 171 calories
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread – 138 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of butter – 204 calories

Total Calories: 1040

Calorie-Dense Smoothies

Calorie-Dense Smoothies

Did you know that you can also have smoothies containing 1000 calories? Sounds nearly impossible, but it’s true!

If you use the right ingredient, you can prepare a very nutrient-rich and calorie-packed smoothie. You can also use it as a post-workout supplement while the anabolic window is still open to get the best muscle-gain results.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 scoops of protein powder – 260 calories
  • 1 large frozen banana – 121 calories
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt – 281 calories
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter – 188 calories
  • 1 cup of full-fat milk – 150 calories

Total Calories: 1000

Protein-Dense Granola Cereal Bowl

Granola is a very healthy ingredient, packed with high amounts of calories and nutrients to keep you energetic and satiated for long hours.

Some granola alternatives contain vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B and E.

But it won’t get you to your 1000-calorie mark on its own. For that, you can use full-fat milk as well as a scoop of your protein powder. You can also opt for some specific fruits to improve the fiber content as well as the calorie count of the meal.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 and a half cups of Granola protein cereal – 550 calories
  • 1 cup of blueberries – 85 calories
  • 2 cups of full-fat milk – 293 calories
  • 1 scoop of protein powder – 120 calories

Total Calories: 1048

Oatmeal Bowls

Oatmeal Bowls

Not many people have the time or resources to make hearty meals. But that shouldn’t deter you from your bodybuilding goals.

Creating an oatmeal bowl does not take much time and can be great for your muscle gains. You can top the oatmeal with fruits and other ingredients to adjust the macronutrient profile. On its own, oatmeal is also high in fiber, allowing you to lower your cholesterol levels and remain healthy.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 cup of oatmeal – 307 calories
  • 1 cup of 2% milk – 122 calories
  • 1 small banana – 90 calories
  • 1 kiwi – 44 calories
  • 1 ounce of pecans – 196 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of honey – 128 calories
  • 1 scoop of protein powder – 120 calories

Total Calories: 1007


If you don’t feel that taste and fitness can go hand-in-hand, think again. You can make protein-rich waffles to enjoy a hearty 1000 calories in a single sitting.

The good thing about waffles is that they can be made gluten-free using specific kinds of oats. You can also add different kinds of protein powders to manipulate the overall taste and macronutrient profile of the dish.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 cup of quick oats – 290 calories
  • 4 eggs – 312 calories
  • 4 ounces of Greek Yogurt – 60 calories
  • Half a cup of full-fat milk – 75 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of syrup – 104 calories
  • ⅓ cup of blueberries – 27 calories
  • 1 scoop of whey protein – 120 calories

Total Calories: 988

Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Looking for 1000-calorie meals to have before bed? You cannot go wrong with pork chops and mashed potatoes.

The traditional American dinner can be elevated to a fitness-oriented dish by adding vegetables for boosting the overall vitamin and mineral content.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 4 ounces of pork chop – 175 calories
  • 2 potatoes – 290 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil – 119 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of butter – 204 calories
  • 1 cup of broccoli – 31 calories
  • A quarter cup of heavy cream – 202 calories

Total Calories: 1021

Pork Chops with Brown Rice

Pork Chops with Brown Rice

If you are not a fan of mashed potatoes, you can opt for something even healthier – brown rice.

In this case, you can opt for cooking the pork chop in butter and use additional ingredients like sliced peppers and olive oil.

The overall meal will be high in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals like folate and potassium.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 7 ounces of pork chops – 452 calories
  • 1 cup of brown rice – 215 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of butter – 102 calories
  • 2 cups of bell peppers – 52 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil – 119 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce – 15 calories

Total Calories: 955

Shrimp Tacos

Finally, we have a delicious treat for you – a spicy mix of shrimp tacos coupled with some other healthy ingredients.

Shrimp is high in protein content and contains healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. According to research, the amino acid leucine present in shrimp is important for optimal muscle growth.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 pound of deveined large shrimp – 481 calories
  • 1 cup of chopped red cabbage – 28 calories
  • 8 corn tortillas – 419 calories
  • Half a sliced avocado – 160 calories

Total Calories: 1088 calories

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Final Words

While it may look impossible and expensive to prepare 1000-calorie bulking meals, that’s not actually the case.

Using our recipes, you can easily create healthy and calorie-dense dishes using simple and accessible ingredients.

It’s all about adding the right things to get the perfect macronutrient profile needed to support healthy muscle gains.